No matter the reason you’re looking for replacement windows, you can easily be bogged down by the flow of information. Wading through the pushy sales jargon and slew of product pages, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s right for your home. However, there are 4 easy steps to bagging your perfect window:
1. Pick the window style
2. Choose the material
3. Select the glazing option and finishes
4. Go for a reputable window company
Simple enough, right? We’ll now break down each point to find the right window for you:
1. Pick a window style
Whether you’re a window aficionado, or never really take notice of them, choosing the right style of window for your home is an important part of the process. There are a few key styles to consider:
Casement windows are one of the most popular window styles throughout the country. Their charming looks give them the versatility to complement traditional and contemporary homes alike. They provide largely unspoiled views, as they often don’t require muntins (the strips that divide glass panels in a window).
Flush sash windows
Flush sash windows have a classic charisma. Their look is reminiscent of yesteryear by mimicking traditional timber windows. As their name suggests, they sit flush with the wall offering a smooth look and finish. These windows can be paired with homes of any age.
Sliding sash windows
Sliding sash windows truly reap the benefits of modern technology. They emulate a style that dates back as far as the 17th century and combine it with precision-engineered materials to create this beautiful window option. Thanks to these modern materials, sliding sash windows are lighter and easier to operate and maintain than their predecessors.
Tilt & turn windows
No surprise that their name gives away their functionality. Tilt & turn windows can be opened fully, or tilted inwards. The ‘tilt’ function allows for ventilation without the risk of pets or children climbing through them. These windows will go with most properties, but their function makes them ideal for multi-storey homes and families with young children.
2. Choose the window material
uPVC is often the most affordable material; however, it doesn’t lack in performance. The material is versatile and durable by nature and can easily achieve an energy rating of A without breaking a sweat. uPVC is also virtually maintenance-free and won’t rot or warp over time. These windows have an estimated lifespan of around 20-25 years.
In the years following it’s rise to prominence; uPVC developed a reputation for being less visually appealing than other window materials. With a varied colour palette of traditional shades and more contemporary effects, this clearly isn’t the case today. The Residence 7 and Residence 9 uPVC windows were designed with Article 4 Conservation Area guidelines in mind, meaning they could be fitted into homes in a conservation area.
By nature, aluminium is robust, lightweight and sustainable. However, it’s also a good conductor of heat. Technological advancements saw the development of the thermal break in aluminium products, which added “thermally efficient” to the material’s list of characteristics. It’s strength generally means that aluminium windows can have slimmer sightlines and wider expanses of glass.
There is an undeniable contemporary appeal to aluminium windows. While these windows are in their element in solid grey and black tones, they are available in a varied range of colours to match homes of any age. A specialist coating is applied to aluminium products to make them resistant to rust and corrosion. This coating also makes the windows easy-to-maintain. Aluminium windows have an estimated lifespan of up to 45 years or more.
3. Select the window finishes and glazing option
The choice of the window’s style and material are largely ones of practicality. Selecting the finish and colour is the stage where you can infuse your personality with your home’s aesthetic. Whether you want your windows to stand out from the crowd or harmonise with the home, the variety of colours has something for everyone. With the dual colour option, you can even select one colour to match the home’s interior and a different one to complement its exterior.
Colours aren’t the only way you can make the windows your own. Customise the window further by picking the design and colour of the handle. Replicate period home details with Georgian glazing bars or pick from an array of textured glass effects to personalise your glazing.
Double or triple glazing
Getting reliable glazing is one of the most important considerations when looking for replacement windows. Your windows must offer good thermal efficiency to protect you from the elements in the North West and throughout the country. Good quality windows will prevent draughts and save you money on your energy bills. Double glazing has pretty much been the standard for well over 2 decades, since becoming mandatory in 2002.
Double glazed windows consist of 2 layers of glass separated by a layer of insulating gas. One of the most commonly used measurements of a window’s thermal efficiency is U-value, it measures an object’s ability to retain heat. The lower the value the more efficient it is. Double glazed windows have a U-value of around 1.1 W/m2K. Unsurprisingly, triple glazing windows has 3 layers of glass with 2 layers of gas. These additional layers mean that triple glazing can achieve a U-value of around 0.6 W/m2K.
4. Go for a reputable window company
There’s no denying that replacement windows can be a costly investment, so it’s worth making sure that you spend your money wisely. There are a few ways to check if a company is reputable:
It doesn’t take a TV show set in the 1980s like White Gold to tell you that home improvement companies have historically had an unfavourable reputation. Luckily in this day and age, every company is accountable for their work, so reviews speak for themselves. Honest, impartial reviews can be found on independent sites like Checkatrade, who take into account several factors including the company’s service and workmanship.
Family and friends are a powerful and persuasive source of information. Ask them who they’ve used and whether the company did a good job or not. Plan-It Windows is proud that a large part of our business comes from word-of-mouth references and repeat business.
The peace of mind that comes when your home and family are safe is priceless. When looking for windows, make sure that the company is offering a multi-point locking system as standard. As a bonus, check that the windows are made to Secured by Design standards. Secured by Design is a Police security initiative that was set up to reduce crime. Since its inception in 1989, property crime has been reduced by an incredible 60%.
Be sure to check that your replacement windows come with a guarantee on the installation and the window components. Even the most trusted companies occasionally have a problem with the windows they fit, so a lengthy guarantee will take care of any hiccups without giving you a headache. For additional peace of mind, make sure that the company offers an insurance backed guarantee. This will cover you in case the company goes out of business.
Double glazed windows in Bolton, Manchester and throughout the North West
Plan-It Windows began its trading life supplying and fitting doors and replacement windows to the good folk of Bolton. Almost a decade later, our range has expanded to include conservatories, orangeries, aluminium bi-folding doors, aluminium windows, solid roof conservatory systems and roofline products.
We have worked hard to make a name for ourselves for high-quality products, reliability and outstanding service, and our reviews speak for themselves. For expert home improvements across the North West, give us a call on 01204 373203, contact us online or pop into one of our window showrooms in Bolton.