You have probably spotted Georgian style windows many times on your travels, without realising what the style was known as or why. They come from one of the most respected periods of architectural history, and their classic style is still loved by homeowners today. We take a thorough look into Georgian window style and how authentic Georgian windows are replicated in modern day manufacture.
What are Georgian windows?
Georgian windows are easily recognisable as large windows made up of six or more smaller panes of glass connected by horizontal or vertical wooden bars. The bars are often slimmer than their surrounding frame to show off a greater area of glass, as well as optimise the amount of natural light allowed into a room or building.
Aptly named after the era they originated from; traditional Georgian windows complemented the architectural trends of the 1700s perfectly. Symmetry and proportion had massive influence, particularly in relation to the placement of windows and doors, as did grand entrance embellishments such as arched tops and the primary use of brick and stone in building construction. Georgian period homes are square or rectangular in shape to ensure overall symmetry of the building, where one side reflects the other.
Sliding sash windows were also a symbolic feature of the Georgian era that quickly made their way into the fashion stakes and have remained there ever since. One of the most used sash window styles within Georgian properties was the six panels over six panels design.
Modern Georgian windows
Georgian architecture remains popular today with an increasing number of homeowners opting for the styles and traditions born within the Georgian period. Owners of Georgian houses and period properties in general, are always keen to preserve the character of their home, particularly their traditional Georgian windows. In fact, owners of listed properties and houses within conservation areas are legally required to retain the building’s original features where applicable. If new windows are unavoidable, their replacements must match the appearance of the original units with as much detail as possible.
How are modern Georgian windows created?
As we have already established, modern glazing methods allow us to manufacture one big sheet of glass rather than lots of smaller panes held together with timber bars. However, to retain the traditional Georgian appearance, we can still incorporate bars into the window design to create the illusion of smaller panes. There are a couple of ways to achieve this: either with Georgian bars or Astragal (Applied) bars. Both methods divide up larger, more efficient windows to give a traditional appearance. Let’s take a closer look at both methods:
Georgian bar windows
Georgian bar windows
Georgian bar windows are made up of six separate panes of glass with the timber bars visible on both the inside and outside of the sashes and run throughout the whole sash. We refer to them as ‘real-dividing’ bars
UPVC window suppliers have their own version of the six-pane design, whereby they add bars to the double-glazing, and they are sealed within the Georgian bar window unit. Therefore, no bars are tangible on the outside of the actual glass itself. While UPVC window suppliers can create the illusion of real-dividing bars from a distance, they do not replicate the traditional timber dividing bar design as accurately as real-dividing timber bars.
Astragal bar windows
The term ‘Astragal bars’ describes timber bars that are planted on to the window glazing both on the inside and the outside of the pane to create the illusion that there are six separate panes of glass when in fact, there is just one big pane of glass used. In timber frame manufacture, we generally refer to these timber bars as ‘applied glazing bars’ rather than astragal bars.
As professional joiners, traditional timber windows are our speciality. We can fit either timber Georgian bars or applied bars into modern double-glazed units (windows and doors) when completely replacing the timber sash windows of a property. Whilst we are able to offer both types of glazing bar design, 99% of our projects request the applied bar option as standard. This is because real-dividing glazing bars need to be much wider so they will not look the same as the traditional windows. The real-dividing glazing bars are 32mm wide whereas the applied bars are 22mm wide so much more matching the slim original window bar designs:
Georgian Bars Vs. Astragal Bars (Applied bars)
- Energy efficiency
Reputable companies will offer double glazing as standard meaning you will not just add kerb appeal and value to your property, but your sashes will increase its thermal performance and conserve energy too. Neither applied bars or Georgian bars will affect you achieving energy efficient windows. We can either retrofit new double-glazing units into your existing sash window frames or make completely new ones. Our double-glazed sashes can also be made with Fineo vacuum insulated glass. Fineo windows offer the width of single glazing but the thermal efficiency of a triple glazed unit meaning you can increase energy efficiency further without compromising on the look of traditional style windows.
While both designs create a convincing finished affect, real-diving bars have the edge in the authenticity stakes. Sashes that boast the six separate panes of glass method is the closest match to traditional Georgian window craftmanship.
- Suitability to your home
If you own a period property, listed building, or you live in a conservation area, you may be encouraged to to retain the original features of your property and any changes, such as replacing the original timber frames or changing the glazing bars, will need the appropriate approvals from your local planning officer.
- Both applied bars and Georgian bars are suitable for bay, sash, and casement windows.
Georgian architecture in London
The Georgian period covers over one hundred years (1740-1830) and during that era we witnessed architecture and interior design develop in leaps and bounds, from very simplistic designs in the early 1700s through to the more intricate features (such as ornate iron railings), associated with the latter years.
10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace are the most famous Georgian house in London.
Other favourites include:
- The Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich
- Bedford Square, Bloomsbury
- Fournier Street, Spitalfields
- Benjamin Franklin house (near Trafalgar Square).
- Christ Church, Spitalfields
If you are looking to make some home improvements and are inspired by Georgian design, we would love to help you create (or recreate) authentic and beautiful Georgian sash windows that are perfectly suited to your property and style. Whether you require double-glazed sash windows or wooden doors we can supply and fit cost-effective window and door units with Georgian or applied bars crafted with an outstanding level of workmanship.