bow window

What Was Used in Windows Before Glass Was Invented?

While the modern window might seem like a pretty simple contraption, it’s actually made from dozens of carefully-engineered parts. Double-glazed windows are able to insulate far better than a single sheet of glass – but even that required hundreds of years of refinement and engineering before it could be made thick and flat enough to actually see through.

Before the earliest forms of glass came to be, a window would be a simple hole in the side of a building, over which could be hung crude animal-skin curtains at night-time. Not terribly comfortable! So how did the modern glass window come about?

When Were Glass Windows Invented?

Glass, as a material, is rare in nature. Usually, it comes in the form of obsidian – which is entirely black. Synthetic glass first came to be widespread in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3500 BCE, and came to be used for vases and cups thousands of years after that.

Glass windows, on the other hand, came much later. The ancient Romans used them, sporadically, in the more upmarket villas and government buildings – though their optical qualities were far behind what we might expect today. In certain places, like churches, this difficulty became an opportunity: stained glass windows allowed for the depiction of certain religious scenes. In this setting, transparency didn’t matter.

The earliest forms of window glass were ‘broad sheet’. These were made by first blowing a tube of glass, and then cutting off one side and rolling the whole thing flat.

The difficulty of manufacturing glass windows made them something of a status symbol – and this continued right up to Tudor England, where only the wealthiest households could afford windows of a decent size. In Europe, the Italian renaissance left no aspect of culture or industry untouched. Windows there became taller and sleeker, and separated by mullions and transoms (the wooden crossbeams which run across the surface of a window). As time went by, these elements were made progressively narrower – so that more light could pass through the window.

The Sash Window

The 17th century saw the introduction of an entirely different sort of window: the sash window. This variety of window consisted of two moving panels, which could slide behind one another to create an opening. Windows of this sort needed to be made from ‘crown glass’: a more affordable material created by spinning discs of the stuff, and then cutting those discs into broad sheets.

Modern Windows

Today, our windows are almost universally made from machined ‘float’ glass. This process came about in the mid 19th century, and though it’s been extensively refined since then, the principles used today remain the same: the molten glass is poured into a bath of molten tin. The two materials are immiscible, meaning the sheet floats upon the molten tin as it cools (like oil might float on water). The result is a perfectly smooth sheet on both surfaces, which, after a little bit of extra treatment, becomes perfectly transparent.

uPVC kitchen windows

Standard Window Sizes: Explained

Confused about window sizes and standard window dimensions? Read on and we’ll explain everything you need to know about sizes when shopping for windows.

Do Standard Window Sizes Exist?

First of all, let’s address the fact that ‘standard window sizes’ are actually a myth. There is no industry-wide standard sizing, especially when so many windows are custom-made for houses. Standardisation of window sizes differ between manufacturers, who will make windows in sizes that they deem to be standard. 

As windows and houses are now mass-produced, this has led to an industry-wide standard of sorts, but again, it’s at the discretion of the manufacturers to decide what they think is standard. Those “standards” will also change over time.

Standard House Window Sizes

Before we get into the broad-stroke standard dimensions for house windows, let’s explain how these sizes are specified. There’s a really straightforward system for identifying window sizes. 

Window size is noted in a 4-digit figure. The first two digits refer to width and the other two are for height. For example:

4030 = 4 feet wide and 3 feet high

So, if you want a window that’s 38 inches wide and 68 inches high, its size would be noted as 3258. You may need a inches to feet converter (and vice versa)!

This is a handy way of immediately identifying and noting sizes, making it easier for you to shop. 

If you are currently undertaking a project, or want to know the ballpark ranges of common window sizes, then here are some new construction window sizes and average window dimensions:

What’s a Standard Bathroom Window Size?

For this one, we’re going to look at two different standard window sizes. First, standard sliding window size:

Width: 36 to 84 inches

Height: 24 to 60 inches

Standard picture window size:

Width: 24 to 96 inches

Height: 12 to 96 inches

What’s a Standard Kitchen Window Size?

