13 Sep 2021
Types of paint finishes

Types of paint finishesIf you are contemplating a paint project, you will no doubt be studying swatches of colour samples.  Once that task is complete, you’ll have to decide on the type of paint you want to use, and we don’t must mean which brand you’ll use either.  There are lots of different types of paint finishes to help you achieve your desired look, here are the most common types to help you decide…

First off, it may be helpful to point out that emulsion comes in three common finishes – matt, satin and silk – all of which have different levels of sheen.

Matt emulsion

Matt emulsion paint is commonly used on walls and ceilings to help conceal imperfections on your walls or an uneven surface. It offers a no-shine finish so tends to be good at diffusing light.  Matt paint can be used in most rooms and not suffer with reflective walls or ceilings as they have a sheen level of less than 10%.

It can be less washable than gloss paint which leaves it susceptible to unremovable scuff marks when used in high traffic areas such as the hallway.  However, there are durable matt options available in most ranges, designed to resist marking.  Luckily, as matt paint is so popular as a finish, there are a ton of colours and brands to choose from.

Satin, silk and soft sheen emulsion

Each of these finishes are visibly shinier with a sheen level at varying degrees around the 20% mark or more.  They are often described as mid-sheen finishes because of the slightly polished surface they create.  Typically, silk and soft sheen is used for walls while satin is used for woodwork.

Silk and soft sheen are traditional finishes popular on walls in high traffic areas such as the kitchen as their shinier (and more wipeable) surface and a greater resistance to steam.  If you have young children a silk wall finish will be much easier to wipe those handprints from!

Eggshell

Wipeable and durable, an eggshell finish is great for woodwork and metal, but you can also use it on walls too if desired.  It has a tad more shine to its finish than matt emulsion but is more delicate than that of satin or silk – as its name suggests, its shine is likened to the shell of an egg.  Eggshell is commonly used as a modern alternative to gloss for trim – skirtings, window surrounds, sills and frames are popular high gloss lovers.  It’s more durable than matt, easier to clean and appears smoother in appearance.  Great for decorating large areas.

Gloss

A gloss finish is all about the shine!  Most can be used on all common surfaces but, is probably most commonly used as a decorative trim or door paint.  Preparation is important for this type of paint – you will likely need to rub down the surface before application, so it goes on easier, and the best end result is achieved.  Each coat tends to take quite a long time to dry so make sure you check the supplier recommendations otherwise, all that prep work will be wasted, and you’ll be back at square one, rubbing down and applying again. There is a bit of a knack to applying gloss – when applied too thickly it can form drip marks.  However, all the precision and time taken when applying gloss is well worth the effort – it’s super durable and looks very aesthetically pleasing.

Masonry Paint

Masonry paints are highly durable weather-resistant EXTERIOR paints formulated to be suitable for all surfaces including brick, render, concrete, and previously painted exteriors. There are two main finishes: smooth and textures.  Smooth masonry paint usually provides a matt finish and is fairly easy to keep clean.  Textured provides a lightly textured finish which is ideal for covering imperfections.

Chalky

For those of you into upcycling furniture, you will probably use a chalky type of paint.  It gives a unique, dead flat finished which is perfect for that shabby chic or distressed appearance associated with upcycled pieces.  Its sheen level should come in around 2% and a special wax or sealer can be used on top of the paint if you want to make your finish more durable.

Here at Wandsworth Sash Windows, we use spray paints when manufacturing all our windows and doors.  Spray paints create a nice, perfect, smooth finish to avoid brush strokes or paint drips that you can often get with hand applied paint.  As standard we use White Gloss or White Satin on our window frames. However, you do have the option of choosing a Farrow & Ball, Dulux, Little Green, Fired Earth or other preferred paint brand if you wish – we can colour match any of these paint colours for you.  You can even choose a different colour for your internal woodwork to match your interior, while choosing another colour on the exterior woodwork.

23 Aug 2021

Green Seal

We all know that paint comes in a variety of types, colours and ingredients – such as oil-based, water-based, latex, or low VOC paint.  Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals from liquids (and solids) such as paint, that vaporise at room temperature and enter the atmosphere (an occurrence known as “outgassing” or “offgassing”). It is this process that is responsible for that unmistakeable paint smell, commonly referred to as “paint fumes”, within a newly painted room. 

When paint is applied inside a confined indoor space the concentration of VOCs can be up to ten times higher than outdoors.  VOCs emitted from paint do dissipate overtime, after the paint dries on the wall but this process can take a while with most dispelling within the first six months after application. Minimising the number of VOCs entering your home interior atmosphere is always recommended.

How harmful are VOC fumes to our health?

