If you’re considering replacing your timber windows, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the various styles at your disposal. This guide covers the main timber window styles, equipping you with enough information to make an informed decision based on your property’s style and age. Explore these different timber window styles and their benefits to find the perfect fit for your home.
Benefits of Timber Windows
Timber windows often grace traditional, older properties, giving them a more classic appearance than modern alternatives like uPVC and aluminum. However, their versatility allows them to complement almost any property style. If you’re a homeowner looking to maintain your period home’s traditional aesthetic, timber window frames offer an excellent solution compared to uPVC frames, which often detract from that classic look.
In addition to their aesthetic appeal, wooden window frames boast several other enticing benefits. Wood has remarkable thermal properties, making it great at retaining heat in your home. Moreover, timber is an eco-friendly option due to its natural, recyclable nature. You can recycle your old window frames through “Recycle Now.” Compared to uPVC, the manufacturing process for wooden window frames is also more environmentally friendly.
Research has also shown that timber window frames provide better long-term value than uPVC, with a service life twice as long. Given all these advantages, it’s difficult to argue against installing wooden windows in your home. However, it’s important to note that timber requires more maintenance than aluminum and uPVC window frames. Regular treatments and paint coats are necessary to protect timber from the UK’s harsh weather conditions. For a comprehensive guide on proper care and maintenance of your timber window frames, check out this helpful article.
When replacing your timber windows, one crucial decision you must make is whether to opt for softwood or hardwood. Knowing the differences between these materials will help you make an informed choice.
Softwood is a more budget-friendly option, appealing to those with limited funds. It’s often painted but can also be stained, depending on your desired style. Softwood suits both contemporary properties and traditional period homes. However, its affordability comes with the need for more frequent maintenance, such as repainting every few years. If you’d prefer a low-maintenance option, hardwood window frames might be more suitable. For more information on treating softwood, check out this article.
Hardwood, such as oak, is a slower-growing wood with a tighter grain, making it more durable. It’s commonly used in traditional-looking properties. Hardwood’s durable nature can make painting more challenging due to its oily surface, requiring a solid primer and undercoat layer. Despite this, hardwood promises a longer lifespan than softwood. Understanding the pros and cons of each wood type will help guide your decision.
Timber Window Frame Styles
Timber Sash Window:
Typical in Victorian and Georgian properties, timber sash windows feature glazed panels that open either horizontally or vertically. The term “sash” refers to a single frame containing glazing.
Traditional sliding sash windows have two sashes that slide up and down in vertical grooves, counterbalanced by weights on cords. These windows can be opened from the top or bottom, or both. When selecting sash windows for your period property, ensure you choose the appropriate style for your home’s age. The number of panes in the glazed area indicates the era it represents, such as six panes for Georgian or two for Victorian.
Cord Hung Sash Windows:
Dating back to the mid-17th century, cord hung sash windows operate using pulleys. They have a deep frame usually set back behind the outside brickwork in a reveal. These windows are similar to spiral hung sash windows but last significantly longer. Their operational elements are more durable and can function seamlessly for several decades.
Alternatively, you can choose vertical sliding sash windows, which usually have one fixed top sash and a moving bottom sash. Double-hung designs allow both sashes to be opened.
Spiral Hung Sash Windows
Introduced in the 1930s, spiral hung sash windows are a more modern invention. Unlike traditional cord hung sash windows, these windows are hung on mechanical springs. This design allows for a narrower frame, making them suitable for installation in modern properties not initially designed for cord hung sash windows.
Yorkshire Sash Windows
The predecessor of vertical sliding sash windows, Yorkshire sash windows slide horizontally. Although named “Yorkshire Sash Windows,” these windows can be found across the country and are not limited to Yorkshire properties. However, they are less common in contemporary buildings, often replaced by more modern alternatives.
Fixed Timber Windows
Fixed timber windows do not open, making them a popular choice for feature windows or small windows next to doors. Often used in locations where windows remain shut for security reasons, these windows can be designed in sash or casement styles, depending on your home’s other windows.
Known for their practicality, casement windows are a versatile timber window frame style. They offer a modern design that looks equally good in older properties. Casement windows are attached to a frame by one or more hinges, opening outward away from the building through a manually or automatically operated mechanism. Their configuration makes opening and closing exceptionally simple.
Casement windows come in various designs, with the most popular being side hung, hinged at the side for easy opening. Other designs include top hung and fixed casement windows.
Desirable Features of Casement Windows
Casement windows offer several advantages, including an airtight seal when closed, as the window sash presses against the frame. This seal helps prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping, reducing heat loss and saving on heating bills, especially during colder months.
These windows also provide excellent ventilation options. Their design allows for maximum ventilation and can be angled to catch the breeze, circulating fresh air throughout your home—a particularly useful feature during the summer.
French Casement Window
French casement windows function similarly to French doors, identified by their lack of central mullions in the design. Mullions are vertical frame sections dividing different parts of the window. This design enables both casement sashes to open fully, creating a large, unobstructed opening.
French casement windows are commonly used in upper-level rooms or dormer windows, allowing maximum natural light and offering uninterrupted views from second-story rooms.
Replacing Your Timber Windows
Having explored various timber window frame designs, their advantages, and disadvantages, you should be better equipped to make a decision. If you’re unsure which style suits your property’s character, consult a specialist window company.
Keep in mind that listed property owners must comply with specific regulations. If possible, repair your existing windows instead of replacing them, as replacing original timber windows may decrease your property’s resale value. Investing in high-quality timber windows ensures a long service life and a closer resemblance to the originals.
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Before tackling a DIY window repair, consider the benefits of trusting GoodWindowWorks.com‘s professionals for your home’s window needs. Contact us today and let our experienced team help restore your windows to their original beauty and functionality, offering you peace of mind and a hassle-free experience.