row of Victorian houses in London with Victorian sash windows

Best Windows For A Period Property

Window style is often overlooked as an aspect of interior design. You think about how the window functions first: whether to go for double or triple glazing for maximum insulation? What pane configuration will let the most sunlight soak into your rooms? The way your window actually looks can become a secondary factor. Whether you choose functional PVC or simply stunning timber frames, you’ll likely factor in the cost, how long the material lasts, and the insulating properties before you consider the design impact on your room. 

This is a shame. Box sash windows will bring as much vintage elegance to a room as a restored cast iron fireplace, while a sleek roof lantern will turn a modern, minimalist space into a sun-soaked masterpiece. Carefully chosen, windows can make an impressive impact on your interior design.

Replacing windows is an important, if infrequent, part of maintaining your home – you should always consider your choices from all angles. Appearance might not be your first priority but it should be a strong consideration.

With a period property, it should maybe be your first priority. Keeping your choices sympathetic to the period can make a hefty impression on the value of your home. If your house is listed or in a conservation area, you may even be bound by law to keep within certain styles. Even if you modernise the interior, having an authentic period appearance from the outside brings instant kerb appeal. Not to mention, instant value.

Rules to Remember When Choosing Period Windows

Before we get involved in features of specific periods, there are a couple of things that will apply to all heritage properties.

Your ultimate goal should always be historical accuracy. Like all other aspects of architectural design, window design followed fashions which evolved over the decades. A house built at the start of the century won’t benefit from designs that were fashionable towards the end.

If you know the age of your property, and your existing windows seem appropriate you can replace like-for-like without much concern. If they don’t seem faithful to the period of your property, take a look at your neighbours and other other similar buildings locally for inspiration, as well as reading on to find out the fashions of the time.

A Brief History of Windows

Historically, windows were often used as status symbols. The construction and materials were expensive, and big, bold, bright windows were the wealthy homeowner’s way of flashing their fortunes. This is why an old English manor house always seems to have vast floor-to-ceiling windows, while cute, compact casements seem to default as cottage windows.

Glass manufacturing limitations also played a part in fashions and designs. Originally, it was only possible to create thin, fragile panes that had to be small to stay stable. This is why many heritage windows are built using multiple panes in a grid. As technology improved and glass got stronger, less panes were needed. The patterns were then influenced more by appearance instead.

What Windows Are Best for Tudor Properties?

Glass was weak and very fragile during the Tudor period. Most windows featured a large proportion of lead lattice work, often in rectangles or diamonds. 

They didn’t exactly feature frames as we would understand them, and were often inserted straight into stone. Large windows would often be broken down into smaller leaded sections that were placed between a stone grid for support.

What Are Georgian Windows?

As glass grew stronger, Georgian windows left behind the invasive lead lattice, and moved on to more spacious timber frames.

Box sash windows were common with the intricate pulley and weight system concealed with the wooden frame.

These were still supported in a grid pattern (eight over eight or six over six) to give the largest possible windows when glass still wasn’t stable enough to support large panes.

Which Windows Suit Victorian Properties?

Victorians stuck with box sash windows, though smaller or rural homes may have had casement windows. They preferred a cleaner, more classic, two over two, pane window. This was only possible because glass was stronger but made windows more expensive. It was another vintage way of flashing your cash.

As the use of so many glazing bars and grids fell out of fashion, ‘horns’ were introduced to sash frames. These help support the weight of the larger glass panes. You can get decorative horns on modern sash windows. Though they don’t serve any function, details like this will help you achieve perfect period authenticity.

What Are Edwardian Windows Like?

Edwardians still used classic sash windows, though they took the best of both worlds from Victorian and Georgian designs. They kept using the ‘horns’ from Victorian windows, but also used the multiple panels of Georgian ones. Six over two panes was the most common.  

They often stuck to a slimline framework between the panes, with thicker timber pieces on the top and bottom. 

What Style Are 1930s Windows?

Architecture of the 1930s was influenced by the Art Deco movement. It saw the rise of decorative coloured glasswork and the distinctive ‘Crittal-style’ windows that used slim geometric steel frames to create a striking appearance. These slim framed metal windows tended to be in the casement design, moving away from sash windows.

