Whether you have moved into a new property and looking to modernise, or your home is starting to feel the cold as the winter draws in, window replacement is the perfect home renovation for completely transforming your property. Not only can windows create stunning aesthetics inside and outside the home, but they can also help to lower outgoing costs by improving insulation and reducing window damage from condensation and adverse weather. There are now an abundance of styles and materials you can choose from to elevate your property and enhance its appearance and efficiency. While this is great in terms of finding the perfect aesthetically pleasing window that functions well, it can make it hard to know what to look for and which window types are best for your home. For this reason, we have come up with a detailed replacement window buying guide to lend you a helping hand.
Replacement Window Buying Guide: All You Need To Know
Replacing windows can be a big investment, and due to their ability to completely change your home, choosing the right ones for your property and personal style is vital. Luckily, the many window types and designs available incorporate high-quality materials to ensure that not only will your windows look brand new for many years to come, but you can also reap a host of benefits. From the popular uPVC windows and its array of colour options, to single, double or triple glazing, there is a lot to think about when it comes to replacing your windows. As specialist designers and installers of bespoke windows in Milton Keynes, we have an array of tips and advice that can help you to find the perfect option for your home, including colour choices, window styles and glazing options.
- Why Is It Time For Window Replacement?
- Things To Consider When Choosing Windows
- What Windows To Choose
The first thing that you should think about when replacing your windows is the reason why you have decided to search for a window replacement. By identifying why you need to new windows, you can make sure that you know exactly what to look out for when finding the perfect material and design to replace outdated products. There are many common reasons as to why homeowners look to change their windows, whether they are no longer providing efficient insulation or are not their cup of tea in style.
On average windows should be replaced around every 20 years; however, you may find that window replacement is necessary beforehand due to weather conditions or if the frames are not well maintained. The reason windows require replacement, is that over the years the window frames become weathered, causing the material to crack. As soon as the window begins to crack or show signs of damage, it will no longer function efficiently to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This means that while a window replacement will have a high initial cost, it will save you considerable amounts over the years in energy bills, and even increase the value of your home by up to 10%.
If your windows have not reached the 20-year benchmark, then there are a few other ways that you can tell it may be time to replace your windows. these include the following:
- Windows Look Worn – the best way to tell if your windows require a replacement is if they start looking worse for wear by cracking or fading.
- Colour Fade – when installing uPVC widows, the colour will last for many years to come. However, as they begin to age, you could find that the external window, in particular, is beginning to fade in colour.
- Increased Energy Bills – whether it is significantly or marginally, you may have noticed that your energy bills have slowly been creeping up, and this will be more so the case as the colder weather begins.
- Condensation – if you find condensation on your window it is because it is not providing you with sufficient protection from the cold weather. As the inside window pane is cold rather than at room temperature, it creates water droplets as the warm air from your heating hits the window. This can cause further damage to the frames as the water causes warping or mould build-up.
- Draught – not only can they make you feel cold, but draughts are also a key indication that your windows are letting in cold air. This can be a result of old and warped windows or poor installation.
- Leaking – puddles of water near or around the window frame can indicate that there is a gap in the window that could be letting in rainwater as well as the cold.
As mentioned previously, there is a lot that you need to take into consideration when choosing your windows, which allows you to find the perfect solution to match your style while providing your home with effective insulation and additional benefits. Some of the key things you should always keep in mind include:
Changing your windows will usually come under your permitted development rights, which means that you will not need to ask for permission from your council to have your windows replaced. However, if your home is in a conservation area or grade listed, then you will need to research into whether window replacement requires permission from the council. In many cases, if your home is in a conservation area or graded, then one of two things will happen:
- You will be asked to replace windows with like for like in appearance; however, you may use alternative materials that mimic the appearance of existing windows
- You will be asked to replace your windows with identical windows; this includes colour, materials and design.
The response that you get from your council will completely depend on the home, and the type of grading it is under. For example, those that are graded lower are more likely to be allowed to change the windows with an alternative material but with a similar design. It is important to first establish whether you require planning permission before having your windows replaced, as failing to do so will require you to remove the window or result in a hefty fine.
