Unevenly subdivided windows can disrupt the balance of a well-composed elevation (see the section on ‘Balance’). Window subdivisions should be arranged symmetrically about the horizontal and vertical axes of the openings. Large, un-subdivided panes of glass should not be used, as they can distort the visual scale of the building.

The use of a regular pane size for all windows can help to unify windows of different sizes. Conversely, variation in the pattern produced by subdivisions can highlight particular parts of the elevation – for example, the central axis of a gable. 

All windows and doors should be of painted timber, in keeping with the building traditions of Essex. The drab effect produced by stained joinery is to be avoided. Microporous paints, where used, should be of high build quality.

Wide patio doors can be a disruptive element in a front or rear elevation, creating the effect of a void. They should be no wider than 1.5m and located under a projecting first-floor bay. In the case of a framed building, they may form part of a larger glazed area. 

Subdivided french doors can be used more flexibly, but are best located on a central axis or on a projecting or receding part of an elevation not shared with another window.

Page updated: 31/01/2018

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