Firstly, it’s important to remember that we install windows in order to bring natural light and fresh air into our homes, as well as a pretty aesthetic, but choosing the right style of frame is vital.
You will want to choose a style of window that fits with the age and design of your house and while there are a host of different options, the most common include:
Casement – attached to their frames with one or more set of hinges, which allow for easy opening. These are commonly made from wood or uPVC.
French – aesthetically, these windows look like doors and will either slide or ‘fold’ open. Often installed to open out onto a patio, weatherproof plastic is the most common material to create these in now, though wooden varieties are also popular.
Sash – commonly found in period homes, these are usually made from wood and offer a smooth vertical sliding mechanism. Thought to be amongst the prettiest styles available, uPVC alternatives are on offer too, but less common.
Bay / Bow – often featuring three panes of glass, these windows have been designed to accommodate a protruding façade, with sweeping lines and in-keeping style. These are most commonly made from wood, as bow or bay extensions are common to period homes.
It’s also worth remembering that where you are in the world will directly impact on the styles of windows that you can freely choose from. Fro example, in the UK, you’ll find that sash and casement windows are very common, whereas in the east, paper windows with wooden frames are far more the norm.
Before you assume that you need to totally replace your windows, it will be worth you asking a professional to come and assess your existing panes. If the glass is in tact, you might need to simply repair the frames, which will be far more cost-effective.
If you are sourcing replacement windows for energy efficiency purposes, you should expect to be waiting between 3-4 weeks for your new windows to arrive, from the point of submitting your recess measurements. You will not need to remove your existing windows to take the measurements. Some DIY enthusiasts fit their own windows, but if you are a novice, we recommend finding a team of professional window fitters to tackle this for you.
The most important thing to ensure, during window fitting, is that your glass is protected, as a shattered pane will be a costly and time-consuming issue to fix.
Inside your home, curtains, blinds and shutters all make for beautiful window accessories. Which option you choose will entirely depend on your own tastes and the style of windows that you have installed. For example, tall, elegant French windows will always look incredible when finished with shutters, whereas bay windows naturally work well with fabric or wooden blinds.
From the outside, you might think that your windows speak for themselves, but a few pretty window boxes, well maintained frames and even colourful sills will all add to the finished look in a stunning g way.
Choose your window dressings wisely, as they can either finish or ruin a room! The following rules of thumb work well:
Bedrooms – these spaces need to be bright and fresh during the day, but dark and private at night. To this end, blinds work very well, especially with a blackout material backing. Blinds maintain good airflow as well, which will air out any stale odours.
Bathrooms and kitchens – given how prone these spaces are to moisture, you need to choose a window dressing that is easy to clean and maintain. Natural wood blinds and shutter are a good choice, as are plastic venetian blinds.
Communal spaces, such as living rooms – curtains will most definitely be the best option for cosy living rooms, as they help to keep in the heat in winter and can ad a summery vibe in the sunnier months. It is a good idea to have at east two sets of curtains that you rotate, according to the season.
In order to extend the lifespan of your windows, stay on top of your energy bills and ensure that your home looks as good as it can from the outside, you absolutely need to commit to a schedule of maintenance. Things to consider are:
Regular cleaning sessions. We recommend a good clean at least once every two weeks, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional window cleaner to come and do the job for you, inside and out.
Have any and all woodwork regularly painted and maintained, to prevent rot from creeping in and leaving your glazing planes at risk of becoming loose.
Have your windows regularly inspected for cracked or broken panes, but also check all locks and latches and for moisture content in between your glazing panels. If you spot a problem, you should have your window fitter deal with it quickly, so as to minimise costs and upheaval.