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.

How To Upcycle Old Windows

We imagine many of you will be revamping your home when spring comes around – DIY jobs are perfect for this time of year.

Typical spring DIY jobs consist of potting plants, repainting internal walls, and clearing out your unworn clothes. However for some, DIY jobs are a little larger than this – installing new hardware, replacing old window frames, and purchasing bifold doors.

If you plan on taking on a bigger DIY project this spring, have you thought about upcycling the item that you’re replacing? In particular, upcycling old windows – there are many ways that you can repurpose your old window frames.

In this guide, we’re going to look at the different ways that you can upcycle your old windows and give them a new purpose.

How do you decorate an old window?

There are many ways that you can decorate an old window if you haven’t got the budget to replace them. Decorating a window doesn’t always mean repainting them – but, it’s a good place to start.

Start by purchasing some good paint – paint especially created for the type of window frame that you have. uPVC, aluminium, and wood, will require different types of paint. Sand away flaking paint and paint the frames with the desired colour.

If you want to decorate your old windows without painting them, there are a few ways that you can jazz them up a bit:

Ideas for repurposing old windows

If your windows are past saving, here are some upcycling ideas that may give you some inspo.

Antique Window Mirror

14.FleaMarket.EM.SE.WDC.27aug06

Remove the old glass from your window frame and sand away flaking paint. Cut and glue mirrored glass to where the glass panes once sat. You can now hang your new mirror on the wall or rest it on an antique side table for a farmhouse feel.

Chalkboard Window

my chalkboard (old window)

Similar idea to the first one, but this time we’re using chalkboard instead of mirrored glass. As before, cut and glue the chalkboard to the window frame. For an easier project, you can cut the chalkboard to the size of the entire mirror instead of cutting it into individual pieces. This is a great way to make something practical from an old window frame.

Sideboard

Window Sideboard

If you have extra wood lying around try your hand at a sideboard. Use the window frame and glass as the sideboard door and add screws to attach it to the rest of the reclaimed wood. Use sandpaper to remove flaking paint and to smooth off the edges. For a rustic vibe, leave the sideboard unpainted.

Jewellery Organiser

After:  A decorative jewelry display / organizer

Insert pins, tiny screws, and hooks to the frame of the window. You can use these to hang jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets, and rings. If you want to go a step further, remove some (or all) of the glass panes and insert a piece of material. You can use this to store your earrings by pushing the bar of the earring through the material.

Decor

If you like to keep things simple, you can use your old window for decorative purposes – this adds a great country cottage feel to interiors. All you need to do is make the frame look more presentable. Clean away any dust and dirt, wash the glass panes (or replace them), and if desired, give the frames a lick of paint. You can hang your new upcycled windows wherever you please – they look great in kitchens though!

Upcycling windows is a fun DIY task – think of the self-achievement. There is very little effort required to make something beautiful from an old wooden frame, all you need is a bit of inspiration.

If your DIY task for this year is to install new windows, please take a look through our range of timber windows.

mouldy window frame

What Is the Difference Between Wet Rot and Dry Rot?

Rot is bad news. When this happens to the structural elements of your house, it can spell disaster! But even if it’s just the superficial parts of a door or window that are affected, rot can be a real pain.

You might even have heard that there are different kinds of rot, which manifest in different ways. Don’t worry, we’re not going to delve into the biochemistry here (interesting though it may be); instead, we’re going to look at the practical consequences of rot, and how to avoid them.

What is Wet Rot?

Certain sorts of microscopic fungus will multiply when the moisture levels get high enough. As they spread, they’ll need to eat. And what they eat is the timber in your home. There are many species of fungus that do this, but the most common cause wet rot: they’ll discolour your timber and cause it to fall to bits.

What is Dry Rot?

Certain sorts of fungus have a distinctly different effect on the wood they’re chewing through. Timber infested with dry rot will become brown and crumbly, sometimes so much so that it can be broken into powder between your fingers. Despite what you might assume, dry rot needs a certain amount of moisture to survive – typically around 20%.

Dry rot is rarer than wet rot, though considerably more serious. It will spread away from the source of the damp rather than staying close to it, meaning it could quite literally bring the house down. Don’t delay in treating it!

How to Fix Window Rot

Once you’ve identified the sort of rot you’re dealing with, you can move onto fixing it.

How Do You Fix Wet Rot?

The affected area will need to be stripped out and repaired, blending any replacement timber in with the existing stuff. Of course, this will only prove effective in the long term if the source of the moisture is dealt with.

How Do You Fix Dry Rot?

Timber affected by dry rot should be treated with a suitable fungicide and wood preservative. Badly affected or warped timber should be replaced with a pre-treated substitute. This will lessen the chance of the timber being infected again. Given the serious consequences of a dry-rot infestation running out of control, this is something you’ll want to bring in specialist help for.

How Do You Stop Window Rot?

