New windows can instantly transform your home, improving its appearance and keeping it well-insulated. However, as purchasing new windows can be quite an expensive investment, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration to ensure that you get the right product for the best price.
Why might I need new windows?
People decide to get replacement windows for a variety of reasons.
A number of people may decide to opt for new windows to update the appearance of their house. This is often the case with those who have just moved into a new property as a new set of windows can instantly transform the face of the house and can help them make their new house ‘home’.
Other reasons for new windows stem from practicality. Double-glazing is especially popular with those who live on particularly busy road as it can significantly reduce traffic noise.
Some people choose to upgrade their single-glazed windows to double-glazed windows for economic and environmental reasons. Due to its construction, double-glazing can keep your home warmer as it reduces heat loss. This can lower both your energy bills and your carbon footprint. Indeed, it has been reported that by swapping single-glazed windows for double-glazed windows, a household can save almost £200 on their yearly energy bill!
Some people also choose to upgrade their windows for security reasons as some older styles of windows are not particularly secure and can be pried open by burglars. In addition, more expensive laminated windows further improve security as they are more difficult to break than other types of glass.
Types of replacement windows
There are three main types of replacement windows available, each with respective advantages and drawbacks.
Wood Replacement Windows
Wood is traditionally used for window construction and has enduring popularity due to its ageless visual appeal. Wood windows, providing that they are well-built and constructed with good-quality materials, can last for generations. Another positive is that, unlike their uPVC counterparts, wood windows are better for the environment as not only is wood biodegradable, but it is also a significantly more sustainable resource than oil.
However, there are a number of drawbacks associated with wood replacement windows. To begin with, wood replacement windows are very expensive. Indeed, they can be up to triple the price of uPVC windows. In addition, wood replacement windows can be quite high-maintenance as you need to paint them and may encounter problems such as rot.
uPVC Replacement Windows
Many people opt for this type of replacement window purely for price reasons. Indeed, the cost of installing uPVC replacement windows is about 300% lower than the price of wood ones. This type of replacement window boasts superior heat retention and greater security. In addition, plastic is relatively durable which means that this type of window can last up to 35 years.
However, there are some drawbacks that need to be taken in account. Firstly, this type of replacement window is not very good for the environment as uPVC is made from oil, a rapidly depleting resource. In addition, the production of this material uses a lot of energy and uPVC is not biodegradable.
Furthermore, a number of these plastic units experience rapid discoloration that cannot be reversed.
Steel replacement windows
Although steel windows often have negative connotations, they are perfect for period housing and can look great in contemporary developments as the narrow frames let in lots of light. This type of replacement window is also incredibly durable and secure.
Steel replacement windows are also pretty easy to look after as they are coated in a special film that protects them from rust.
The major downside with steel replacement windows is that they are quite expensive, they often cost as much as their wood counterparts. In addition, they are not universally sympathetic; this means that steel replacement windows may look out of place on some buildings.
Make sure that your provider is associated with a self-regulation scheme such as FENSA or Certrass.
Shop around for the best deal. Get a quotations from a number companies so you can compare both the materials and prices being offered.
Do some research on your potential supplier: Do they have a good customer track-record?
Check up on the window warranties offered by your potential suppliers: How long is the warranty period? What does it cover?
- Anglian Windows are often a popular choice for replacement windows as they offer a range of uPVC options and a money-saving scrappage scheme
- Safestyle are another popular choice as they offer affordable, quality windows in a range of styles.
- Timber Windows specialise in wood replacement windows and is currently the leading UK installer of timber windows and doors.