True heritage is more than a sum of its parts [Glass Times]

This article was featured in Glass Times magazine’s October issue.


With more than four decades of innovation and dedication behind it, Roseview Windows has built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading authorities on heritage windows.

Heritage windows were once a niche product; specialist items designed predominantly for conservation. Today they are one of the industry’s most buoyant and profitable sectors, driven by consumer demand and with a reach far beyond conservation areas. Increased demand leads to competition, competition leads to innovation, and innovation leads to further growth. That’s good for everyone, including homeowners.

Homeowners are behind this demand. True heritage windows are designed to provide the aesthetic authenticity required for conservation settings. That’s still true, but increasingly homeowners recognise that the style and performance of quality heritage windows are desirable in their own right, regardless of conservation requirements. This is fantastic news for Roseview, which has been specialising in sash windows since 1985, treating them as a timeless design that deserves to be preserved rather than just a specialist niche.

Sash Windows Are Heritage Windows

Sash windows are a classic heritage window that offer something unique; classic style and elegance in a compact design that works well in almost any architecture. They naturally provide superior ventilation; opening both sashes creates circulation, with cool air entering through the bottom while warmer air exits through the top. They also have a small footprint that doesn’t open out beyond the wall, unlike standard hinged casements. This makes sash windows safe, versatile and efficient, while adding great kerb appeal.

Importantly, until the 1940s sash windows were arguably the UK’s dominant window style. While that may seem a long time ago, according to the Office for National Statistics the UK’s aging housing stock includes around six million homes built before 1945, with 3.5 million built before 1919. For comparison, fewer than two million homes have been built since 2000. A significant proportion of these pre-war homes (as well as schools, hospitals and workplaces) were designed and built with classic portrait sash window apertures.

Many of these old windows were replaced in the last 40 years with mock sash pushouts that lack heritage credentials. Before the rise of quality heritage windows this was understandable; homeowners had very few options and only the wealthiest could afford replacement timber sashes. But this is no longer the case, as good-looking, high-performance windows that are sympathetic to the building’s architecture are now much more accessible.

Heritage Is More Than A Sum Of Its Parts

As heritage windows become more popular and more companies get involved, so the range of heritage-based products grows. As it does so, the gap widens between truly authentic timber-alternative windows and versions that simply approximate traditional styles.

There is a danger in this, as companies with no background in heritage windows try to exploit a growing market. Designing and building a true heritage window is based on knowledge and expertise that’s gained over decades. There’s no fast-track to experience.

Taking Roseview’s Ultimate Rose as an example, this is a sash window that was built from the ground up, with each part designed to work together seamlessly. This elevates it from a base window with added “heritage” features to a true heritage window where everything is in proportion. The 35mm midrail works in harmony with the slim 44mm sash profiles, using the same putty line exterior that’s matched by the model-specific astragal bars. The sealed mechanical joints are real—not imitation—and designed to allow the bonded glass to be easily replaced. The tell-tale caps and shadow lines that are a feature of standard uPVC windows have been removed.

This level of detail cannot be replicated by simply adding standalone features here and there – it needs a unified design that can only come from knowledge, experience and a determination to preserve a classic window style while building in modern levels of low-maintenance performance. Only true heritage window manufacturers such as Roseview can offer this.



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