It’s hard to imagine a world without glass windows. Yet history shows only in 100 AD did glass windows begin to make their appearance in Alexandria, Egypt. It then took another millennium to refine the process to get the glass windows to look as clear and as flat as we know them today.
Nowadays glass windows can be purchased in an extensive range of styles, sizes and frames. Some of the most popular styles include: fixed, top hung, side hung, sliding, tilt and turn, bay and sash windows.
These are perfect to use in situations where light but no ventilation is needed as they cannot be opened. They also make excellent architectural features where a view can be enjoyed. They are mostly custom made as the sizes will vary greatly.
Top hung windows are opened from the bottom, allowing most ventilation to come from below. This makes them handy in areas which receive plenty of rain as light rain won’t be able to enter.
Side hung windows are one of the most popular choices and opened from the centre outwards on side hinges. They work well with double glazed windows as the latest heavy duty hinges allow them to carry the weight easily.
These windows are mostly used where there is limited space as their panes will not be obstructive. They consist of sliding glass panes, usually two, and can either be opened either way or have one fixed and one mobile pane.
Tilt and turn
Originally from Germany and most commonly used there, these windows open or and tilt inwardly at 90 degrees. Customers have the option of choosing between having them only turn inwardly, having them tilt and turn or only having them tilt.
Bay windows consist of a minimum of three panels, assembled at different angles making them protrude from the wall.
When it comes to sash windows, customers can choose between side-hung, double-hung or horizontal sliding sashes. Single-hung sashes have one movable sash, double hung sash windows have two movable sashes mostly operated by pulley systems and spring balances and horizontal sliding sashes have two or more sashes slightly overlapping which slide open.
Wood, vinyl, aluminium, steel and fibreglass are all options for window frames. Each have their own benefits and downsides. Wood has great thermal resistance but high maintenance and cost. Vinyl also has good thermal resistance, low maintenance but very low recyclable content. Aluminium has poor thermal resistance but is low in cost and maintenance with good durability. Steel has the best durability and low maintenance but is expensive. Fibreglass has good thermal resistance and durability but is also more expensive.
A wide variety of glass types and thicknesses can be installed. The choice will depend on the style of window, how much value is placed on energy efficiency- heat gain, loss and UV rays, and whether security is a concern. All these issues can be brought up with your glass supplier to decide which option is ideal for you.