EXPERT VIEW: what you need to know about changing your windows
Most windows are expected to last ten to fifteen years so in an average lifetime you might expect to change your windows four to five times. But how do you know when it’s time to change your windows and why should you? At the CIN we deal with lots of enquiries from home owners seeking advice about what to look for in a new window system and what they can expect to spend. So we’ve talked to Tony, our resident window expert to ask him to give his words of wisdom.
“Nobody wants to spend money on home improvement projects they don’t need so I always say to home owners think about the age of the windows, any older than 10 years and I’d think about the security of the windows as much as anything else. Yes, today’s windows will be better thermally, but one of the biggest differences will be the security performance of the window. Typically, we think about what windows look like as much as anything, but in reality they are your first line of defence in keeping intruders out of your homes. It’s very rare for an intruder to break glass to gain access to a property, it’s more likely they’ll be looking for a security weak spot. Always talk to your chosen retailer about security features and don’t be fobbed off, if the security looks shoddy, walk away.
“We are often asked about the virtues of triple glazing over double glazing. It’s a really difficult one to answer. We would always advise people that a modern double glazed unit is going to give you fantastic acoustic and thermal performance compared to a window installed a decade ago. There was a big movement towards triple glazing a couple of years ago, it was the latest thing and yes, of course, a triple glazed unit will give you better warmth and reduce outside noise even further, but in reality these are incremental differences. If you’re budget won’t stretch to triple glazing don’t lose sleep over it, the majority of home owners that chose a CIN installer are still choosing A-rated double glazing.
“Increasingly people are turning to coloured frames to create a statement on their property, but if you’re not quite ready for colour, or your property simply doesn’t lend itself to colour, be rest assured white is still the most popular choice in the UK. The tendency might be to chose a window that’s exactly the same style as you have already, top openers are popular for example, but do you need them? The purpose of a window is mainly to let light flood into your home so think about the amount of plastic frame versus actual glass. I spend a lot of time looking at window installations and I always hate to see windows with big bulky frames, especially if you’re introducing a top opener and the glass to plastic ratio just looks odd. We always looks for symmetry with window design too, a CIN member will be able to align your windows so all the openings are symmetrical and configured in the most appropriate way for your property.
Much like any investment, be absolutely sure your retailer has asked you all the salient questions about your property, if they’re just replicating what you’ve already got, that’s fine if it’s what you want but there will often be many other options that could transform you home so it’s worth challenging your retailer and exploring all the options.
“Don’t just think of new windows as a functional spend. Windows can dramatically transform a property, but it’s important you find the right retailer to do the job.”