Unfortunately, VOCs let off gasses that are harmful to people and the environment, which is why they are regulated by the government.  VOCs are found in many paints and when you think about how many rooms in your house are painted and how many coats of paint you have applied, particularly on walls that previously boasted bolder colours, it will probably all add up to a significant amount of paint and in turn, produce a lot of paint fumes that can build up in the air of your indoor space.

The side effects from paint fumes can range depending on the level of exposure and the amount of paint fumes in the air.  When inhaled, VOCs can contribute to some nasty health problems such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and irritation to your airways.

How to eliminate paint fumes

Prevention is always better than cure, so it is important to try and use products with minimal amounts of VOCs whenever possible to minimise health effects. After painting a room, you will need to increase the air flow and ventilation within the space as much as you can. An air purifier can help speed up the dissipation process of paint smell in the air as they are specifically designed filtration technology that is capable of removing contaminants from the air to help improve the air quality in the indoor space.

Rest assured, we use Teknos for all paint and treatments for our timber products.  Teknos is an extremely high-quality manufacturer of low VOC paints with sustainability at their core.

If we can help you with any home improvement project that you have in the pipeline, we’d love to chat with you.  Remember, we are more than just a window company – we have our own in-house team of skilled builders and are able to offer a complete design and build service for large projects too. We manage all aspects of your project, including architectural design, planning, and all construction works, easing the burden for you. We work with our customers to ensure everything is perfect and the project runs seamlessly. We’ve undertaken a wide range of extensions, property refurbishments, loft extensions and other large projects across London and the Southeast.  From ground works to plumbing, electrics to tiling, landscaping to decorating.

23 Jul 2021

Wallpaper for living room - Wandsworth Sash WindowsEver since wallpaper made its comeback a few years ago, its popularity has surged to become a key trend that doesn’t look like it’s subsiding anytime soon.  Whatever your taste, there is wallpaper designed for everyone, from traditional floral designs, contemporary geometric, to 3D statement pieces and textured options. In this blog, we focus on some of the things you might want to consider in order to make sure you choose a wallpaper that complements your living space perfectly.

Which type of wallpaper is best for the living room?

Before you go shopping for wallpaper, you need to think about your living area, how you use it, the practicality of the space, and your style. If you are looking to create a formal look, you might opt for large scale patters and bold colours. Alternatively, if you want a more relaxed, fun style, you might decide small, decorative motifs suit your room better. If your living room is quite large and used for multiple purposes (computer/work area, gaming, TV area, reading corner etc) you might consider using decorative wallpaper borders to zone off areas.  If your living room is primarily used for relaxing in, you might want to steer clear of a busy, repetitive pattern and opt for a pastural feature wall or a simple, calming pattern that helps keep your mind still.

Colour and pattern have real influence on the mood created in a room. Soft, cool colours such as cool blue shades suggest tranquillity and have a calming effect when used as the main colour of a room. Organic green hues are a great choice for creating a natural, earthy tones. Earthy greens combined with off white tones enhance a sense of balance and can be great for softening a busy pattern or feature wall too. Warm colours – reds, yellows and oranges are uplifting and warming – a great choice if you are quite a creative person and use your living area for arts and crafts or just love entertaining lots of visitors.

In recent years, we have seen shades of grey growing in popularity. Using different tones of grey can create a chic look and works particularly well when you add pops of brighter colour – green, pink, or orange accessories work a treat in all rooms of the house and adds a warming touch. However, if you want to keep the atmosphere calm and relaxing to create an anxiety busting environment, then white with grey tones will work really well.

In short, if you primarily want to use your living room for binge watching Netflix and putting your feet up, steer clear of a bright red, highly pattered wallpaper on every wall of the room!

Make use of light where you can

Whether it is a dark corner of an open plan living area or a windowless space, look for wallpaper that will reflect light around the room. In a similar way to using mirrors to make a room feel bigger and brighter, metallic wallpaper or iridescent inks are equally reflective. The metallic details offer reflective properties that helps light move throughout your living area. Use it to bounce around the light you do have to brighten the room and create the illusion of openness. A great trick for small spaces.

On the other hand, if you have oodles of natural light and are trying to make your room feel cosier, give dark colours a whirl – they absorb light, making walls appear closer and the room will feel more furnished.  Textured surfaces work in a similar way.

Should I wallpaper the whole room or just one wall?

There will be some designers that say if you are going to commit to wallpapering a room, then go for it and wallpaper the whole space.  Alternatively, there are plenty of designers that disagree and feel a papered feature wall is the way to go. The fact is, both options can work, it just depends on the wallpaper pattern, the size of the room, what other patterns will be going in the room and your personal preference.

