Sash windows are an extremely important part of London architecture

One of the most important things in London architecture is the sash windows. You can’t have a beautiful period property in London without extremely tall and elegant sash windows. Sash windows were manufactured over 100 years ago and have all of the craftsmanship that you would expect from fine joinery. And in this article we’re going to go through all of the best things about sash windows and why are they related to the most important part of architecture in London.

What’s all the fuss about sash windows and architecture?

One of the most amazing things about sash windows in London is the fact that these were often made on site. They were manufactured by design in tough conditions. It was actually working in the dark and would have had to have literally hand make these windows on site directly. There wasn’t any electric; properties period craftsmen would have done this with a series of hand/mechanical tools. More commonly sash windows would have been made with a mortise and tenon by hand in this era, they certainly would of not had a morticer. The style would have been run out on a mechanical machine for them and they would have made the windows and sashes directly from this style. This is a join with a mortise and tenon and then wedge and glued together. From here the glass is then added and it’s typically 3 mm thick. Sash weights were provided for the windows themselves; you can actually calculate the weight of a sash before you manufactured it based on its size. This relies on years of experience and know how as well as a complete understanding of the materials used.

Georgian sash windows.

Georgian sash windows over London are an architectural piece of brilliant. Glazing bars actually solve many problems with sash windows. Glass, which is extremely expensive in large sheets and structurally improving a sash with extra mortise and tenons through the glazing bars are genuins. Not to mention the fact that they look really stunning. Glazing bars cut an issue of expensive large sheets of glass. It also made a sash so far better in terms of the safety and security too. Georgian sash windows were also known to be extremely elegant and built by truly skilled tradesmen.

Floor to ceiling sash windows; an architectural marvel.

Have you ever visited central London? Well if you have, then you’ll know that some of the windows look absolutely stunning and they’re extremely tall(and wide). This is because they are floor to ceiling sash windows to allow maximum light into a property. This design in itself allowed properties to get warm quickly in the summer and also allow a greenhouse effect in the winter too. This helps to reduce heating bills as well as well as looking stunning and giving excellent views outwards from an architectural perspective.

The other benefits of these beautiful windows in the fact you can open them up high so if you’ve got a balcony or somewhere to stand outside then it’s extremely easy access as well it was a solution that meant you could still have a sash window that looks elegant but operate effectively in the same way as a door.

Sash windows can easily be repaired too.

One of the amazing things about sash windows is they are entirely repairable. You can literally have a window that’s falling to pieces and you’ll have sash window specialist that will be more than capable of rebuilding and bringing these original windows back to life. This is extremely important for listed buildings where it’s an absolute requirement to have these windows repaired. It means that hundreds of years of architectural history can be salvaged in just days. These windows can be transformed in a short matter of time and look as if they’ve never actually been damaged or rotted in their life at all. Take a look at these amazing sash window repairs by London Sash Window Repairs Ltd who were kind enough to allow me to use their image:

Some of the most common repairs are sill replacement. Other repairs include splices to styles and the frames. This isn’t just limited to just the frames. Sash window specialists will also replace the sash cords as well as replacing any pulleys if they are defective. Occasionally sash window pulleys can fail but that’s fine, you just simply take out the old one and insert a new one. They were designed to be easily replaced and just held with just a couple of screws.

Nowadays it’s quite common that all of the repairs are made with hardwood. Although the original windows were softwood, hardwood these days is a comparable match in terms of quality to the timber available to the craftsman of 150 years ago.

Modern sash window upgrades for London Properties.

These days it’s quite common to walk down the road in London and you’ll see a variety of windows. These sash windows will be range from unsightly UPVC sash mock windows to someone with class that will have installed high quality hardwood sash windows. These high quality hardwood sash windows will also be double or triple glazed and have a comprehensive draught proofing system installed into and then the double glazing is normally Pilkington low-e glass, with an argon filled unit. The draught proofing system itself can be basically a series of nylon brushes, normally hidden into the window itself. That means they weren’t actually know that you got a draught proofing system there but it’ll just be working for you.

This is extremely beneficial for London property owners because maintaining the look of her unusual sash windows really difficult and having the modern technology upgrades they’re keeping them look relatively similar is extremely heartwarming. It means that we can have the best of both worlds, with the modern architecture incorporated into an original style. The result is a window that looks beautiful but still functions as if it were in this century.

The most common thing these days is to have triple glazed installed into your original sash windows if still possible. So many customers now seeing double glazing is the benchmark, and then aiming for triple glazing especially when they live over flight paths which is becoming more and more common in London as you are probably well aware.

Why have the sash windows lasted so well?

