Keeping the Georgian feel with double glazing
Cities like Cheltenham and Gloucester has a unique feel to them. You could be whisked away by aliens and dropped in either of these two heritage cities and instantly know where you were. This is because they have the most delightful Georgian feel that runs through the DNA. Sure, you can find Georgian elsewhere in the UK (they didn’t just build houses here during that period), but usually it is contained in a small area for example, the old merchant houses of Upper Parliament Street in Liverpool. Companies like Safestyle UK have worked hard to ensure that unlisted Georgian properties can enjoy the benefits of modern double glazing without compromising the period feel of the house. How do they do this?
An authentic Georgian property is easy to spot if you know what you are looking for. Sometimes people can make the mistake of thinking a Victorian property is Georgian but this is incorrect. The big giveaway is the Window Tax. In an attempt to get the rich to pay more tax (this is before income tax was introduced) the Crown decided to levy a tax on homes based on the number of windows they had. At this point in our history glass was still extremely expensive and was a fabulous way of showcasing your wealth to the rest of the world.... and the taxman. As is so often the case with the introduction of a tax, the loopholes are exploited almost from day one. What you will see with a Georgian property is a series of “bricked up” windows. These where either bricked up in response to the tax or simply allowed for as the house was built. No one thought the tax would be around long some these were thought of as temporary moves that allowed for the windows to be put in at a later date. Here we are three hundred or so years later and those windows never did get opened up... which is a shame but also the perfect way to spot a genuine Georgian property.
Georgian houses tend to be painted white and must have appeared incredibly modern, clean and aspirational in their heyday.... let’s face it, many people would still give their back teeth for them today.
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But, aside from the Greek/Roman style entrance columns the main thing that makes a Georgian house shine out is the style of windows. It is this Georgian-esque glazing style you can be forgiven for mistaking in a Victorian property. And it is certainly so popular that it remains emulated even on many new build properties today.
The style is a series of large (tall) windows comprising of lots of portrait orientated panes of glass. In size they’re not a million miles from an A4 sheet of paper. Each pane is carefully puttied in to a series of lattice wooden frames which are painted white to blend with the masonry of the property. This way the windows really stand out as a feature of opulence... especially when you can see the lavish ceiling roses and chandeliers as your walk past – quite the social statement.
But, as anyone unlucky enough to have endured single glazing will testify to these windows lose masses of amounts of heat, can be drenched in condensation, cause spooky draughts and do little to dampen the outside traffic noise. Double glazing has to be the answer. However, to economically fit double glazing you can’t simply fit lots of mini glazing units to recreated the effect because modern frames are chunkier. Instead the entire window frame is produced in one piece in a state of the art factory where Argon gas is sealed in between the panes to ensure they are energy efficient. The Georgian styling is produced using Astragal which is a series of cosmetic struts in a lattice that perfectly mirrors the size and shape of the old Georgian window panes.
Most UPVC window frames are a stunning, crisp white and so are the perfect modern upgrade to a Georgian period property.