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.

Sliding Sash Windows

Types of Sash Window

Sash windows are made of two panels that slide past each other to open. These panels (also known as sashes) may slide up and down or side to side. A sash window doesn’t have a hinge opening. This traditional type of window is a popular choice, especially for period properties. But did you know how many options are available when it comes to different types of sash window?

You can choose from different styles, mechanisms, frames and glazing types which makes sash windows a great choice for lots of property types. Find out if there’s a type of sash window that’s right for you!

Sash Window Style

If you’re trying to maintain the character of a period property or even a listed building in a conservation area, it’s important to choose the right type of sash window. There are subtle differences based on period so here’s what to look out for.

Sash windows have astragal bars which divide the sashes into smaller areas. It’s the pattern of these that demarks the period.

Example of Sash victorian bar

Georgian: in the Georgian era sash windows featured a six over six pattern. This is because manufacturing processes in this era only allowed small glazed panes to be produced, so a good number of these were needed to create a window. The sense of symmetry this creates is a very Georgian look.

Victorian: the pattern in Victorian times was a two over two design. Windows from this era also tend to be more lavish, with sash horns added to help strengthen the joints which had to support the larger glass panels.

Edwardian: a six over two pattern was developed in the Edwardian era, combining the best of the Georgian and Victorian approach. Sash horns were still used to support the larger glass panes which let in plenty of light.

Sash Window Mechanism

Whether you’re aiming for a period look or just enjoy the charm of a sash window, you’ll need to decide which type of mechanism to opt for. There’s a traditional and a more modern option available.

Sliding Sash windows mechanism detail

Cord and weight sash windows, also known as box sash windows use the traditional style of mechanism. These types of sash window use a system of weights and pulleys on the sash cord to open and close the window. The weights are there to counterbalance the sash, making the movement of the heavy window run more smoothly. This mechanism is hidden from view inside a box, which is why they are also commonly known as box sash windows. (Visit our Box Sash Windows FAQ page to learn more.)

Spiral balanced sash windows use a more modern mechanism. They also use a counterbalance created by a set of springs inside a PVC tube. These are often visible which can be something to consider when making your choice. However, they are also easier to install as they can be installed into normal brick openings. They are a great option for new builds because they offer the charm of a traditional sash window coupled with modern technology and increased security.

Window Frame Types

Timber Sash Window Frame

Different frame types can also offer varying benefits and appearances. Choosing the right frame material will allow you to get a sash window that looks and performs in just the right way for your home.

Wood: wooden window frames are classic, natural and attractive. They are a great choice for a traditional style like a sash window, especially in a period property. However, wooden windows need regular maintenance and care to keep them in good condition and prolong their lifespan.

Upvc: this cost effective and durable material is a favourite for windows. It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance and is a great all-rounder. However, it doesn’t offer a very traditional appearance so it can look quite jarring in a period property.

Aluminium: modern sash windows can be made of aluminium for durability and strength. As aluminium is so strong it can support large panels of glass, resulting in slimmer frames and more glass. It’s also unlikely to bend and twist as weather conditions change like wooden frames can. But just like uPVC, as aluminium frames use very modern materials, they can look out of place in a traditional home.

Glass Types

If you haven’t already found the ideal sash window, you might need to consider the choice of glass. There are two types to choose from.

Clear glass is the most common choice, giving you a view through your windows and letting maximum natural light into your home. Most people choose this unless they’re installing the window in a room they need to maintain some privacy, such as a bathroom.

Frosted glass can be used to let natural light filter through whilst obscuring the view. The most common application is for bathrooms, but it’s also quite common for use in commercial spaces too.

Hopefully, our guide has helped you to understand how varied sash windows can be. Whatever type of property you have, there’s a sash window choice to fit. Although they’re perfect for bringing historical charm to your home, sash windows can add an interesting touch to a new build too. Make sure you’ve considered all the types of sash window before you settle on the ideal choice!

To read more about box sash windows, read our helpful box sash windows FAQ.

Browse our available selection of Box Sash Windows.

Conservation casement windows on a snowy cottage

What Are Conservation Windows?

Flush casement windows

Conservation windows are fitted to period properties, or properties within conservation areas that are required to adhere to strict requirements. These requirements are listed in a conservation order created and upheld by the local authority.

A conservation window should be sympathetic to the style period of the property. Timber flush casement windows and flush sash windows are a great way of retaining the character and charm of a period property. The interpretation of conservation can be ambiguous. You will need to rely on the advice of your local conservation officer.

For conservation windows, extra options should be available. For example, the addition of glazing bars to mimic cast iron bars on Victorian windows.

With timber frames, there is a choice of softwood or hardwood. A heritage colour palette may feature colour choices approved by local authorities to fit with the setting. New windows that replace or imitate period windows should meet today’s standards and regulations. These windows should not compromise on thermal efficiency or security.

You should check that any new timber frames are backed by a rot and fungal guarantee for peace of mind.

Always consult your local conservation officer before purchasing windows. Ensure you are in line with the specific needs of your project.

Of course, conservation windows aren’t just for period properties within conservation areas. What better way to inject some character into a modern build than with beautifully crafted timber windows?

