Windows provide light, ventilation, and a view of our surroundings. They are more than just openings in a wall; they are doors leading outside. They have changed over time, adjusting to new architectural styles, technological developments, and regional needs.
History of Windows
The concept of windows dates back to ancient civilisations. From simple openings in walls to sophisticated designs with intricate details, windows have undergone significant transformations. The Romans were among the first to use glass for windows, a technology believed to have originated in Roman Egypt. Over the centuries, windows have evolved from mere openings to architectural marvels, reflecting the aesthetic and functional preferences of the times.
Types of Windows
Characterised by its curved top, the eyebrow window is often used in attics or as a decorative feature in homes. Its unique shape adds architectural interest and allows for additional light without compromising privacy.
These windows are stationary and do not open, making them ideal for spaces where only light is required. They offer unobstructed views and are often combined with other window types to create a design statement.
Featuring two panels, only the bottom panel can move in a single-hung sash window. This design is traditional and is often found in older homes. It offers limited ventilation compared to its double-hung counterpart.
Both panels can move vertically, providing more ventilation options. This design is versatile and fits well in both traditional and modern homes.
Horizontal Sliding Sash: These windows slide horizontally, offering a contemporary look. They are space-saving and are often used in rooms with limited exterior wall space.
Hinged on the side, casement windows swing outwards, offering maximum ventilation. They provide an unobstructed view and are known for their tight seal when closed, making them energy efficient.
Hinged at the top, these windows open outwards, allowing for ventilation even during light rain. They are often placed above or below other windows or above doors.
These windows have an inward tilt from the top, making them perfect for basements or ground-floor installations. They provide excellent security and ventilation.
This window rotates around a central point horizontally or vertically. It offers a unique aesthetic and can be positioned for varied ventilation options.
Tilt and Slide Window
This design tilts inwards at the top and slides horizontally. It combines the benefits of a casement and sliding window.
Tilt and Turn Window
It has a flexible design that allows it to open completely like a casement window or tilt inward for a bit of ventilation. Its functionality has made it famous throughout many European nations.
Transom windows are positioned above doors or larger windows but are often fixed. They can sometimes be opened for extra ventilation. They add architectural interest and allow more light into a space.
Made of parallel slats of glass that open and close like blinds, these windows offer unique ventilation options but might need more security.
Set high in a wall, these windows are used for daylighting. They allow light in without compromising privacy, making them ideal for bathrooms or private areas.
Built into the roof, skylights provide an influx of natural daylight, transforming spaces. They can be fixed or operable, with some even offering rain sensors to close automatically.
Windows in the Irish Market
In Ireland, the choice of windows is influenced by the country’s temperate maritime climate, architectural trends, and energy efficiency needs. Casement windows, known for their excellent ventilation and tight seal, are popular in Irish homes. Double-glazing is standard because its insulation properties keep homes warm in winter and cool in summer. The Irish market also prefers windows that blend traditional aesthetics with modern functionality.
While meeting functional requirements, windows are crucial in defining a building’s personality. The Irish market has a distinctive fusion of old and new architecture that offers a variety of window choices. There is a window type to fit every need, whether remodelling a traditional cottage or constructing a contemporary home.
Due to their usability and aesthetic appeal, casement windows are among the most common.
Double-glazing offers excellent insulation, making it ideal for Ireland’s climate.
Yes, but it would require structural changes and is best done with professional guidance.
Regular painting or varnishing can protect wooden frames from moisture and prolong their life.
Windows must meet certain energy efficiency and safety standards, especially in new constructions.