You’re also likely to find picture windows in kitchens – the standard sizes for that is above. Another type of window commonly found in kitchens are double-hung windows:

Width: 24 to 48 inches

Height: 36 to 72 inches

For kitchens, it’s also handy to note standard casement window sizes:

Width: 14 to 35.5 inches

Height: 17 to 73 inches

What’s a Standard Bay Window Size?

Width: 42 to 126 inches

Height: 36 to 78 inches

What’s a Standard Awning Window Size?

Width: 24 to 68 inches

Height: 20 to 42 inches

What’s a Standard Sash Window Size?

Width: 14 to 68 inches

Height: 24 to 128 inches

Things to Consider 

Window sizes are often in whole figures, but generally speaking they’ll be half an inch shorter than the specified number, as this makes installation easier. So don’t worry if your aperture is 37.8 inches high and the replacement window you want is 38 inches high. Double check with the vendor, but it should be still be fine for installation.

If your aperture will not fit a standard sized window, all is not lost. One option is to spend money on custom windows, but if you’re on a budget, this may not be viable. 

The most cost-effective thing to do is adjust the aperture so it will meet standard window sizes. This can’t always be done but if it can, it will certainly be less harsh on your pockets. Custom windows may be necessary in older homes, as they were built before windows were being mass-produced. 

For an outstanding range of Jeld Wen windows for your home, buy online today at Windows & More. We have selections of casement windows and sash windows as well as hand made bespoke windows that can cater to all of your needs. We also offer free shipping available to anywhere in mainland UK.

wooden windows

What Are French Casement Windows?

You may already be very familiar with casement windows, but what about French style casement windows? 

French casement windows are made up of two windows that push out beyond the envelope of your home. Typically, they don’t have a vertical post in the middle and will open out from the centre. Unlike a traditional casement window, this allows for an unobstructed view when the windows are open.

Not all windows of this type are the same, but the most common is the push out French style casement window. Inswing French casement windows are also available.

When Should You Use French-Style Casement Windows?

French style casement windows are excellent when installing a window in a large, open space such as your kitchen or bedroom. They’re not so suited to hallways, stairwells, or toilets.

As they open fully, they can let in plenty of light and air. If you have a room that enjoys a fantastic view, when opened a French window will allow you to enjoy it without obstruction.

What Are the Features & Benefits of French Casement Windows?

So, why should you opt for a French casement window? The choice is completely yours but let’s lay out some of the benefits so you can decide whether French casement windows are the right choice for you. 

  • Ventilation – French windows open out to 90 degrees plus and allow for rapid air flow into the room. You also have the choice of opening just one side if you need some ventilation, but don’t want to open the windows the whole way. 
  • Security – French window security is typically of a very high standard. They come with locks that are highly secure so you don’t have to sacrifice on safety. They also open so wide that they can also double up as a fire escape if needed. 
  • ViewsAs mentioned previously, French windows give offer unobstructed views of the great outdoors. 
  • Low MaintenanceFrench windows, especially uPVC ones, are extremely low-maintenance. A quick wipe every now and then will keep them clean, and they don’t need to be treated regularly like wood.
  • EfficiencyFrench windows offer better energy efficiency than double hung windows, whilst simultaneously providing more ventilation. 
  • VarietyWith French style casement windows, there’s plenty of opportunities for customisation and personalisation. This makes them particularly appealing to our design-minded customers. 

Shop our website for a wide and varied selection of Jeld Wen windows. With 40 year rot and fungal guarantees on timber windows, low prices, and free delivery to anywhere in mainland UK, you can save money when you buy online today at Windows & More.

Windows with external shutters

Hardwood vs. Softwood Windows

Choosing the right windows for your home is really important. It’s not like you get do-overs (not without incurring costs, anyway). 

If you’ve decided on fitting your home with wooden windows but are confused about the differences between hardwood and softwood windows, read on.

What’s The Difference Between Hardwood and Softwood Windows?

