You might think that residential design doesn’t change too much, and that the style of houses in the UK have remained the same as long as you can remember. But we don’t need to look back too far in history to see different types of housing – Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian for example – and how much they differ from what we would describe as a ‘modern’ home today.
The architecture and style of housing has changed even from the 1970s and 1980s, and it is quite easy to look at a property and estimate when it was designed and built. In the UK we do have a pretty clear distinction between what we would class as old and traditional design and a modern home, and increasingly it seems that there is more onus on the style of the house than its substance. It is true that the construction industry faces tight margins just like any other industry, but certainly there is a reputation for ‘cutting corners’ that the industry struggles to shake off.
Where we use traditional fixings and fasteners
However, whilst appearance might be a key factor in building an appealing and marketable property, it still needs to have structure and to be robust, and in that sense, modern techniques have yet to bypass the traditional need for fixings and fasteners.
Innovative design solutions are often seen in terms of insulation or for using lightweight, sustainable and recyclable materials in the construction of a home, but in terms of making a property airtight, watertight and structurally-sound, fixings and fasteners are an enduring design classic it is hard to improve upon.
Fixings and fasteners are an integral feature in architecture for which there is no legitimate substitute. There are many traditional fixings and fasteners used, such as nails, screws and nuts and bolts, and these might often be overlooked in importance, but they are as central to a property’s longevity as the bricks and mortar itself.
Very popular fixings and fasteners include items such as hexagon screws, which have proved to have varied and widespread uses in engineering and maintenance, as well as construction. This is because they are adaptable to many different disciplines, and provide great robustness because of the greater torque strength you can apply to the hexagon-shaped head. This allows you to use wrench or spanner tools which can be externally-applied or levered.
The most popular fixings and fasteners
Wood screws are also very popular in property construction, mainly for joining two pieces of wood, and hence are most often used internally when fixing roof beams. But they can be seen in several features of the home. Wood screws have a pointed end which is designed to grip the wood when it screws in, in order to prevent the wood from splitting or cracking as you apply pressure.
A popular feature of both hexagon and wood screws is a flat head which means they can be flush to a surface when fully screwed in and hence can provide an attractive appearance. This can be important in architectural design both internally and externally. If used externally, the screws can also be supplied as stainless steel, which will prevent rusting and again, can be an important factor in the external appeal of a property.
As small components, fixings and fasteners are a vital element to securing the integrity of a building and despite architectural design developing all the time and cheaper, more sustainable materials and techniques being found, it will be some time before credible alternatives to traditional fixings and fasteners are discovered and put into mainstream use. It is always advised that you get professional advice when assessing which screws, nails or bolts you need to use, but with the right components in place, the future of UK architecture will still be very much based on using the same fixings and fasteners we always have.