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House styles

The Different Types of British Houses

The right type of window and door for different types of houses and why you need to carefully choose your windows and doors.

Types of houses

What are the different types of houses?

In the UK, we have several types of houses and property styles that can be recognised by architectural features and defined by the age of the property.


The property features unique to each style of house were designed to create an overall ‘look’ and balance together in harmony. Over the years, many property owners have renovated their homes and replaced windows and doors with a significant impact on that balance. Sometimes, negatively.


When replacing features on a house, such as windows, it’s always best to be sympathetic to the original style of the house to maintain an aesthetically pleasing building and to ensure that your home looks its best.


In some cases, making changes such as replacing original timber sash windows with uPVC casement windows can devalue the house. In other instances, houses have covenants and restrictions on what you can install because they are in conservation areas or have listed building status.


When replacing the windows and doors on your house, first identify the period and style of the house and then choose designs, materials and colours that are sympathetic and in harmony with the original design.


In this guide we are going to look at the different types of British houses and house styles; and what style of window and door works best with that property, so your house looks its best.

Georgian

1714-1820


The Georgian style of house spans nearly a hundred years because it represents the reign in succession of King George I, II, II and IV. As an architectural style, it takes inspiration from Greek and Roman architecture which were founded on principles of proportion, balance and symmetry.


Georgian houses can be grand detached buildings or spacious semi-detached houses known as Villas. Georgian style is also found in urban areas and cities as period townhouses.


Georgian houses are often in conservation areas or have listed status. The brick used is either red, yellow or pale stone.


Key features of Georgian houses include high ceilings that create large windows downstairs with smaller windows on upper floors.


The windows are double-hung sash windows featuring nine or twelve panes of glass. Upper floors with smaller windows have six panes. This look is often replicated by applying bars on a single pane of glass: known as Georgian Bars.


Front doors are grand, a six-panel door with fanlight windows above and sometimes framed with columns.


For Georgian properties we recommend:


Windows: Wooden sash windows with traditional Georgian bars, in white.


Door: Six panel wooden door with traditional furniture, in dark colours such as black, dark blue or red.

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Victorian Terraced

1837-1900


The next lengthy period of architecture was during the significant reign of Queen Victoria of over sixty years.


The main style of Victorian architecture is the terraced house. Divided between the larger properties for the middle classes and the smaller back-to-back terraces of the working class in urban and city centre areas.


The larger terraced houses still had high ceilings and enough room for a family and servants.


The signature of the Victorian terrace is the bay window on the downstairs living room, this featured wooden sash windows that allowed for superior ventilation in rooms that had coal fires.


Over time, many of these windows have been replaced by cheaper uPVC casement windows and the elegant finish of the sash has been lost. Finding a house that maintains the sash window can make it a desirable find sympathetic to its era.


The walls use red bricks and a distinctive white stucco or stone dressings around the windows.


Front doors are timber panel doors in bright colours with glazed upper panels featuring stained glass. Again, these are prized original details to find still in a property today.


For Victorian properties, we recommend:


Windows: Sash windows in timber or UPVC, in white.


Doors: Wooden panel door with glazed upper panels and stained glass, in bright colours such as red, royal blue or grass green.

Edwardian

1900-1918


The era named after King Edward VII was considerably shorter than predecessors and the last era to be named after a British monarch.


Houses were built on a larger plot than the economical Victorian terrace and had a wider footprint. One of the most recognisable styles is the Edwardian semi-detached house.


Influences came from Baroque and the Arts and Crafts movement.


Edwardian houses had bay windows from the lower to the upper floor. Bays had multifaceted windows with the upper half featuring Georgian bar style decoration.


Walls were red brick with a half-wall pebble dash or half-wall white render with mock Tudor black timbering.


Often found with ornately carved porches over the front door, mock balconies or verandas.


Front doors feature wooden panel doors with ornate glazed panels. Side windows with stained glass frame the door and a fanlight or transom window above.


For Edwardian properties, we recommend:


Windows: uPVC or timber casement windows in white or black.


Door: Timber or composite panel door with glazed panels and decorative glass. Traditional colours are popular for Edwardian front doors such as white, black, brown and blue, or a natural varnished timber finish.

1930s Semi

Between the wars, improved transport links saw the start of development outside urban areas. In a progression from Edwardian style, the 1930s semi remains one of the more prolific house styles in Britain today.


Similar to Edwardian, the 1930s semi had half brick and half render or pebble dash walls. A mock timber framing was sometimes featured or herringbone brickwork was common.


Bay windows from lower to upper floors had white or black frame windows with diamond-shaped leaded strips.


A signature style was the recessed porch featuring a curved roof. Front doors had glazed panels, side windows and stained glass.


For 1930s properties, we recommend:


Windows: Casement windows in uPVC or aluminium and leaded strip detail finish, internal Georgian bars and white or black frames.


Door: Timber or composite panel door with glazed panels and decorative glass. Similar to Edwardian style, 1930s properties suit traditional colours such as white, black, brown and blue, or a natural varnished timber finish.