You might be familiar with the terms hardwood and softwood, but do you fully understand the differences between them?

Hardwood timber refers to deciduous trees. Species like oak, mahogany, teak, walnut and maple are all hardwoods. They have a high density and are incredibly durable. 

Softwoods are of a lower density and come from coniferous trees like fir, pine, spruce, yew and cedar. These are generally speaking, less durable than hardwoods, although that isn’t their defining difference. 

Some hardwoods aren’t very durable at all, like balsa, which is extremely light. Yew timber, a softwood, is extremely hard-wearing. In broad-stroke terms however, hardwoods are generally more durable, and harder to mould and work with, whilst softwoods are the opposite. 

Hardwood vs Softwood Windows

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty and see how each type fares against the other in a number of categories, and examine some of the differences between hardwood and softwood that you should know about. 

How Long do Hardwood and Softwood Windows Last?

Both hardwood and softwood windows can last your entire lifetime if maintained and refurbished. There are cases of listed buildings with softwood windows that have lasted well over 150 years!

You can expect your wooden windows, especially hardwood timber, to last up to 60 years or more (some of our wooden windows come with a 40-year fungal and rot guarantee). Softwood windows are more responsive to the seasons and will expand and contract more, whilst hardwood windows are a safer bet in terms of longevity.

Although all woods are susceptible to fire damage, hardwoods are much more fire resistant than softwoods (if that is something you need to consider). 

What Looks Better: Hardwood or Softwood Windows?

It’s a dead heat in this match. Both hardwood windows and softwood windows can look equally stunning. Hardwoods give you that genuine timber feel that creates a fantastic traditional look. Softwoods tend to be more subtle and understated in appearance.

Bear in mind that softwood timber is much more workable than hardwood, giving you more flexibility in terms of carving and creating complex joints.  

Are Hardwood or Softwood Windows Cheaper?

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect hardwood windows to be up to 30-40% more expensive than softwoods. As it takes longer to grow, and is harder to harvest and then work into window frames, this is simply the price you pay for the extra cost and effort that goes into collecting and making it ready for sale. 

Softwoods are also a more sustainable option in terms of the environment. As they grow much faster, softwoods are able to be more sustainably sourced.

Shop our website for great deals on our fantastic energy-efficient windows. We offer both softwood and hardwood windows, with ranges of sash windows, casement window and more. We also offer hand made bespoke windows, so you can pick the perfect windows for your home. 

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!

Spacious room with a large window

What Do You Call a Window That Doesn’t Open?

Don’t be fooled, this isn’t a setup to a joke. As you are probably well aware, most windows open.

Your casement windows, sash windows, hung windows; these are all commonly found windows that open up to let fresh air into your home. But what about windows that don’t open? Is it a fixed glass window? A non-opening window? A fixed pane window?

We get a lot of questions on this and some people struggle to find the fixed window they’re after because they don’t know the terminology. So, we’re going to go through some of the popular types of non-opening window you can get for your home.

So, What Are Windows That Don’t Open Called?

There are quite a few window types that do not open and they can make a really striking design feature in your home. To save yourself going to a retailer and asking ‘do you have one of those windows that aren’t really a window because it doesn’t open, but it is made of glass and looks like a window?’ – we’re here to clear things up and make shopping for windows easier.

Windows that don’t open are, generally speaking, called ‘fixed windows’ – but let’s get into the most commonly types of fixed windows, so you know exactly what you’re talking about.  

Picture Windows

picture window

Picture windows are a small window that looks much like a picture frame, offering a clear and unsullied view of the outside. These are great for letting extra light into a room that doesn’t need ventilation. They can be really large and fill an entire wall for example; or, they can be installed in say, a bathroom. Positioned high enough, no one will be able to look in but you’ll still benefit from an extra channel of light.

Arched Windows

arched window on balcony

An arched window makes an absolutely stunning design feature. These are windows with an arched top, that very rarely open or close because of the design.

However, you can get one to open like a casement window, if you want.

