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Period Window Styles

Those of us who live in homes with sash windows nowadays are unlikely to consider replacing them with anything other than another sash window. Most would also insist on a sash window of the same Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian style and made of the same material. For this reason, joiners and carpenters like ourselves who work with wood are always busy, if not replacing sash windows, then doing whatever it takes to keep them in a good state of repair or making improvements that are visually as unnoticeable as possible.

Our attachment to period style sash windows that don’t always do what they’re supposed to, like slide up and down and keep out the weather perhaps needs explanation. Analysis can be found in books on architecture, history and economics but the most straightforward reason, I think, for our continuing passion for a piece of seventeenth century English technology is that it is just that: An English invention of the 1600’s which, with routine maintenance, does everything a window is supposed to in a form that graces any home.

Sash Windows and Security

There’s no doubt that any window presents a possible route for intruders into your home not matter what the period style. Equally certain is that a determined burglar will find a way through no matter how secure your windows are. But the point here is that any period style sash window can be made as secure as any other period style, principally by the deterrence provide by simple sash stops which resist forced entry. Sash stops which are key operated offer a level of security commensurate with any other window security measure and are acceptable to insurance companies.

Sash Windows and Comfort

But it’s not just security that we expect of our windows. Sash windows with both top and bottom sashes open are second to none at providing ventilation regardless of period style. No other window design allows the free movement of air in and out of a our homes than one with an opening low down and another up high. And apart from ventilation, a well adjusted sash window of any period that has modern brush seals is as draught free as any alternative design. Moreover, contrary to a common misconception sash windows can in fact be double glazed with only slight modifications to design that are virtually unnoticeable to the casual passer-by. And this applies equally to Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian style windows.

Sash Windows and Elegance

So, not only do our sash windows of any period provide an effective barrier between us and the outside world they also connect us to the outside world through an arrangement of lights that interestingly can imitate almost human adornment. Indeed as pointed out by Hentie Louw (2007), architectural writer, the classic proportion the two-sash sash window as a ‘vertical rectangle’ with height greater than width is one ‘approximating human proportions’. Perhaps this, more than anything else, provides explanation for our continuing relationship with the most English of all windows for over 400 years.

Period Window Styles

It is in fact the arrangement of glass panes or lights more than any other feature that identifies the period style of a sash window. While we may speak of Georgian (1714-1837), Victorian (1837-1901) and Edwardian (1901-1910) sash windows they are indeed very much the same. They all consist of a box-frame that accommodates sash weights and usually two sliding sashes both of which slide up and down. Such an arrangement is also called a double hung sash window because it has two sashes that are hung on sash cords. It’s possible to hang only one sash, either top or bottom, and in this case it’s called a single hung sash window but is nonetheless is made in exactly same way, regardless of period style.

The Difference between Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian Sash Windows

The important point here is that while you may be looking to replace Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian style windows you don’t need to find a specialist in that particular style. Any sash window specialist should have the expertise to build the window because they are made in the same way, with period style determined principally by the arrangement of glass panes or lights. As a general rule, sash windows with many glass panes or lights reflect the style of an early period such as Georgian, while sash windows with few glass panes or lights reflect the style of a later period such as Edwardian. Further discussion of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian period style sash windows can be found on this website.

period window styles