Choosing the right new windows for a period property is vital to ensure you retain your home’s character (and value). Windows play an integral part of your home’s architecture and are often one of the first things visitors notice along with your front door, especially important when it comes to selling. In conservation areas, listed building consent may be required for you to change your windows, and this will be granted only for suitably chosen windows that are in keeping with your home and the local area. So sometimes, choosing the right windows is key to even being able to update them!
Windows are also a great indicator of the age and period of your property, which is why it’s always best to choose windows that are in keeping with your home and its features.
There are many window styles to choose from that will retain or add character to your home, whilst there are also many accessories too, such as traditional style monkey bar handles, leaded bars and Georgian bars, that will add to their character.
If you live in a period property and your original windows, whether they’re sash windows or French windows, are beyond repair, the next best option is replacing them.
With advancements in how windows and double glazed units are now made, you can retain the look of your original windows with the longevity and energy efficiency of new windows. There are many options on the market that are ideal for character properties, so choosing new windows doesn’t have to mean choosing a different style or changing the look of your home to avoid losing out on energy efficiency and having windows that will withstand the great British weather.
The easiest way to choose the best style of window to match your home is to choose the same style as already exists if your home still has its original windows. If you currently have French windows with Georgian bars or sash windows, for example, choose the same style if possible.
If your home doesn’t have its original windows installed, whether you’re simply looking to add character or retrieve character lost by the current windows, then there are several window options which are guaranteed to add character to your home.
At Paradise Windows, we’re based in Oxfordshire just outside of the Cotswolds, in a village called Bicester and we install windows on many traditional homes across the county, so we know a thing or two about retaining character when replacing windows and working in conservation areas.
Some of our top choices when it comes to traditional window styles include:
Sash windows are the first option most of us think of when we think of period property windows. They’re elegant and stylish and they look the part on almost any traditional property, whatever period it may be from.
Unlike most types of windows, sash windows do not have hinges, which conversely are found on most other types of windows.
They are typically white though can be any colour and can be styled with Georgian bars. Typically, they are rectangle-shaped, though they can have a curved or arched top when found in Georgian homes (more on this type of sash window below).
Traditionally sash windows are made of wood and require a lot of care to protect them from rot and weather damage.
Modern sash windows can be made from uPVC or other materials such as uPVC timber effect (painted or woodgrain finished) which are almost indistinguishable from wooden frames and made to last and withstand the weather whilst retaining more heat in the winter.
Casement windows are a staple addition to many period properties and traditional homes and can be styled with additional features to further add additional character to your home and windows. Some of these features include Georgian and leaded bars as well as period-style handles and accessories.
If you live in a Georgian property, you may have sash or other types of windows which are curved on top, which was a popular style in this era and still exists in many Georgian homes today. On the other hand, many other Georgian homes no longer have this style of window but did previously, often because they are harder to manufacturer and source, whilst usually being slightly more expensive than their rectangle counterparts. If your property is from this period and without its original windows, you may wish to add some of the traditional character back to your home and curved or arched-top sash windows will do just that, particularly when paired with tall ceilings and large spaces.
As well as choosing a window shape to match your period property, don’t forget to accessorise and style your windows with some period features!
Some of our favourites include:
Leaded bars are sure to add character to your windows, especially popular on casement and sash windows installed in period properties.
As the name implies, Georgian bars originated from Georgian architecture, though they add character and style to any period home and windows, from Sash to casement options.
Monkey tail handles are fitted to the inside of your windows and are used to open and close the window. They are especially stylish when featured on windows in any type of period property.
When choosing a window stay (the small metal attachment that allows you to keep your windows open at the desired amount) for a period property, ensure you choose one that is in keeping with your house. If your home isn’t modern, then choose a black iron or curved window stay to add some character to the interior of your windows.
Whilst it’s true that most windows and doors companies will offer something to suit most styles of home, if you’re looking for a larger choice of products to fit with the character and style of your home, finding a company who have a whole ranged dedicated to traditional homes or conservation areas will be of great benefit. Additionally, choosing a company who are located within or cover conservation areas or those areas with a higher density of traditional or grade listed homes will ensure the company will be able to help you retain (or even add to) your home’s character.
If you’re looking to replace your windows on a period property, then we’d love to help you update your home! We’re based in Bicester, Oxfordshire, and provide windows and doors to homes across the county and including the Cotswolds, where there are many period properties, so we understand how to help retain and not lose any character when updating your windows. We have a whole range of windows to suit period homes, from sash windows and casement models to our flush sash timber effect range. Speak to our team today to find out how we can help and assist you in choosing new windows for your home!