A big pattern on all walls can actually make a small space fee larger and can breathe new energy into a room.  Often, the compromise is choosing something that boasts a bold print but has mellow, sophisticated, neutral colour tones to it, so things don’t get too crazy!

Choosing a wallpaper with small, evenly spaced dots in bright colours is a great way of keeping things bright and fun, but not too over the top. If your space has a nice natural light to open up the space and make it feel bigger, a bolder colour palette or pattern will tend to work well.

Don’t forget, your ceiling counts! Why not choose some bright, funky, patterned ceiling wallpaper and make the ceiling your feature! It is a great way to add colour without overwhelming your space – particularly if you have tall ceilings. Wall murals are another option to consider for their eye-catching appeal and they make a great talking point too – perfect for living rooms.

How many rolls of wallpaper do I need?

Our handy calculator will provide you with a guide on how to measure for wallpaper.  Once upon a time there used to be just the standard UK roll size. These days wallpaper can come in wide-width sizes ranging from 62cms to 1 metre. This means that calculating the number of rolls of wallpaper you need will depend mainly on the size of the roll, both the length and width so, once you have chosen your wallpaper design make sure you make a note of the roll size (width and length) as it will vary for each product.

You will also need to take into consideration the pattern repeat (if you have one), mainly the vertical pattern repeat, and also make allowances for cutting around obstacles such as windows and doors.

The width of a standard roll of wallcovering is 52cms, the length is 10.05m.

When measuring your walls (measure the perimeter of your room), we recommend including your windows and doors in your estimate just to be on the safe side. Measure the height of the walls from skirting to ceiling. When you have these two measurements plug them into the calculator below and it will tell you how many rolls of wallpaper you need based on the size of a standard roll (52cm x 10.05m)

 

Loading

 

Hopefully, you now have a few wallpaper ideas, a few considerations to ponder and an idea of how many rolls of wall covering you will need. Don’t forget, if you would like some stylish new timber windows or doors to complement your makeover, you know where we are!

28 Jun 2021

To move or improve is a common dilemma pondered by homeowners. There has long been a strong stimulus to renovate and add value to homes rather than hunt for a dream property. Money is often the most influential factor, particularly in areas where stamp duty and moving costs can be as high as the cost of an extension.
Sometimes, external forces persuade our thinking, the Brexit-induced stagnation in the property market for example, made many people stay put. It may also be the case that you own a period home which has oodles of character and history that you fell in love with when you bought the property and have no intention of leaving behind. For this group of dwellers, adding value can prove to be a tricky business. Loft conversions and extensions undergo intense planning scrutiny before permission is granted (if at all) with likely compromises to be had on the original plans submitted.
Luckily, adding value is not always about adding space, there are plenty of ways to invest in, and improve your period home without the need for costly and disruptive loft conversions and extensions. In this article, we focus specifically on cost effective ways of adding value to your period property via your sash windows.

Add new double glazed sash windows

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is

“Can you double glaze sash windows?”

The answer is yes, modern timber sash windows are certainly able to accommodate thicker double-glazing. Any estate agent will tell you that double glazed sash windows will not only add value it will also make a property more ‘sellable’. Buyers of period homes prefer wooden window frames over uPVC sash windows to match the property aesthetics.
Plus, plastic is a big ‘no no’ in conservation areas and listed buildings.

London-based Estate Agent, Mr McConville adds:

Installing new, double glazed windows in a period property is a great thing for potential vendors to do.
It increases the kerb appeal of a property, showing off the beautiful features to would-be buyers that drive past. It can also increase your property value, often by more than it costs to do. We recently sold a property in Streatham that a vendor had valued before and after having their windows replaced. She spent £12k on replacing her windows, and her property was valued (and sold for) £35k more than it was valued at originally.

The thermal efficiency, greater soundproofing capabilities and security benefits of double-glazed units allow homeowners to bring traditional wooden sash windows bang up to date without losing their charm and character.

A sound test from a balcony
on a busy London street showed:

This demonstrates how well double-glazed sashes reduce sound.

How to achieve
double glazed sashes

We offer three distinct services to achieve double glazed sashes that will add value to your property:

1

Sash window replacement
– this is where we can install new double-glazed sashes into the existing box frames.
Replacement sash windows are popular among customers, particularly owners of period properties, as there is not so much work involved and the original box frames can remain, along with their novel charm. When fitting new sashes into your existing box frames, our carpenters will fully draught seal your windows, hang the window on new cords and fit a complete set of ironmongery. We can even repaint the existing timber in a variety of colours, if requested, without detracting from the look of the property.

2

Complete renewal
– this is where we can install a completely new box frame and double-glazed sashes.
Renewing sash windows includes us removing the old window, and fit a completely new one – architraves, window boards, the whole works. Our professional installers have worked in period properties for many years and are fully aware how to work with and around the challenges sometimes unearthed by older buildings.