Arched windows are often installed above opening windows for their appearance and extra light. A good example of where arched windows are used to full effect are in large two-storey hallways. You could never reach it to open it, so a fixed arch window allows natural light to flood the home, and it looks fantastic. It also gives the space a period home feel.

Glass Block Windows

glass block window

Glass block windows are used to offer privacy whilst still allowing light to filter through. These can be installed as a translucent or transparent glass block window and make a good feature for a front porch for example, or in a bathroom. You can also get a patterned design on glass block windows, making them a truly gorgeous installation.

Circular Windows

contemporary circular window

No points for guessing how circular windows got their name. Very self-explanatory, these are deployed in a similar fashion to picture windows, allowing natural light in without taking up too much real estate on your walls.

They’re also ideal for letting in extra light without sacrificing on privacy.They’ve also been used fantastically in nautical themed rooms as faux portholes.  Go even bigger for an unconventional window design that is sure to get your guests talking.

Transom Windows

transom sash windows

Transom windows are panes of glass that are installed above a door. Often in a semi-circular shape or with decorative detailing, these can really revolutionise the area around your front door.

They are also used to great effect throughout the house. They can be used for internal doors to let natural light flow between rooms, or they can be used for decorative purposes.

Considering fitting a fixed window in your home? Talk to us about our handmade bespoke window range.

Victorian windows

Is Your Home Edwardian, Victorian, or Georgian?

Not sure whether your home is Edwardian, Victorian or Georgian? In this post, we’re going to look at how you can classify the period your home was built in. Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian homes have a particular style and aesthetic that’s unique to the period.

First, the Georgian period. This ran from 1714-1837.

All of these eras get their name from the monarch or monarchs that presided over the time. The Georgian era reflects the monarchy of King George I, George II, George III and, you guessed it, George IV.

This period saw a boom in culture, social reform, enlightenment values, political upheaval and of course, The Industrial Revolution. An example of quintessential Georigan architecture is The Royal Crescent in Bath.

Royal Crescent Bath

After the Georgian period came the Victorian era, running from 1837 to 1901.

This was named after just one royal, the now second-longest serving monarch, Queen Victoria. Historically, the Victorian period is a mixed bag. There was lots of social and technological advancement during this time. Education and literacy grew massively but the period is also associated with repression and general stuffiness. Some classic Victorian architecture examples are The Royal Albert Hall (pictured below) and King’s Cross Station.

Royal Albert Hall

The Edwardian era succeeded the Victorian period and is a brief epoch lasting from 1901 to 1910.

It lasted just nine years, but during that period there was massive reform. Culture, fashion and the arts flourished, the fight for women’s suffrage had just begun, and Britain was sailing blindly towards The Great War, after which life would never be the same again. The London Palladium is a good example of Edwardian baroque architecture.

London Palladium

After that brief history lesson, let’s look at some of the defining features of the homes of each period…

Is Your Home Georgian?

Let’s start from the beginning. The Georgian era is when British houses started to really stand out. Tudor and Stuart era homes definitely have their own charm and appeal, but Georgian architecture brought Britain on to an even keel with continental Europe. Inspired by the symmetry of Renaissance architecture, the classic Georgian house can be identified as a three or four storey townhouse, with stucco-fronted external walls. Think Islington, Marylebone and Regent’s Park.

Example of a Georgian Home

The expanse in wealth saw a desire for more space and comfort. There was more emphasis on higher ceilings and natural light, as previous homes tended to be cluttered, cramped and dark. This was the era of Enlightenment, culture and money – homes had to reflect this social change.

A quirky feature of many Georgian era homes are bricked-up windows. These Georgian windows tell a story of 18th Century tax avoidance. The ‘window tax’ was implemented in 1696 as a form of income tax. The more windows on your property, the more tax you pay. If you look at stately Georgian homes, you’ll see they are fronted with many symmetrical sash windows. An easy workaround was to just fill them in! After the window tax was lifted, many just stayed filled in.

