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BUILDING FABRIC & EXTERIORS


Timber windows – see the light


Jonathan Hey of Westbury Windows and Joinery offers some tips on getting your windows right and explains the benefits of choosing timber


W


hen building your own home, even with a big budget, every pound counts. Deciding


where to spend your money can be a headache. Paying for premium quality windows and doors may not be something you had planned to do. However, it is important to remember that they are one of the most important features of any building – not just in terms of aesthetics but also considering the long-term performance of your new home. Getting them wrong can be an expensive mistake.


CLEAR VISION It’s important to have a clear vision of how you want your house to look when its finished and don’t rush to specify your windows without consideration. Contrary to popular belief, a window is never just a window – it has the power to make or break the architectural integrity of your new home. Well-designed windows will suit the building’s style and proportions. If your aim is to create clean lines within contemporary architecture, sliding sash windows or leaded lights probably aren’t right for you. However, if you’re trying to achieve Georgian grandeur, heritage design should be top of your list. Timber window manufacturers offer flexibility in the detail that cannot always be achieved using other materials. Products can be created with sharp edges and detailed mouldings that can be difficult (and expensive) to replicate with plastic or aluminium.


In all cases, you should consider the sightlines of your windows and doors, co-ordinating window sill, glazing bar and door panel levels to create cohesion and maximise kerb appeal.


LUXURY OF LIGHT Window fenestration is not only about


november/december 2017


how your property looks from the outside. It also has a direct impact on the lifestyle you will lead within those walls. Most people naturally gravitate


toward lighter, brighter spaces within a home, so areas that haven’t been fully considered, and are dark as a result, may become redundant in time. Consider how you wish to use each space and how much light will be required for you to enjoy that space to the full. Investing in getting this right to begin with will mean you won’t want to make expensive alterations further down the line.


MINIMAL MAINTENANCE Your main concern is probably maintenance and, with that in mind, you should look for a material that requires minimum effort yet continues to look good and perform well for decades to come.


The timber window industry still


suffers the repercussions of a poor reputation acquired in the 1970s. At that time everyone wanted white PVCu, regardless of their property’s architectural style, because post-war wooden windows had been poorly manufactured with cheap softwoods and had fallen victim to rot over the decades.


Nowadays, however, a better understanding of timber and timber technologies means long-lasting, low- maintenance, wooden windows are accessible to all. In particular, modified high-performance timbers have proved revolutionary.


Accoya is a modified wood that is water resistant thus giving it extreme dimensional stability, and Class 1 durability that exceeds traditional hardwoods. It doesn’t warp, twist or swell so your windows and doors will continue to open and close smoothly for years to come. It also means that


Windows have the power to make or break the architectural integrity of your home


www.sbhonline.co.uk 35


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