3

Sash window repairs
– if you already have double glazed sash windows, regular maintenance and repair is key to ensure the existing sashes and frames not only look like new but are as efficient as possible.
A regular service overhaul of your sashes will highlight and damage, broken locks, rotten timbers, or poor insulation so you are able to get them resolved quickly and retain the quality of the windows, and therefore the value added to your property.

All our windows (from the frames to the glass) are handmade in our UK-based workshop using British joining techniques and supplied and fitted by our team. These are different to the techniques used within the rest of Europe and will ensure your windows not only look perfect but, are in keeping with the character of your period property. In fact, our understanding of character preservation in period properties and listed buildings in particular, means we can offer owners of listed buildings the chance to benefit from double glazed sashes too without the hassle of applying for planning.

Double glazed sash
windows in listed buildings

Planning officers are super vigilant when it comes to preserving character and originality in conservation properties and listed buildings which has historically seen window and door requests with double glazing declined.

However, we are approved installers of a type of vacuum insulated glass technology that offers ultra slim, energy efficient, glazing that is the width of single glazing but offers the warmth of triple glazing and because it can be retrofitted into all windows and doors (allowing the original, historical frames to be maintained), it is the perfect window for listed buildings. What’s more, as the original aesthetics of the home are maintained in line with local authority guidelines, you won’t even need planning approval to install them.

Vacuum insulated glass windows provide substantial improvements to energy efficiently. In fact, a double-glazed vacuum insulated glass unit is more thermally efficient than a traditional 36mm triple glazed unit.  The long-term return on your investment will not only see you save in energy costs but will add value to your heritage home.  Here’s what some of our customers have to say:

Mr Carn, Blackheath, SE3.

“We live in a flat in a conservation and are not allowed to change our current window frames, which were designed for single glazed 4mm panels. Fineo’s vacuum insulated glass was the only product we could find which would allow us to double glaze without modifying the frames. We had the glass fitted into the windows in our Master Bedroom and have noticed the bedroom is warmer with the ambient air temperature higher throughout the day.
There is no condensation on the windows in the morning and no downdraft. It is noticeably quieter when planes fly overhead too. The glass was quick and easy to install and enabled us to improve thermal efficiency of our glazing within the constraints of our leasehold and conservation area requirements.”

Mr S, London.

“We love the period features of our property, including the windows and French doors, and we were very keen to keep them, but wanted to improve the insulation. We found Fineo vacuum insulated glass online and it sounded great. We used it to glaze all the windows in our entire flat. We have noticed a considerable improvement in the amount of heat kept in the property. It was installed in early spring, but we could certainly notice that we had to put the heating on much less. We are looking forward to the winter and how much we can save on our bills! We live on a busy road and the noise was constant. There has been a noticeable reduction in the noise levels. Keeping the original windows has been great. We’re very pleased with the installation and efficiency.”

Double glazed sash window cost

Obviously, cost of double-glazed sash windows will depend on the specific requirements, number of windows etc. However, here are some examples of recent projects we have completed to give you some of idea regarding budget.

Birkbeck Road project, SW19

We overhauled two windows, installed new sashes to six windows into the existing frame and fitted one completely new window.

Total order value was £11k + VAT.

Cranbrook Road project, SE8

We installed three new sash windows including box frames and a large set of French doors with glazing bars.

Total order value £8.8k + VAT.

Add stained glass to your double-glazed sashes

Stained glass windows have a varied history and their origins date way back to medieval times. The concept is simple; lead is soldered together that holds a series of mosaic coloured glass, usually forming a picture of some kind.
If you are thinking of investing in stained glass (or repairing some that has been broken for years) it is advisable to go for something understated and traditional in terms of pattern and design that will complement your property. A startingly contemporary, personal piece will limit its appeal to those who share your taste. On the other hand, a standard, reproduced image – a classic tulip, for example, won’t conjure the value add you’re after either. Striking the right design is important to ensure you add extra value if you come to sell your home further down the line.

This beautiful new specialist designed coloured glass French Door project in Crofton Road, SE5 is the perfect example of value adding, stained glass design – complementary to the property and timeless.

Can you install new, double glazed sash windows and doors complete with the original stained glass?

Yes, stained glass windows can be double glazed. When deciding on stained glass for your windows, there are two choices:

1

If you have existing stained glass in your windows, we can remove it, clean, restore it and reglaze it. This encapsulation process involves sealing the stained-glass panel inside a double-glazed unit to form three layers of glass.

A recent stained glass sash replacement project completed at Ritherdon Road, Balham, required us to restore nine original stained-glass windows and then encapsulate them within new double-glazed units. London-based Estate Agent, Mr McConville estimated that the replacement windows, including the repaired stained glass, would add around £75 in value to the property in question.