The type of glazing that you install with your windows will have one of the most significant impacts when it comes to insulation. Older homes tend to have single glazing, but this can cause the home to feel much colder as the windows allow heat to exit the home and cold air to enter. However, it is now law that all window replacements and new builds are installed with a minimum of double glazing. Unlike single glazing, double glazing offers exceptional thermal qualities through its advanced design. Double glazing has two panes of glass along with a layer of argon gas to reduce heat escaping. The two panes of glass and the layer of gas make it harder for warm air to travel through the window, keeping your home nice and cosy during the winter months. Additionally, the inside pane will remain at room temperature, meaning that when hot air hits the surface, it does not produce condensation. Further benefits of double glazing include:
- Increases insulation
- Reduces noise pollution
- Improves security
- Less maintenance
- Increases property value
- Reduces energy bills
When designing your made to measure windows with the team, you can incorporate high-quality and durable double glazing. This helps you to maximise on your windows potential to reduce future costs and provide a warm, more comfortable home for the family. All of our windows incorporate double glazing, so please feel free to speak with the team about our double glazing in Milton Keynes and to start designing your windows today.
Along with double glazing offering you a more secure home, there are also a number of ways windows can make your home a safe place. There are now tonnes of interlocking systems that can help you to protect your home, and you are able to incorporate these into all designs and materials used for your windows. Finding the perfect glazing and frame material are an essential part of security, so you should always question what locking systems are available and which materials provide the safety security solution. You can find out more about to make your windows more secure over on Safety.com.
After you have drilled down why you need new windows and the things you should consider, it is then time to start searching for the perfect solution. There are so many ways that you can personalise your window from the style that you choose to the colour combinations you make. Depending on budget and requirements, there are some windows that are better than others. Here are the two main things you customise when picking out your window:
Traditionally, sliding sash windows will include two sashes that will slide up and down or side to side. These windows are commonly found on older properties, or windows that are small, as they offer exceptional ventilation. To add detail to these windows, you can choose to incorporate diamonds on the glass for a touch of character.
Tilt & Turn
One of the most popular forms of windows is the classic tilt and turn. These windows allow you to open the window by pulling the handle up to tilt the window or down to fully open the window. This design allows excessive natural light to enter the home while giving you the option to slightly open the windows for ventilation (perfect for in the winter) or fully open the window to incorporate the outside, inside.
Casement windows provide ample light into the home due to their large panes of glass, making them ideal for smaller properties. A casement window opens but pivoting on a side hinge that can be located anywhere on the window, whether that is the top of the frame to allow the window to open from the bottom, or on the side of the frame to open from the centre of the frame.
It is no surprise that uPVC is one of, if not the most popular materials for windows and doors. Unlike other materials uPVC comes alongside exceptional benefits including its long-life span and colour options. uPVC offers you the opportunity to choose from subtle and elegant shades or vibrant and eye-catching colours, allowing you to fully personalise your home’s features.
While timber may require you to paint the frames from time to time to keep its appearance in tip-top condition, the material can also offer great benefits. For example, timber is an environmentally friendly solution, and you can even use restored and recycled wood for a cheaper alternative. However, there are some cons of using timber, as it is more likely to be affected by weather, causing it to warp and crack.
Much like uPVC, aluminium is a sought-after window material due to its durability and reliability. It requires little maintenance as it does not need a top-up of paint unless you decide to change the colour. Aluminium is most effective for office windows or larger windows that cover a wide surface area; this is because it is exceptionally strong. You can find out more about aluminium windows over on The Telegraph.
Finding The Perfect Window
With the weather becoming colder and colder, it is more important than ever to make sure that your windows are working efficiently and effectively. By replacing your windows, you can make sure that your home is kept warm without costing you a fortune in energy. If you are unsure about what windows are best for you home and would like further advice on the best products, please feel free to speak to the team!