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Oriel Window Cost

Oriel windows are a classic style, most commonly found as features on period properties. The average oriel window cost is between £1,500 to £2,500 - but, of course, that depends on lots of different factors!

The type of window is similar to a bay. However, the oriel is raised from the ground, supported by brackets or corbels rather than extending outward at floor level.

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You'll find oriel windows on drawing rooms, upper-floor bedrooms and living spaces, adding internal space and a stunning aesthetic to your home.

Factors That Impact the Average Oriel Window Cost

A structural glass oriel glazing unit is popular with designers and architects as a 3D glazing solution made from high-spec glass, often sealed with structural-grade silicone to avoid eating into the natural light with the additional framework.

Some of the key cost considerations include:

  • The size of the glass. There isn't a minimum or maximum length for structural glass, but most manufacturers produce panes up to six by three metres in the UK. If you want a highly modernised oriel design, a huge picture window can be costly since you'll need to import it from overseas.
  • Opening mechanisms - you might install roof vents above your oriel window or have framed panels that open to benefit ventilation and natural airflow.
  • Support systems. Conventional oriel windows were made from stone, but a contemporary version will normally comprise structural glass panels - the supports can be made from steel or other materials depending on the size and weight of the glazing.
  • Thermal efficiency - professional window fitters should appropriately insulate any large window to prevent heat loss and keep your home warm in the winter and comfortable in the summer. Most windows will be double-glazed, but you can opt for triple-glazing, eco-friendly films and acoustic glass if you live in a high-noise area.

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Additional Considerations in Fitting Oriel Windows

We've mentioned the base structure, which is probably the highest cost aside from the glass itself.

Because an oriel doesn't sit at ground level, your window fitter will need to design and build a solid base with the right density and support to bear the load without shifting - this is often a specialist project.

You can choose a partial brickwork structure or a sheer glass box shape, or you might wish to have the oriel supported on an invisible system, appearing like a hanging window with full panoramic views.

Period homes commonly go for a render or finish that replicates the look of the rest of the property, and you can go for aluminium or metal pressing if you want to achieve an ultra-stylish finish.

Stone, timber and steel framing aren't the cheapest materials but can look exceptional and add considerable value to your home.

Benefits of Choosing Oriel Windows for Your Home

Oriel windows are striking and look very different from a normal casement window or even a popular bay window.

The suspended structure makes an oriel window more costly and more difficult to install, but if you want to design something unique, there are many advantages!

  • Increased internal floor space - your window will add square footage to your room. The windows don't extend past the structural foundations, so they won't strain your underlying property structure but require robust support mechanisms to sustain the window frame.
  • Additional air and light - oriel windows provide excellent views, substantially enhance the air within your property, and increase ventilation.
  • Higher property values - choosing an oriel over a more common window can make your property stand out from the crowd with an unusual look that adds charm and personality while increasing the value of your home if you ever decide to sell.

Most homeowners who choose oriel windows do so from an aesthetic perspective but find that advanced glazing options can be of practical benefit in reducing heat loss, improving sunlight and making the most of the outdoor views.

Potential Downsides to Fitting Oriel Windows

Investing in a custom oriel window can be a great opportunity to transform your property's appearance, but there are some possible pitfalls to bear in mind.

The first is that oriel windows are more complex and less commonly available. The intricacy of the installation process means that these windows are inevitably more expensive than conventional designs.

However, a professionally installed oriel window with suitable supports and construction methods ensures that your glazing is rigid and well-protected and will look incredible for many years.

The Origins of Oriel Windows

Distinctive oriel windows are sometimes referred to as floating bay windows - but the design is somewhat different.

The oriel protrudes from the upper level of a property or adds to the floorspace in ground floor living rooms, suspended from the ground and supported by brick or corbels, usually made from wood, brick or stone.

Brackets are now more decorative rather than structural.

Oriel comes from the Latin word for porch, oriolum, and first became popular in Europe and the Middle East in the Middle Ages, a common feature in early Renaissance British architecture.

Checkout this video which gives you a sense of how your oriel window might look:

Frequently Asked Questions - Oriel Window Cost

Next, we'll answer some frequently asked questions about the average oriel window cost and how the installation process works.

What is an Oriel Window?

This type of window looks a bit like a bay window, but it doesn't come into contact with the floor and is supported by brackets underneath to hold it up.

Oriel windows are sometimes considered bay windows, but one on an upper level rather than on the ground aspect of your home.

The architectural design dates back hundreds of years and is often found in Victorian architecture.

Now, homeowners and architects pick the oriel design for the abundance of natural light and air, a dramatic visual effect, and to improve the floor space and feel of a room.

How Are Oriel Windows and Round Arched Windows Different?

An oriel window is a variant of an arched glazing unit, with a base, lintel and arch at the top (although modern oriel windows may be sharp lines and slick horizontal box shapes).

Round-arched windows are different because they don't have a supported base but stay in place due to the weight of the surrounding brickwork.

Arched glazing has the benefit of not needing a lintel or underlying support, pivoting outward from a central point at the top of the arch.

How Long Does it Take to Install an Oriel Window?

Most installations take one to two weeks - the process is more involved than a conventional window shape, so the costs are higher.

One oriel window costs from £1,500 to £2,500, although most properties would have one feature oriel window, or one on the ground floor and one above.

Do I Need Planning Permission to Install an Oriel Window?

Not usually, no. Most properties don't require formal planning approval to fit a new window unless the home is a listed building or you live in a conservation area.

However, regulations vary and are up to local authorities, so it's worth checking with an experienced local window fitter or enquiring directly with the planning office before work begins.

Where planning permission doesn't apply, your contractor will still need to ensure the work is building regulations compliant. However, a tradesperson will often manage this process on your behalf (or self-certify if they hold the requisite qualifications and accreditations).

Can I Fit an Oriel Window With Glazing Panels That Open?

You can indeed! Most fitters will achieve this by integrating a framed window within the structural glass design, so you have the benefit of opening windows to let the fresh air in without compromising the solidity of the glazing.

How Tough is the Structural Glass in an Oriel Window?

Structural glass walls are extremely tough and can be anything from six mm to 24 mm thick. Each cubic centimetre can withstand up to ten tonnes of pressure before the glass cracks, so it's incredibly safe, secure and robust.

Window fitters will always use structural glass (also called toughened, reinforced or laminated glass) because the large scale of the glazing in an oriel window isn't suited to thinner glass, even if it's double-glazed.

UK building regulations dictate that any glazing within 80 cm of the floor level or 30 cm of doorways should be safety glass.

That's because the risk of breakage due to accidental impact is much higher, so you need very strong glass to ensure it doesn't pose a safety hazard.

What is Solar Control in the Installation of an Oriel Window?

Solar control means that your fitter will consider the aspect of your installation. So if you have a large picture window facing south, exposed to continuous sunlight in the warmer months, you need a solar control system to prevent overheating.

Glass can be designed with solar control elements, such as a solar control coating, often used as an eco-friendly finish to reflect UV rays away and prevent the glass from becoming too hot.

Coatings are transparent and very effective at repelling radiant heat.

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