How to Spot a Georgian Property:

  • A stucco-fronted ground floor, with exposed brickwork for the higher storeys.
  • Sash windows – the top floor windows will often be much smaller, as these were traditionally the servant quarters.
  • Symmetrical exteriors.
  • Often townhouses, but country manors would also be an exercise in symmetry and incorporated other features like Palladian columns.
  • Ornate front doors.
  • Spacious interior rooms with a balanced layout.

Is Your Home Victorian?

The full effects of the Industrial Revolution created a wider and more populous middle class. This meant buying and owning a house became a realistic possibility for many (not just the landed gentry), and as a result, Victorian era houses were built on a mass scale.

Terraced housing was a big feature of Victorian homes, as they were in the Georgian era. However, Georgian terraces were typically opulent multi-storey townhouses with grand living spaces.

Example of Victorian Houses

Victorian terraces reflected the Industrial era. More worker’s barracks than Georgian townhouses, these terraces popped up near factories all over the country. Known as ‘back-to-backs’, this style of house eventually became illegal to build, but were the most common poor Victorian house.

Victorian houses for the wealthy typically featured pitched roofs as well as high ceilings and large windows. Internally however, there was a big shift. Houses had a narrower footprint to compensate for a rapidly growing class of homeowners. Cheaper terraces had the typical ‘two up, two down’ internal layout, whereas more expensive homes would be much grander with gothic features and ornate detailing.

How to Spot a Victorian Home:

  • High pitched roofs.
  • Bay windows. The quintessential Victorian feature.
  • Multiple fireplaces – often in every room.
  • Ornate detailing – frequently found on a porch or around windows. Brickwork porches were also a common feature.
  • A narrow hallway with rooms for entertaining off to the side.
  • Wooden floors.
  • Gable trim.
  • Patterned floor tiles inside and coloured brickwork outside.
  • Elaborate lighting.
  • Stained glass windows.

Is Your Home Edwardian?

Edwardian and Victorian homes are very similar in design. In fact, the era of ‘Victorian architecture’ will often include the entire period of Edwardian architecture too, as it is only nine years long.

Edwardian style reflected a change in attitude as simple, thoughtful design was preferred over ostentatious and superfluous features. In a world where everything was becoming mass-produced, there was a shift towards using more artisanal and hand-made features.

Example of an Edwardian House

After filling urban areas with Georgian and Victorian townhouses and rows and rows of terraced houses, the Geogian era saw the idea of the suburbs emerge.

This gave way for more emphasis on privacy, so houses were built a short distance back from walkways. Edwardian interiors also had more emphasis on light and space with wider rooms, extra windows, and spacious hallways.  Houses also adopted Edwardian bricks, and red brickwork became a common feature of Edwardian properties.

So, what are some other common Edwardian house features?

How to Spot an Edwardian Home:

  • Front gardens.
  • Small sloping roofs.
  • Wooden porch.
  • Mock-Tudor features.
  • Parquet and polished wood flooring.
  • Lots of natural light.
  • Sash windows.
  • Lighter colours and floral wallpaper.
  • Art nouveau glass.
  • Decorative fireplaces – not in every room.
  • Wicker furniture.
  • Georgian throwbacks.

Looking for new windows for your home? Our handmade bespoke windows can be designed to complement homes from any era. Talk to us about your requirements today.

Window in an empty room

PVCu or uPVC – What’s the Difference?

If you’ve been shopping for exterior doors or windows recently, you might have come across two similar terms: PVCu and uPVC, and wondered what the difference is between them.

Let’s cut to the chase: there is none. Any time you see the term ‘uPVC’, you can mentally substitute the term ‘PVCu’ (and vice-versa). So, why are there two terms for the same thing?

Let’s take a look.

So what is uPVC (or PVCu)?

Let’s rattle through a quick uPVC definition. The acronym stands for unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride. It’s the same stuff used to make faux-leather clothing, inflatables, and electric cable insulation, except that it’s not had a plasticising agent added to it. This agent is what makes the material flexible. Without it, uPVC is tough and rigid, and at the same time waterproof and glossy. It’s the perfect material, in other words, from which to build a window frame.

