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In this section we introduce you to some very important but often overlooked issues when choosing window designs. Regrettably we find that quite often some aspects of window design are not discussed at the buying stage. These aspects can often turn out to be very important to the buyer.
One such issue is "equal sight lines"
|Unequal Sight Lines
||Equal Sight Lines
When manufacturing most modern replacement windows it is normal for there to be smaller areas of glass wherever there are openings (sashes) fitted. Where the frames are fixed the glass area will be larger. This "unequal" site line is quite normal and acceptable to most people.
However on a lot of older properties (and indeed some newer ones) it was more common to have an equal sight line. (i.e. you would not be able to tell from the outside which windows opened and which did not.) Fitting "dummy sashes" or "dummy openers" into the frames created this "equal" sight line.
As you will see from the photographs above the windows can have a considerably different appearance dependant on whether or not they have equal sight lines.
Equal sight lines are not for everybody - indeed some will not like the overall "bulkier" appearance. However there is no doubt that for some types of property this will be a "better bet". It is also a very good alternative with Georgian and Leaded Light window designs as it allows you to have rectangles / squares that are more equal in size. (For a full explanation on this have a look at our Glass
Having equal site lines adds to the overall cost of your replacement windows and for this reason many people do not favour this approach. That said -- it is still a worthwhile consideration in our opinion.
Another possible alternative is to consider having "vertical equal sight lines". With this approach fixed windows are always above fixed windows and opening windows are always above opening windows. Ask you suppliers for more information on this if this is unclear to you.
The following comment about Equal Site Lines is from the Home Improvement
Discussion Forum at Ask-Questions.com
Equal Site Lines - My Experience
My house had timber casement windows with small square lights along
the top with the larger windows at the bottom divided by 4. Each
along the top was divided into 6 small square lights all of equal
size. This very neat and pleasing effect has now been totally lost
my new windows are visually wrong.
I had Rehau windows fitted to my house and the aspect of the old
windows was copied - unfortunately I did not ask for the sight
lines to be
kept level. The larger windows i.e. where not every pane is an
opener - can
only be described as an eyesore. I think to keep the sight lines
level the number of openers would have to be doubled i.e. 8 instead
or 6 instead of 3.
Neither did the window company alert me
to this problem. Although it was in my mind to say something I did
not. I now must consider
worst windows at considerable expense. Assuming that the windows
are done again using the same Rehau moulding I would doubt that
could be used again in new frames. [read
Another design issue that is often overlooked is whether to use black gaskets or white gaskets on your white PVCu windows.
coloured gaskets are the norm with most companies and are widely
fitted. In the past white gaskets had not been favoured as it was
possible to get a "matching" white and it was not also possible to offer a "colour fast" guarantee.
This has now changed and more and more companies now offer both alternatives.
feel white gaskets are a good alternative - especially on "panelled" doors.
This photograph shows a panelled door design with black gasket. It would have looked better with a white gasket.
An alternative to white gaskets are "low profile" black
gaskets which are very slim and less obtrusive.
One disadvantage of white gaskets reported by some people is that the gasket will often appear grubby and show up the dust/dirt. This may be an important consideration is you live close to a major road network etc. (Or don't fancy cleaning too often!)
Whatever your choice we do especially recommend white gaskets on white PVCu panelled doors.
Consider your Neighbours
replacing windows it is sometimes worth considering the effect of
your changes on the overall appearance of the street or road where
For instance if you and your neighbour both agree on a style for
your windows the overall effect can be considerably better if you
to use similar designs. It doesn't matter if you both use the same
company or even have the work done at the same time.
Sometimes using "conflicting" styles or designs "side by side" will
spoil the appearance of the neighbourhood. As can be seen in the
photograph, using similar designs on both of these porches has added
to the visual
appearance for these two
Our grateful thanks to Cavan Sullivan at Welsh Window Systems for
this particular "neighbours tip" http://www.welshwindows.co.uk
We will be adding additional Window Design Tips here from time to time. If you have a tip to share or a point you feel we should make please e-mail our webmaster by clicking here.