Rich tex­ture to frame the view

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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.

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