One of the biggest drawbacks associated with the lightening progression of construction technology is that building, or altering a home, has become so much more difficult. In relation to windows, which is what this article is going to largely concentrate on, the situation is much different to what it was a couple of decades ago and the amount of available options is frightening.
Something that can make the decision making process that little bit easier is to decide exactly what you want to achieve from your windows, both from an aesthetics and usability point of view. We’ve therefore put together five factors you should consider if you are on the hunt for some new or replacement windows.
The biggest decision you’ll have to make relates to the type of window. There are now countless varieties on the market such as bi-folding doors, and PVCu windows – or if you are looking for something in between, perhaps consider French doors. Alternatively, for those homeowners who are looking simply for a window, there are now casements, tilt-and-turn, sash or just standard fixed options on the market. Each one holds its own pros and cons and for a more in-depth view on which will work for your home, perhaps consider taking a look at this article which covers the issue more thoroughly.
Once you have established the type of window you’re going to opt for, it’s all downhill. This next consideration simply relates to the style and while the most common choice is now PVCu, some people may opt for aluminium or solid wood. We should state that the latter is particular expensive and for cost and maintenance reasons, PVCu does generally trump all other frame finishes and the fact that you can now purchase it in multiple colours and finishes means that its popularity has surged again.
While it might not be at the forefront of your mind during the buying process, the thermal efficiency of your windows should be a key factor. During the middle of winter, when you’re sat by your new windows, you will certainly regret not paying attention to the U-values of the product you purchased. Additionally, the stringent nature of Part L of the building regulations means that your windows must have a minimum U-value rating for your property to be legal.
If your home suffers from a lack of ventilation or condensation, you should undoubtedly consider purchasing windows with trickle vents. The vents are positioned just above the main pane of glass and can be left open or closed, while you’ll barely notice a difference if it’s the former. They can practically eradicate any condensation and most homes which have had new heating systems installed can benefit tremendously from them.
As you may have gathered from a couple of paragraphs ago, the building regulations now do not permit single glazed windows. Therefore, you need to consider whether you will opt for the now-standard double glazing, or opt for something that’s even more efficient in the form of triple glazing. Needless to say, the latter will hit your wallet harder, but for heat retention and sound insulation reasons it can make all the difference.