Whether you’re taking on a full construction project, or simply renovating your existing property, new windows are a key feature that can both enhance the aesthetics of your property, as well as making your home more energy-efficient. From its pane arrangement to whether it slides, or swings open, frame material, colour and glazing pattern – each small detail helps to define a window’s style.
Here are some important factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right windows for your project.
WHAT IS YOUR NEW WINDOW ‘MUST-HAVE’?
Before jumping straight into the design and going through galleries, it is a good idea to consider the features of your new windows. Keeping these factors in mind will help you compare your options and make sure you aren’t overlooking important quality and performance standards.
Ideally, new windows worth your investment should offer these benefits:
- Open and close smoothly
- Let in enough light
- Minimise condensation
- Keep in the heat
- Block external sounds
- Protect against intruders and damage
- Offer you a choice of colours/finishes
- Match your home’s style and character
CHOOSING THE IDEAL WINDOW FRAME MATERIAL
The window material can make a big difference to its appearance, performance, lifespan, and cost. In one of our earlier blogs we tried to compare two most popular window materials – uPVC and Timber. If you feel unsure about which one to choose, reading it may help you decide. Summing up the article, we can say that timber windows are initially more expensive than uPVC frames. However, their long-term value (lifespan, added value to your home, sustainability, and energy savings) can be considerably higher than other materials, especially if you live in a traditional property.
Don’t forget that there are higher and lower-quality products on the market within each material category, depending on who you buy from and how much you pay.
PICKING THE PERFECT STYLE
There are two main window types to choose between, depending on the style and operation you’re looking for.
Sash windows usually open by sliding vertically. These windows offer a charming traditional look, they are frequently found in period properties but can bring traditional flair to modern exteriors too. Traditional Box Sash windows operate using ropes and pulleys within a traditional frame construction. In contrast, a standard sash uses modern mechanisms to open in the form of spiral balances. Also, you can find sash imitation windows in the market, that gives the appearance of a Sash window, but operate differently. One of our most popular sash window styles is the Mock Sash window. Not only do they look like sash windows, but are less expensive too.
Standard casement windows usually open outwards using two or more hinges on the side, or top. The history of flush casement windows goes back to the 16th and 17th centuries. They were popular in the Tudor and Edwardian periods and are the most common type of window in the UK today. A double casement is sometimes called a French casement, they have two windows that swing out and meet in the middle.
YOUR GLAZING OPTIONS
The two main considerations when choosing glass for your windows are energy efficiency and appearance. Firstly, let’s look into energy efficiency, as choosing the right type of glazing can make a big difference to your energy bills.
Double glazing uses two panes of glass separated by gas to improve heat and sound insulation. Not all double-glazing is equally energy-efficient, though. The gap size between the panes, the type of gas inside, and the glass coating all make a difference.
Triple glazing uses an extra pane of glass to make the window even more energy-efficient, but you should consider whether the boost in performance is worth the additional cost. Read our article where we compare double-glazed and triple-glazed windows to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Appearance also plays a big part in how your windows look and function. Obscure/patterned glass distorts or blurs the view to create a decorative effect and increase privacy. This is ideal for bathrooms and ground-floor windows.
Laminated glass uses a layer of plastic to increase strength, security, and sound insulation without affecting transparency.
Noise-control glass is specially designed to offer maximum sound insulation. It’s ideal if you live near traffic or under a flight path.
To read more about your glass options, check out our guide to window glazing types.
COLOURS AND FINISHES
Your new windows don’t have to be white – you can fully customise the colour and finish of your frames. You can even choose different colours for the inside and outside. For example, a brighter colour on the inside could complement your modern decor, while a subtler outside shade matches your home’s traditional look.
Green and grey tones are increasing in popularity, while pastel shades are ideal for conservation casement windows. And if you’d like to show off the timeless elegance of timber, we offer stained windows too. Also, unlike uPVC, timber gives you the option of repainting your windows with a fresh colour in the future.
Our wooden windows are available in hundreds of RAL colours, just choose the one you like most.
FITTINGS AND HARDWARE OPTIONS
Your new windows’ fittings should balance style and functionality. You have a wide range of fasteners and handle options to choose from, including different finishes. For traditional windows, you can have more decorative handles, like the antique black monkey tail style.
CHOOSING YOUR NEW WINDOWS IN FIVE STEPS
It might feel like there’s a lot to consider when choosing new windows (and there is!), but when everything is combined, we can boil the process down to five simple steps.
- Decide on the style and functionality that best fits your property. For example, do you prefer modern casement or traditional sliding sash windows? Would you like an unusual shape such as circular, triangular or arched windows?
- Pick the best material. Each material has its pros and cons, but timber offers the most charm and long-term value if you can afford it.
- Choose the right glazing.
- Select the perfect colours and fittings to complement your home.
- Get a quote to see if your dream windows fit within your budget.
Ready to choose your new windows?