Prevention, as they say, is better than cure. And so, it’s best to stop rot from occurring before it starts. It’s a good idea to control the ambient moisture level around your timber, and to get damp looked at before it spreads. But if you’re dealing with timber on the outside of your house, such as in a window, this might not be an option. In this instance, look for a lengthy guarantee against rot and fungus when you’re buying the window. Our timber windows ship with a forty-year guarantee against rot and fungus, giving you peace of mind from the moment you install.

Image credit

Man installing a window

When to Replace your Windows

A good set of windows will last for decades, providing consistent draught exclusion and insulation throughout that lifespan. But as with all structures of this sort, even the most stringently manufactured window will one day begin to break down. To ensure that your home enjoys the best possible security and energy-efficiency, it’s vital that you invest in a replacement set when your windows reach the end of their lifespan.

Signs Your Windows Need Replacing

But exactly how do we know when it’s time to call time on that trusty double-glazed window set? There are a few common signs which can help clue us in. We’ve touched upon the signs that double glazing is failing in a previous blog, but we’ll briefly recap them here:

Physical Damage

Begin by examining the window itself. Is it in good shape? Are the seals still intact? Does it open smoothly? If your window has been cracked, then it might be possible to get it repaired. However, if the window was already a little long in the tooth, it will probably make more sense to look for a replacement instead.

Discolouration

In the case of uPVC windows, you’re looking for a yellowing which occurs when the plastic is exposed to direct sunlight. Over the years, all of that UV can take its toll on certain older sorts of uPVC. Happily, modern stuff can withstand a great deal more before it starts to discolour.

If you’re replacing a timber window, then you’re looking for signs of warping and rotting. You might be able to address this with a little bit of preventative maintenance: sanding and refinishing can work wonders. Eventually, however, you’re going to have to replace.

Condensation

While condensation on the inside of a window during winter indicates that the panel is performing well, the same isn’t true of condensation that forms between the panels of your double glazing. This space is built to be sealed. If any moisture has gotten inside, then that means that the seal has failed, and all of the heat-preserving gas has leaked out.  This means the energy-retention of your window will have plunged.

Can You Replace Windows in the Winter?

A necessary evil when it comes to window replacement is that you’ll need to remove the old set before installing the new one. As such, there will be a short period when your home is open to the elements. If this period occurs during cold weather, then your house will become very cold, very quickly. As such, many installers will recommend against replacing during winter.

However, if you plan competently, there’s no reason that you can’t get your windows replaced at just about any time of year. We are, after all, only talking about a short interval where you won’t have any window at all. Just be sure to check the weather forecast on the day in question, and don’t be afraid to push things back if there’s a blizzard incoming.

Cleaning a wooden window

How to Clean Windows with Newspaper

Regular cleaning is essential if windows are to look their best. This will ensure not only that your view of the outside isn’t partially obscured by a thin veneer of grime, but that natural light can percolate through your interior to the greatest possible extent. There’s nothing more likely to liven up your living room than a healthy dose of natural light, courtesy of a set of clean glass windows!

One of the most popular ways of cleaning windows is with the help of old, scrunched up newspaper. This is among the most low-cost cleaning supplies, with many of us getting a paper through the door every week for absolutely nothing.

But what’s the best way to clean windows using old newspaper? Let’s take a look!

Using Newspaper to Clean Windows

As always, we’ll need to first assemble a few ingredients. In this case, there aren’t that many. You’ll need:

  • Newspaper (any will do)
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Washing-up liquid
  • A spray-bottle

For our purposes, we’re going to concoct a tried-and-tested home-brew cleaning solution. If you’d prefer, you can go out and buy one that’s been specially formulated (albeit at greater cost). But white vinegar is inexpensive and will break down all of the grime on your windows in moments, and thus it makes a fantastic solution for most circumstances.

First, we’re going to formulate our home cleaning solution. This can consist of a few drops of washing-up liquid, alongside a 1:3 mixture of white vinegar and water. You can experiment with the proportions for best results. Load it into a spray bottle and give it a vigorous shake before you get started.

Follow these steps to clean your windows effectively with newspaper:

  1. Apply the cleaning formula to the glass. It’s important to be cautious, here; vinegar has a habit of discolouring hardwood furniture and other surfaces, so we want to be sure that we only get it onto the glass. Apply in small patches at the middle of the window.
  2. Now, we can scrub the cleaner into the glass. Move in a small circle to begin with, so that the paper absorbs most of the cleaner. Then you can move onto larger vertical strokes from the top to the bottom of the window. Apply more cleaner as required.
  3. Using this method, clean every window as required, front and back. When you’re done, you should have a shining, transparent surface.

So, what makes newspaper so effective? Put simply, it’s rough enough to be very slightly abrasive. This makes it great at dislodging all of the tiny particles of dirt that, over the course of a week, will find their way onto the glass of your window, and it won’t leave fibres behind in the same way as toilet paper might. Of course, we might say the same about standard sheets of A4 – but newspaper is by far the more economical option!

Aluminium windows

Choosing the Right Colour Window Frames

There are now more options than ever when it comes to windows and in particular, window colour.

