Your home needs new windows. It might be after some inclement weather wrought havoc on your painstakingly chosen panes and frames. Perhaps a neighbourhood child’s errant football broke through the front window, or the windows are so old that they’ve become brittle and need replacing. You might simply want to redecorate, and part of that means finding durable, reliable windows to keep your home sheltered from the elements, but to also let in plenty of natural light.
Most early windows in Britain were simple holes in cottages and huts, sometimes covered with animal hide, cloth, or wood to ward off any bad weather. These were designed to let air in and to let smoke from the fire out of the house before the invention of the chimney. Once the Romans arrived in the country they called Britannia, they brought with them the novel idea of shutters, which allowed residents to open or close their windows as they saw fit. Eventually, of course, Egyptian-made Alexandrian glass windows became popular throughout the Empire, the first instance of which occurred around 100 AD. Although at this time the otherwise technologically advanced civilizations of the Far East were using paper windows (much as many traditional homes in that part of the world do today), throughout the Roman Empire, windows made from opaque, brown glass were being installed. It was around a thousand years, however, before the modern-day transparent glass window, with all its various permutations, was perfected. Modern windows tend to be glazed or double-glazed, and religious powers and political entities have used ornamental windows for centuries to denote their wealth and influence. Cathedrals throughout Europe, for example, feature some stunning stained glass. Some historians even attribute the rapid deforestation of Britain in the sixteenth century to the increase in glazed window production, which required coal and fuel to burn, necessitating the felling of more trees.
Choosing Windows for Your Home
It’s clear, then, that windows have always been an important part of the history of British homes. You’ll want to make sure that your home is outfitted with the best possible windows and window frames, but most Britons aren’t professional window fitters or glassmakers. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the variety of options available and by the sheer volume of confusing and contradictory information. Where should you start your search?
First of all, it’s important to remember that your needs are yours and yours alone. What your home requires of its windows will differ greatly from homes in other parts of the country that experience different weather and climate patterns. Your home is also defined by its residents, who have individual requirements of their windows. While for sedentary or less-mobile people a low-maintenance fitting could be ideal, homes with young children or smokers living there full-time will want windows that can withstand the onslaught of constant smoke, noise and whatever other hazards small children manage to conjure up. You could be the sort of person who puts the aesthetics of their home above all else, or you could just need something that will do its job reliably for the next ten years so you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Most of us exist somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Your home window needs are not any less unique or important than your neighbours.
Because of this, you definitely want to look into a bespoke window provider that can tailor their services to your particular needs. You might be after slimline aluminium windows, which are the choice preferred by architects and savvy home decorators, but need them to fit a certain shape or to suit your aesthetic. You might need to consider other options recommended by a team of professionals. For that reason, you’ll need a consultative approach from your window provider, one that takes your needs into consideration and applies years of industry experience.
Of course, with so many options on the market, you’ll want nothing but the best in industry service. Always look for businesses who proudly display their industry accreditation, a guarantee of the superlative quality of their services. RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects, for example, sets industry standards and provides training and resources to their members in the UK and overseas to raise the bar for architects and home design worldwide. Any window fitters, particularly those who offer architectural services as part of their consultation, who are accredited by RIBA are guaranteed to deliver high-quality service. Also look for other industry accreditations, such as window glazing and framework associations, to ensure the quality of the service you’re choosing.
In the current climate, British people want to support British business, putting their hard-earned pounds into companies that employ skilled British workers. Find window fitters who manufacture their products in the UK with their own expert craftsmen and who install the windows themselves without hiring out sub-contractors. This allows for an unparalleled level of professional oversight when it comes to each and every stage of the window fitting process.
Different Types of Windows
Of the various kinds of windows and frames available on the market, slimline windows made from aluminium are growing in popularity, and with good reason. This is due in part to recent technological developments which mean that some window fitters and providers can offer all the benefits of double glazed aluminium without compromising on the aesthetic or historical value of antique or heritage listed properties. With energy-efficient glazing, your home will be insulated better than ever before, keeping the penetration of street noise to a minimum and saving you money on home heating bills come the winter months. Low-profile slim frames can be installed by expert fitters into pre-existing wooden frames. The best services can even fit them directly into hardwood, stone, or brick, preserving the integrity and character of your property. Britain’s windows have come a long way since the animal hide windows of ancient times, and you as a consumer stand to reap the rewards of advances in technology.