2

Alternatively, we can copy an original or bespoke pattern and replicate it into your new double glazed windows. Colours in the new coloured glass will exactly match the original windows to give you the most authentic look possible.

Make your double-glazed sash windows even safer

Double glazed units offer security to your home in themselves.  Not only is double glazing much thickener, but the insulated glass units also fit into windows, so they cannot be removed.  The panes of glass are also much tougher, and intruder will have a hard job trying to smash through two or three layers of glass.

There are also a number of ways that you can secure your sash windows further.  The most common option is sash stops.  These are fitted to the top window and lock in place allowing you to open the window a little to provide ventilation while securing it in place.  This is an excellent option for the heat of the summer, and also gives you an added layer of security when you close and lock the window before heading out.  Sash stops are easy to fit and also make sash windows safe for children, keeping their fingers from getting accidentally caught by the dropping window, and opening it when they shouldn’t.  Sash screws offer an alternative option.  You simply screw them into the top and bottom rails, locking everything together.

You may even consider adding lockable plantation shutters for yet another layer of security if they would be befitting to your property.  Shutters not only add a little extra security but, are practical and insulating too.  They complement any interior décor, regulate light and privacy simultaneously to accommodate modern living and because they are custom made, will remain with the property even if you leave.

According to the National Office of Statistics – Crime Survey for England and Wales more than three quarters of Burglars gain entry via a door and 1 in 5 enter through a window.  Therefore, double glazing, along with these simple security measures, especially on ground floor windows will give buyers the guarantee that your home is worth the asking price: they represent an outlook that means your home has been well cared for.  A demonstrable measure of home security will always add value to your home.

With so many ways to value add at home with double glazed sashes, what are you waiting for?! The Wandsworth Sash Window team would love to help turn your dreams to reality.

Contact us for an online quote whenever you’re ready.

16 Jun 2021

Within the casement windows arena, there are two main types of windows designs you can choose from: Flush and storm-proof.

A flush casement window does exactly as its name suggests – with the opening section (or ‘sash’) sitting flush with the window frame on the outside.

A storm-proof casement window (also known as lipped casements) however, has an opening ‘sash’ that sits proud of the outside face of the window frame, with a sealed lip on all four sides. Why has it been given the name storm-proof?  Simply because the sealed lip adds extra protection against the elements, particularly wetter conditions.

Casement windows are one of the UK’s favourite window styles and believe it or not, they have been an architectural feature in Britain for much longer than the classic sliding sash window has.  Loved for their effective ventillation via typical side-hinged positioning, adaptability (they can also be hinged to open out from the top or bottom of the window frame) and their ability to acclimatise to any style of property, whether that is soaking in the country views, adding a feature to new modern home, or retaining character in an older home or period property.

As specialists in designing, making and installing beautiful timber windows, we have the privilege of installing windows and door in all types of beautiful properties. We find that storm-proof casement windows are the more popular design of the two and probably used more often in modern properties. Being more traditional in style, flush casements tend to be a popular choice for home renovations where a suggestive nod to our English heritage is often favoured. That said, we are able to fit both designs to any type of property. Whether you want to replace older casement windows with new ones that are an exact replica, or you fancy a change of style, we can help.

Timber casement windows offer numerous benefits to homeowners including:

  • Excellent thermal efficiency – casement sashes close tightly in the frame and form and airtight seal for excellent thermal performance.
  • Good ventilation – they open wide allowing good airflow through a home.
  • A first-class aesthetic – handmade timber casement windows offer a natural, bespoke and unrivalled appeal.
  • Home security – very secure locks and the option of key locking handles add even more security to your property.
  • Versatility – complement all styles of property from country home and contemporary new build to traditional renovations.

Whether you need casement repairs or replacements we can help and we are so confident in our work that if you choose to have new casement windows, they’ll be covered by a minimum of a 10-year insurance-backed guarantee. There’s also the option to upgrade your glazing with safety or acoustic glass if you so wish. We are always at the end of the phone should you wish to chat through your requirements. Together, we can choose the best suited window requirements for you and your property.

04 May 2021
bathroom-frosted-glass

bathroom-frosted-glass

Glass has never been so popular in the interior design world. Frosted glass in particular, is making a revival and is being used more often in modern contemporary living where the trend for open plan spaces and glass partitioning seems to be at an all time high. Aptly named after the misty effect it provides, frosted glass is rendered opaque through a chemical process that roughens or obscures the clear surface of the glass to create a visible blurred effect – perfect for achieving privacy without losing light.  While we definitely would not recommend using frosted glass to frame beautiful views, there are lots of ways to tastefully incorporate the trend in every room in your house.

