What should you look for in your double glazed windows?

When you begin your search, you’ll probably start by assuming that every double glazed window product is much like another. However, as soon as you get into the detail, you’ll find that there is a great deal of variation and a number of important considerations when picking the right product for you. Modern grade uPVC windows have now been in use for over four decades. During this period, there have been significant advances in production standards and technologies, with engineers constantly improving products to meet ever increasing environmental standards, and evolving aesthetic expectations.

The ‘green’ angle is certainly important. The EU and UK Government are committed to cutting carbon emissions through the achievement of challenging energy targets, and steps to make households more energy efficient are a cornerstone of this commitment. For customers, this equates to lower energy bills, as well as a reduced carbon footprint.

It is often surprising just how different customer’s needs, tastes and overall requirements are when buying double glazed windows, and a number of factors will need to be weighed up when considering the right product for your needs. Our ethos is to provide you with as much useful and technical information as possible to help with your decision making process, allowing you to choose the right product that will serve to keep your home warm, safe and happy for many years to come.

This handy guide covers everything that you need to know and provides a useful reminder checklist at the end.

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Interior view of a white Residence 9 window
Irish oak effect flush sash windows

Any window that you buy should be able to offer the following features:

  • The ability to easily maintain and clean the window
  • A design which lets a good level of light through
  • Strong, secure construction with high-end locking mechanisms and superior safety features
  • A made to measure solution which will perfectly fit the available aperture
  • A design and aesthetic that supports your home’s overall design and your lifestyle
  • Glass that cannot be removed from the outside of the home for safety reasons
  • An excellent energy rating which can go up to A+21 in order to keep your carbon footprint, and energy bills, low
  • Draft exclusion
  • No movement or rattling sounds in high winds
  • A thorough guarantee that covers all elements of the window for a sufficient period of time.

When analysing a window, it helps to know that there are seven key factors to take into consideration. These are:

  • The window design
  • The type of glass it uses
  • The materials from which it is constructed
  • The construction of the frame
  • The overall energy efficiency rating
  • The type of window seals used
  • The security offered.
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uPVC Windows
Triple glazed cream coloured flush sash windows

Additionally, window frames are made up from three primary materials, which are also worth knowing. These are as follows:

Timber Windows
This offers the lowest level of conductivity from a thermal perspective. It also looks wonderful, but this high end finish is reflected in the cost. This material performs well and offers excellent natural insulation that absorbs the sun’s heat and retains it. The material is also ethically sourced and highly desirable for its aesthetic qualities. Bear in mind, however, that, as well as paying a premium for natural timber, you will need to commit to a regular programme of care and maintenance to keep these windows looking their best.

Timber window frames can be constructed from either hard or softwood. The former is slow growing and extremely durable. It tends to be more costly for these reasons. Softwood grows more quickly and is more readily available as a result.

Timber frames are also flexible in terms of the finish you choose. They can be painted or stained in any number of colours, so that the resulting effect will be personalised to your home.

uPVC Windows

These are highly durable and are easy to maintain, offering an overall solution which performs extremely well and offers excellent value for money. The material is smooth and looks great. It will never rust, flake or rot and also needs next to no maintenance. For this reason, it is very popular in modern homes because it offers excellent value for money. For some customers however, it doesn’t embody the charm of natural wood frames. The majority of uPVC window products are white in colour and it is essential to seek a product that will retain its bright white finish, and which has a guarantee to protect against any discolouration.

If you are choosing a colour finish then there are one or two tones from which to choose. This means that you could elect for one colour on the building’s exterior, and another inside – or vice versa. A well constructed uPVC window will also offer the same level of energy efficiency as wood. With the latest finishes and technology, this material can also be made to appear very similar to timber; so much so in fact that many people will struggle to tell the two materials apart.

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Large Aluminium French Doors

Aluminium windows

This type of window offers the potential for particularly slim frames and thus may let in the greatest amount of light. This type of window is easy to maintain and won’t rust, flake or rot. It looks good and offers considerable strength but it also has the highest thermal conductive properties. As a result, aluminium frames tend to have a lower energy rating than other materials. In terms of finish, it is possible to enjoy a wide selection of colour options thanks to modern powder coated finishes.

What do you need to ask before you buy your new window?

Now that you understand the key components and attributes of a new window, you can think about your personal needs before you short-list some products. Spend time thinking about the following questions before you become involved in detailed conversations with suppliers. This will ensure that you are clear about your needs and how your new windows will work with your home and lifestyle.

  • Consider the style that will best suit your property – whether modern and contemporary, or traditional and timeless.
  • Think about the material that will best match your objectives
  • Think about colour scheme and whether you want a basic white, wooden or colour finish.
  • Be clear on the importance of security for your windows and property. This will depend on the type of building for which you are buying windows. For example, a garage, outbuilding or even holiday property which is left unfurnished might require different levels of security from your principal residence.
  • How easy is the window solution to maintain and is maintenance something you are prepared to undertake?
  • Are there any obligations on your property that will affect the type of window you can choose? Is it a listed building or subject to a covenant of some form?
  • Can you save more on your energy bills by buying a certain type of window?
  • What type of guarantee is on offer?

We hope this guide has helped you to begin an enjoyable window buying journey. For any queries or for further information, please contact our friendly expert team in Nottingham who are always happy to help.

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Visit our Ilkeston show-site to see windows, doors & conservatories on display in PVCu, aluminium & timber

If you’d like to find out more about Lifestyle Windows, come along to our Ilkeston showroom and conservatory village. We provide on-site parking and are open six days a week during normal working hours. You can even book an appointment with one of our friendly advisors for an evening or Sunday visit to our stylish showroom. Browse our extensive range of high quality products and speak to our knowledgeable team about the best solutions for your home improvements.

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