1960s Semi

1960-1970


After World War Two, a housing boom driven by a demand for more housing resulted in a stripped-back style without embellishment. As we moved into the 60s, Britain experienced the introduction of high-rise flats and ‘Garden City’ developments.


The 1960s house was smaller than previous generations, but came with generous front and back gardens you could not find with new builds today. Garages and driveways were standard.


Walls of light brown, grey or buff coloured brick were half-clad with weatherboards or concrete hanging tiles. Chimneys began to be absent with the demise of coal fires.


Windows became bigger in size with large casement picture windows, often in aluminium frames.


For 1960s properties, we recommend:


Windows: Casement windows in uPVC or aluminium, in white or grey.


Doors: Composite or uPVC front door in white, yellow or pale blue.

90/00s New Build

1990-today


Alongside the 1930s semi, the new build style of the last 40 years is the most prolific style of housing estates appearing on the edges of most towns in Britain to meet demand for more housing.


The 1990s-2000s new build has light brown or red brick and is considerably reduced in size to early 1900s house styles. A box shape with a minimal front garden or driveway and an economical back garden. Garages are usually not large enough to house a car and instead storage spaces.


Driven by energy efficiency, the new build has small double or triple glazed uPVC windows, sometimes with cottage-style Georgian bars for decoration.


Front doors are uPVC or composite with a small glazed panel.


This is the most versatile house that would often have coloured window frames and matching door and window frame colours.


For 90/00s New Build properties, we recommend:


Windows: uPVC casement or tilt and turn windows in grey or white.


Doors: Composite door with a glazed panel in grey to match the windows or a range of bright colours to suit the brickwork.

Modern/Architectural

Popular from the 1950s onwards, a modernist architecturally designed house is not common and is usually a large detached home.


Highly desirable and much admired, modern homes have large areas of floor-to-ceiling glazing and materials often used in commercial construction. Walls are most likely to be rendered or timber clad.


A modernist home style is defined by the large glazed areas that are achieved with strong aluminium frames to achieve a signature sleek look.


Doors can be oversized in natural timber, aluminium or a continuation of glazing.


For modern/architectural properties, we recommend:


Windows: Aluminium or uPVC flush sash frames in a dark grey or black.


Doors: Natural timber slab or fully glazed door and aluminium frame in contemporary dark grey or classic black.

Stone Cottage

The classic stone cottage is the very essence of English countryside and highly desired but limited in availability.


Cottages are often in short terraced rows and if not subject to listed status will have conservation area limitations if in National Park locations.


Cottages feature low ceilings and small windows. Depending on the age of the cottage the windows will either be the more common timber casement, or sash window style.


A front door is usually timber with stable dor styles popular.


For stone cottage properties, we recommend:


Windows: Wooden (sometimes uPVC) flush sash casement windows with traditional Georgian bar styling in muted colours.


Doors: Wooden or composite door in classic green, brown or grey.

Which type of window is best for my home?

When deciding which type of window is best for your home, it’s important to consider the style of your house and its surroundings to avoid creating confusion of style.


If you live in a period stone cottage, uPVC may ruin the traditional appeal. Whereas, a timber sash or casement window would be in keeping with the house.


A modernist new build might have large expanses of glass and slimline aluminium frames to enhance the clean lines of the architecture and flood the property with light.


Period properties that feature timber sash frames can be devalued if they are replaced with uPVC frames.


Think about:

  • What style of window was fitted in the original house?
  • What colour of frame best suits the colour of brick or stone?
  • What material is best suited to this type of house?

When replacing windows we would advise against choosing styles and colours based on current ‘trends’. There could be a fashion for certain colours of uPVC, but in 10 years, will this still look stylish or will it be dated?


Always try to choose what is most sympathetic and in keeping to the style of the original house from when the house was built.

FAQs


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    Is window replacement worth the cost?

    Investing in new windows will have an immediate impact on the energy efficiency of your home. Rooms will be warmer and your heating bill will reduce.


    Quality windows will also increase the value of your home and make it more appealing to buyers if you want to sell. On a long-term basis, quality windows can maintain good structural integrity and avoid issues with damp and mould.


    Considering all factors, replacing old inefficient windows is worth the cost and a good investment.

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    Should I replace all windows at once?

    It is better to replace all windows at once. Firstly, because the aesthetic of the property looks better with uniformity. This will help the value of your property and make it more appealing to buyers.


    Secondly, it is far more cost-effective to replace all windows at the same time. Installers work on a basis of having fixed costs to attend a job. The more windows you have installed at once, the cheaper the cost per unit becomes.

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    Can I just replace the glass in my windows?

    Yes, it is possible to replace a fully double glazed unit into an existing frame.


    However, if your frames are anything more than a few years old, it is far better and more cost-effective on a long-term basis to replace the full window frame.


    It's not always possible to get a perfect install with a new glazed unit in a uPVC or aluminium frame. There might be slight damage to the frame.


    Timber frames are easier to re-fit and can be repainted. As timber last longer, you would be more likely to re-fit new glass units in timber frames if the frame was still robust and not warped.

We can help you choose the right windows for your home

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