The colour of your window frames can help you achieve many different effects, and when done right, can add a new dimension to the facade of your home.

Before we go into choosing the right colour window frame for your home, here’s some advice: try not to go for whatever’s hot on Pinterest right now, or what’s ‘in’ – unless you’re absolutely sure you’re going to love it years down the line, or have the means to keep up with changing trends.

Windows will be a fixture of your house that last many years, so simply choosing what’s trendy right now is bad practice since if you change your mind, you’ll be stuck with your decision for a while.

Why Does Your Window Frame Colour Matter?

Windows are a vital feature of any home or building, but what do different window frame colours achieve, other than being a colour that you like? Think of the window as a whole and what impact you want it to have.

Dark colours create a sleek and smooth feel. Black window frames, for example, will give the feeling that the window is blending into the frame, for a uniform smoothness.

Bright colours, like a white window frame, make the window stand out, bringing in colour contrasts and vibrancy to the facade.

Glossy window frames will accentuate the frame, giving it a deeper colour and a more distinct look. A matt window frame, however, is much subtler – ideal if you don’t want to distract from the rest of your home’s exterior.

Think about how you can contrast colours against the facade to create truly striking windows. A dark window frame on a bright facade creates that colour contrast, and gives it its own personality (not to mention that bright houses with dark windows are always really striking).

These are all extra facets of design that can be achieved through the colour of your window frame, and as with lots of houses, everything is in the details.

Things to Consider When Choosing Window Frame Colours

So, how do you choose the right window frame colour for your home?

Most people will opt for either black window frames, white window frames, or neutral grey windows. These are strong colours and they’re a safe bet. At least one of those three will complement the colour of the facade and particularly works well if the facade colour is relatively subdued compared to the strong window frame colour.

If you don’t want to play it safe, there’s plenty of other colour options. Bright blue window frames set against a bright, white facade gives you that nautical, dreamy beach house look. Or how about a deep red if you have a wooden facade? This will combine well with nature and your garden.

Similar principles apply for the interior colour of your window frame. Bright colours, like white aluminium windows, will add a softness to the window when observed from the inside, whilst coloured upvc windows can be deployed in a number of different ways so you can realise your vision for the house.

Shop our website for a fantastic range of Jeld Wen windows including sash windows, casement windows and our handmade bespoke range. Free shipping is available to anywhere on the UK mainland – get in touch and order today!

Woman cleaning window

How to Whiten Yellowed uPVC Windows

Arguably the most popular material for modern windows is unplasticised Poly-Vinyl-Chloride, or uPVC. It’s robust, inexpensive, and lasts for years with minimal maintenance. To keep yours looking spotless, you only need give it the occasional wipe down with a damp cloth.

Over time, however, certain sorts of uPVC are prone to discolouration. Those brilliant white frames, if exposed to the elements for long enough, will turn an unsightly shade of yellow. In this article, we’ll take a look at the problem, why it happens, and see whether there’s anything to be done once your uPVC has gone yellow.

What Causes uPVC to Turn Yellow?

There are several things which can cause uPVC to turn yellow, but the likeliest culprit is exposure to UV light. You might notice that your windows aren’t so yellow in places where the sunlight is restricted (your south-facing windows, for example, might be most affected).

One of the major advantages of uPVC is that it’s recyclable, and therefore environmentally friendly. But it’s for this reason that not all uPVC windows are created equally. If your window has been made using extra plasticizing agents and pigments, then it might be more vulnerable to discolouration.

How Not to Whiten Yellowed uPVC Windows

Having identified the problem, we’re left with the question of how to make yellow uPVC white again. You might be tempted by several common cleaners, some of which are to be avoided at all costs. Two offenders in particular stand out:

Bleach might seem a sensible option for cleaning yellowed uPVC. It turns things white, doesn’t it? Why shouldn’t it do the same to your window frames?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple; bleach will react with the PVC and turn it a disastrous shade of brown. If you use it, even in diluted form, you can expect a total catastrophe that can only be fixed by replacing the entire window.

Sandpaper might also seem a sensible option. If the top layer is discoloured, then surely all we need to do is scrape it away to reveal the whiteness beneath. Again, this is a misunderstanding of how uPVC works – the topmost, glossy surface is created as the plastic is manufactured – the interior of the material is quite different. It’s dull, and won’t repel water or stains in the same way. If you sand your uPVC window, you will ruin it.

How Do You Clean Yellow uPVC Windows?

Depending on the nature of the staining, you might have some luck with more gentle cleaning solutions. Baby wipes have been known to lift away some stains, and make a good first point of call if you have access to them. Household cleaners like CiF should be regarded with some caution; be sure to check the bottle doesn’t contain any bleach.

You can also find some specially-formulated uPVC window cleaner on the market, which may restore new life to ailing windows. Even if you don’t experience stellar results, you can at least be sure that you aren’t going to do any harm!

Looking to replace your windows? Start your shop for our full range here.

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