What uPVC means in practice is chunky white window frames. The material is recyclable, and cheaper to manufacture than aluminium. When uPVC was first introduced in the 1980s, it had another advantage over aluminium – it didn’t conduct heat as easily (aluminium windows have since been designed with effective thermal breaks in the centre, meaning this isn’t such a problem).

uPVC enjoys a considerable advantage over timber in that it doesn’t need to be finished and maintained in the same way – the topmost layer is inherently glossy, which means that stains and moisture will slip from the surface. As such, you needn’t worry about choosing paints or adding additional hardware.

It’s for these reasons that uPVC is to be found on so many British homes.

Why Do We Use the Term PVCu?

uPVC first entered Britain thanks to German manufacturers, and, as a result of the double-glazing boom of the era, it ended up becoming something of a marketing buzzword. Everyone, it seemed, wanted their house equipped with energy-efficient uPVC windows.

So, if uPVC was a perfectly good term, why did ‘PVCu’ come about? The answer comes from mainland Europe, where sentences are often formed with the adjective after the noun (just think of Fédération Internationale de Football Association). In the 1980s, it was decided that British manufacturers should use the same term as their European counterparts in order to avoid confusion. And yet, making this transition proved rather difficult – as getting an entire industry to change its habits often is. We’re thus still using the same term decades later, and there’s no indication of this changing anytime soon!

As a side benefit, ‘PVCu’ might appeal to those of us who appreciate consistent capitalisation. ‘uPVC’ at the start of a sentence just doesn’t look quite right.

What’s the Correct Term – uPVC or PVCu?

Some may insist that one term or the other is correct, but there is no practical difference between the two. Whichever you prefer to use, you’ll be understood by our team – and the benefits of the material remain the same!

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

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.

Image credit

Boy cleaning window

How to Clean Sliding Windows

A sliding window is one that, rather than opening outward on a set of hinges like a casement window, is formed of glass panels which slide sideways (or up and down) atop one another.

How Do You Remove Sliding Windows for Cleaning?

Most sliding windows are built so that they can be lifted all of the way out of their tracks, for ease of cleaning. If you’re cleaning an upper-floor window, this is really useful.

In most cases, there will be one mobile panel and one fixed one. You’re going to be removing the mobile panel by sliding it along until it moves beyond the blocks (those little obstacles built into the track). Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to lift the window up, and then down and out.

Lay the window on the floor on top of a soft surface. Old towels are ideal for this. You’re going to be cleaning the glass with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Mix a couple of tablespoons in with around half a litre of water. Apply the solution with a spray bottle and then use a scrubbing brush to remove any obvious bits of dirt and grime. You can then polish the surface using scrunched-up newspaper. It’s caustic enough to achieve a smooth finish, but not so caustic that it’ll damage the glass.

How Do You Clean Sliding Windows without Removing Them?

In some cases, removing the entire window and cleaning it might be impractical. If it’s the middle of winter, for instance, you might not want to let that much cold air into your house. Thankfully, there are ways of cleaning the window that don’t involve disassembly.

Cleaning the outside of a window is probably best achieved with the help of an extendable mop and squeegee, preferably with a hose built-in. Remember to move from top to bottom to avoid unsightly drips. If you’re feeling brave, you might consider breaking out the stepladder – just be sure someone’s holding on to the bottom while you’re working.

If you’re looking for a short-term solution, you could always give the outside of your window a quick blast with a pressure-washer, or a pressurised garden hose – just be aware that this approach won’t achieve that sparkling finish.

How Do You Clean Sliding Window Tracks?

If you’ve removed the windows, you might as well take the opportunity to clear out the tracks. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to loosen any trapped debris. Once you’re done, apply some wd40. You can work it into the track by simply moving the window back and forth. This will ensure that the sliding mechanisms remain clean and protected.