Finding the right windows to suit your property

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Windows are one of the biggest expenditures in any renovation project, so it’s important to get them right!

There’s so much to consider when choosing windows. Not just the aesthetics, there’s the cost, the durability and the efficiency. Nobody wants to splash out on windows that look great but don’t keep the heat in. You also need to consider the age and style of your house. It’s worth doing some research into what the windows might’ve originally looked like if you live in a period property, and taking expert advice from an architect.

As Emily Brooks wrote in The Independent “Windows often define the character of a property, so it’s no wonder that we sense when something’s awry with their design, even if we can’t put our finger on what it is.” That perfectly sums up how I’ve always felt as I park up outside our house. No matter how neat the paintwork or how tidy the driveway is, something just doesn’t look right.

When we bought our seaside forever home in 2019 it needed a lot of work doing. A terrifying amount of work. If you want an idea of what it looked like during the first lockdown, there’s a photo on the homepage of it in it’s bare plaster glory! Since we had really pushed ourselves financially buying the actual house, we had to be super savvy when it came to buying materials.

We knocked down pretty much every internal wall downstairs to create a big open-plan kitchen-diner-living space. This meant we had to install a sprinkler system which in turn blew our window budget. Time to get creative!

We had installed bifold doors across the back of our new space in an anthracite grey colour, but when we looked into matching up the white windows on the second floor of the house with replacement anthracite ones, the prices were way beyond our budget. Rather than living with two different window colours, we found a local company who came in with their trusty spray guns and magically turned the white window frames grey.

I couldn’t bring myself to give the front windows the same treatment. They were ugly, heavy UPVC white windows which didn’t suit the 1950’s build of our house. To restore the homes kerb appeal, I knew we needed to wait and save up for traditional sash windows.

Two years on and lots of saving and the time has nearly arrived. In 2022 we’ll be removing the thick plastic frames and installing sliding sash windows. They’ll still be UPVC meaning they’re energy efficient and weather resistant. But they absolutely look the real deal! I was so suprised when I started researching sash windows, presuming they’d have to be timber. I found there’s a huge range of styles, shapes and colours made from UPVC, meaning there’s a design to suit each house. There’s also the option of going bespoke so that the windows are unique to your home.

The biggest bonus for me is that choosing UPVC means they’re virtually maintenance free, unlike a timber sash which would require sanding and painting throughout the years… Once this renovation is complete I intend to never pick up a paint brush again!

***Liked this? Check out this post where I share my top tips for Interior Design books.

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Categories: Body and Soul