Sash windows have lasted so beautifully, mainly because the Architecture and design of them is absolutely amazing. It’s also extremely helpful that these windows were originally decorated with lead paint. Lead paint is practically bulletproof. You simply won’t get the sunlight breaking it down, and even if the sun does begin to break it down by the time the decoration schedules ready, you’ve just no way that any water could penetrate beforehand. If you can think, the lead paint might last 30 or 40 years, and you’re painting schedule would be no more than 10, it’s quite easy to see then why these sash windows lasted the first 30 or 40 years of their life without any damaged or whatsoever. These days the quality of paints to not match the old but of course it’s considerably safer and we can’t live in a world where we’re all exposed to lead poisoning after all.

That said if you’ve got lead paint you need to don’t remove it because it’s an incredibly good protective layer on your sash windows, instead seal it in with another coat of paint and then you won’t have any issues of the lead causing you any harm at all whatsoever. That said, don’t take my advice at all, instead check out what the government has to say on lead paint safety. The benefit of course of the lead would be that it’s in place already and doing his job for you. As long as you make sure the lead is incredibly well sealed in with a couple of layers of paint, there’s no way that you could sand back to the lead paint and it would not pose a problem for you in the future.

Overall London architecture relies on sash windows and they’re elegant. It’s a trade that mustn’t be forgotten and fortunately there’s loads of sash window companies out there now trying to revive these beautiful windows and preserve this architecture.

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The architecture behind London period properties

The architecture behind London properties is quite outstanding. In some ways it is some of the best design and planning the world has ever seen, in others the basic elementary mistakes make you question some of the point in building so beautifully in the first place. With this blog post we will take a look at the core components that make beautiful London architecture. Those being brickwork, windows, woodwork, cornice and plasterwork, iron railings, slate roofs, and lastly but not least lead light in the doors and surrounds that lit up the entrance to these beautifully designed period homes.

Brickwork yellow stock brick

One of the most fascinating parts of a victorian property is the yellow stock brick. It looks stunning when new and creates an aura of wealth and prosperity. If you’ve ever seen this brick cleaned up you’ll fully understand what I mean. On top of that, a quality bricklayer can bring the best of of the mortar too making the external aperture and architecture all the more appealing. A perfect combination of design, planning, and application.

yellow stock
yellow stock

What’s more, yellow stock brick has proved to be extremely durable. Most Victorian properties remain totally unaffected by a hundred and forty years of ageing. Because of the soft lime mortar and footings many of these properties were not damaged at all by the London bombing in WW2. These amazing constructions didn’t fall over when bombed, simply they simply bounced as a result of the soft joining compounds. Even more amazingly from an architecture perspective, these were easily repaired during the war and have proved to have lasted 150 years or more

Floor to ceiling sash windows, totally encompass the idea of architecture

Sash window design for airflow, what more can I say? They are designed to be opened top and bottom so that this will create a wonderful airflow for the homeowner or person staying in the property. Brilliantly, these fantastic sash windows were initially designed serviceable by homeowner, unfortunately this is a skill that we’ve long since forgotten. Following on from this theme sash windows are extremely easy to repair and they come with amazingly beautiful profiles that give them an elegant appearance like no other. Combined with the Beautiful wavy glass that was not made by machine but in some cases actually had made as well which was an amazing selling point for these original architectural marvels.

sash windows
sash windows

The amazing woodwork – You only have to take a look at the beautiful staircases. Staircases in the Victorian times were built so strongly and with purpose that they still remain in perfect condition today. Occasionally you’ll find a few that I’ve got a bit of a Creek or a loose board but apart from that there in near on the same condition that they were made 140 years ago. This is a testament to not only the quality of a craftsman, but the quality of timber and the joining compound that they had for these as well. They would you be using high quality glue and amazingly we haven’t really improved upon that glue even today. What’s even more impressive is the fact that they will have been able to have done all of this in the near on dark. Imagine those cold winter days of got 4 p.m. dark shut out. With the timber being such high quality it was extremely easy to identify. Basically to cut a long story short the more growth rings there are in a piece of timber the higher the density and therefore the stronger the timber and the closer the grain. It also means that you’ll get a crisp finish on your joinery if you have a harder timber with close grain density. Lovely architrave around windows and door frames benefited massively from is quality of timber leaving beautiful lines and straight edges that are unachievable with modern softer timber. Some of woodworking find in a Victorian property listed below:

  • Beautiful staircase spindles
  • Lovely panelling surrounding windows
  • Internal shutters
Elegant staircase
Elegant staircase

Cornice – plaster mould around ceiling

One of my personal favourite things to see in a Victorian property is the cornice around the corner of the ceiling. This beautiful decorative mould is simply unrivalled in elegance and beauty. Amazingly there’s not that many tradesmen left they they can actually form this moulding. It’s more commonly brought as an actual fixed section that screw into today’s just out of sheer cost. It’s a bit unfortunate as you can tell the difference instantly but with the costs of this type of tradesman being extremely high if you can even get your hands on one there’s not really a lot of choice.