Do I Need Planning Permission to Replace Period Property Windows?

The style of your windows might not matter to you, but if you live in a conservation area, it might be your legal duty to care. If your home is covered by an Article 4 Directive, you will need to apply for planning permission to cover almost any work on your house. This includes replacing your windows.

When planning permission is granted, you will be expected to install replacement windows that are as close to the originals as possible. Timber frames are usually preferred over uPVC, due to their heritage appearance. You will need to choose the same style, be that sash, casement etc.

Things get even stricter with listed building windows. You will have to apply for ‘Listed Building Consent’ to make any changes at all.

If you live in a conservation area, we recommend speaking to your local planning department before you begin to look for replacement windows. As well as explaining restrictions to you, they will be able to advise you on the appropriate style and manufacture of windows. 

Here at Windows & More, we offer a variety of windows sympathetic to period properties. We offer JELD-WEN conservation windows and classic box sashes, as well as our own range of beautiful timber windows. Browse our range and get in touch if you have any questions.

Old timber window frame and windowsill with potted plants

Can You Repair Rotten Window Frames and Sills?

Wooden window frames are a long term investment for your home. Carefully clean and maintain them, and they will look fantastic and last for years.

However, without inspection and care, your timber frames might not last as long. Neglect them for too long and rot can start to set in. Wood rot will damage the frames, affecting the security and insulation they provide. Once the rot sets in, if it’s left untreated it will continue to grow until the whole frame is compromised.

Luckily, you can repair rotten window frames and sills, and treating wood rot can be a quick and easy task. Get hold of some wood filler, and the job can be done in a couple of hours of hands-on work. The important thing is to catch it early, when it is still confined to a small area.

When to Repair or Replace Rotten Window Frames and Sills

There’s no hard lines on when you can or can’t carry out wood rot repair. It will always be a judgement call. We only recommend a repair if there is just a small amount of rot present. Avoid attempting a repair if more than 10% of the frame shows signs of rot. 

A large amount of wood rot will destabilise the frame which can cause a significant security risk. If your repair looks like a big job, it’s definitely time to consider a replacement window frame instead. If that sounds like a heavy financial weight, remember that if  the rot is confined to only one window, you can just get that single frame replaced. You won’t have to redo the whole house.

How to Repair Rotten Window Frames

If there is minimal rot present and you think a repair is reasonable for your windows, follow these steps to tackle the rotten window frames yourself.

  1. Assess the extent of the rot.

Don’t just rely on your eyes to check where the rot has taken hold. Rotten wood will have a slightly different texture, almost spongy. Press your finger carefully around any visually obvious rot, and feel how far it has spread.

  1. Remove the rotten wood

Using a screwdriver or chisel, carefully begin to remove the rotten wood. Rot will leave the wood soft and easy to dislodge, so move slowly but it shouldn’t take much effort. Gently scrape away until you find the healthy wood hidden underneath.

  1. Drill into the frame

Use a ¼ inch drill bit to make a couple of holes in the frame where you’ve removed rotten wood. This will give your wood filler a stable base.

  1. Fill the gaps

Follow the instructions on your wood filling product. Most fillers will advise using a ‘hardener’ first, such as liquid epoxy, to help the thicker, heavier filler to adhere and to protect the remaining healthy wood. Apply this first and leave it to cure before using the filler. Apply the filler generously – slather it on then smooth the excess away using an epoxy/putty knife.

  1. Leave the filler to harden

Refer to the brand of filler you use, but this will usually be at least three hours. It’s better to leave it for extra time than try to hurry. If you apply the paint too soon, it could soak into the filler and damage it.

  1. Sand over the filler

It’s almost impossible to get a silky smooth finish using filler so save yourself the hassle and simply sand it all smooth when it’s finished. Start with a scratchy 80 grit to work out any uneven patches and shape it to fit, then use a 120 grit to achieve a smooth finish.

  1. Repaint the window

Whether you use varnish, stain or paint, apply another couple of coats to the whole frame. Whatever product you use will form a waterproof barrier between the wood and the world, so covering the whole frame will protect against more rot forming.

How to Stop Window Rot Occurring

Although it’s a relatively easy task, repairing rotten wood frames should always be a last resort. It’s far better to stop the wood rotting in the first place.

