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A Complete Guide to Windows in Your Home

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A Complete Guide to Windows in Your Home

October 4, 2021

Windows can make or break not only the look and feel of a home but also energy bills, so it’s important that you’ve got good quality windows throughout your property.

In this guide we explore how to know when it’s time to replace your windows, the impact on having faulty or low-quality windows, and the best style to choose from.

How Long do Windows Last?

Good quality double glazed windows can last for up to 20 years, but if the glass or frame has been damaged or compromised then you may need to replace them sooner.

Since 2002, building regulations have been applied for thermal performance, safety, air supply, means of escape and ventilation meaning that single glazed windows are a thing of the past. If you’re still putting up with poor-quality single glazing, it may be time for replacements.

But, how do you know when it’s time to invest in new windows for your home?

How to Know When to Replace Your Windows

There are several factors that may indicate if you need a new set of windows in your house and they vary in severity and cost. Reasons to replace your windows could include:

Visible damage

Windows endure a lot of wear and tear, so it’s to be expected that they will have a little damage such as scratches, but if the panes of your windows are smashed or broken, they could compromise safety as well as your energy bills.

Ongoing issues

A key indicator that your windows aren’t efficient is if they are letting in a draught. This could mean that the seal in or around the window is broken and will need to be replaced, or the whole window could need a replacement.

Other issues to keep an eye out for is condensation. This is one of the most common problems affecting windows and can cause even bigger problems inside your home. If the condensation is between the two panes of windows, it means the double glazing is failing and will need to be replaced. If the condensation is on the internal-facing glass, it indicates a ventilation issue. A window specialist can review and advise you on the best course of action.

Increase in energy bills

If your energy bills have suddenly increased, it could be your inefficient windows. The cost of investing in new windows will offset the cost of increased bills over time, plus new windows will help your home feel warm and comfortable, as well as helping with energy efficiency

You don’t have double glazing

If you’re selling your home that does not have double glazing, you could expect the value of your property to be impacted by this as buyers assume up-to-date properties have double glazing. If single glazed, the new buyer would need to invest in replacements themselves which could impact their offer. To increase the value of your sale-price, investing a set of double-glazed windows could help.

If you’re staying in your property, it’s still wise to invest in double glazing to help combat drafts, leaks, noise, and an increase in household bills.

Window Parts Explained

If you only need to replace certain parts of your window, it’s helpful to know what each part is called so you know what you’re requesting from your window repair person or Id you’re doing it yourself.

Components of a window

Casing — also known as moulding, a window attached to its frame by one or more hinges.

Panes — the principal component of a window, the glass.

Hardware — the mechanisms that allow you to open, close and lock a window.

Sill — fastens and balances the window into the wall slot.

Head — the top, horizontal part that attaches to the window to the surrounding wall.

Seal — helps to stop moisture coming through the window, prevents draughts.

Different Types of Windows

Not all windows are created equal, and some designs can add a lot of character to a house, not to mention increase your property value.

Casement windows

Like a standard window, a casement window is attached to a frame by one or more hinges and is held open using a casement stay. Available in a variety of finishes to suit any home, including white uPVC and timber. A casement window has a variety of configurations whereby they can be hung top, side or fixed to allow for different opening types.

Bay

This much-loved window feature lets plenty of light flood into a room and helps make a smaller room feel spacious. If you’re installing a bay window for the first time, you’ll need to check with your local council in case planning permission is required.

Oriel

Like a bay, oriel windows have gained popularity in recent years. Used upstairs or down, oriel windows are expensive but can be showstopping. Downstairs, they’re a cost-effective way to get a bit more space in a room because they don’t require new foundations. Check for planning permission before investing.

Skylights

Skylights can transform the look and feel of a room, providing lighting, ventilation, and sky views. They’re added to the roof to allow overhead natural light to flood in and are regularly used in loft extensions and rear extensions to add the feel of more space. Some properties also use these internally to send light to internal rooms with no / little natural daylight.

Tilt and turn

There are two different ways to open a tilt and turn window, hence the name. These windows can be tilted open at the top to allow ventilation, or the handle can be twisted allowing for the window to open from the side (in the same movement as opening a door). They come with multiple locking points to prevent either option from opening too much, making them secure and safe.

Sash windows

Vertically opening, a sash window sits in frames with vertical grooves that allow them to slide up and down to open and close. Traditionally, sash windows are made up of multiple panels — also known as the sashes — but more modern variations of this window style are now a sheet of glass.

How Much Do New Windows Cost?

Unfortunately, new windows don’t come cheap, so a lot of people either save up to complete the whole house in one go or replace a floor at a time. Of course, if you’ve only got one faulty window, you only need to replace the one.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Windows?

The price of new windows varies depending on the size you need, which window type you are choosing and the material that you’re using. For uPVC windows in a standard size (example 101x320cm), expect to pay up to £600, but for more expensive options, such as skylights, you could be spending in excess of £1000 for one, including insulation.

Always check with your supplier for product and installation costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Window?

For a cost-efficient alternative to purchasing brand new windows, you could get an existing window fixed.

The cost varies depending on what part of the window needs replacing. Changing a broken glass pane can cost around £150 — depending on the size and the glaze — with installation costs on top . For damaged seals, you may only have to part with approximately £50. Prices vary.

If your windows are under warranty, try contacting the manufacturer first.

Finding a Window Fitter

When having work done in your home, you need to hire people you can trust and that have experience in handling jobs that can impact the security of your home.

Finding a quality window fitter is essential as each window needs to meet British building regulations whereby the window must meet a standard for thermal performance, safety, means of escape and ventilation as mentioned previously.



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