I want to upgrade the windows in my new house, what are the different types of glass and styles I can choose from?
There is a wide range of glass options to cater for different requirements, including privacy, safety and noise issues.Some of the most popular glass choices are:
- Patterned Glass
- Acoustic Glass
- Security/Safety Glass
- Toughened Glass
The two most common types of windows are sash windows, which slide open, and casement windows, which open out on hinges. Depending on the period of your home, there are multiple different styles of both sash and casement windows.
I want to double-glaze my windows; do I have to replace them completely?
Depending on the condition of your windows you don’t always need to have them completely replaced for installing double-glazed windows.
If the windows are in a good condition and meet the requirements for double-glazing, the existing windows can be double-glazed using The Sash Window Workshop’s unique Bi-Glass service. Alternatively, you can replace the moving parts of the window while retaining the existing window frame, saving you money, minimising disruption and retaining your home’s aesthetic.
See also: Safe as Houses: Home Security
How often should I replace and upgrade my windows?
Windows should be checked on a yearly basis to ensure that they still operate properly and don’t show signs of rot. If you notice any problems when inspecting the windows, have them looked at by an expert. One advantage of timber windows is that they can often be repaired, rather than requiring full replacement. This means that timber windows can last for over a hundred years with regular maintenance. Window frames often last longer than the moving parts of the window, as they are less exposed to the weather. This means that you may only need to replace the moving parts of the window.
What type of window is recommended for retaining heat in my home?
When installing double-glazed windows it is important to ensure that the installers draught proof your new window. This is normally standard practice, but it is an important part of the installation process to improve the energy efficiency. Installing double-glazed windows can also improve the heat retention. However, it is important to note that if you own a listed building; double-glazing will rarely be allowed.
What advice would you give to a consumer looking for the best possible window installation company?
When deciding on the best window installation company, it is important to consider whether they manufacture the windows themselves. No matter how good the installers are, if the window they are installing has been poorly manufactured, it will quickly deteriorate. Companies like The Sash Window Workshop who manufacture and install windows can ensure a consistent high standard of work and customer service.
Check reviews and the guarantees offered by the company before installing double-glazed windows with a company. Ask to view a tour of the company workshop and to see examples of previous work the company has carried out, ensuring they have experience working on similar properties. Before installing double-glazed windows check that the company is FENSA registered and whether they are members of any other accredited bodies, such as Which? Trusted Trader or the Guild of Master Craftsmen. These bodies monitor quality and have strict vetting procedures before companies can join.
See also: Roof Spaces and Loft Conversions
What steps should I take to maintain my newly installed windows and keep them clean? Are there any products that are particularly effective?
It is important to inspect your windows regularly for any minor damage and carry out touch ups as necessary. Weather seals should be cleaned and any dead insects removed. Clean the paint finish yearly with a mild detergent, but ensure you don’t use anything too strong that may damage the finish. Hinges, handles, trickle vents and working parts should be also checked yearly and lubricated as required with silicone spray or light oil.
I own an older property with original features, are there any subtle window styles I could install that will complement the overall aesthetic of the house without being too overbearing?
When replacing a window in a period property it is important to note that windows in older properties were not made to a standard size. This means that the new window will need to be manufactured to bespoke specifications. Most window companies that have experience working on period properties will be able to manufacture bespoke windows to match the same style and features of your existing windows.
What are the building regulations for replacement windows and how can I ensure to adhere to them?
If you are installing complete new windows it is important to ensure that the company manufacturing and installing your windows are registered with FENSA.
If your current windows have trickle vents, you will need to ensure that the new windows also have them or that there are alternative appropriate sources of background ventilation.
Windows near floor level must contain safety glass (toughened or laminated) and must include the relevant safety mark clearly visible. A FENSA registered company should be able to inform you on what your new windows require in order to meet the current building regulations. Once the work has been carried out you should receive a FENSA certificate through the post, which you will require if you sell the property in the future. Please note however that a FENSA certificate will not be issued if you are only replacing the moving parts of the window.
The Sash Window Workshop specialise in replacing and repairing timber windows and doors in period properties across London and the South. To find out more, or to obtain a free, no obligation quotation, visit their website: www.sashwindow.com
If you have enjoyed reading this article on installing double-glazed windows, click here to read more on Celebrity Angels about our buyer’s guide to new windows.