Regular checks and maintenance of your wooden window frames will help with this – just take a few simple steps two or three times a year to keep your frames at their best.

  • Check them

Take the time to inspect your windows carefully. This is particularly important before winter, when hammering rain and freezing temperatures can quickly take their toll on your woodwork.

  • Clean them

Wipe a soft, damp cloth round the frames to clean off any dirt, grease or dust. Rinse the cloth regularly to make sure you don’t simply smear any dirt around, and wring it well to make sure you don’t introduce unnecessary damp to the frame.

  • Fill them

If you notice any cracks, flakes or splinters in the frames, take the time to fill these straight away. The smaller they are the easier they are to fix, but if you ignore them too long they will become a gateway for rot.

  • Treat them

Whether your frames are painted, varnished or stained, make sure you add another coat of treatment to the timber when it’s needed. This keeps the surface of your frames waterproof, keeping out the damp that will lead to rot.

If you have suffered from rotten window frames and need a window replacement, we have an excellent range available. From high performance JELD-WEN windows to our own beautifully crafted timber windows, we have many styles available. Have a browse and get in touch with any queries.

triple glazed bay windows

Can You Replace a Window Without Replacing the Frame?

If you have a broken or deteriorating window, you’ll undoubtedly be looking into types of window replacement. Depending on the condition of your windows, you will have different options open to you. If your frames are in good condition, you can replace the window without replacing the window frames – this is known as a pocket window replacement. However, if your frames are aging, it will be best to opt for full frame replacement windows.

We’ll take a look at the different replacement window options, their pros and cons, and when to choose each kind of replacement below. 

Choosing Window Replacements

When your windows need replacing, it can be a chance to fully embrace the change. You can pick a new style of window, one that fits your tastes or the design of your home better. In addition, you can pick a more efficient, insulating window replacement, one that performs better and lowers your bills.

On the other hand, all the options available can be overwhelming and it can be time-consuming trying to find the best choice. For most people, it’s less of an opportunity and more of a hassle. Potentially an expensive hassle. Many people just want the quickest, cheapest option. Their instinct will be to get a like-for-like window replacement and be done with it.

Most people only know of full frame replacement windows, but did you know there could be an easier way to replace your windows where you keep the existing frame? A pocket window replacement allows you to replace your window without having to replace the window frame.

It’s not suitable for every situation, but it is a more cost-effective solution if your window frames are still strong and stable.

What Is a Full Frame Window Replacement?

A full frame replacement involves taking out the entire window and frame. Even the trim is removed, everything right down to the walls of your home.

It’s a complete fresh start for your windows, allowing you to change the material, appearance and style of your window.

Pros of Full Frame Replacement Windows: 

  • You will be left with a far more energy efficient window. Firstly because the sash-to-frame fit will be a lot closer (as they were manufactured to match), but also because it allows the chance to add insulation around the window opening.
  • It exposes the rough opening of the window, allowing a chance to inspect it and address any issues, like damp or rot, that might shorten the life of your window otherwise.
  • You will keep the full breadth of the window glass.

Cons:

  • It is more expensive as it is a more complex job. It isn’t just the cost of the extra frame – the work takes more time, and potentially more manpower, all of which contributes to an increase in price.
  • It is more disruptive. 

What Is a Pocket Window Replacement?

Also known as an insert window replacement, a pocket window replacement is when only the interior frame (or sash) of the window is removed. A new window is then ‘pocketed’ into the old frame. 

Pros of a Pocket Window Replacement: 

  • It is cheaper – not only does it involve less materials, it’s also a quicker job.
  • If your window frame is still fully functional, it is less wasteful.

Cons: 

  • It can mask potential issues in the frame, such as wood rot or damp in the rough opening.
  • Even if your frames are stable at the time of the pocket replacement, they will still need replacing eventually – potentially long before the insert window does.
  • By inserting a new frame into an existing frame, you will lose some of the glass size of the window. This will affect how much light the window lets in.

When to Choose a Full Frame Window Replacement

Obviously, if you want to dramatically alter the appearance of your windows then your only option is a full frame replacement. If you want to switch from casement to box sash windows, or similar, even if the window is the same size, a new frame will be necessary to house the opening mechanism.