Bathroom and toilet

For many homeowners, frosted glass is an absolute must for the bathroom where privacy is essential.  A frosted shower door or shower screen will hide water spots, so you won’t have to stress about cleaning it as often. A must have for anyone that leads a busy life and doesn’t have the time to clean as regularly as they’d like.

Frosted bathroom windows are a popular addition in bathrooms because they provide privacy without blocking out the light. The degree of privacy you enjoy will depend on the type, style and design of frosted glass you opt for – you may only want a low level of frosted glass that just slightly blurs the person inside the bathroom, or you may want a higher level that makes the person in the room unrecognisable.

Gaining privacy with frosted glass is also a more durable and hygienic window dressing over blinds or curtains, particularly in such a damp, humid room in the house.

Home office

If you are unable to dedicate a whole room in your house to office space, you’ll probably be set up in the corner of your living room or kitchen, or in an alcove somewhere in your bedroom? If this is the case, screening yourself off with a frosted partition will help block out distractions. If you are lucky enough to have an isolated working space at home, you may want to consider frosting the entrance door or creating a frosted breakout area to boost privacy and prevent feeling like a “fishbowl” in the office.

Living/dining room

Frosted glass can enhance the beauty of windows, glass doors, or glass cabinets and adds warmth and style to any décor. Frosted glasses, mirrors, vases, and other glassware are great ways to incorporate the trend without making bold statements.

Kitchen

Frosted glass is sleek and decorative, yet durable and it looks great in modern kitchens. It’s commonly used to add style to kitchen worktops, splashbacks, fruit bowls and other glassware. Cabinets with glass frosted glass fronts are great at putting items on display without exposing them entirely.

Bedroom

Frosted glass is a great solution for ground-floor bedrooms, bathrooms, and street-facing living spaces where passers-by are able to look into rooms and see valuables lying around. Simply knowing that passers-by can see into your private space can be unsettling. By opting for frosted glass on the bottom half of the windows and keeping the top section of glass clear, will afford you complete privacy when you’re lying in bed, watching TV or eating dinner while allowing you to see out of the windows when standing up.  You’ll also be able to obscure the windows without making the room feel dark and confining.  Sash windows are not out of bounds either – frosted glass could be used within one or both sashes.

Covering your wardrobe with frosted sliding doors to gently hide its contents is a stylish look that avoids the room feeling bulky. It looks particularly great when the sliding doors have bold, black framing.

Hallway

Everyone wants visitors to have a great first impression when they approach their home, so why not make a frosted glass feature within your front door. Plus, it adds another layer of security to your home too. A frosted glass staircase will make an eye-catching, bold statement to your entrance space and will likely be the first thing a visitor notices as you welcome them into your home.

If you would like to discuss incorporating frosted glass into any windows and doors in your home, give us a call and we’ll find the solution.

18 Apr 2021
stain-glass-window

stain-glass-window
When referring to stained glass, many people immediately think of churches and the bold, elaborate, religious scenes depicted into their large glass windows. Historically, all of the different colours, pictures and symbols on the glass held a certain meaning to help those unable to read, learn the scripture, and bring bible stories to life.

Today, stained glass is simply admired as a colourful, vibrant and unique way to decorate glass. It adds character and creativity to anything it decorates, whether it is a window, a glass lampshade or a keyring. In our many years, working in properties across London, the home counties, and the south of England, we have seen lots of great ideas of how stained glass can be used to make a feature within a home, so we thought we’d share some of them with you to help get you inspired.

Decorate your front door

First impressions count. What better way to welcome a visitor, introduce your personality and set the scene for a welcoming home, than by decorating your front door with a tasteful, bespoke design that perfectly complements your property. A design that is in keeping with the rest of your house will provide you with the ultimate in value adding kerb appeal.

Add Leaded glass to your window panels

Stained glass isn’t just a good choice for traditional properties, quite often you can do so much more with a contemporary house because the design and colour choice can be much more modern and varied. Leaded panels are a great choice for creating lasting, future-proof visual appeal. Geometric designs and patters are a modern interior design trend, widely used in leaded glass panels. Geometry helps create bright and modern interiors, balance and harmony in rooms and add a fresh touch to home decorating and is unlikely to go out of fashion anytime soon.

Final-Image

Utilise glass ceilings and skylights

Modern living and interior design seems to favour letting in as much light as possible. Many modern homes incorporate as many glazed sections as it can muster. Roof lights and glass ceilings are a popular choice for getting light into the middle of a building or room, and their top-down illumination can transform a home’s interiors. So, why not make them a feature? When light diffuses through a stained-glass it creates decorations of colour on surrounding structures. During the day, stained glass is animated by changing light, casting its patterns around the room. The colours can even be different on a bright day to a duller day.

Decorate cabinet doors

Grandiose designs are not always necessary to create a feature. Stained glass panels can be fitted into a variety of areas, including interior door panels (interior French doors look particularly beautiful when enhanced with stained glass) and cabinet doors.

Don’t dismiss your kitchen and bathroom

These rooms can often get overlooked but, they are actually great rooms to add a touch of artistry within glassed sections. Stained glass is suited to parts of the house like the kitchen, bathroom or conservatory where it is difficult to hang artwork because steam and humidity would likely ruin it, or sunlight fade it. Glass, however, will not get damaged by these factors. The kitchen and bathroom also tend to be rooms that people linger and ponder, so the glass will be admired and enjoyed for longer.

If you are thinking about adding a stained glass feature, or bespoke windows, doors or shutters as part of a home improvement project, make sure you give us a call, we would love to chat it through with you.  020 3582 762.

10 Mar 2021
plantation-shutters

Sashwindows-What-is-a-double-hung-sash-window

We are all keen to find ways of enjoying a warm, draught free home without the need for constantly turning the heating up and paying extortionate energy bills. With up to 30% of heating energy lost through the windows of an average home, your window dressings are a great starting point for improving energy efficiency. Investing in plantation shutters will help keep the warm air in and the cold air out in winter and the opposite will be achieved in summer. Here’s how your wooden window shutters will keep you snug and warm when you need it most.

Wood naturally warms and insulates

Wood is a natural insulator meaning your plantation shutters possess natural heat retaining properties that will go a long way in reducing the typical heat lost through windows in our homes. Incorporating wooden features into your interior design scheme will help soften and warm the overall look of the room, particularly when paired with the white/light grey shades that are so popular in recent years. Modern design trends tend to favour natural materials and the timeless and stylish appearance of wood combined with its natural insulating properties is hard to compete with.

Plantation shutters act as an insulating barrier

Window shutters are a great way of reducing the loss of heat through the window glass. When shutters are closed, they create an insulative barrier between the window and the inside air, providing an extra layer of protection from the cold and essentially an extra layer of thickness to your glass. The insulative layer of air that is trapped between the shutters and the glass, helps maintain an amenable temperature within the house. It is for this reason that shutters are popular in bedrooms and living rooms where we like to be cosy and warm. They are also ideal for older, period and listed properties with traditional windows that have a tendency to be draughty. Victorian properties for example, are notorious for their large, bay windows where heat can easily seep out.

Let in as much winter sun as possible

Unlike curtains, shutters allow you to let light in whilst providing privacy. The wooden slats on plantation shutters allow you to control how much light you let in. You can let the sun stream into your room during the daytime to warm your interior and utilise as much of the winter sun as possible. At night, you can close the shutter slats completely to trap in the warm air.

Our plantation shutters can be custom made to fit any window size and shape. If you want to freshen up your interiors, create a modern ambience and reap some energy saving, heat retaining benefits along the way, give us a call, our experienced team can talk you through our bespoke, made to measure range. They will work with you to understand exactly what you want to achieve to find the perfect solution for your home and lifestyle.

15 Feb 2021
chartwell

chartwell

Let’s face it, walking has become a really important part of our lives of late.  A daily walk helps clear our minds, get our bodies moving, top up our Vitamin D and boost our endorphins for a little of that welcome well-being feeling.  Next time you are planning a stroll, be sure to incorporate a walk round the grounds of one of these Kentish beauties to admire some beautiful sash windows at their best.

 

Chartwell Manor

Where better place to start than Chartwell Manor, well known for being the home of one of Britain’s’ most iconic leading statesmen.  Originally built in the 14th Century, Chartwell Manor became the home of Winston Churchill in 1922, where he lived for over forty years (until 1965).  However, in 1946 it was acquired by the National Trust with funds raised by a group of Churchill’s friends on the condition that the Churchills retained a life-tenancy.  After Churchill’s death, his wife surrendered her rights to the house and Chartwell Manor opened its doors to the public in 1966.   Over the years, the National Trust restored the house to how it would have looked originally with several casement windows.  It is now Grade I listed.

Tonbridge Castle

Tonbridge castle was built to guard the crossing of the River Medway after William the Conqueror came to England in 1066.  In 1088, the castle owners rebelled against King William II.  His army besieged the castle and after two days the castle fell.  As punishment the King had both the castle and the town of Tonbridge burnt to the ground.  The owners did eventually replace the original wooden castle with a stone shell keep which was reinforced during the thirteenth century.  The twin-towered gatehouse was completed in 1260 after a 30-year build.

