Compared to other components of your home, windows go through their fair share of wear and tear. Constant use, adverse weather conditions and lack of cleaning are just some of the many reasons why windows begin to deteriorate. On the other hand, other homeowners may opt for replacement merely down to a change of theme or to modernise their properties appearance.
When planning a full window replacement, the plethora of options to choose from can prove somewhat overwhelming. It can be tricky to find a style that not only complements your homes aesthetics but will also be able to withstand exposure to potential damage. To aid your decision, we have devised a full guide on how to choose the perfect windows for your home.
A Guide To Choosing Windows For Your Home
As suppliers and installers of windows in Milton Keynes for many years, we have a wealth of knowledge on the different styles, materials and glazing options available, along with how to measure openings. Each variation can be equipped with handy additional features such as security technology and energy efficiency benefits.
Although they are often not considered, windows impact the appearance of both the interior and exterior of your property, meaning your choice must suit both. They prove to be a substantial investment, which if chosen wisely, can last you as long as 30 years problem-free. Our guide to the different styles, materials and glazing options available is ideal for giving you a head start!
Consider Why You Need New Windows
Before delving deeper into the types of windows available, it is imperative to pinpoint your reasoning behind replacement. In order to ensure that you do not fall into the same trap again, you should use your previous experience to mitigate future problems. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
Do you need to improve security?
Your home is your most prized possession, meaning that reassured security is vital. Nowadays, thanks to the constant innovation of technology, safety is at the forefront of operations throughout the entire process. From the manufacturing process to installation, ensuring that your home is kept secure remains a priority.
If you are replacing windows due to lack of security, then this should be the main feature you look out for when tracking down the ideal type. You should also consider taking a look at retailers such as Ironmongery Direct, which specialise in window security products. Any products brought can be added during the installation process.
Are you hoping to become more efficient?
Those who aim to reduce their properties carbon footprint would most definitely benefit from installing energy-efficient windows. In doing this, the amount of heat loss will be decreased while insulation is increased. Together, these will stop warm air from escaping in the Winter, along with keeping your home cool during higher temperatures.
When searching for the ideal window type for you, keep a careful eye out for the products energy efficiency rating. An energy efficiency rating reflects your estimated energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions. You can find more information on this topic on British Gas.
Does your home need to be quieter?
You would be surprised how much windows can impact your homes noise insulation. Especially if you live nearby to a busy main road or the high street, ensuring that you can enjoy peace and quiet in your own home is essential. Although often not considered as keeping disturbances at bay, windows are, in fact, capable of reducing outdoor noise by up to 95%.
If you notice a growing annoyance of outdoor noise while trying to sleep, then you would most definitely benefit from considering window replacement. While you are free to choose whatever frame that best fits your theme, you will need to install double glazing. Double glazing is key for soundproofing your home.
Are the current windows damaged?
The most obvious reasoning behind replacing windows is due to damage. Damaged windows not only look aesthetically unappealing but can also pose safety dangers to your home. Some of the most common damage that windows suffer include the following:
- Rotting or warped wood
- Increasing draughts
- Difficult to open and close
- Cracked glass
- Leaking frames
Do you want to modernise your home?
There does not necessarily have to be a physical problem with your windows in order to have them replaced – it could merely be to modernise your property. Whether you are renovating your home or hoping to add value to sell on a later date, windows are a fantastic way to bring a new lease of life to your property. If this is the case, then the style you opt is likely to take a considerable amount of deliberation.
Measure Window Openings
Always ensure that you have measured all window openings before beginning your search for the perfect style. The window opening, in more straightforward terms, is the space in which you have to fill with both the frame and glass of your choice.
Taking time to measure openings in advance will help to give you an idea of style possibilities. All measurements will be collected ahead of time, so you can make an order as soon as you find the perfect window for your home. Ultimately, saving time and money. You will need to measure the width, height and depth of your opening through the following steps:
The starting point for measuring the width is always the jambs (the main vertical parts that form the window frame). Place your tape measure on the surface of the jambs and measure between the top, middle and bottom of the opening. Put the measurement in order of size, starting from the smallest.
Start at the highest point of the window sill (this should be the closest point to the glass) and measure to the top of the window opening. You should take one measurement from the left-hand side, one from the middle and lastly, one from the right-hand side. Again, order from smallest to largest.
