Choosing The Right Double Glazed Windows & Doors For Your Home
There is a staggering selection of windows and doors available on the market, with an enormous choice of materials, styles and finishes. It is not surprising then that making a choice for your home can be confusing.
To help you choose the best solution for your home we explain everything you need to know about windows and doors. What is the difference between, casement and sash windows? What is a French door? We help you understand the key differences and make your choice easier.
Double Glazed Windows
You can find out more about the window materials and styles, including costs by visiting our double glazing in Birmingham page. When you are ready to buy just check out our pages on common sales tactics, and standard quotes for double glazing and avoid any of the common tricks and pitfalls.
Casement windows are generally hinged windows that open to the side. Another option with casement windows is to hinge them at the top or bottom of the frame allowing them to ‘tilt and turn’. There are more details on tip and turn windows below.
Casement windows generally open inwards. The can open out but the inward opening ones are generally easier to clean. Small metal bars – casement stays – open and close in a scissor like fashion and are used to hold the windows open.
Casement windows are most often uPVC, but you do have the choice of timber or aluminium frames. There is also the option for different colours to suit many tastes. There’s more information about choices for window materials below.
Sash windows open by sliding a frame up or down. They come in different types:
Single hung sash windows: Only one pane moves, usually the bottom one, the other one is fixed.
Double hung sash windows: Both panes can be moved, one may be moved up and the other moved down.
Just like with a casement window sash windows can be installed as a tip and turn version and in a wide variety of materials, colours and finishes.
Sash windows maintain a traditional look and feel to a period home and the modern designs now use the same technology as other windows making them just as energy efficient, unlike their older counterparts.
A bay window is the type of window that protrudes from the wall of the house. Bays can be a window section only, or can be situated as part of a larger curved wall in the home.
As with other windows, bay windows can be produced in a variety of colours, finishes or frame material. They normally include at least 3 window panes and are a popular design feature. They also allow for more light and a better view from the room.
Tilt and turn windows
Tilt and turn casement windows are popular and come in a variety of different designs which allow you to tilt them open. In some cases they can open up to 90 degrees but most are just designed to open slightly for ventilation.
Tilt and turn windows often have notched catches which are used to hold them open at different points. As you can see in the image, they can be locked in position, leaving you with a secure way to ventilate your room. However, many non-tilt windows can also be locked in an ‘almost closed’ position to do this.
As well as tip and turn windows you can now buy dual-turn windows. In this case there are two windows located one on top of the other and both of the windows can tilt. You can sometimes buy double glazed doors that can be tilted.
The most popular type of double glazing commonly has an unplasticised polyvinyl chloride frame – which you probably know as uPVC. It has a lot of advantages over wooden frames – cost is one of these but it is also more durable, long lasting and energy efficient. It can also be recycled after use.
Although white remains the most popular colour option for uPVC windows and doors, you can buy them in a wide variety of finishes and colours. There are even wood effect frames if you wanted to keep a traditional feel but get the benefits of the modern frame. uPVC is very easy to clean and requires little ongoing maintenance.
Although timber windows can be more expensive and also need a lot more looking after than uPVC they are often the frame of choice for people looking to use natural and renewable sources. Timber is definitely a greener option and also tend to fit in better with the aesthetic of a period style property. When maintained well and looked after timber frames can be very hard wearing.
Aluminium provides a very durable window frame. Not only is the material strong, it is also low maintenance and goes well with a modern architectural look because it is so much slimmer and lighter than other frames.
Aluminium can come in a lot of different colours too, not just the standard grey or metal colour which they are often associated with.
Double Glazed Doors
In our gallery below you can see there are many styles of double glazed door. These doors allow a lot of light into the home and are also really secure. Read on to gain more information about the various types you can choose from:
Patio Sliding Doors
Patio sliding doors – which are also often known simply as patio doors or sliding doors – are large glass doors. The doors will slide open and although it is more usual to have one that slides and the other static, it is possible to install them so both doors can slide. Sliding doors are a good space saving option as they sit flush and will not encroach into the garden or home space. Patio doors are often uPVC or aluminium and come in a wide range of colours and finishes.
French doors or French windows, open out like large casement windows. You can choose to open them singly or both at once. It is a good idea to ensure you fit a ‘stay’ which will enable you to hook the door open. These prevent the door slamming (and potentially breaking) when they are blown by the wind.
Like other doors these can come in a variety of finishes and colours and are available in wood, uPVC and aluminium.
Bi-fold doors are becoming an increasingly popular option and lend a really contemporary stylish feel to a home. You can buy these in both aluminium and uPVC and of course, in a variety of colours.
Bi-fold doors open like a concertina and fold back onto themselves, they will stay open automatically wherever you place them when you open them.
Where to Buy Double Glazing
There are two main ways in which you can purchase double glazing. Either though a reputable double glazing company such as Everest, Safestyle or Anglian, or another independent company that fits double glazing in your locality like Complete Glazing Birmingham.
If your new windows are going to be part of a new room or extension you could ask the builder you are using for the project to arrange to fit the windows.
Top Tips For Buying Double Glazing
Here are the top tips given to us by experts and homeowners on how you can save money and still find the best quality double glazing
Know exactly what your requirements are before asking for quotes. By making sure you are clear on what you want, the more informed you can be. When you are in control you’re unlikely to be swayed by a double glazing salesman.
Being specific about your needs means any quote will be tailored to these, giving you the chance to gain a more accurate idea of the costs.
Visiting trade shows or a home exhibition give you the chance to see a large range of double glazed products. It gives you a good idea of the styles, colours and materials available and are a really good place to start to narrow your focus onto what you really want for your home.
Take a walk around your neighbourhood and look at the window styles in your area, especially in homes similar to your own. If there is a common look and feel to an area it is advisable to try to fit in with that rather than risk becoming an eye sore.
Try to avoid outlandish styles or colours – if you decide to sell your home later this could put buyers off.
A visit to a showroom or warehouse is a good way to gain useful information. The company that builds its own windows on site, for example, will have a much greater control over the quality of its products and will be able to give an accurate idea of build and delivery times.
Go with enough background knowledge that you can discuss the pros and cons of different systems. In this way you can assess how knowledgeable the company is and the level of professionalism they have.
Make sure you ask about the warranty. For some companies the standard is 10 years, whereas others offer a lifetime guarantee. Another area to look at is how the warranty covers the hardware as often this is covered for shorter periods of time like 1 year or 5 years.
Always raise any concerns at the earliest possible opportunity. At whatever stage of the process it is always wise to contact the company to discuss these. This can be anything; buying, delivery, installation, progress reports. Most things are easy to sort out if they are not left until the last minute.
If you have issues with a double glazing company there are a number of legal rights and steps you can go through to put things right or get a refund. Be sure to check out our guide.