Nine ways to update your windows
Best in Class: Sash or casement, timber or steel, here’s what’s new in window design
Smart soothing sights
The sash windows in this Edwardian bay window are smartly painted in a fashionable shade of soothing green, RAL 5014, a pigeon blue grey, one of more than 200 colours on offer at Rationel. While traditionally these boned frames would have been made in timber the preference now is for alu-clad, says Don O’Dowd, Rationel’s managing director. “New engineering and fabrication techniques now allow for alu-clad designs to emulate the elegance of the Edwardian period while offering a maintenance-free option.” This design, pictured, using triple-glazing will cost about €2,950 in factory-painted timber, which will need to be repainted using a micro-porous paint every five to seven years or €3,375 in alu-clad. You can also opt to have a different colour on the inside to that of the outside.
Bluebellgray’s Kippen tufted rug, pictured, comes in three sizes ranging from medium, 140cm by 200cm, €470, to extra large, 200cm by 285cm, about €935.
Technically not “windows”
Technically the two “windows” pictured here are not windows but screens because they don’t actually open, explains Ken Meehan of Dublin-based Lambstongue. This reduces their cost to fabricate making the 120cm by 300cm panels, pictured, available in either a painted or powder-coated steel finish – the latter features a colour that is baked on rather than sprayed on – in any shade, from €2,400 to €2,800 each. Adding an aperture will increase the price, in this instance, to the tune of €1,600 per panel. Lambstongue also offers bronze screen and window options. Fabricated in a dark, patinated shade you can expect to pay €3,200-€ 3,800 per panel. You can see examples of its steel work on the shop front of Dublin 7’s Arran Street East and recently installed bronze windows at Adare Manor. The smart handless Aviano kitchen, pictured in its two glossy colours, white and light grey, is a new style from Cash and Carry Kitchens. It costs from €4,900; as pictured it is €9,400.
High-end heritage properties such as London’s Victorian & Albert museum and Britain’s House of Parliament feature bronze windows and the metal is considered an exciting and traditional alternative to the steel and aluminium options more generally available. Strong, long lasting and visually appealing because of its fine sightlines, windows made in this metal are considered to be the Rolls Royce choice. UK-based Bronze Casements make bespoke, handmade bronze designs using an architectural grade of bronze, which has more manganese to give it greater tensile strength, and through Belfast-based Consarc Design Group is currently fitting its heritage bronze designs into Belfast University. Its frames come in two colour options; a mid turf brown and a dark brown the outside colour of peat briquettes. Maintenance-wise you can apply a wax to keep them looking as new but the material develops a patina if left over time. Prices start from about €408 for a window 55cm by 110cm but the five-window bay, pictured, which features two horizontal tramsons per window, will cost about €10,200. These prices are ex Vat and ex delivery.
Steeling the view
Aru Joinery is a boutique outfit based in Dún Laoghaire with which architecture firms such as Studio Red like to work. It can fabricate all types of windows but its steel Crittal-style designs are all made in Ireland and can be constructed in any RAL colour under the sun for the same price. The large steel windows pictured here are about 2.5m across and 1.5m to the tramson only (the median point). Such a large-format window will cost about €4,000 each, including fitting but excluding the secondary glazing, pictured, and come with a wide selection of ironmongery to choose from. The tobacco-coloured Beo stove by Skantherm, €5,775, has an exposed steel flue and glass plate hearth, an additional €300, and can be purchased from Greystones-based Fenton Fires.
Do you (PV)C that view?
This view looks out to the Irish Sea and the original wood windows had withstood decades of abuse from the salt and wind that coastal homes have to endure. The timbers had eroded and its owner replaced them with a PVC model from Fairco that, unlike traditional models, has a grain-look to its finish and feels textured to the touch. The white three-sided bay window has the same style of glass panes that the original had, 12 per window, features brass hardware and is available in six standard colours including a Chartwell Green, soft blue green and a taupe shade of grey. Each of the three windows, pictured, costs €1,100, including fitting and the windows can also be ordered in any RAL classic colour for an additional cost. While period in look, these windows, which can be seen at Fairco’s three showrooms in Terenure, Santry and Kilbarrack, are not for use in listed buildings.
Wearing extra layers
An alu-clad window is a timber design protected from the elements by an aluminium outer cladding with a ventilation gap between the two materials to allow the timber to breathe. Offered in seven standard colours but also available in any of the RAL classic colour range, this option costs only €180 – which isn’t much to add on to a window spend that usually runs to five figures. It is more durable and low maintenance – you will have to clean it but there is no painting or wood staining. While colour is creeping in – Carlson recently did tomato red traditional sliding sash windows for a south county Dublin cottage, most Irish customers still prefer an inky grey frame. The glazing pictured, which includes two sliding doors split by a corner support post, and gable end glazing, will cost about €13,500.
You can also upgrade the calibre of your double-glazing by investing in eco glass, which will give it a better u value. Standard double glazing has a u value of 1.2, double glazing that uses eco-glass has a u value of 1.3. This can add 10-15 per cent to the cost of your windows. The glass is coated but there is no discernible tinting or colouration visible.
While the big joinery companies cannot be beaten on basic prices it may make sense to talk to your local joinery because fitting and after-sales service are also important factors when buying windows. Haughey Joinery in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, is one such operator and recently did all the joinery at the ultra contemporary Breack House B&B on the Horn Head peninsula outside Dunfanaghy. Using only fitters that the firm has worked with before, owner Kieran Haughey says the clerestory windows pictured here in a double-height hall, approximately 120cm by 80cm each in size, will cost €1,200-€1,500 each and feature a two-tone colour scheme; the box casement in White Opulence with the sashes painted Wolf Grey. The front door is Caliente and the timber beams are painted in Incense Stick. All are Benjamin Moore colours and available from MRCB.
Don’t underestimate the use of internal windows to bring light in and to add semi-opaque decorative flourishes, especially if you use leaded and stained glass panels as designer Dermot McNamara recently did in Dublin’s drinking establishment Mulligan & Haines and in New York’s The Lovelace, the latter for the Porter House Group. It’s an idea also pictured here behind the minimalist C1 chair by Italian furniture firm Coloso. McNamara says the best place to find such panels is in salvage yards or auctions. “These pieces are quite unique and have a lot of character. It is very difficult to replicate that kind of joinery as the tooling and machinery are no longer around.” He loves to browse BG Salvage on Dublin’s South Circular Road for jobs where he says you can expect to pay upwards of €600 for a panel.