1stAssociated can provide help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, independent valuations, property surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, home buyers reports or any other property matters. As you can see from this article we use lots of sketches and photos in our reports as the feedback we have from our clients is that the sketches and photos help them understand the reports.

We, of course, like to meet you at the property during the survey and we are more than happy to talk to you about the reports. Please free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat with one of our surveyors.

Free phone 0800 298 5424


The following article is on glass, glass is very important it helps you understand a building from its age recognising the glass (that is assuming the window is original) to if you see cracks in the glass the property may have movement. As Building Surveyors distortion of the windows and cracking in the glass is what we look for to see if there has been movement in the property. However we also appreciate that the glass may simply have cracked due to its age.


Cracks in my window

So what do you do if you have cracks in your window? We would be more than happy if you wish to give us a call on free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat and we will try to advise you over the phone although often there is nothing like actually viewing the property due to the window in the glass needs to be looked at in the context of the whole building.

What did the Romans ever do for us?


As with most things the Romans seem to have done it first! They are even credited with removing the greenness from glass by adding manganese oxide. As with most things Roman we then seem to have forgotten about it for thousands of years.

Glass you can hardly see through

Glass has come a long way since Roman times and is something that started with just letting light through; prior to this you had the option of nothing or wood/linen shutters.


Stained glass window

At first it was only the very rich such as the church that had glass and we have even heard a rumour that the pin hinge that you have on some windows was so designed that when you moved house you could take the windows and glass with you however we cannot be certain if this is true or a myth!

What is certainly true is that glass from years ago was uneven and had different thicknesses and globules within it as well as impurities and a general frostiness or cloudiness could not be seen through compared to modern thin, clear glass.

No glass in this window!

Older style window possibly originally without glass with glass added at a later date

Broadsheet Glass

Think of a Tudor building

We have used many different methods to produce glass over the years probably the first that you will recognise is a Tudor window with its leaded lights. It is very likely that if you see a Tudor building still intact it will have broadsheet glass. Broadsheet glass was said to be first manufactured in Sussex in 1226 and popular until the late 16 th century.


Tudor building with leaded lights

York window

Crux frame building

Old and new glass

Older glass


How is broadsheet glass produced?

Broadsheet glass is produced from a blown glass balloon which is chopped at both ends with the remaining glass cylinder being cut and flattened as best they could. It is said that the early Tudor windows had much if not more lead in the windows than glass which did stop viewing through the window.



Broken reflection on older style glass

Cylinder glass

Cylinder glass was also a blown glass but it was cut and then unrolled to produce a flatter plate of glass.


Crown glass

Crown glass was the popular glass of the late 17 th century although still not glass as we know it now as it was formed from a flattened disk of glass and was often uneven with thicker sections which were usually put into the window with a thicker end at the base.

Interestingly, it is said that this thicker glass at the base has fed the myth of glass windows that the glass in windows is not solid and moves.


Plate glass

Plate glass is said to have been first produced in 1773 St Helens Lancashire and is the place where plate glass is credited to being first manufactured. Although we have also read that it is said to be a French invention! Plate glass was produced as quite a thick glass and polished and ground to make it more transparent.


Sheet glass

Sheet glass has been around since about 1838 which improved upon plate glass as it was thinner and more economical.


Machine manufactured glass

Machine manufactured glass moved completely away from the traditional hand blown glass and is drawn through a cylinder and is polished and rolled giving a clear, thin glass.

Many would say that we have now lost the magic of the different textures and shimmers that we get in older glass.


Pilkington Glass

Pilkington glass developed float glass in 1957 which is now all but taken over.


Some terms that you may hear relating windows and glass


Margin Light Defined

Margin Light is a window with margins round the borders and you've got those cross corners, with perhaps a rosette or glory style in cut glass, or enamel glass, or acid edge glass.


Water Bar Defined

It runs between the wooden sill and the stone sill and as you know the sill is, the wooden sill is set down on plumber's putty, you've got a water bar so that the water doesn't work up like a reaction and get into the sill and rot it between the sill and the stone. It should be sealed with putty to stop that water getting in but it often isn't, that's the problem with window sills, the water gets underneath and it rots upwards and you get damp, that's the logic. From, I suppose, the early Victorian era good quality work that had a water bar.


Transoms and mullions

Transoms are the horizontal timbers in windows and mullions are the vertical timbers.


Horizontal sliding sash

Is it window sill or cill?

There is much debate as to how you spell the word sill or cill so you may find it spelt in different ways!


Daylight robbery - Another window myth or is it?

It is probably a myth that daylight robbery came about from a Window Tax as the Window Tax of 1696 when those with above ten windows in a house paid tax with amendments until in 1825 to eight windows far below the Oxford English Dictionary's first mention of the term in 1949.

However we have heard accounts of how the blocked up windows or blind windows that you sometimes see in older properties have resulted from the tax on light which in turn has been said to be termed daylight robbery which we think is a lovely story even if not true!

Interestingly we have also read that the Window Tax was helped to be abolished by the medical profession who argued that lack of windows tended to create dark, damp areas which were a source of disease and ill health.

In 1851 the Act was finally replaced by the House Tax which many would say was just as controversial.



Please see our articles such as:-


Problems with roof windows, roof lights, sky lights and light tunnels

Windows and The Great Fire of London


Independent Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, dilapidations or any other property matters please contact free phone 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back.


Independent commercial property surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .


We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the web site are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.


All rights are reserved the contents of the web site is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of


We would refer you to other interest articles on our website:


Cracking and Movement Information

Loft Conversions Do They Add Value?

My property has been repointed in a cement mortar, what can I do?

Rising damp, condensation and damp through your walls


building engineers

Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax