It isn’t always easy to decide what kind of replacement window you need. Especially because as soon as we start looking, we get bombarded with calls and emails from seemingly desperate double glazing salesmen. Can we trust them? There has been so much bad press around cowboy salesmen that it can be hard to determine who you want to buy from, let alone which kind of window.
We are here to help. Here’s a bit of information to guide you towards the kind of window you will need according to your desires or requirements. For more information, there are tons of online resources to be found including some of the ones referenced in this article.
- Be a material girl
The first thing you want to do is to figure out which material is right for you. This will either be uPVC, aluminium, wood or alu clad. The last of these consists of a wooden frame covered by an aluminium exterior on the outside, providing a rustic interior look with full protection from the elements. It’s an expensive alternative but is very low maintenance and looks great.
uPVC windows are the most affordable option, but some people don’t like the way they look which is their prerogative (although I would advise looking at some more modern models which look a lot like wood). They are also long-lasting and require little maintenance like aluminium windows, which are more expensive since they are even more durable. Wood is great for aesthetic appeal but they need a lot more care to last as long as the other window materials.
- Become all glassy-eyed
What comes after the window material? Or more precisely, what goes between the frames? The panes of glass, of course! The glass you choose is quite important, and how much you choose to install is even more so. For better home security, choose toughened or laminated glass, since they are more difficult to penetrate than normal window glass.
Think about the kind of glazing you want. Is it better to get single, double or triple glazing? Single glazing is generally not advisable due to chilly winters, and double glazed windows are standard. However, if you suffer from noise pollution or extreme weather conditions (in the northern regions for instance), you may want to consider triple glazing. Granted, it is more expensive, but it could be worth it for your comfort and peace of mind in the long term.
- Choose your forever style
The style of the window you choose makes a huge impact on the usability, aesthetic and value of your new openings onto the world. Some styles, for instance, are more costly than others like the beautiful sash window. These slide horizontally or vertically so their mechanisms are more delicate but if you live in a listed home this style of window may be required.
The more modern casement window is very widely used and the swinging mechanism usually lasts longer than sliding sash alternatives. There are different kinds of casement windows but these are preferred for their easy opening system and durable mechanisms.
Of course the most inexpensive option will be to choose fixed windows (that don’t open), but you won’t have the opportunity to ventilate as much with this style as with others. There are many other style choices you can make of course, but these are the most commonly used ones, because they offer everything you need at affordable prices.