However, appearance isn’t the only deciding factor. You can only choose an insert window replacement if your existing frames are still in excellent condition. If your frames are even slightly cracked, chipped or warped, they could be compromised and it wouldn’t be worth using a pocket replacement, as the frames would need to be replaced soon enough anyway.

If there is rot present anywhere around the window, including the frame, sill, trim or casing, then you will have to go for a full frame replacement. The rot will weaken the frames, and could spread to the insert window. A pocket window replacement on a less-than-perfect-frame is a waste, as it will have to be fully fixed later.

When a window gets damaged, the prospect of replacing it can be daunting. Choices will need to be made, money will need to be spent. With a pocket window replacement, you have the option to spend a little less, while still keeping your home safe and warm. However, if your window frames aren’t good as new, it is best to opt for a full window replacement. This will allow top performing windows in terms of insulation and security, and ensure you don’t need to do more work in the near future.

We offer a wide variety of high quality replacement windows. From our top of the range, high performance JELD-WEN windows to our own timber windows & aluminium windows, there’s something for all properties. Get in touch with any enquiries.

Old windows with peeling paint

How To Remove Paint From Wooden Window Frames

Wooden window frames are built to last. If you care for them well enough, they will stay strong and secure for years. So many years in fact, that there’s a chance you’ll fancy a change to the look of your house before you even begin to think about replacing them for practical reasons.

If you’re a bit bored with how your wooden windows look – if the paint is peeling or you’re desperate for a dash of a different colour on your window frames – you could always consider re-painting them before you replace them.

Cheaper and quicker than investing in replacement windows, a new paint job can completely refresh the look of your windows and even your whole house. It is important to do this job properly to maintain the lifespan of your frames. Making mistakes could leave your windows at risk of damp and a rot. A slapdash paint job could also leave them flaky, uneven, and looking far worse than when you started.

As with so much in life, proper preparation is the key to a fantastic finish. That means removing the old paint carefully and completely before you even think of cracking a can of gloss open.

There are a couple of ways to remove paint from wooden window frames, but we reckon the cheapest and easiest way is using a chemical paint stripper and a couple of readily available tools.

Simple Steps to Remove Paint From Wood

Using a wood stripper before you paint your wooden window frames is the easiest way to achieve a professional paint job when you’re refreshing your windows. It may take some time, but not much effort, and is definitely worth it in the long run. 

Follow the steps outlined below to keep the task of removing paint from your timber windows as smooth and simple as possible:

  1. Prepare the Area

Paint stripper for wood can be quite a harsh chemical. Accidental spillages could cause damage, and when it works, the flaking paint will cause an almighty mess.

So, your first step is to lay down a waterproof dust sheet or tarp underneath the window. Make sure it’s secure, and the surrounding area is completely covered. 

  1. Prepare Yourself!

Then suit yourself up. Grab some heavy duty waterproof gloves (rubber or work ones) to keep the chemical stripper away from your skin. A pair of goggles will protect your eyes, and a respirator will help keep any fumes out of your lungs.

It’s best to wear old clothes, and be prepared for the possibility of binning them after you finish.

  1. Consult Your Paint Remover Product

Most brands of paint stripper will have their own specific instructions. Application times and techniques can vary from product to product. Make sure your paint stripper is as effective as possible by familiarising yourself with the instructions for that particular product before you start. Follow the guidance closely.

  1. Apply the Paint Stripper

Use a cheap paint brush to apply a thick layer of stripper to the frame. Do it in small sections but with a heavy hand – you don’t want it dripping or running down the frame, but it will need to be a thick layer to penetrate the surface of the paint.

  1. Wait

Leave the wood stripper to soak in. This will take around 20 minutes, but will change depending on the paint remover for wood that you’re using. Check the manufacturer’s instructions, and set a timer. Leaving it on too long could damage the frame.

After the specified time, you should see signs that the paint remover is working. The paint may start to bubble, look uneven, or maybe start to flake away.

  1. Scrape the Peeling Paint Away

After the allotted time has passed, use a specific scraper tool to ease the paint off the frame. Take your time and work with care. The wood stripper should do the hard work, and you don’t want to accidentally damage the frame.  If you can work the scraper under a small section of paint, you should be able to lift it off in strips.