What is a Conservation Area?

Casement windows in conservation area

A conservation area is a designated area of important historical interest and therefore worthy of preservation.

Conservation areas of towns or villages are protected in terms of town planning, trees, landscaping and construction. In a conservation area, the local authority will hold a conservation order. A conservation order is a list of regulations. New developments cannot be approved or signed off until these regulations have been met. New installations or replacements must blend seamlessly into their surroundings. A large part of this depends on the use of materials and construction methods.

If your installation does not satisfy your conservation officer’s stipulations, they can order it to be removed.

If your installation does not satisfy your conservation officer’s stipulations, they can order it to be removed. It is very important to consult with your local conservation officer prior to carrying out any work. They can help you understand the criteria you need to meet.

How do I know if I live in a conservation area?

To find out if you live in a conservation area, contact your local planning authority (LPA). Your LPA can tell you why the area was designated as a conservation area. They will also map where the area extends to and explain the level of legal protection in place.

If you have any questions about conservation windows, please contact our friendly, fully trained staff who are on hand to help.

See also:

Fully Compliant Conservation Windows

Conservation Casement Elegant Windows 

Guarantees on Conservation Windows

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. 

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.

Types of Fixed Windows: 

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 often installed above a door. Often in a semi-circular or slim rectangular shape 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 increase natural light flow between rooms, or they can be used for decorative purposes.

Considering fitting a fixed window in your home? We offer handmade bespoke windows which can be crafted into any shape or style. Contact us to discuss your ideas.

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.

casement window

What Are Lipped and Flush Casement Windows?

The most popular variety of window in Britain is the casement window. Casement windows open outward on hinges, and offer several advantages when compared to sliding sash windows. Casement windows can, for example, incorporate compressible seals, which run around the edge of each panel and ensure that the window is appropriately air-tight when closed.

Casement windows come in two varieties: lipped and flush. If you’re in the market for a new window, it’s worth considering both of them. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the differences between lipped and flushed windows, to help you assess which will be the better match for your property.

What Are Lipped Casement Windows?

So called ‘lipped’ casement windows are the type most people think of when they hear the term ‘casement’ window. They stand slightly apart from the window, because they incorporate another layer of sealing.

This solved a problem affecting many early flush casement windows: leakage. The flushed windows of centuries gone by would lack this extra layer of sealing, so whenever it rained, moisture would find its way indoors. This would result in unpleasant consequences – most notably, damp.

When lipped casement windows were invented, they offered a solution to this problem. As such, you might hear of lipped casement windows described as ‘stormproof’ casement windows. The majority of lipped casement windows today are of the uPVC variety, but you can still get timber ones, too. Aluminium, being a naturally strong and thin material, isn’t so compatible with the chunky design of a lipped casement window.

What Are Flush Casement Windows?

flush casement windows

Flush fit windows are those which sit level with the frame. They’ve been in widespread use since the 19th century, when all frames were made from timber. As such, a flush-fitting casement window often makes a great match for older properties that will benefit from a more traditional look. That said, a modern home might equally benefit from a flush window – particularly if you’re a fan of straight lines and symmetry.

Modern flush casements are just as effective as lipped casements at excluding draughts and moisture, as they incorporate the two layers of sealing into a smaller space. They’re also offered with all the glazing options and trickle vents you might expect from a modern window. As such, when deciding between the two, appearances should be your number one consideration.

Should You Choose Flush or Lipped Casement Windows?

Once upon a time, the two varieties of window differed noticeably in performance, but thanks to modern materials and engineering, this is no longer the case. Both flush and lipped casement windows provide ample weather-sealing and plenty of glazing, meaning your choice will mostly come down to personal preference. Take a look at both designs and see which one you like the look of best.

sliding window

What Are Sliding Windows (and Should You Choose Them?)

When windows first came into common use, they were mostly of the outward-opening casement variety. Barring a spell of popularity for the sash window in the 19th century, they’ve remained the number one choice for most homeowners ever since.

Some settings, however, demand something a little bit different – a sliding window, for example. Rather than opening outward on hinges, side sliding windows (you’ve guessed it) slide back-and-forth atop one another.

How Do Side Sliding Windows Work?

Let’s start by explaining how sliding windows open and close.

Each window is comprised of sliding panels (or sashes) that are able to freely move in either direction (or up and down). The panels are positioned atop durable rollers (often made from brass), and can be lifted from the frame entirely for maintenance purposes. While traditional vertical sash windows incorporate hollow channels on either side (which house a system of counterweights), horizontally-opening sash windows have no need for this extra machinery. As such, they tend to be more durable, and offer a greater area of glass.

Why Choose Horizontal Sliding Windows?

So, why choose sliding windows? Well, there are several key benefits to choosing horizontal sliding windows. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Simple Design

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a sliding glass window is its simple construction. There are no springs, pulleys or hinges to worry about. With less moving parts, there are fewer things to go wrong – and that means that sliding window mechanisms demand less time and money be spent on maintenance and repairs over the years.

Note that this isn’t the case with vertically-sliding sash windows, which are hung in position using a system of weighted pulleys.

Easy to Use

A side sliding window doesn’t require much strength to open. Each sash is lightweight, and can be easily moved from one position to another. They also don’t require that you reach too far outside the window – which, if you’ve ever had to lean across a kitchen counter and struggle to close a casement window, you might appreciate.

Expansive

Sliding windows tend to make a good match for extra-wide openings, as it’s easier to manufacture larger panels. As such, if you’ve got a wide open view you want to accentuate, a sliding window might make a great match for your living space. Having plenty of glass will also allow more natural light to enter the room, making it appear more spacious.

Visual Interest

Finally, we should mention that sliding windows tend to lend a room that little extra wow-factor. Pick the right one, and it’ll be among the first things that your guests notice when entering the room. If there’s a great view behind it, then so much the better. Now, this is an advantage that will depend largely on your personal preference, but if you like the look of a horizontal sliding window, the chances are it’ll work well in your home.

Sliding Windows vs Casement Windows

If we’re considering installing horizontal sliding windows, then it’s only fair to compare them to their biggest rival: the casement window. These are the outward-opening, hinged windows that we’ve already mentioned.

Casement windows are a popular choice for a reason: they’re simple to operate, great to look at, and inexpensive. You take the handle, push the button, and crank it open. You’ll often find that casement windows are recommended for smaller openings, but the truth is that many British homes incorporate casement windows as part of a larger window.

You might have a portrait-shaped casement panel on either side, with a single narrow casement panel running horizontally across the top. There are plenty of arrangements available to suit every taste and interior – while both horizontal and vertical sliding sash windows offer less possible configurations.

Casement panels offer several features that side sliding panels lack. We’ll run through these as we look at the downsides to sliding windows.

Disadvantages of Sliding Windows

A sliding window, in almost every case, cannot be opened completely. That is because the glass panels move atop one another, so there’s always some area of glass present in the window. Casement windows, on the other hand, can be opened fully for maximum airflow. Theoretically, you might get around this by hollowing out an area of wall adjacent to the window – but this isn’t something that most homeowners are prepared to consider, as it would be very expensive.

Another notable drawback of a horizontal sliding window is energy efficiency.

Casement windows are lined with compressible seals. When the window is closed, these are squashed to form a tight seal against the window-frame, through which cold air cannot pass.

This is impossible on a sliding window, as you can’t squash something while sliding freely against it. As such, sliding windows must make use of flexible brush-style seals instead. These aren’t as energy efficient, and you may feel a draft during winter. You should therefore factor heat-loss into your budget when you’re looking for installation quotes.

Cleaning the exterior of a sliding window presents a problem as well – as some of them are difficult to remove. This isn’t universally so, however, and you might well encounter the same problem with upper-storey casement windows; the back of which can be just as tricky to reach from the inside.

So, Should You Choose Sliding Windows?

Horizontal sliding windows are a refreshing alternative to the much more common casement window. They offer many advantages, several of which will appeal to certain sorts of homeowner. That said, there’s a reason that casement windows are so popular. If you’re worried about heat-retention in the home, then a casement window may well be the more economical choice – but for ease of use, simplicity, and simple good looks, it’s difficult to beat a sliding design. As we’ve mentioned, sliding windows make a fantastic match for wider windows, so think about the existing dimensions of your opening before making a decision.

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sash bay window

The Pros and Cons of Sash Windows

Sash windows are the second most popular variety of window in modern Britain, being beaten only by outward-opening casement windows. They enjoyed massive popularity in Victorian England, which means they’re a natural match for period properties.

But are sash windows any good today?

The answer is a qualified yes, but there are some pros and cons to consider.

Benefit of Sash Windows: They Look Good

There’s nothing quite like a sash window when it comes to appearances. They can add a traditional touch that’ll elevate certain properties, and pay for themselves by adding value to the building.

At the same time, the sash window is relatively versatile, considering its traditional style. Whether it’s a traditional country home or a contemporary apartment, a sash window is almost-guaranteed to please.

Benefit of Sash Windows: They’re Safe & Secure

Sash window security is another reason to prefer them. Given that just one panel can be opened at a time, they’re a lot more difficult to clamber through than casement windows. It’s also easy to incorporate extra safety features like locks and child safety devices.

Benefit of Sash Windows: They’re Low-Maintenance

Like their casement equivalents, aluminium and uPVC sash windows require barely any maintenance. The former are powder-coated at factory level, while the latter are naturally white and not designed to be interfered with at all. You won’t need to sand them, nor apply any coats of varnish (though you might need to occasionally replace the internal cord). There’s also no risk of warping or rot, making a metal or plastic sash window a great choice for windows in hard-to-reach locations.

Sash Window Cons: Poor Ventilation

Saying all this, there are still a few problems with sash windows worth bearing in mind. One of them is ventilation. Given that sash window panels are built to slide behind one another, like sliding doors, you’ll only be able to collapse the glass to the size of a single given panel. This can increase the chance of condensation building up on the inside of the windows.

How much the different benefits and drawbacks of sash windows will matter to you will depend on your priorities and tastes. Most of us will need to decide between casement and sash windows, and if the advantages we’ve listed here appeal to you, you might well choose the latter.