Are you looking for unique, timeless windows that will make a statement in your home? You might want to consider Crittall Windows. These iconic steel frames have been a beloved feature of homes in both elite and urban neighbourhoods since the 19th century. Whether you’re into the industrial-chic look or prefer something more modern, Crittall offers window design options that can complement almost any aesthetic. There are also many practical benefits these windows offer – read on to find out why Crittall Windows could be the perfect option for your home.
There’s no denying that Crittall windows are an iconic feature of many buildings. Stylish, modern, and functional, these windows are a popular choice for homeowners and architects alike. But where did they come from? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the history of Crittall windows and how they became such an essential part of the design world.
The man behind the name – Francis Henry Crittall was born in Braintree, Essex, in 1860, Francis was a mechanical engineer by trade. In 1884, he founded the Crittall Manufacturing Company in Braintree, which initially specialised in metal windows for fireproof doors. However, it wasn’t until the 1890s that the company began to experiment with creating windows made entirely of metal.
Crittall’s early metal windows were designed to be an affordable alternative to traditional timber-framed windows, which were becoming increasingly expensive. These windows were also known for being much more durable and easier to maintain than their wooden counterparts, making them a popular choice for public buildings such as hospitals, schools, and government buildings.
During World War I, Crittall windows became even more popular, as they were used in many military buildings and aircraft. Notably, they were fitted on the windows of the British War Office, which helped to prove their strength and durability.
As the popularity of Crittall windows grew, the company began to expand its range, creating windows in a wide variety of styles and sizes to suit different architectural styles. In 1921, the company introduced the first Crittall Steel Window, which quickly became a favourite among architects and designers for its sleek, modern appearance.
By the 1930s, Crittall windows had become an essential feature of many Art Deco and Modernist buildings. They were used in everything from residential homes to commercial skyscrapers, with famous examples including the Daily Express Building in Manchester and the Bauhaus School in Germany.
Today, Crittall windows continue to be a popular choice for architects and homeowners around the world. While the materials and manufacturing processes may have changed, the essential features of Crittall windows – strength, durability, and sleek design – remain the same.
How to choose the right Crittall Window for your home.
Determine the Purpose of Your Windows:
The first step in choosing the right Crittall Windows is determining their purpose. Do you want them to simply let in light and air, or do you want them to make a statement? For example, if you want to add an industrial touch to your home, you might choose black-framed windows with a minimalistic design. On the other hand, if your purpose is to allow natural light to flood your home, you might opt for larger panes and a white frame.
Consider the Style of Your Home:
While Crittall Windows can complement any architectural style, it’s important to choose a design that complements your home’s style. For example, if you have a Georgian-style home, you might choose more traditional panelled windows with a white frame. On the other hand, if you have a modern home, you might choose a sleeker design with black or anthracite frames.
Think About Energy Efficiency:
Crittall Windows are known for their durability and strength, but they also offer good energy efficiency. When choosing a Crittall Window, be sure to look for windows with a high energy efficiency rating. This will not only help reduce your energy bills, but also help reduce your carbon footprint.
Consider the Cost:
When choosing the right Crittall Windows, one important consideration is the cost. Crittall Windows tend to be on the pricier side compared to other window types. However, they offer a unique style and can add value to your home. It’s important to consider the cost versus the value they’ll add to your home before making a decision.
Consult with a Professional:
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional when choosing Crittall Windows. They can advise you on the right size, design, and energy efficiency ratings. Additionally, they can ensure that the windows are installed correctly to prevent any water or air leakage.
Tips for Maintaining a Crittall Window
Cleaning your Crittall windows should be a regular routine. This will not only keep them looking great but will prevent any problems from building up over time. The decision to clean off dirt and grime should be done on a weekly or monthly basis. Begin by removing loose dirt and debris with a soft brush. Then, give the frames a good wash with warm soapy water and a gentle sponge. This will keep the frames in good condition, and once dry, you can apply wax to protect against rust.
The steel framing of Crittall windows may become stiff and awkward to open or close over time. Applying some lubrication is the simplest way to solve this problem. Use a silicone-based spray or lubricating oil to grease the channels, locks, and sliding mechanisms of the frames. Do this once a year, and the moving parts should allow smoother operation.
Rust can be damaging to your Crittall windows over time. Therefore, it’s important to nip the problem in the bud when you spot it. If you notice rust starting to form, it is a good idea to sand it down with a fine wire brush and remove it. Once removed, apply a rust converter and then a coat of zinc phosphate primer. The primer acts as a safeguard against future rust.
The elements will, of course, have an impact on your home’s windows. Crittall windows are no different. Installing weatherstripping to the frames will prevent moisture and dampness from getting inside your home. The weatherstripping should be checked regularly and replaced if any wear and tear occur.
If you don’t feel confident in maintaining your Crittall windows yourself, you can hire a professional to inspect them for you every few years. A professional can do deeper maintenance type work. They can check for rust, replace any wear and tear and give the frames an annual clean.
Discovering the Innovative Design Features of a Crittall Window
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Crittall Window is its slimline framing. The window frames are designed to be as thin and unobtrusive as possible so that they don’t obscure the view outside. This design choice also emphasises the minimalist and contemporary look of a building’s facade. Moreover, the thin frames enable more glass to be included in the window, which in turn lets more light in, providing a larger sense of space.
Crittall Windows have steel frames, which are one reason why they are famous for their durability. Steel is a robust and long-lasting material that can withstand harsh weather conditions. The frames are also resistant to scratching, scuffing, and denting, ensuring long-lasting durability. So, not only do they look beautiful in a building, but they also require little maintenance, making them practical and cost-effective in the long run.
When it comes to soundproofing, Crittall Windows are second to none. Thanks to the heavy-duty steel framing and the double-glazed glass panels, they provide the best sound insulation. This combination is perfect for those who want a peaceful and quiet living or workspace. For homeowners or commercial establishments that are situated near busy roads or noisy areas, Crittall Windows are a great solution.
Crittall Windows are incredibly flexible when it comes to the design, making them perfect for any building style and design preference. They can be customised according to specific requirements to fit any shape or size of the building they are meant for. Whether you want large fixed glass panels, hinged or sliding windows, or a combination of these, Crittall Windows can be designed to meet your needs. Additionally, the frames can be coated or painted in any colour or finish preference, allowing you to create a unique look for your building facade.
Crittall Windows are timeless and perfect for any building. From modern to traditional styles, they complement any home or commercial space, giving it a sleek and minimalist edge. This design versatility can be seen in the wide range of buildings that have incorporated the Crittall Window design, including factories and warehouses, luxury apartments, showroom buildings, storefronts, and museum exhibits. You can also install double glazed units into Crittall windows or old steel windows.
The history of Crittall windows is a fascinating one that spans over 130 years. From simple metal-framed windows to iconic Art Deco designs, Crittall windows have remained an enduring feature of the architectural landscape. Whether you’re a designer, homeowner, or history buff, there’s no denying the impact that Crittall windows have had on the design world – and it’s safe to say they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.