Retaining Original Features in Architectural Design.

When working on a period building, especially one with a rich history, the scope of the design can be especially challenging. Planning restrictions and limitations with the available space will ensure that you have to work creatively in order to make the design work. You also have to consider whether to opt for something in keeping with the rest of the building, or clearly define the old and new.

RIBA Stirling Prize

The shortlist for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture has been released. The results will be announced in October, but the award showcases great design in public and private buildings.

The nominees include the new design for Hastings Pier after the original construction was destroyed by fire. There are modern buildings, including the City Campus of the City of Glasgow College, alongside buildings which had to take on board significant heritage. These included a spacious glass extension to The British Museum and the renovation of Chatham’s historic dockyard.

Wooden Sash Windows

No matter what the design of the new building, it is vital to retain the integrity of any existing buildings. Features should be replaced in accordance with the period style. If you live in a period property, especially one located in a conservation area or with ‘listed building’ status, this is imperative.


Typically one of the most popular renovations for a period property is the replacement of windows. If you like the look of original wooden sash windows, but have free reign when it comes to replacements, you might opt for a modern replica. These can be double glazed and constructed from highly durable Accoya.

These options aren’t available if you are restoring a listed building or one located in a conservation area. Planning restrictions mean that a like for like replacement is necessary. In this instance, you’ll need single glazed wooden sash windows.




Sash Window Styles

If you are looking for authentic replacements or to add character to your home, a little knowledge on the history of Sash windows can help you get it right.

Sash windows were first installed in British houses in the 1700s and were a common feature in the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire. Timber was widely available, so wooden sash windows were constructed and installed across the UK as well as being exported to Commonwealth countries.

If your property is Georgian, dating back to the 1700s, it should have a multi pane sash window. This is because glass making techniques of the time only allowed for small glass panes to be produced. By the Regency period in the early 1800s, decorative moldings and other detailing were used to further enhance the sash windows.

During Victorian times, glass making technology advanced and window tax was abolished, so large window panes, without glazing bars were a sign of status and wealth. Those details weren’t as desirable as a clear view of the great outdoors.

In the Edwardian era in the early 1900’s, a combination of an ornate top sash and a single pane lower sash was favored. High labour costs meant that sash windows were no longer installed in new properties built after the War, so they are not a defining feature of construction in the last century.

Replace Wooden Sash Windows

Window frames on older buildings seldom conform to standard dimensions. For this reason, you can’t buy them off the shelf, so it is popular to use a specialist company to restore existing windows or replace with made to measure sash windows.


From our workshop in Hanslope, Milton Keynes, HINSON Custom Made produce bespoke wooden sash windows that match the original in style and design. Typically offered as single glazed windows, we can produce double glazed options if your Planning Department allows.

If you would like us to visit your premises to view, measure and provide a quote for replacement sash windows, call us on: 01908 516333