Danish-Style Flush Casement Windows
For some time now, the most popular windows that we sell are either made in Denmark, or have strong Danish origins. So, naturally, a lot of our products have a Scandinavian vibe to them. Primarily, Danish windows are made in the flush casement style, with hinges positioned at the side of the frame. But we’ll go into further detail below.
Flush Casements, Not Lipped
Lipped casement or “stormproof” windows are mainly found on plastic and metal frames, but some UK-made timber has copied that style.
The term “stormproof” is somewhat misleading as it implies that other designs are not suitable for more exposed environments, but sometimes the opposite is the case… All of our flush casement Danish options have Class 4 airtightness, and our flush casement Rationel AuraPlus window was quite happy being subjected to 2,400 Pa of air pressure, (both positive and negative pressure), which is on the level of a strong hurricane.
In terms of design, having a flush window frame just means that an opening part of the window is in-line with the frame around it – no part of the frame sticks-out or lips over itself in any way. This results in a very clean appearance.
Lack of “Toplights” or “Fanlights”
Something else that you’ll mainly see on UK-made plastic frames, and incredibly normal for UK homes: in the world of standardised plastic frames, a toplight in a window is a very small (350mm in height) opening part of a window that hinges right at the top. These can be very convenient if you want to have a bit of ventilation but don’t want to open a whole window. In Denmark however, this is a rarity.
Since everything we make is bespoke, a few customers do ask us to include fanlights, so we’ve been able to send our Danish colleagues some photos showing them how their own windows look with this UK-style layout. The Scandinavian conclusion was “funny-looking, but nice”.
There are a few ways to get the same functionality without needing to have this extra opening section: tilt-turn windows allow you to do both with just one casement. And a lot of Danish side-hung windows can hold themselves open at any angle just by putting the handle down (this is often called a friction brake, or a handle-operated brake). There’s often an additional locking point that allows ventilation around the frame too.
Plus, another alternative, the most popular option in Denmark is a Dannebrog window:
“Dannebrog” is the word for the Danish flag, and that’s why they’ve given that name to a specific window layout: turning the Danish flag on its side and matching the proportions to side-hinged casements creates the Dannebrog window style.
All four opening sections are hinged at the side, so there’s a very pleasing symmetry to the idea as a whole. Nowadays, you tend to find these side-openers paired with a normal window handle and the convenience of the friction brake we mentioned earlier. But a lot of manufacturers continue to offer the nostalgic, tried-and-tested option of casement fasteners…
Something most people in the UK will not ever have come across: this is how Danish windows were traditionally locked and held in place whilst open. And it’s still a very popular solution for brand new windows today.
Incredibly simple, yet equally effective: there are two locking points on the side where you would normally see handle, and the opposite side features a curved bracket that can latch at various open positions.
Since there isn’t a way to make these fasteners key-locking, a “sikringbeslag” is often included as well: this is secure restrictor that stops the window opening more than a couple of inches, whilst simultaneously providing further latching options.
It’s quite interesting: now that we and building regulations demand multi-point locks for all newbuild windows, the Danish have had their own form of multi-point lock for decades. And it still covers a lot of the market today.
Satin Chrome and Steel Ironmongery
If you ever find yourself browsing Danish window and door handle options (I’ll admit, probably something we do more than most people…), you’ll struggle to find any black ironmongery. Black iron-cast window and doors handles are all over the place in the UK, no matter how old or the new the product is. But this never seemed to catch-on in Denmark.
This arguably should have been right at the top of the list, but we’re leaving it at the end because it took us so long to realise what was staring us right in the face! Almost all Danish windows, old and new, are made from wood. Specifically, in most cases, slow-grown Nordic pine. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Danish-made frame made out of plastic or aluminium. Scandinavia as a whole didn’t experience the same sudden 1980’s plastic flood that we had in the UK, and they look very unkindly on any material other than timber.
Timber is the best-possible material in terms of natural insulation, warm feeling inside, sustainability and, if maintained correctly, performance longevity – a Danish timber window can keep its effective performance throughout it’s lifespan of over 50 years. And, perhaps it goes without saying, this performance is significantly better than equivalent aluminium or plastic frames.
Where you see aluminium-faced windows in Denmark, these are almost always timber frames with a thin layer of protective aluminium on the outside. This method of construction creates a low-maintenance product without introducing any compromise.
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