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Windows play a substantial role in the overall aesthetic of a home and typically help to define the character of the property.
It’s obvious to see if a property has had windows installed that don’t suit the style of the original building and that’s why choosing the perfect windows to complement the style of a property is vital.
If you are unsure about the style that best suits your property, then take a look around your local neighbourhood. You’re likely to find properties with a similar style of architecture where the owners have taken various differing approaches to the fenestration – some of which will look great, and some of which won’t.
With government’s advice to the nation still being to ‘stay at home’ and within the local vicinity where possible, it’s the ideal time to take a stroll around your area and really take note of the windows that have been installed. The most suitable windows are more often than not, those that don’t immediately catch your eye or dominate the entire property. By setting time aside for a gentle walk to review the options, you’ll start to appreciate the varying quality and designs available and it will become clear that proportion is a key factor.
With that in mind, here’s our handy guide to the styles of window you may discover:
Sliding sash windows are a staple in many period homes built from the 17th century onwards. Timber sash windows offer a level of authenticity to a period property through their traditional lines and style.
There are small details that are vital for ensuring the style of a sash window remains consistent with the age of the property. For example, Georgian properties typically saw the window divided into smaller panes whereas sash windows from the Victorian era used fewer panes to reduce the cost of production.
A casement window is attached to the frame on one side only and they are typically found individually or in pairs. The opening is usually via a top or side hinge and they are more popular in newer houses.
Casement windows are available in two distinct styles. Top hung casement windows open from the bottom and swing outwards, while the traditional side hung casements open in a more common fashion similar to a door. Both styles work with a majority of properties and ultimately the decision is down to the homeowner. Many opt for a variety of both to create a window that is versatile and can be opened in different ways depending on the scenario.
Some of the more bespoke options include French casement windows and bay casement windows. French casement windows don’t have a bar in the middle, creating an uninterrupted opening. Whereas, bay casement windows are designed to fit with the architecture of the building.
As is the case with sash windows, it’s the finer details that add authenticity. The combination of panes within the frame can vary depending on the opening, alternatively, the window can be shaped to fit with the property.
It’s all in the material
As previously mentioned, wood is usually the best choice for windows. Unlike uPVC, which can show signs of ageing and yellowing after just a couple of years, timber windows offer exceptional performance against the unpredictable and often harsh British weather. Where possible, opt for a premium grade, knot-free engineered timber which is laminated to provide further stability and a superior finish. This results in a high-quality finish that will survive the test of time – an important factor, given that replacing windows is often a sizeable investment.
Steel windows have become increasingly popular in recent years and whilst these do make a significant style statement, they are not to everyone’s tastes. To ensure mass curb appeal during a future property sale, quality timber windows are generally a more sought after and therefore safer option.
For homes in conservation areas, local authorities will have guidelines for appropriate materials and styles when replacing the windows in a property. This is often based on an understanding of the windows that are installed in other properties in the surrounding area – therefore doing your own research before putting in a planning application, can save much time and stress at a later date and get your planning permission approved much more quickly.
Enjoy your stroll and we hope you’re suitably inspired by the architecture, properties and fenestration in your area.
If you need more information about replacing your windows or selecting windows for a new property or extension, then get in touch with us today.