Are your windows letting out too much heat, or letting in damp and draughts? Maybe they’re just looking old and tired, with frames that are getting worn and need more than just a coat of paint. The obvious solution is to replace your existing windows with some updated versions that include all the features you want. However, before you hire anyone to do the work, there are some important questions to consider and plans to make.
Two primary considerations will be how well the windows do their job, and what they will look likeonce installed. Sash windows will be more expensive than casement versions, so you need to be prepared for a higher budget. You will want the new windows to have either triple or double glazing to keep the noise out and the heat in, and they will also be a deterrent to burglars as they make the house so hard to break into. When obtaining quotes, ask each representative to tell you about the important functions of your windows, such as:
- Air leakage rates: These should be as low as possible.
- G-value, or solar heat gain coefficientfigures: These figures will be between zero and one. The lower the figure, the less solar heat the window glass captures, which means you will stay cooler in the summer if you live in a hot climate. The higher the figure, themore heat will be transmitted through the glass, which is great if you live somewhere colder.
- Visible transmittance: This will tell you how much light gets through the glass. Higher figures indicate clearer glass that lets in more light, which could be important for shady or very sunny rooms.
- Condensation: Condensation insidethe panes of a double-glazed window isa sign the windows aren’t fully sealedand can be a major headache. Condensation resistance measurements tell you how likely you are to experience this problem, based on a scale from one to one hundred, with a higher number indicating better resistance capability.
The other key aspect of installing new windows is how they will look. Many sash windows feature in older and period properties, so replacing them with modern style double glazing casements can look out of place. There is now a high-quality range of replacement sash windows available that match the details of original windows but are madefrom UPVC or specially processed wood. That means you can get the traditional look of the old windows, but enjoy the benefits of modern materials and production techniques to keep yourhome safer, warmer, and easier to maintain.
Finding the right double-glazing company
There’s no shortage of choice when you’re looking for quotes for your new windows. Both national and local firms offer services for replacement windows and doors, and you should ask at least three companies to view the job and give you a quote. Don’t automatically choose the cheapest offer, either. Weigh up the advantages of each and go for the one that gives you what you want within your budget. You may have other factors that play a part in arranging the job, for example,the time of year. It’s preferable to have the windows replaced during the warmer months when you won’t have an icy wind blowing through the holes in your walls! You should also check the requirements where you live for planning permission. Some buildings and exteriors may be subject to certain restrictions, especially period homes that are more likely to feature sash windows, so make sure you know if you are restricted by planning lawsbefore you start.
You’ll feel the difference as soon as the new windows are fitted, and you’ll soon see a reduction in your energy bills too, so making the effortto prepare for your project properly will save you money and prevent problems further down the road.