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Things To Consider When Replacing Windows | Harleston Joinery

An Idea of the Finished Project

It is important to know what you want to achieve as the end result of your project right from the start. For example if you are planning on doing a whole house renovation, if you’re doing just windows or all woodwork, replacing uPVC or looking to replace bits in phases it’s important to have a clear plan you can stick to. Many people don’t involve a joiner until a project is in a well developed stage, but it is in fact best to involve a joiner as early as possible as there are frequently things to consider that are easily overlooked.

Type of Property (Age, Style, Listing)

This is important to help decide what you are looking for as your end result. E.g. an old cottage may be best being kept either completely traditional or fully modernised. The same applies with the style of window. We often replace windows and put back the houses to their ‘original’ style, quite often the customer will have pictures as evidence. Removing a stormproof window and replacing with either a flush casement or sliding sash can help the aesthetics of converting an older property. Being grade 1 or 2 listed will also have a baring on what you may or may not be allowed to do, e.g. the type of glass you can use or the use of glazing bead or putty.

See picture of a before/after of changing the windows in a house back to their original sliding sash windows as per the house owners picture documentation.

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Hardwood or Softwood are the standard choices, and the final decision is normally dependant on durability, finish and cost. Softwood is the most cost effective but some ‘lower’ grade hardwoods may only add 10% to the final bill but could dramatically increase the life of the product. It is down to the individual customer to decide what is aesthetically pleasing to them, for example not everyone would like to stain softwood due to the potential of lot of knots.

See picture of softwood stained door which shows off knots, and oiled oak windows showing the luxury of the grain.

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Style / Design (cost implications)

Simpler styles will cost the least but if your looking for different styles there are simple things which you can do which won’t break the bank. Instead of square edges on the inside on your frames and casements you can add a mould or bevel (ovolo or 30° for example) to give your windows a bit more of a quirk. Angles are a good way of adding a different look without being hugely costly. Curved work and circular windows is where you will see the biggest price increases. Size of windows will obviously have cost implications too, so if designing a new built/extension then it is worth balancing the light a window would bring to a room and the cost. Feature windows may be stunning but also costly.

See pictures of a circular window on pivot hinges, a window with curved head and a large feature window.

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Finish / Ironmongery

Depending on what sort of look you are intending in your room/house. Staining can give a warmer/darker effect than painting. White, for example, will give your room the brightest look (although antique and cotton whites are becoming increasingly popular to help remove the ‘clinical’ look of PBW). Staining of hardwood is generally preferred than softwood due to the natural beauty of hardwoods grain, and the tendency for softwood to have knots and imperfections. Ironmongery is very much down to personal preference, but where possible it is normally advised to stick with the style of the house, for example older properties generally suit traditional ironmongery like black ‘monkey tail’ stays and fasteners, whereas more modern homes could find it easier to use traditional or more modern styles like Satin Chrome or Satin Stainless Steel.

See picture of a Bathroom window in a cottage with Traditional style ‘Monkey Tail’ Ironmongery and painted white, also a window stained in Light Oak also with ‘Monkey Tail’ Ironmongery.

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About Us

Here at Harleston Joinery we are craftsmen in wood & only use the finest quality timber combining this with traditional joinery methods to create completely bespoke windows, doors, stairs & period features.

Having been in business since 1988 we have gained a wealth of knowledge in different techniques to help provide not only a great quality of product but also delivery great service to our customers. We specialise in conservation work and have completed many projects in Grade 1 or Grade 2 listed buildings and for properties within conservation areas.

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