Rich texture to frame the view
NOT only are windows a very practical architectural feature, providing convenient ventilation and letting in natural light, but they can also be an element of beauty. This is especially true of wooden windows, says Charl Jacobz, from wooden window and door manufacturer Swartland.
“The rich texture and grains that are prevalent in natural wooden windows can add an intensely opulent and lush aesthetic to any home,” he says.
“However, the style of windows chosen needs to complement the overall design of your home, whether you are remodelling or building new. If your home has a contemporary style then the more plain and angular the windows the better. If your home is of a more traditional or old fashioned style, then more elaborate types of windows would be suitable.”
Jacobz says that wooden windows are generally divided into six main categories, as follows:
Sliding sash windows: These are made from one or more movable panels or “sashes” that form a frame to hold panes of glass. Today the term is used almost exclusively to refer to windows that are opened by sliding the panels vertically.
“Sliding sash windows are timelessly elegant in aesthetic appeal, even if the technology used is modern.” he says.
Mock sash windows: If you are working within a tight budget mock sash windows could be the answer. Jacobz says that mock sash windows are the architect’s answer to adding costeffective classic style to traditional or contemporary designs. Although these windows look similar to sliding sash windows they do not open by the panels sliding down vertically. Instead one of the glazed panels, usually the top panel, is top-hung and swings open from the bottom of the panel.
Horizontal gliding windows: These are the ideal way of bringing the outdoors in, allowing walls to disappear and opening interiors to the beauty of the outdoor landscape. They are also a very practical choice for awkward or tight spaces, such as in kitchen applications behind the sink or alongside a bath, for example.
Full pane windows: Often referred to vertical skylights, full pane windows offer the ideal way of integrating an indoor space with the outdoor view. Essentially, full pane windows consist of a window where the entire glazed area is made up with one sheet of glass surrounded by a plain wooden frame. These windows offer uninterrupted views to the outdoors and let in the maximum amount of light.
“The side-hung design of fullpane windows means that they open on the side of the window, similar to traditional windows. This helps them to catch the breeze and to create a sense of space that complements openplan living perfectly. You can improve ventilation by adding a full pane fanlight, which allows rising warm air to escape.”
Small pane windows: Often referred to as cottage pane windows, the glazed portion of small pane windows are divided up into smaller panes within the main window frame. “The divided light of these popular windows adds a certain elegance to any room. Furthermore, they are good for security as it is more difficult for potential burglars to crawl through small panes. For added security, custom-fitted burglar bars are available on request. These can be concealed within the wooden frames of the smaller panes or installed so that when closed the metal bars are hidden behind the frames.”
Top-hung windows Top-hung windows, commonly known as awning windows, are designed to open from the bottom, allowing the air to circulate freely while providing protection from the elements.
“These windows are as versatile as they are durable, boasting high performance to suit their good looks. Their unfussy lines enable them to suit a number of architectural styles, ranging from contemporary to the more classical style homes,” says Jacobz.