  1. Repeat

If there is still a lot of paint left, or you are seriously struggling to scrape it off, you can usually apply a second layer. Check the instructions for any restrictions around timings.

  1. Brush Over the Frames

When most of the paint is off, use wire wool or a wire brush to ease the paint out of any curves, creases or crevices. You can be a little more rigorous with this, but again make sure not to damage the wood.

  1. Wipe Down the Frames

Use a damp cloth to wipe down the frame and remove any residue.

  1.  Sand the Surface

Use a fine sandpaper (around 220 grit) to go over the window frame, to work out any scratches or scrapes and make sure the surface is smooth. It shouldn’t take long, and will give a far better finish to your next layer of paint, stain or varnish.

One of the joys of wooden window frames is how long they last, but sometimes a change feels necessary. A new lick of paint is an easy, quick, cost-effective way of refreshing the look of your windows without cutting their lifespan short. Make sure you take the time to do the job properly and you will get many more years out of them, while still getting the thrill of a brand new style.

If your wooden windows are past their best, we offer a fantastic range of timber replacement windows. From our top quality JELD-WEN range to classic timber sash and timber casement styles, we have something for any property. If you have any questions, get in touch to speak to one of our knowledgeable team.

Different parts of a window

What Are the Different Parts of a Window?

A lot of people look at a window and see two separate parts: a pane of glass and a window frame. Of course, there are actually a lot more parts to a window than that. Depending on the size and style of window, there are many different components working together to create a solid, secure window.

When you’re looking to replace or upgrade your windows, knowing the technical terms for all these window parts will help you make informed decisions. Knowing your window jamb from your window mullion can help you when it comes to buying, choosing styles and asking the right questions during the installation process.

We’ve put together this handy introduction to the different parts of a window, so that when things get technical, you’ll know exactly what’s going on.

What Are the Main Parts of a Window?

Obviously, different styles of windows will have different parts. 

A box sash window relies on a complex mechanism to function and it’s frame will have extra parts to allow for this. On the other hand, a casement window opens on a straightforward hinge. A construction this simple means less parts involved. 

Whatever style of window you have, there are some parts that always feature. The main different parts of window are:

  • Glass
  • Frame
  • Head 
  • Jamb
  • Sash
  • Lintel
  • Sill
Different parts of a window

What Is Window Glass?

You can probably identify the glass in your window. Most windows will feature more than one sheet of glass, either side by side or one above, one below, depending on the style of window. These individual pieces are called ‘window panes’.

Modern windows will always use strengthened glass so they are harder to break. Usually this is tempered or laminated glass, both of which are safer and more secure than standard glass.

These days, they are almost always double glazed to help them keep the heat from your house inside, and the cold air outside.

What Is a Window Frame?

The window frame is another one of those parts you could probably identify without help. Usually made of uPVC, timber or aluminium, this is the name for the outside framework which holds the window in place.

There are also names for each specific part of a basic window frame:

  • Window Head: Almost self-explanatory, the head is the main horizontal part of the frame, located at the very top. 
  • Window Jamb: The technical sounding ‘jamb’ is actually just the vertical sides that make up the outside window frame.

What Is a Window Sash?

A window sash is the inside ‘frame’ which holds one pane of glass. Made of the same material as the frame itself, any handles or mechanisms to work the window are usually attached to the sash.

The sash is easily identified on most windows, because it is the bit that actually moves.

In sash windows, the window sash moves vertically to open the window. In casement windows, the window sash may just be referred to as a ‘casement window’ and it moves outward on hinge to open. 

What Is a Window Lintel?

The lintel of a window is a beam that sits horizontally along the top of the window (above the head of the frame).

Commonly made of wood, steel or concrete, the lintel is a key part of the window construction. This is what supports the brickwork above the window and could also be considered part of the building structure rather than the window. 

In older houses  you can sometimes see the lintel, made of stone or wood. They can be turned into a feature, if they are painted or stained a different colour and look very attractive.

What Is a Window Sill?

The window sill is the part which sits under the window, between the frame and the wall beneath. It’s another part that is structurally important, providing support to the window. 

On the outside of a building, the sill sticks out slightly, often at angle. As well as giving some definition to the appearance of the window, this lets any rainwater run off. It is important to keep water flowing away from the frame and the seals of the windows to prevent water damage.

