Nowadays, windows come in a great variety, depending on the materials they’re made of, the type of installation they require, the type of window handles, the design… and so on.
In this detailed guide, the Fantastic Window Cleaning team offers you all the information you need to make the right decision for your new home.
Types of Windows Depending on the Material
- PVC windows. PVC, or simply plastic windows, have become very common since the 1990s. The best thing about them is they’re the most affordable option out there and offer good quality overall, without requiring any maintenance. However, they cannot be repaired should they become damaged, so you’ll just have to replace them with new ones. Another flaw is that they seem to decrease the value of a property.
- Softwood windows. Wood and timber frame windows have a very nice look and are quite affordable. They do require frequent maintenance, such as repainting every few years.
- Hardwood windows. Hardwoods, and the most commonly used variety – oak window frames, are a lot more durable and stable. They have a longer lifespan than softwood and are a very expensive option in general.
- Composite windows. Those are usually timber windows with weatherproof capping. They are widely used in harsh climates and are lately gaining popularity in the US as well. Composite windows are low-maintenance, however they can get very expensive.
- Metal/Fibreglass windows. Steel and aluminium are the most often used materials for metal windows. Fibreglass is just like aluminium and can be supplied in any colour. They are low maintenance and look better than PVC, though metal is not as thermally efficient as wood.
Most Common Window Styles
One of the traditional British options, open-out casements are available in many varieties. Large casements are more affordable. Split casements look great on cottage property designs and smaller houses. Sizes are standard and are a great choice overall for homeowners who don’t prefer to stand out too much.
Tilt and Turn
Continental-style tilt and turn windows are the best choice for contemporary design homes. They open inwards and the ‘tilt’ option provides ventilation and security. They need to be pre-ordered for installation and are a lot more expensive.
The sash is used on new traditional-style buildings. They need to be pre-ordered as they don’t come in standard sizes. The most common varieties of sash windows are:
- Side Hung – a sash type hinged at the side.
- Top Light – a fixed pane that comes with a narrow glazed, top-hinged casement.
- Slide Folding – hinged in order to fold, this sash type allows the window to open much further.
- Top Hung – a sash variety hinged at the top.
- Bottom Hung – hinged at the bottom, these sashes are usually used in basements.
- Centre Hinge – hinged in the centre, this sash allows for a wider window opening.
What’s the Worth of Glazing
On-site glazing is the cheapest option for self-builders and usually comes with softwood frames, painted on-site. Worst part about it – it takes a lot of time and most people move away from on-site glazing. It’s yet another thing that decreases the worth of a property if put on sale.
Factory Double Glazing
Having a factory double glazing means that windows can be clipped from the inside in order to streamline the installation. It’s a lot more expensive than the on-site glazing option, but most home-owners prefer a more quality choice over the more affordable one.
Factory Triple Glazing
Factory triple glazing is gaining more and more popularity in the UK, especially when it comes to low-energy homes. It increases thermal comfort inside the house, while simultaneously decreasing the amount of cold spots in your house.
How to Compare Window Costs
Comparing prices can be very time consuming, since all properties are different and you would need a customized quote. That’s why it’s better to turn for help and hire a professional builder.
However, knowing your preferences on material, design and glazing options would really help you create a starting point.
In order to effectively choose the right window for your new (or current) home, you need to be well informed. But if you still don’t feel like doing all this work, you can always rely on professional designers to find the right option for you.