New windows are a big investment. Replacing the odd window won’t cost you too much, but if you decide to replace all of your windows, it is likely to cost a chunk of money. For this reason, it’s important to think carefully about what type of windows you need and how much you can afford to spend. Here are some tips to help you avoid making an expensive mistake when buying new replacement windows for home.
Timber or UPVC?
Before UPVC windows became popular in the nineties, your only option was timber windows. Timber windows were cheap and readily available, but unless they were made using hardwood, they didn’t go the distance.
Wood is susceptible to wet weather and if it isn’t treated with preservative or painted every 2-3 years, it soon begins to rot. If you live in a dry climate such as Southern California, timber windows are probably a good choice, but if you live in the UK, you should factor in the cost of extra maintenance. However, in certain circumstances, wood windows are a better choice than UPVC.
UPVC windows are extremely popular. They are tough, weather resistant, and energy efficient. You can now buy UPVC windows in different colors, including wood-effect, black, and gray. Good quality UPVC windows come with a 10+ year guarantee.
For a modern home, UPVC windows are perfect, but if you own a period property, wooden windows could be a better choice. Windows need to be in keeping with the rest of the property and nothing looks worse than ugly plastic windows spoiling the façade of a period home. It is possible to buy UPVC windows that replicate classic sash windows, but if you own a listed building, you must stick to original detailing in every aspect of the property, including windows.
When it comes to glazing, you have a choice. Clear glass is the most common option, but leaded windows are popular, particularly for older buildings. There is also the option of including stained glass panels and frosted windows if a room is overlooked or you want extra privacy.
Most modern windows are double glazed for energy efficiency, but if you live in a particularly cold climate or it is very noisy outside, invest in triple glazing.
Think about how many openers you want. Modern windows can tilt as well as open in the normal way. Tilt and turn windows are a useful feature for a child’s bedroom, as you can open them just enough to allow ventilation without fear of a small child climbing out.
Windows are a vulnerable area of any home, so windows need to be secure and lockable. Look for designs with 5-point locking systems for extra security.
It typically takes 2-3 days to fit new UPVC windows to an average sized property. Fitting new timber windows will take longer as they need to be adjusted to fit into the opening. For period properties, windows will need to be made from scratch, so expect to pay extra for the services of a carpenter or joiner.