Extra Parts of a Window

More decorative or complicated window styles may feature extra parts in the sash or frame as part of their ornate design.

Window Grilles/Window Grids

A window grille (also known as a window grid) is a decorative addition which appears to divide a large window pane into smaller panels.

In the past, this grid construction was necessary to build big windows, as it wasn’t possible to create glass that was strong enough to support a larger pane size. They were expensive, so used as a symbol of status in line with fashions of the time.

These days, grilles still feature heavily in period properties. Advances in glass construction means they aren’t structurally necessary any more, so they are often just laid over the top of one big pane of glass as a decorative but non-functional addition.

Transoms and Mullions

Transoms and mullions are used for windows which feature more than one pane or sash. They are parts of the window frame which separate the different panes of glass.

What Is a Window Transom?

If a window has two panes of glass arranged vertically, then the horizontal part of the frame that separates them is called a ‘transom’. 

What Is a Window Mullion?

If a window has two or more panes arranged horizontally, then the vertical part of the window frame that separates them is called a ‘mullion’.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the different parts that make up a window. If you are looking for new windows, we have a great range with many different styles available. From our JELD-WEN brand range to timber and aluminium windows, we have something to suit any property. Just get in touch for more information. 

man preparing a window for window replacement

How Long Does It Take to Replace One Window?

The prospect of updating or replacing a window can be a daunting one. Removing a window leaves your room open to the elements, and the idea of having a big gaping hole in your home can be concerning.

Unfortunately, it is an inevitable part of home ownership as no window can last forever. Having an old, damaged or draughty window can cause a security and financial risk to your home – they’re more inviting to potential intruders and can hike up your energy bills.

Luckily, window replacement is actually a pretty painless procedure. 

As it is much better to get it done as soon as necessary, we thought we’d clear a few things up about the process of replacing windows and how long it will take, so that you can feel comfortable and confident to make the arrangements.

Ordering a Replacement Window

The first step to replacing windows is choosing and ordering your new one. A straightforward like-for-like window replacement will be a lot quicker than changing to a different window style, so make sure you’re committed to your design choice. If you’re looking to increase (or shrink) the size of your window, that is moving away from simple replacement and could take a lot longer.

It is important to have precise and accurate measurements before you order as well. Take the time to double, triple, even quadruple check your measurements as any mistakes could have a knock-on effect for how long the replacement process takes.

Production and Delivery Times

Probably the most changeable time factor in the whole window replacement process is the production or sourcing time for the replacement. Some companies ship their products from around the world, and this leads to long delivery times.

At Windows & More, we produce all our windows in the UK. This means that we average 4 weeks on our standard windows or 8 weeks for any that are purpose made. This is one of the quickest lead times in the UK.

If you need a window more urgently then, contact us directly and we will see what we can do.

Installing Your New Window

Once your replacement window has arrived, installing it is a quick enough job.

One window should take anything from an hour to half a day to install. The length of time is mainly dictated by the type of window you have chosen, and how many people are working to install it.

A small window can be replaced by one professional installer on their own, usually within a couple of hours, but a large one may need up to four fitters to help.

Tips to Help Speed up Window Replacement

There are things you can do to help speed the process up. Make sure access to the window, inside and out, is unobstructed. If the window is being installed on the second floor, clear as much space as possible outside to allow for ladders or scaffolding.

As well as moving furniture from in front of the window and decorations off the window sill, make sure to take down your curtains, blinds and any other window dressings. If you have an easy-to-remove curtain pole, getting that out of the way is also a good idea.

These are the little things that make an installer’s job easier and, in turn, quicker.

A standard casement window will be installed before you know it, within a couple of hours. Whether you have uPVC windows or wooden windows shouldn’t affect the time – type of window, size and construction are more important than material. A box or sliding sash window may take a little longer to install, just to calibrate the mechanism. 

Whatever style of window you have, if you’re replacing it with the same size and style, you can rest assured the whole process should be done in less than half a day.

If you’re looking for high quality window replacements, we have a range of beautiful windows to choose from. Choose from our high performance JELD-WEN brand range, timber windows and aluminium windows. If you have any queries, our helpful team is on hand, just get in touch.