Look through any window – yeah!

You’d need to be of a certain era to recognise this reference, but when it comes to your home, it’s more about the look of your windows.

Walk down any residential street and you’ll see acres of white double glazing.  But did you know that you don’t have to have white frames?  There are fashions in window frame colours, and UPVC comes in many different colours from wood effects to black, green and, currently, anthracite grey is bang on trend.

The same applies to your front door – having a pop of colour differentiates your house from the rest of your street.  Many home owners think that the frame must match the door, but a coloured door in a white frame really makes that door stand out.

There are some building regulations to take into account when you’re planning new windows.  There must be air vents to ensure there is a flow of fresh air and windows must have a part that is big enough and opens wide enough to escape through in the event of a fire.  On the ground floor, if there’s a nearby door that gets you out of the building, it’s less of an issue, but certainly upper floor windows, can’t just have a small fanlight that opens.

Be creative

You don’t have to replace your current windows with an identical layout of frames.  If you have a multi-frame arrangement, for instance in a bay window, you may decide to put in one or two much bigger double glazed units that let in more light.

Older windows often have many panes of glass, but todays windows tend to be bigger individual areas of glass and look a lot less busy.  Gone are the days when you have side openers, fanlights and three sections in a single bedroom window, it can all be streamlined into a smart design that lets in the maximum amount of light.

Plan ahead

Before you order your windows consider what else will be needed.  You can drill into UPVC frames and composite doors – but doing so will compromise any warranties or guarantees you have.

Drilling into a window frame can break the seal on the window and even break the glass. Drilling into a new composite door will perforate the outer skin of the door and provide an access point for moisture and wet weather to enter the timber inside the door, causing unwanted damage.

If you want a letterbox, a doorbell, a camera, a knocker or a spyhole in your door, get it fitted when the door is being constructed – don’t try and DIY it afterwards.

If you have CCTV cables or aerial cables that need to go through the window frame area, make sure that the window fitter is aware of this prior to fitting the window, so they can be placed without damaging the effectiveness of your new windows.

Double or triple glazing?

In most cases double glazing will do an excellent job and, if you’re changing from old single glazed windows to double glazing you are likely to see a significant drop in your energy bills.  Double glazing will pay for itself over time.

Triple glazing is really only necessary in places where the noise levels are particularly high – like under the flight path of a nearby airport – or where it is very cold.

There is another option – secondary glazing.  This is particularly good at noise reduction as an additional pane of glass is fitted internally, with acoustic tiles, makes a dramatic difference to cutting down external noise.

Think before you buy

Double glazing a property is a big investment, so make sure you get expert advice and know the right questions to ask before signing on the dotted line. 

David Norris works for Bromley Windows & Doors. You can contact him on 01689 639262.

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