New windows can not only improve the appearance of your property, they also add value, make it more appealing to renters and buyers alike. It will make the property quieter, lower your carbon footprint and improve the energy efficiency – helping your tenants to keep utilities bill down.
Choosing new windows and finding a trustworthy company to supply and fit them can be a minefield. The first thing to do is to assess whether you really need new windows or if painting the window frames will suffice.
Do your research into which type of windows are best for your home as this can have a significant effect on the value. If you have an older property such as a tenement flat or listed building, it could be better to buy wood windows. Wood-window manufacturing has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. You can now buy windows made from wood that has been impregnated with preservatives and factory finished to a high standard. This will reduce the maintenance required and prevent water penetration and you will only need to repaint them every eight to 10 years. Find out if the window company is a member of the Wood Window Alliance and choose fully factory-finished wood windows. Good quality wooden windows can be much more aesthetically pleasing and blend in with the style of your property and should last up to 60 years. However, wooden windows are more expensive than their PVC counterparts.
If you have a modern contemporary home, you might prefer a more industrial appearance. Aluminium windows are often used on homes built in the 1930s, warehouse conversions and extensions. It’s worth noting that metal frames can be colder than wood or plastic but many providers use a‘ thermal break’, which improves insulation and prevents condensation. It is a very strong material, and the slim frames can maximise the light. You can also have them made in various colours.
PU and PVC windows
This is the most popular and cost-effective choice, and you can choose from various different opening styles and even simulated wooden sash windows. PU and PVC windows cost around 20% less than timber. With so many different options available you can find a style that will perfectly match your property. PVC windows are extremely low maintenance.
Choosing the glass is just as important as the frame. There are several types of glass available, and a reputable window company should talk you through the options and the pros and cons of each. As a general guide, the window’s energy rating which must be between A and C to comply with current regulations – more information can be found at the British Fenestration Rating Council.
You can choose a glass which has an invisible coating that reflects heat back into the room while letting in free heat from the sun. This is known as passive solar gain. You could also opt for triple glazing – this retains heat better than double glazing. However, this is expensive, and it may not be cost effective when looking at the energy savings.
Unless your property is in a conservation area, your windows must be at least double glazed to comply with building regulations. If it is a listed building, there may be exemptions so it’s worth checking with your local council. If your period property isn’t allowed double glazing then consider secondary glazing. This means that an additional pane of glass or polyester film is fitted inside single glazing.