THE SINCEREST FORM
November 5, 2019
For me, PVCu ticks all the boxes no matter the project; there is no system other than PVCu that can top timber with exceptional energy efficiency, minimal maintenance and unsurpassable security, while still very much looking the part. It can just as easily emulate timber as it can achieve the ultra sleek ‘Grand Designs’ look of aluminium, but at a more affordable price point.
Consider the heritage market; sliding sash windows are often the norm, but it is usually the case with historic properties that the aesthetics of an original feature are far more attractive than the performance.
Vertical sliding sashes were introduced from France in the mid 17th Century and it’s easy to see why they were soon associated with wealth, style and sophistication; prominent early examples appeared in prestigious buildings like Chatsworth House and Whitehall Banqueting House.
I imagine they were ‘a breath of fresh air’ compared to the wide, short mullion style windows favoured previously. Their vertical emphasis allowed light to flood in, and sliding sashes provided versatile ventilation. However, they could be draughty, rattly, and required regular maintenance.
Sash windows continued to grow in popularity for Georgian, Regency and Victorian properties and some of Britain’s most beloved listed properties feature these sophisticated systems.
When it comes to listed buildings and stately historic homes, of course we wouldn’t advocate anything but careful repair, or faithful replacement of the timber originals.
However, many (non listed) heritage homes and public buildings have had their traditional timber windows replaced with PVCu over the decades.
PVCu vertical sliders tackled many of the common problems associated with traditional sash systems, such as decay due to rot, sashes sticking due to overpainting or distortion, and broken sash cords. Energy-efficient PVCu windows can be around 40% cheaper than timber versions, they will not swell, rot or warp due to weather – and they don’t need sanding or painting.
However, the PVCu windows that were fitted 30 or 40 years ago didn’t quite live up to their traditional timber predecessors in the high style stakes. These anachronistic frames didn’t do justice to the traditional properties in which they were installed.
Thankfully, many of our installers are now replacing these replacements, and suppliers like VEKA UK are delighted to provide PVCu systems that are incredibly close in aesthetics to those historic timber originals. Thanks to sympathetic design and development, state-of-the-art systems like our ‘next generation’ Imagine Vertical Slider can help older properties to regain their authentic style.
These modern systems tackle the shortcomings of early PVCu versions, with slimmer sightlines, more options for colour and woodgrain effects, better security, increased longevity and far more style!
As well as minimising the amount of maintenance required by the end user, the Imagine VS also reduces the workload for fabricators; the outer balance chamber is co-extruded in black, which means there’s no need to mask and paint. This saves time, reduces the likelihood of quality defects and ensures the finish is extremely durable and professional.
The Imagine VS can be specified in a myriad of ways to suit any property, including with or without ‘horns’ which – on a traditional sash – often signals the period in which a property was built. The VS can also be fabricated with or without mechanical joints.
As consumers become increasingly aware of the options available to them, the industry becomes ever more competitive, and being able to provide a mechanically jointed VS (echoing the style of traditional timber joints) will stand installers in very good stead when it comes to securing high value heritage contracts.
The versatile Imagine Vertical Slider also has two choices of cill, a new ‘invisible’ approach to coupling windows and a stunning sculptured finish on both sash and outerframe. I’m confident that it can be specified in such a myriad of ways, that it is absolutely perfect for virtually any project.
Specifiers and property owners can achieve a classic heritage look, but with all the energy efficiency, thermal performance and insulation against noise pollution of an ultra-modern product.
The best of both worlds.