Cornice - plaster mould around ceiling
Cornice – plaster mould around ceiling

Wrought Iron Railings – Beautiful cast iron elegant detail

Wrought Iron Railings were built to last. Most rare iron railings are still in existence today and if you’re walking through Central London you’ll find almost all of the Originals. They just simply been painted and a little bit of maintenance over the last 150 years and they still stand as good as the day that they were made. Occasionally you’ll notice a couple of them they’ve got an issue on the hinges where they’ve obviously been swung open and closed thousands and thousands of times. But these hinges are completely serviceable and replaceable if necessary. So its just a minor bit of maintenance overall the Wrought Iron Railing remaining excellent condition.

Wrought Iron Railings
Wrought Iron Railings

Slate roofs – stunning look

surprisingly durable. And it’s amazing because they look so beautiful. You wouldn’t think it because of the slave being so slender, and that’s what gives it aesthetic appearance but overall slate and extremely useful product for the roof. Not only is it lightweight, when compared to concrete tiles, but also that means that you reduce the amount of timber required in the roof trusses. This is significantly better for the environment and also it’s better than we’re not wasteful when we can avoid it.

slate roof
slate roof

Slate by his nature is extremely waterproof and durable, and as we already know more than capable of withstanding all of the British typical weather that we receive every year. The slate roofs can last easily 30 or 40 years with absolutely no issues whatsoever and very little maintenance.

Lead light in doors and fixed lights around the door.

One of my very personal Favourite Things is to see is lead light in doors and fix lights around the entrance way. It can look stunning and extremely exuberant but you can understand exactly why Victorians did this and why the would discerning amongst them would like to do this. It looks absolutely stand out, and if you have the money well why not do it? Architecture is sometimes about being lavish and not just always about practicality. The Victorians prove that perfectly and actually I believe managed to strike amazing balance.

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Maintaining an ordinary slate roof

One of the most interesting things about London Properties is the quality of a slate roof. They are an architectural piece of genius because they look beautiful and they’re extremely lightweight. They are also extremely durable and not all that costly either. Overall, slate is a beautiful finish for the price. In this article we are going to go through how the best way you can look at maintaining your slate roof without spending any money and trying to keep costs to a minimum. This will help you keep your slate roof in tip top condition for countless years to come.

Decorative slate roof restoration
Decorative slate roof restoration

Keeping a regular eye on your slate roof.

One of the most important things you can do is get up there on the roof and actually check that your roof is in good condition. The way to do this was with the long ladder in summer. This means almost certainly means that you’ll be able to use the ladder more, or as safely as possible. You also don’t really want to be walking on the roof, you just really want to lean your ladder up against the gutter or fascia board, and just simply take a look and see if you can see any weak spots, or areas where they have deteriorated or there are gaps. If there are not any gaps, then there’s absolutely no need to go on the roof and please don’t do so. You’re more likely to do more harm than good.

Repairing a Slate Roof
Repairing a Slate Roof

If there are issues then it might well be worth contacting a specialist, but if not, if it’s just a simple case of a bit of sealing around the lead flashing, then in that case get yourself the silicone and make sure that you close up all those gaps because the winter rain will really get in there and cause far more problems if you don’t. There’s no better way looking after your slay architecture and doing it will work yourself.

How to fix a leak on a roof.

As I previously touched on here, using a silicone gun is absolutely the way to solve any small leaks. You don’t really need to spend a huge amount, just close up any cracks or gaps. A silicone gun sealant will bond well, and silicon itself will really hold and help to keep the slate in good condition and not move around too. But doesn’t just apply to the fact that it stops water penetrating into the property which could ultimately damage the plaster board on your ceiling and cause all manor of problems and costs that you really could do without. Everything really starts with silicone so get yourself a silicone gun from one of the local shops and the good quality tube of silicone sealer. Don’t try and cut corners here, there’s only a few pounds difference between a good quality tube of sealant and a cheap one. A cheap one might not even be waterproof or design for external use either.

