22Oct 2015

Buying the right timber windows for your period home

If you’re lucky enough to own a period home in the UK then you’ll no doubt want to look after it and keep it looking its best. Period homes can be a bit of a challenge, particularly if they’re exceptionally old or are a recent purchase, as making the property your own can be an extremely involving process. One of the many things that makes a period home stand out among contemporary homes are its windows. Old timber casement windows are a real eye-catcher and can really help to push up the value of a home. Along with wooden beams and wood floors, timber sash windows help to give period homes their unparalleled charm.  So how do you go about selecting the right kind of timber window for you period home? Where do you start? first, you really need to figure out what period your home belongs to so you can really make the most of it. Even if you find a style of window that you think looks nice, it’s important to make sure it fits the real aesthetic feel and matches the right period to add value to your property and make it really interesting for potential buyers and evaluators.

Georgian period homes were usually built either between 1714 and 1750 (early Georgian) or 1750 and 1837 (late Georgian). One of the most important things to note about Georgian architecture is the symmetry. Symmetry is very important to the townhouse-like structure that we’ve come to associate with Georgian homes, so timber sash windows that slide up and down are usually the best choice. It’s also common for higher level windows to be a little smaller than the lower level ones; upstairs windows having 4 to 6 panes and ground level windows having as many as 9 or 12.

Victorian properties are extremely common throughout the UK but arguably harder to identify. Built between 1837 and 1901, a Victorian property can be identified by its use of elegant and complex patterns and stained glass windows. It’s also very common to find glass in doorways too. In the mid 1800’s, believe it or not, there was such a thing as ‘window tax’ so large windows were unaffordable at the beginning of the Victorian era. Thankfully, this tax was lifted which lessened the price of nice timber windows, and people started over compensating with grand windows that are much bigger than the standard windows we use today. As a result, long draping curtains and window nets are very common in Victorian properties.

Edwardian properties are properties that were built after Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, but when this period officially finished is still hotly contested. Similar to the Victorian and Georgian periods, in the Edwardian period, sash windows were popular. However, unlike the other periods, most windows had glazing bars separating the glass on the top section, while the bottom section was often left as one whole pane. Timber casement windows also became more popular during the Edwardian period and have remained a key feature in more modern properties too.

In summary… 

If you’re looking to upgrade your period property it’s prudent to do some deeper research into when your property was actually built, and the kind of windows it might benefit from both in terms of aesthetics and value to the property.