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Are your windows rotting, ill-fitting and draughty, or letting out too much heat? There’s a world of difference between cheap replacement windows which may last for only two to three years, and ones that will work and look great for decades.
Don’t just buy on price – here’s our guide to what makes a top quality window.
Choose wood, not u-pvc
Plastic may initially be cheaper but in the long run it’s a false economy. All plastic windows deteriorate over time and it’s impossible to maintain them. High quality new wooden windows will last for many years and will look great, adding to the value of your property.
REPLACE, not refurbish
Some window companies offer to refurbish old windows by putting new sashes into the old frames. Inevitably the sashes won’t be square with the frames and performance will suffer. Refurbishment is usually an expensive compromise.
Don’t let your builder decide!
Builders are often concerned with getting new windows at the cheapest possible price, so you could end up with windows with no guarantees that simply will not last the test of time. Top quality window specialists will offer guarantees of up to ten years. In practice the windows will last for decades. Make sure your supplier is registered with FENSA, the government authorised scheme for replacement windows.
Select durable timber frames
Cheap timbers are more prone to warp and have paint lift. The best window companies use slow growing redwood, carefully sourced and prepared to be of the highest joinery quality, for strength, durability and paint application. Cills should always be made of hardwood as this is where water most often gathers.
Opt for quality glass
Cheap glass will give a warped or ‘shimmery’ effect. The best window companies use the highest quality low e-coated glass, guaranteed to keep more heat in. They will also advise when safety glass is needed, important when little ones are running around.
See before you buy
Make sure you see examples of the windows you are considering purchasing. Imagine buying a new car without seeing it – you wouldn’t!
Check customer feedback and reviews
If you’re thinking of using a window company, ask them to put you in touch with some of their existing customers so you can benefit from their opinions. If they refuse to do so, you can probably guess why.
If you’d like to see what makes a terrific window or door, come and see us at our showroom at 406 Merton Road, London SW18 5AD – or we’ll come and see you for a free, no obligation home design visit.
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