The end of the Civil War seemed to signal the demise of the castle.  Orders were given for it to be dismantled, and the succeeding years saw most of it disappear through use as a local quarry.  However, the twin-towered gatehouse remained.  When the estate was purchased in 1790, the owner built a Georgian mansion, with bespoke sash windows, against the east wall of the gatehouse.

Over the years, Tonbridge Castle has seen several owners and tenants, but it was finally purchased by the local council in 1900.   The gatehouse celebrated a grand £373,000 makeover in 1999 to mark the Millennium.  The gatehouse and mansion are now Grade I listed.

Westerham Walk

If you fancy a town walk, Westerham is a charming little town oozing with character.  Not only does it have a large conservation area, it also boasts over 100 listed buildings, an impressive number for such a modest sized town.  Look out for timber sash windows on many of its 18th and 19th Century buildings as you stroll through this jewel of Sevenoaks.

Not far from the centre of Westerham, stands Grade I listed, Quebec House.  It has several timber sash windows on the ground floor and first floor, with casement windows on the top floor.  The house was the birthplace of General James Wolfe, an 18th Century Major-General, who lived at the property from 1727 to 1738.  Today, it is another National Trust hotspot.

Remember, if you get inspired enough to start a renovation project of your own, we would love to help.  We really are more than just a sash window company.  We have our own in-house team of skilled builders and are able to offer a complete design and build service for large projects.  We can manage all aspects of your renovation project, including architectural design, planning and all construction works.

21 Jan 2021
sws-house-structural-damage

sws-house-structural-damage

If you are buying a new house or trying to sell your own, structural problems can be a big deal. Structural issues can be dealbreakers for potential buyers, so it is important to address them. The problem is, how can you tell if a house has structural damage? In the blog we look into what kind of damage is classed as ‘structural’, what issues they can cause, and some classic signs to look out for that suggest you may need to investigate the problem further, take some action and get a second opinion.

What is considered a structural problem?

Simply put, structural problems can be anything that affects the structural reliability of your house.   They can be caused by anything from a poor design or build, to structural faults developed since your house was built.  Age is not always to blame either, whether your home is a new build, or it has been in your family for generations, it is possible for you to start seeing structural damage at any time.  However, many people don’t know what is considered structural damage to their home resulting in a late diagnosis – generally the longer it’s left, the harder it is to fix.  So, let us take a look at some of the signs of damage that suggest there may be some fundamental issues looming…

Signs of structural damage to a house

Typical signs that there could be serious underlying problems are:

Cracks
Cracks in plaster, brickwork and stonework can just be superficial but they may also be a sign of more serious settlement issues – the home settling more on one side than the other. Whether the cracks are diagonal (like stair steps), vertical or horizontal, if left, they could lead to foundation problems in the future. Random cracks can also present themselves internally too. Cracks above doors and windows for example could indicate a failed lintel or other structural issue.

Sticking windows and doors
If a door or window has been fitted correctly but no longer swings open as it usually does it could be a sign that there has been some movement in your house and an early sign of subsidence. You may also notice cabinet doors opening on their own. If your home settles so the cabinet tilts away from the wall, the cabinet doors are unlikely to stay shut. It could be a sign that your foundation needs fixing.

Bulging or leaning walls
Bulging walls and leaning walls can be hard to spot because they can start very subtly, and it is not until some time has passed that you will notice an obvious curve inwards. Walls should be straight so if you spot a leaning or bulging wall this could indicate a structural problem to the wall itself or its foundations.

Sagging roofs and roof leaks
Your roof should give you at least 20-30 years before it needs replacing. If your roof is nowhere near that marker and it has started leaking, then it can be a sign that the roof timbers are moving outwards. A sagging roof generally means there are some issues with its structure caused by the removal of load bearing walls, overloading over time or mis-sized framing timbers. Repairing roof leaks promptly can save you a whole heap of damage to internal structures.

Uneven floors
Serious causes include improper construction and settling foundation and will require the expertise of a structural engineer to assess the issue. Other causes of uneven floors included cracked floor joists, dry rot, or wet rot.

It is important to deal with concerns that there may be a looming structural problem in order to keep everyone in your house safe. Some structural issues can make your house very uncomfortable and at worst, even cause it to collapse. Brushing the problem under the carpet will only leave a bigger dent in your wallet too. If you are selling your house, problems found buy the surveyor when carrying out his/her survey will be reflected in your buyers offer – they may even pull out all together. If you are house hunting, have your wits about you and never be afraid to get a second/professional opinion before you make any decisions.

We are more than just a window company here at Wandsworth Sash Windows. As we have our own in-house team of skilled builders, we are able to offer a complete design and build service for large projects too. If you are worried about structural damage, our experienced team are always happy to advise.