The windows on a property can often be overlooked when they actually play a hugely important role. Windows not only add to a home’s façade and kerb appeal but can make a big difference to energy efficiency. This rings even more true for period homes, as windows – often referred to as the ‘eyes’ of a house – define a home’s character and say a lot about the architectural style of the property, helping to determine the age of the building.
Of course, it’s no secret that the windows on more historic homes, from the Georgian or Victorian era for example, will usually need replacing at some point. However, it is vitally important that the work is carried out to an excellent standard to maintain the essence of the home.
It’s not quite as simple as picking out any old window frame to have installed. For a beautiful finish that does your property justice, there are some essential steps you should take to ensure the best results.
1. Embrace your property’s architectural style
The style of windows that will suit your property will vary depending on when your home was built. For example, Georgian sash windows would normally have more glazing bars than windows in Victorian properties.
Any replacement windows should be designed to the style that is sympathetic to the period of your property. If you install the wrong style windows, this can drastically reduce the value of your property as any future buyers will often factor in the cost of replacing the windows when they make an offer.
Additionally, if your home is a listed building, or in a Conservation Area, you are legally required to ensure that your windows are in keeping with the period of your property. Should you get this wrong, you may be forced to replace them all over again, making the work far more expensive than you’ll have budgeted for.
2. Choosing the best material
To ensure the best longevity of your new windows, selecting a quality timber that will stand the test of time is a must. Not all timbers are the same. Investing in a timber that is highly durable and stable may be more expensive initially, but it is a wise move and a worthwhile investment.
Choosing high-quality timber like Accoya is a safe choice, which is why esteemed window companies like The Sash Window Workshop (opens in new tab) will use it as standard. Sustainably sourced, Accoya comes with a 50-year anti-rot guarantee.
3. Selecting the best glazing
Another important element of selecting the best windows is choosing the correct glazing.
There are also several different types of glass, each with their own benefits. If you live near a busy road, specialist glass like acoustic glazing can help to reduce noise pollution; or for bathroom windows, you may want obscured glazing.
As long as your home is not listed, you can install double glazing which can significantly improve the warmth of your home, helping to improve energy efficiency and reduce heating costs.
4. Finding a reputable company
When deciding who to obtain quotations from, or who to go ahead with, make sure that you choose a well-established company that specialises in traditional timber windows and has experience carrying out the type of work that you want on similar properties. That way you can guarantee the quality of work you will receive.
Choosing an accredited company is a must and you can look to the likes of Which? Trusted Trader to help find a reputable company that will complete the job to a high standard and provide you with exceptional customer service.
Finding a supplier that manufactures their own windows will make for an even smoother upgrade as it will reduce any complications when it comes to installation. Ask to visit the company’s workshop to see where the windows are being manufactured. This allows you to see first-hand the quality of the windows that you can expect from them.
5. Timing is everything
Quality doesn’t happen overnight, and lead times are always variable. Investing in specialist windows that are bespoke will naturally take more time from start to finish and it’s important to consider this and plan in advance of when you want the windows to be replaced.
If you live in a listed building, or in an Article 4 Conservation Area, you will also need to factor in the time it takes to gain planning permission. If there is any doubt about whether planning permission is required, talk to your local council before proceeding.
The Sash Window Workshop (opens in new tab) are an award-winning company and a Which? Trusted Trader. Established in 1994, they have extensive experience working across London and Southern England. Half the company’s orders every year are from recommendations or previous customers, highlighting the quality of their work and the level of customer service provided. The Sash Window Workshop understand the importance of paying extraordinary attention to detail when upgrading windows in traditional homes. For a visit and quotation to replace your windows, contact The Sash Window Workshop on 01344 868 668.