When measuring the depth, imagine all pulleys and partings are not there – these will be removed during installation. Measure between the inside window trim and outside blind stop strip; there should be at least 3 1/4 inches.
Understand The Styles Available
Choosing a window style is likely to be your trickiest decision. Not only must personal preferences be taken into consideration but also what would suit the aesthetics of your home. Other factors to keep in mind will be the indoor positioning of windows, room layouts and the shape of the house.
Casement / Flush Fit Windows
As one of the cheapest and most versatile styles, casement windows, also known as flush fit, suit the appearance of almost all property types. They have straightforward mechanics which include hinges on the outer sides of the window frame. Due to the placement of hinges, casements pivot similar to doors and are tall in shape. Casement windows are somewhat minimalist in appearance, ideal for creating a contemporary look and are available in tonnes of different colours. When closed, they sit in line with the frame creating a flat surface.
Sliding Sash Windows
Most commonly featured in Victorian or Georgian homes, sliding sash windows are ideal for properties with limited space. They are designed with two window panes, which when opened, slide one behind the other. As panes can slide into one either vertically or horizontally, there is no need for them to take up any indoor or outdoor space.
Bay windows are most definitely the most luxurious style; however, do require more space than any other window type. Due to the large wall space needed, if you do not already have a bay window, you will need to increase the opening. They feature a semi-circular structure that protrudes the main wall, allowing you to enjoy enhanced natural light.
Almost all bay windows come alongside a seat to enjoy the outdoor view. You can find tonnes of inspiration on how to decorate your bay window seat on Houzz.
Tilt and Turn Windows
If your home is located directly on a pedestrian walkway or highstreet, then tilt and turn windows would be ideal. Due to the nature of the tilt and turn style, windows open inwards instead of the conventional outwards. It means that your panes will not be opening onto pathways, making them more practical and secure.
Choose The Window Material
Once you have made a decision on the window style that best suits your requirements, its time to move onto choosing frame materials. Just like styles, there are a plethora of material possibilities; each come alongside their own benefits and drawbacks. Below are some of the most popular materials to consider:
Timber is the most traditional of frame materials, often featured on period properties as opposed to modern new-builds. On average, timber can achieve a lifespan of 60 years, only if they are adequately cared for. Due to this, they require more maintenance than any other material type.
A treatment must be applied every year or so to prevent the wood from rotting, warping and growing mould. Although maintenance may be tedious, treatments are not time-consuming or expensive. A number of products are available for a low-cost from places such as Wood Finishes Direct.
Aluminium windows are super durable, capable of lasting several years without much need for maintenance. The material is incredibly lightweight, which means that it can be moulded into more unusual shapes if required. They create an instant contemporary appearance but are somewhat limited in terms of colours available. One of the only downsides to aluminium frames is that due to their high thermal conductivity, they are known for building-up condensation.
While uPVC windows have not been around as long as its alternatives, the material boasts an array of benefits. As uPVC is created using a form of plastic, it requires little maintenance aside from regular cleaning to maintain aesthetics. Although it is the cheapest material, uPVC is resistant to rotting, warping, weathering and corrosion, providing exceptional value for money. uPVC is best suited to more modern properties as frames are somewhat plain and minimalist.
The term composite relates to any material that has been made using two or more material components. When on the topic of windows, composite frames are designed with timber on the inside and aluminium on the exterior – combining the benefits of both materials.
Composite windows are both strong and reliable, capable of lasting up to 40 years with little to no maintenance required. They provide fantastic insulation, making them ideal for boosting your homes energy efficiency. The only drawback towards opting for composite frames is that they are considerably more expensive than other materials.
Finding The Ideal Combination For You
Every property is unique, as is every homeowner, which means that tracking down the ideal combination of style and material may take time. Always ensure that you meticulously research into several different options before making your decisions. Windows are a substantial investment which if chosen wisely, can last you for your remaining time in your property.
Although you are free to opt for the window material and style best to suit you, we would strongly recommend only going for double-glazing when choosing glass. As specialists in double glazing in Milton Keynes, we can guarantee the array of beneficial qualities of the glass type. Double glazing features two layers of glass which provide additional insulation, security, noise reduction and are easy to maintain. You can find more information on the benefits of double glazing on the MDG website.