Silicone gun
Silicone gun

The Architecture of your roof is really relying on you to clean

Healthy slate roof are often clean and kept in good condition and don’t have any loose debris or leaves, it could even mean that you’ve cleared all of the moss off the roof as well too. Whilst it looks really nice to have moss, having a clean roof means that you can easily see if there’s any issues with the blade itself and far more maintainable. So don’t be scared, get yourself a good quality broom or brush and try and clean off the slate as best as possible without standing on it. If you’ve got some loose debris or you need to get rid of another great way to do this is with power jet wash. The only thing is his the logistics of holding a jet wash up on the roof. Sometimes it’s much easier to do if you’ve got a cherry picker or some kind of scaffold. This isn’t always possible because of the sheer costs involved with both.

Maintaining an ordinary slate roof
Maintaining an ordinary slate roof

Overall it is relatively easy to maintain a slate roof, you just need to make sure that all of the pointing around the roof that meets the brick wall is in good condition and if there are any gaps that this sealed in with silicone. If you keep this up and you know what you’re doing then there’s no reason that slate roofs won’t give you a minimum of a good 50 years. That’s because they’re so architecturally well-designed that you just know that they’ll just keep on lasting and going on and on. So don’t delay get yourself up on the roof and get your slate roof maintained as fast as possible.

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What does architecture you’re really mean

I thought there would be a great idea to start my blog with one of the most simple questions related to architecture. What actually is architecture and what does it mean to so many different people. There are so many ways that architecture is construed and seen by so many different cultures. So what better way to start my blog then go through some of the most common ways in which we construe architecture and what it really means.

From my perspective architecture is a base foundation and understanding which relies on planning, designing, and then the construction phase itself. But that said, architecture doesn’t necessarily have to relate to construction. And then this article I think I’m going to go through some of the great ways in which architecture can you involve non structural objects too.

How we view architecture through the ages.

Sphinx and Pyramids
Sphinx and Pyramids

Typically most cultures are judged based on their architecture that survive through the ages. It doesn’t matter, be it the Egyptians with the pyramids which are probably the most impressive remaining item left on this planet. Or it could be potentially the Annunaki with their smaller stone built pyramid type constructions. It doesn’t really matter what the construction, we practically judge cultures by their architectural achievements. It’s not always just the size of the architectural achievement that’s judge too. It can be the quality of the Architecture itself, and by that we look at some Stones that have been literally carved with accuracy that we struggle to replicate today. This is the kind of architecture that is of extreme interest to me and in this blog will continue to look closely at all of the different cultures and abilities through the ages.

How we you judge architecture.

We all judge architecture on a number of common factors and they’re pretty much universal. They are all factors that anyone, anywhere might appreciate. Here’s a list of list of those factors and a brief explanation of them too:

1 Strength and durability of the architecture.

Workers transporting stone
Workers transporting stone

One of the most common ways in which we judge the architectural performance of a construction is the strength and durability. The stronger construction, the better the architectural work is considered to be. If we were to look at some of the most amazing architectural works on the planet we would obviously instantly reference the Egyptian pyramids which clearly some of the most age buildings and constructions on the whole planet. Interestingly there are some of the most beautiful designs as well and we’re going to come onto that went relatively soon. And it also doesn’t really look like they’re going to go anywhere quickly either does it?

2. How useful is a piece of architecture?

An architectural structure could look amazing and be extremely pleasing on the eye but that doesn’t mean it could be useful in any way shape or form, and one of the key ways in which we judge architecture is how useful a construction is. You can’t expect a construct to be entirely based on aesthetics. It has to be functional and do its job. What that means in layman’s terms, is it could be that you have built a construction that’s required to be energy efficient for example. In this situation you’ve been looking at what has been implemented in terms of solar panels or perhaps insulation in the walls. Or how the construction is actually formed in order to shelter itself from the environment as well there are so many different ways in which architecture can lend itself to usefulness and utility.

Loft insulation
Loft insulation

3. How beautiful is the architecture.

As we briefly touched on in the last bullet point the Aesthetics is also an important Factor in determining how quality the Architecture is. Some of the most amazing buildings have been This is an incredible amount of our work and beauty that’s even on the ceilings. The amount of work and time that must have went into this architecture would have just been outstanding a mind-blowing. If you’ve ever walked through the Vatican or even looked at it online you’ll realise that it’s just one of the most unbelievable pieces of architecture that we still have remaining today.

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

Where has architecture got to now?

Architecture is moving in a completely different direction in my opinion. It doesn’t have the same Elegance it’s more about minimalism and straight lines. This isn’t particularly as exciting for my money as the way that architecture was previously perceived. But that said some of the most beautiful buildings are some of the most recent constructions. You can’t really rule out the Sydney Opera House for example.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

Overall architecture means many different things to many different people but it’s still hold similar principles of utility, usability, beauty and functionality. So it doesn’t matter what culture your background you come from you can always appreciate architecture and I hope as you go through my blog you’ll be able to understand and appreciate some of the architectures I’m going to bring to you.

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