Choosing Windows

Choosing Windows

Windows are important part of every home and they need to be efficient and cost effective in order to save you money and provide good isolation. This is why when choosing windows for your home you should pay attention to the material used to make it and the benefits it will bring.

Windows made of plastic

Over the years the plastic windows, or the so called PVC have become very popular. They are used for most new builds although it seems they do not have a very good reputation. People see them as not the most environment- friendly option which is far from the actual truth. This is why manufactures are now trying to change the public’s opinion by using recycled plastic in the production of the new windows.

Advantages: They are one of the most affordable options, although the cost will depend on their quality. These windows do not require any maintenance, so they are known as “fit and forget” option.

Disadvantages: Depending on the quality they can appear as cheap and may reduce the overall value of the home. In case they brake, it can be difficult to replace them, and doors in general are not a very strong option.

Price: The cost for these windows is between £5,000 and £15,000 for one house.

Windows made of soft wood

For the fans of wood that are working on a budget the soft wood can be a great choice. Although they tend to stain easily you can always repaint them and make them look as good as new.

Advantages: It can make your home look great, regardless whether it is contemporary or a bit old fashioned. This can be a very affordable option, assuming you glaze the windows and decorate them on site.

Disadvantages: If you are glazing the windows on site, there is a risk of misted units. You can go with the factory glazing option but it will cost you a lot of money. The soft wood windows need to be repainted once in a few years.

Price: The cost for these windows is between £6,000 and £15,000 for one house.

Windows made of hard wood

Windows made of hard wood tend to be more stable and with a longer life span than the soft wood ones. The wood can be additionally treated in case you want to make it even more stable. The most popular type of hard wood is the oak, and people often use it for more traditional houses. This type of wood can be easily stained.

Advantages: It lasts longer than the soft wood windows and it has a very natural look that adds a special touch to every home.

Disadvantages: This type of windows is usually very expensive, going even up to four times more than the soft wood.

Price: The cost for these windows is between £8,000 and £20,000 for one house.

Windows made of composite

These windows are usually made of composite and come with a weather proof capping. They are mainly used in areas with harsh climate and lately they have also become very popular in the UK. They are often used for modern homes.

Advantages: They don’t require much maintenance on the outside and give a warm feeling of timber.

Disadvantages:  These windows are very expensive and you have to pay attention to their size as they most likely won’t fit the standard size used in the UK.

Price: The cost for these windows is between £10,000 and £25,000 for one house. For triple glazing the price is 25% higher.

Windows made of metal / fiberglass

These windows are mainly made of steel or aluminum and are mostly used for contemporary homes. The fiberglass is very strong and it is available in several colors.

Advantages: They are easy to maintain and can look better than the PVC windows.

Disadvantages:  The metal doesn’t offer good thermal isolation.

Price: The cost for these windows is between £8,000 and £20,000 for one house.

Cost of different windows

The best way to rank windows is by their price per square meter. However, this type of estimate is what suppliers hate the most because you never buy the window per square meter. In fact you pay the price per window and the bigger the window is, the less it will cost per square meter. That is why if you are calculating the price per square meter you won’t be able to get an exact cost. But if you are only trying to compare prices it might come in handy.

You can calculate the rate per square meter by taking the total amount and divide it by the area of the openings for the windows.

The cheapest option for the windows in your house is to use PVC windows. They usually come with dimension that fit the openings of new houses so you won’t need to custom order them. You can also consider the option of buying affordable softwood frames but you will have to glaze them, and paint them or stain them, which will end up costing you more than the PVC.

The PVC windows also have different prices. The price usually depends on the quality, the style and the color you want to use. If you want to go with a wood grain effect than you will have to pay around 50% more than the white option. Even though the PVC windows can look great, most people still decide on the wood option simply because it looks classier. In recent years the sale of wooden windows has dramatically increased which shows that people are returning to the old trends. The wooden windows would probably have been even more popular if it wasn’t for the maintenance cost and hassle. The wooden windows need repainting every five years, which can be a big responsibility.

Which window style to choose? Casement, Tilt or Sash?

  • Open-out Casements

The Open-out Casements have always been a traditional British option and they come available in several formats. The larger ones are the cheapest option, and you can choose between different styles and designs.

  • Tilt and Turn

These windows open on the inside and look amazing on more modern houses. With the tilt you can give your house ventilation with security and bring a breath of fresh air whenever you need. The only problem is that they are usually custom made so they might be a bit pricy.

  • The Sash

These windows are mostly used on traditional buildings. They don’t come in standard sizes as they need to be in proportion with the house.

Opening options

  1. Side Hung
  2. Top Light
  3. Sliding Folding
  4. Top Hung/ Awning
  5. Bottom Hung/ Hopper
  6. Centre Hinge/ Pivot

 

What are your glazing options?

  • On-site double glazing – this option is the cheapest one if you are into some DIY building. It is usually done with frames made of softwood which are painted on the location. The process is slow, which is why most suppliers are not fans of this option.
  • Factory double glazing – with this type of glazing the windows can be clipped into templates. This makes the installation a lot easier but it is more expensive.
  • Factory triple glazing – this is the most popular option for low energy homes. It can help you save a lot of energy and increase the thermal comfort.

Making the final decision

If you are trying to maintain the original design of your home, and remain authentic to the era it was built then you have to make sure you choose the most appropriate material. In most cases that material is wood. You can try and replace the wood windows with PVC frames but you will never get the same feeling. You can replicate the wood with softwood and get the desired effect but it will probably cost you some money.

For those living in a contemporary home the choice is fairly big. The wood can give a warm feeling and increase the value of the home. The aluminum can be a great choice for the minimalist homes. If you are living in a coastal area or a windy location then you can consider the composite windows. PVC still remains a very popular choice as it is the most affordable one, but if you can pay for something else look into your options.

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