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Property know-how with George

Whether you are building a new home or upgrading or refurbishing an existing home, the choice of windows you specify is so important. I remember my seven-year-old daughter looking at the front of a house I was re-designing and saying: ‘Dad it looks like a smiley face’. I don’t think she realised how big a compliment that was for me and she was absolutely spot on, because the house was so carefully designed so the materials were just right, the proportion of the new roof and windows were just right and the colours of the roof tiles, the exterior wall finishes and the window frames were just right that it looked like a very happy home.

The windows of your home are like the spectacles on a human face. You want the frames to be the right shape, colour, material and proportion so the house looks good. It’s fascinating to watch people in an opticians having to choose their new glasses, constantly trying on pair after pair, shaking their head and turning up their nose in disapproval at the ones that don’t look right at all, the little shrug of the shoulders at the ones that ‘maybe’ look the part and then seeing their faces light up with a smile when they find the pair that look great. Why should it be any different when choosing new windows for your home?

As I’m writing this I’ve lifted my head up from my laptop to look at the windows in the houses opposite. It’s actually quite fascinating. The four houses I can see in the terrace are all exactly the same style, built out of exactly the same materials, but they look very different in character because all four houses have very different windows. These are period homes built at the turn of the 20th Century. One house has very thin framed single-glazed metal windows that look like they were added in the 1970s. I can tell it’s single-glazed as I can see the condensation on the inside face of the window pane. There is a small opening window at the top of each pane. They look completely wrong for this house because they are the wrong material, the opening window light is the wrong proportion and the fact they are single-glazed is just madness – so they don’t work aesthetically, technically or environmentally. The house next door has more recent UPVC replacement windows. It’s great that these ones are double-glazed and the window manufacturer has had a go at trying to make them look like traditional sash windows in their proportion, but because the openable, hinged panel is the entire bottom half of the window frame and has a super thick white plastic frame, the illusion of a sash window is shattered and the windows look bottom heavy and quite sad. It’s a good, affordable and well intentioned attempt, but the final result is, unfortunately, very wrong. House three has the original timber windows in place and they are obviously the right style, they haven’t been maintained particularly well and because they are single-glazed there are clear signs of condensation damage to the bottom of the frames and the sill. But, house four has nailed it. They are replacement timber sash windows, in the right style, in the right colour with what looks like high performance double-glazed window panes in them that, with a bit of maintenance, will last for years. That is definitely a happy and warm house.

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About Your Home Magazine

At last, summer feels like it’s finally arrived, which for many of us means the chance to spend more time outside enjoying the sunshine. 
If you’re lucky enough to have your own outdoor space, whether it’s a garden, patio, roof terrace or balcony, we’ve got loads of great bargain buys to help you make it look and feel as gorgeous as your interior. Whether you love funky brights, global glamour, country cottage style or laid back coastal chic, you’re sure to find plenty of ideas to brighten up your space on page 36. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to enjoy some days out away from home, make sure you pack a picnic. In this issue we’ve got some scrummy ideas for posh picnic nosh that will knock soggy sandwiches into a cocked hat (p.100)! And don’t forget to check out this month’s buyer’s guide (p.44) for our pick of the best camping equipment to create a home from home under canvas. Summer is also a great time to get some home improvements done, so on page 106 you’ll find the low-down on choosing the perfect patio doors to make the transition from indoors to out a breeze. Whether you want French windows, bi-folds or sliding doors, we’ll help you pick the perfect style for your home. And, as always, we’ve got plenty of decorating inspiration for you too, from our affordable kitchen makeovers on page 24, to our ideas for creating a bang-on- trend mid-century modern scheme on page 20, you’re sure to find a look you love. Happy decorating!

Other Articles in this Issue

At last, summer feels like it’s finally arrived, which for
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Patio doors can be an integral part of a room’s
Hannah and Charles Finch share a common interest in buying
Whether you are building a new home or upgrading or
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When thinking of exotic plants the mind conjures up images
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Foodies rejoice! Shrewsbury Food Festival is back for its third
A pretty floral display needn’t be expensive to create, a
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If you love nothing more than getting away from it
When we think about doing a DiY project or home
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Background wallpaper Votna 111112 from Levande collection, £36 per roll,
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