May 13, 2014
Window ironmongery is also known as 'window furniture', though of course it's not the process of attaching a 3 piece suite to your casements, but rather the small little add ons, flushes and flights of fancy that can turn your windows into something uniquely individual.
We often include ironmongery into our bespoke window designs, taking into account the setting and aesthetic of the building in order to ensure a continuity in image across the property, though we often have clients asking for specific fixings, or our advice on how what type to use. So we thought we would give you a little break down of the differences one might expect from different ironmongery for windows available.
The most affordable stuff on the market, uPVC fittings including hinges, handles, window stays and latches. They will certainly do the job, but the simple fact is that you aren't paying for quality, but rather functionality here. With plastic fixings you are losing a degree of strength in the product that will make your windows less secure and look cheaper.
Though plastic can look fairly sleek and modern, you are also pretty much restricted by this design with plastic ironmongery basically reserved for uPVC windows. Leading brands include Mila, Eurosafe and Rola, all of which provide adequate products at affordable prices.
Providing a pricing middle ground in window fixings, brass ironmongery is very popular and commonly found as handle fixings on casement windows. Brass is also used for a range of products including hinges, escutcheons, stays and latches. An alloy of zinc and copper, brass is strengthened by their fusion and is treated to be resistant to any corrosion meaning that they are very strong and durable fixings.
Regarding design, brass is a material that practically exudes class. It forms a mellow infusion with light and varnished timbers and creates a sense of finery when accompanying white-finished wood windows. That said, brass doesn't always suit the aesthetic of stone walled cottages, or unique heritage properties which are still drenched in their history.
The traditional. Ironmongery is an art form that has been in development since 1200BC, so it's no surprise that iron window fixings are still regarded as the upper echelon. This obviously comes with a larger price tag. Though cheaper iron fixings are available, you are losing out on the real richness of hand worked iron when you plump for them.
Sturdy, corrosion resistant and intricately designed, this is a style that will bring refinement to any property of window (save uPVC...). Iron fixings will require regular maintenance to ensure there are no issues with jamming, corrosion or distortion, though a little oiling every now and then ought to suffice.
So there you have it, our small breakdown of ironmongery available for windows. I think perhaps my bias towards true iron fixings may have come out there, but what can I say? In my opinion it looks the best!
Image by Elliott Brown