If you are thinking that the time has come to replace your existing timber windows, then it is beneficial to be aware of the different styles available. We have included all of the main timber window styles, providing you with sufficient information to make an informative and intelligent decision when it comes to choosing. The type of timber window frame that will best suit your home is largely dependent on the style and age of your property. For more information, take a read of our guide to the different styles of timber windows that you should consider.
Different Styles of Timber Windows: The benefits of timber windows
More often than not, you’ll find timber windows in more traditional, older properties. They carry a more traditional look than the modern alternatives, such as uPVC and Aluminium; however, they have a versatile ability to complement virtually any style of property. For those homeowners who are looking to replace their current windows in a period home, timber window frames retain that traditional look that is often lost with the installation of uPVC frames.
Wooden window frames also possess a number of other attractive benefits that should be taken into consideration. Wood has impressive thermal qualities and is, therefore, excellent at preserving the heat in your home. Timber is also a much more environmentally friendly option; it is a natural material that can be recycled at the end of its life as a window frame. You can recycle your old window frames at ‘Recycle Now’. The process of manufacturing wooden window frames is far kinder to the environment that uPVC is.
There have also been research findings that show timber window frames offer better long-term value when compared with uPVC. The study indicated that timber has a service life of a twice that of uPVC. When you combine all of these benefits, its hard to think of a reason why you wouldn’t install wooden windows into your home. However, what we haven’t mentioned, is the level of maintenance that timber requires. Unlike aluminium and uPVC window frames, timber demands regular treatments and coats of paint to ensure it is effectively protected against the harsh conditions inflicted by the UK weather. If you are looking for a thorough guide on how to properly care for and maintain your timber window frames, take a read of this article we found.
Softwood or Hardwood?
When replacing your timber windows, this is a question you need to ask yourself. Do you want your replacement windows in Milton Keynes to be crafted from softwood or hardwood? Well, this is going to be a difficult question to answer without the relevant information.
Softwood is the more affordable option and is far more desirable for those who are on a limited budget. This wood is, more often than not, painted but can also be stained, depending on the style you wish to achieve. Furthermore, softwood complements both the style of contemporary properties and more traditional, period homes. Nevertheless, with the affordable price tag comes the demand for more regular maintenance. You’ll be required to repaint your softwood window frames every few years. If this is a requirement that you’d rather not have to comply with, then perhaps you are better suited to hardwood window frames. Here is an article on how to treat softwood.
Hardwood is a much slower growing type of wood. Unlike softwood, It has a tighter grain which makes it the more durable option. Oak is the most popular choice and is most commonly used in the more traditional looking properties. Because of the durable qualities that hardwood contains, it can often be harder to paint. The oily surface of hardwood means it requires a layer of decent primer and undercoat. What hardwood does promise you though, is a much longer lifespan than softwood. Understanding both the benefits and drawbacks of both kinds of wood will, hopefully, help you to make an informative decision. Now we run through the varying styles of timber window frame options that you have available to you.
The Timber Sash Window
Timber sash windows are a typical feature of both Victorian and Georgian properties and consist of glazed panels which open either horizontally or vertically. The term ‘sash’ refers to a single frame used for containing glazing.
The classic sliding sash window features a unique design with two vertically sliding sashes. One sash is positioned at the front while the other resides behind it, both within vertical grooves and balanced by weights suspended on cords. This ingenious system enables the window to be opened either from the top, the bottom, or even both simultaneously.
When deciding on sash windows for your period property you must be sure to choose the correct style for the age of your home. The number of panes within the glazed area is an indication of the era is resembles. For example, six panes is typically Georgian, whereas just two panes is of traditional of the Victorian era.
Cord Hung Sash Windows
This style of window was first used back in the mid 17th century and is operated using pulleys. The style of this window has a deep frame which is usually set back behind the outside brickwork in a reveal.
Cord hung sash windows are similar to the spiral hung sash windows but are known for lasting significantly longer. The operational elements of the window are far more durable and can function seamlessly for several decades.
There is the alternative of opting for vertical sliding sash windows. This design usually incorporates one fixed top sash and a moving bottom sash. Alternatively, it can be double-hung which allows both sashes to be opened.
Spiral Hung Sash Windows
The spiral hung sash windows were introduced in the 1930s and are a more modern and up to date invention. This style of window is hung on mechanical springs, which differs from the operation of the traditional cord hung sash windows.
However, because of this, they allow for a narrower frame, meaning they can be installed into buildings that have not been designed with cord hung sash windows in mind. For example, this would be the more modern properties.
Yorkshire Sash Windows
These windows are the predecessor of the verticle sliding sash windows. However, unlike the verticle sliding sash windows, the Yorkshire sash window slides horizontally. And, although they possess the name ‘Yorkshire Sash Windows’, they can be found across the whole of the country, and are not restricted to Yorkshire properties only. These windows, as stunning as they are, are not very common in buildings nowadays and have been replaced with more modern alternatives.
The Fixed Timber Window
This style of window does not open, and therefore make a popular choice for a feature window or a small window located next to a door. These windows usually reside in locations where the window remains permanently shut for security reasons. However, this window can be designed in either the style of a sash window or a casement window. This will largely depend on the other windows you have in your home.
Casement windows, known for their practicality, are a highly versatile style of timber window frame. These windows are, without a doubt, the most convenient of all window types. They’re a modern design but look equally as good in older properties too.
The casement window is attached to a frame by one or more hinges. The opening mechanism works by cranking the windows outwards, away from the building. This mechanism is usually manually operated, but can also open automatically. Casement windows are especially easy to use; the configuration makes opening and closing exceptionally simple. There is also a number of different configurations for the design of this window. The most popular casement choice is the side hung; this is hinged at the side to allow for easy opening. Other designs include the top hung and fixed casement windows.
There are a number of highly desirable features of the Casement window. Because the window sash presses against the window frame to create an airtight seal, these windows are fully sealed when closed. This helps to prevent the entry of cold air in your home and the warm air from escaping. This reduction in heat loss is guaranteed to help save you money on your heating bills, especially in the cooler months.
Casement windows also offer attractive ventilation options. Because of the way they can be opened, these windows allow for maximum ventilation in your home. They can also be angled in a certain way that will catch the breeze and help to circulate fresh air around your home. This is particularly desirable for ventilating your home in the summer.
French Casement Window
The French casement window operates in the same way that a French door would. You can tell that a casement window is a French casement if there is no central mullions included in the design. The mullions are the vertical sections of the frame that create divisions between the different aspects of the window.
This window design allows both casement sashes to be fully opened, creating one large opening without the addition of any obstructions. This style of window is most commonly used in the upper-level rooms or within dormer windows. This ensures for maximum natural lighting in the rooms and helps to create complete and uninterrupted views from the second storey rooms.
Replacing Your Timber Windows
Now that we have run through all of the timber window frame designs available to you, along with the benefits and drawbacks, you should be able to make a decision. However, if you are unsure of the style that would best suit the character of your property, then it is best to seek the advice of a specialist window company.
It is also worth taking into consideration, that if you own a listed property, you will have to comply with certain regulations. Moreover, if there is any way that you are able to repair the existing windows in your property rather than replacing them, then we suggest you do this. Replacing the original timber windows in your home can cause the resale value of your property to decrease. We also recommend investing in the high-quality timber windows. This will guarantee you a long service life and are more likely to be built and look like the originals.
For more information on timber windows, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Crown Windows team. If you have found this article to be beneficial, please share it on your social media channels.