Nothing compares with the beauty and design of windows handcrafted from timber. They add a traditional touch and bespoke feel to any home improvement project. In British architectural history, timber windows have been at the forefront of every home design. But window designs have changed incredibly over the last 50 years. In this post, we shall discuss these changes and how they have led to the modern timber windows we have today.
Traditional Wooden Window Designs
We can’t talk about wooden windows without mentioning sash windows. Their popularity spans centuries and such was their design’s success. Besides, they featured widely in Victorian, Georgian, and Edwardian window designs. Sash windows are typically single glazed and their design based on Yorkshire light windows. These windows opened horizontally, and this design even features in some homes today.
Finding the proper glass for traditional timber windows was more challenging than manufacturing the wooden frames, usually made from oak. This challenge forced contractors to use smaller sections of glass to design the windows, supported by panes. The traditional Sash windows featured smaller glass panes, with six on both the top and bottom.
However, as glass availability increased for larger window sections, there was a change in the appearance of wooden sash windows. Consequently, this led to the use of fewer panes as well as improved quality in glass used. With the increased focus on well-lit homes, sash windows became larger in dimensions, stretching to a room’s height. The timber frame now featured the horns’ to add extra support.
The Switch to Modern Timber Windows
Throughout the century, housing designs have taken different designs. Wooden-framed windows have become a popular choice for designing traditional-themed homes throughout the UK. Most contractors prefer timber because of its elegant design, and it’s reminiscent of the Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian eras. Natural wood is attractive and durable with builders finding it easy to personalise in different ways. Besides, you can use different paints or stains to match the current décor in homes.
Change in Designs and Patterns
For most people, the aesthetics associated with wood is the primary factor affecting their choice for timber windows. The natural properties of timber provide a unique, stunning and elegant design, a reason why some people try to mimic timber properties. But why should you settle for a cheap imitation when you can design your windows with natural and modern timber-framed windows? There are different types of natural wood used to create modern wooden windows.
For instance, dark timber helps create bolder, formal and classic looking windows, while lighter timber achieves stylish and casual window designs. Thus, every type of natural wood has a unique grain that offers different designs and patterns. Modern interiors rhyme well with light grain patterns that run across the wood while traditional interiors can use a darker wooden grain for a homely feel.
Changes in Window Regulations
The Building Regulations in the UK have also changed the installation of modern wooden windows compared to the traditional ones. They must comply with the set building regulations and standards in various ways, including:
Fire Safety – this regulation is the most recent and affects the installation of windows. Wooden window designs must allow for emergency escape in case of a fire in habitable rooms. They must at least be 450mm high/wide to allow for emergency fire exit, an attribute that was absent in traditional windows. For modern timber windows in the UK, we recommend that you hire this company, with decades of experience in the world of timber frames windows.
Ventilation – this regulation is of crucial importance and has changed the design of modern timber windows in the UK. It defines purge ventilation as well as background ventilation. Today’s window designs should have proper purge ventilation which enhances the overall open space ventilation in the home.
Fuel and Power Conservation – this regulation also affects the use of wooden windows in homes. Traditional wooden windows were mainly single glazed. However, modern wooden windows feature double or triple glazed units. These units assist in conserving fuel and power in contemporary homes.
Quality of Timber and Paint – the law requires the use of high-quality timber to provide safety to any home. High-quality timber used to design the windows helps prevent unauthorised entry to the house. Besides, the type of paint used must not be hazardous during the contractors and home inhabitants. There is a significant improvement in the quality of timber and colour used in wooden windows today.
With increased advancement in technology and building industry, designs of wooden windows are changing and becoming more exciting. Legislations have also affected wooden window designs, allowing for improved safety, ventilation, fuel conservation and quality of timber used. Most features found in wooden windows today were only a dream in traditional windows.