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  • Bliss Interiors

Do you know your sash from your skylight?

Who knew there could be so many types of windows.. from bays and bows to casements and clerestories... there are probably hundreds, including such things as “eyebrow windows”!

If you don't know your sash from your skylight or French from your jalousie, then here are the main types of window you'll most likely need to know if you're embarking on an extension or building renovation project...

  • Bay - A bay window is a multi-panel window, usually with three panels set at different angles to create a protrusion from the wall line. They can be rounded (bow) or squared /angled (canted). Great for additional space / storage and if you like window seats. Tricky/expensive if you want fitted blinds or shutters.

  • Casement – These are what you’d think of as a regular modern window. Single or multi panel with one or more parts that opens like a door comprising either a side-hung, top-hung (also called "awning window), or occasionally bottom-hung or a combination of these types. You can also get them tilting – open at the top, closed at the bottom (for ventilation).

  • Clerestory – above the eyeline – usually underneath a roofline. Great for accentuating a high space or adding light and warmth into a tricky or overlooked space; along a corridor or above a staircase.

  • Crittall – multipaneled steel-framed windows – very popular at the moment. Often seen in art deco buildings and docklands warehouses.

  • Dormer (flat or pitched) – usually found in loft conversions, these protrude from your pitched roof to create a normal, vertical window. They give an attic more of a sense of being a regular room and offer a little more space.

  • Fixed - windows without any openings. They are purely for aesthetics or light and to get the best view possible, but offer no ventilation. Very large ones are known as picture windows…

  • French windows / French doors – these are windows of two or more full length panels that are not separated by a mullion (the upright fixed bit in the middle) and open in opposite directions. Very popular for living rooms and kitchens – usually leading out onto a porch, verandah or patio.

  • Louvre or jalousie window consisting of many horizontal slats, angled to assist the flow of light and air, but to keep out rain and direct sunshine. The angle of the slats may be adjustable. Great for ventilation of attics or utility rooms, but not so great for security.

  • Oriel - An oriel window is a form of bay window which protrudes from the main wall of a building but does not reach to the ground. Supported by corbels, brackets, or similar, it’s usually found projecting from an upper floor, but is also sometimes used on the ground floor. You often see them in Tudor or Gothic -style houses (like some in Limpsfield village) and monasteries, but they can be contemporary too.

  • Sash - made of one or more movable panels, or "sashes" that move up and down via a weighted pulley system hidden in the frames. While they go back to the 1600s, they’re mainly seen in Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian houses. They are lovely, except when the ropes go and they don’t move properly or if someone has painted over the top of the sash so they don’t move! You can get very good replacements now too.

  • Stained glass windows - recently making a come-back with a modern twist and I've had a few clients taking an interest in including a stained glass window in a design. They can be used instead of a frosted window and of course add colour and interest, not just from looking direct at them, but also through the colourful reflections and shades they create.

  • Velux, roof or skylight (NB. Velux is a brand) – in many different sizes, these are the easiest windows for pitched roofs, loft conversions and single-story rear or side extensions and don’t require additional planning permission if you want to just stick a couple in an existing loft room – but take advice if you’re in a conservation area of have a listed house. Skylight windows also let in much more light due to their angle.

If you need any help with an extension, build, renovations or interior design - please give us a call.

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