As long as mankind has created window openings in its shelters, there has been an area you could call the cill, though its shape and form has varied through both architectural styles and choice of materials.
While in many ways the basic idea can be seen in the stone cills of our ancient castles, the scale and construction has changed over the centuries, more particularly in recent times.
Wooden cills can be found as part of an overall timber construction in properties dating from Tudor times, though natural stone remained the material preferred during the Georgian and Victorian eras. Elsewhere across Britain’s diverse heritage, you can see both brick and slate giving good service, while wood windows developed to incorporate projecting cills that simplified the builder’s work.
More recently, steel, aluminium and composite materials have also been employed, though all of the above remain susceptible to damage for the very reason that they protrude from the building line, and people tend to lean ladders against them. Which is why Plastic Surgeon has developed a number of techniques for repairing them.
PVC-U cills, if distorted, we can repair by heat treating them – relying on the inherent memory of the material to return them to their original shape. While for dents, gouges and scratches to PVC-U and timber cills our finishers can fill, sand back and then coat with paints or stains to match the original substrate. The same can be said of metal and composites.
Damage to stone cills, though, is often caused by more than the clumsy tradesman dropping something like a lump hammer. For the freeze – thaw cycle of water in stone, thanks to our wonderful British climate, can cause pieces to spall. So a finisher, in this instance, might be required to build up the repair area in layers, before smoothing, or possibly overcoat the whole cill with our own render system.
The ‘clever bit’ according to our clients, though, is in the final coating, whatever material it is being utilized. For our finisher will look at the stone, timber or steel cill, and by hand and eye, carefully mix the exact colour and surface finish of the substrate. Replicating sandstone, granite and the veins in marble; the grain found in timber; or the RAL colour often used on aluminium cills. The dulled down hue of older PVC-U cills, or the patination on metal; you name it; our finishers can replicate just about any material with their spray guns or ultra fine artist’s sable paintbrushes.
What customers have to remember is that the cost of replacement – levering out a damaged cill, then asking the carpenter/stonemason or general builder to fit a new one – is going to be pricey, before you include the cost or purchasing the replacement itself. For one of our finishers to repair a damaged cill – in-situ, and usually within two hours – is obviously going to be the most cost-effective, and sustainable, solution.