8 things you need to know when buying windows
The aim of any homeowner should be to make their home warmer, more secure, and more energy-efficient – and double glazing should be top of the ‘to do’ list. But buying windows can be a challenging process if you aren’t properly prepared. To help you, here are 8 things you need to know when buying windows for your new double glazing.
Where to start
With so many variables and finer points to be decided on, choosing your double glazing can make you feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. In fact, you may not even realise that you could make a choice about certain things. It can be a complicated process – but it doesn’t have to be.
Thankfully, any trusted window company will be able to guide you through all the options available to you and help you choose the ideal windows for you and your property. So if you’re thinking that buying windows is going to feel like a chore, these 8 pointers will give you a head start on what to think about for some of those all-important decisions.
1. Window Styles
Windows come in a wide range of different styles and designs. So when you’re buying new windows, those features need to reflect the particular needs of a property and its architectural style. They could be aesthetic and be related to the look of a property and how they might affect its appearance, or even the practicalities of how your windows will function.
So if you need a window with an authentic and traditional appearance to suit a period or heritage property, a sash window or bow window could be the ideal style for your home. Alternatively, you might be looking for a window with added safety and home security. If that’s the case, then a tilt & turn or a flush casement window could be the right choice. But there’s more to think about.
Knowing what you want from a new window, what it needs to look like, and how you need it to function will help you make some key decisions and, ultimately, the right choice long before you buy your windows and start your installation. And you’ll be making an informed decision which will be beneficial to you and your home in the long term.
A Trusted window installer with a sound reputation will be able to give you details on a range of window styles and options to choose from. At Majestic Designs, we offer a broad range of both traditional and modern windows, including sash windows, leaded and Georgian windows, and bay and bow windows, all designed with your property in mind and made to measure to your exact specifications
2. Frame Colours
When you’ve made the decision to install brand new, energy-efficient windows, once your choice of style has been decided, you should also be thinking about specific frame colours. You’ll probably already know that the majority of double glazing around the country is standard white, but what if white isn’t the right colour for your property, or you simply don’t like it?
In the 1980s and 90s, there was a long-running joke in the industry that you could have any window frame in any colour ‘as long as it’s white’. Thankfully, the industry has moved on over the last decade, and there’s now a much wider choice of colours available, so you get to choose a window colour that suits your property and your taste.
Standard white can be the wrong window colour on several grounds. If your home is an older, period, or heritage property, or if it’s in a conservation area, white will either be the wrong colour for its age, or just make your property stand out for all the wrong reasons. And if you have a modern, contemporary home, again, white just might not be the right choice.
Every home and everybody’s taste is different, but nowadays, you can choose from a range of authentic heritage colours and woodgrain finishes for modern windows that look just like wood. While they’re an attractive alternative, they’re also incredibly durable so the colours won’t crack, fade, or peel. You can even get window frames with an external colour while being white on the inside, giving you a neutral finish that matches your interior décor.
3. Frame Material Choices
Today’s modern windows are generally made from three materials: uPVC, timber, or aluminium. While each of these materials has its respective benefits, each is also suited to a particular purpose. Though thermally-efficient, wooden window frames have a limited shelf life before they warp and crack leading to annual maintenance work. This can include filling, priming, and repainting as they get older to stop rot caused by constant exposure to all weathers.
Aluminium frames are becoming a much more popular material for more modern homes and apartments. Not only are they lightweight and slimline for an exceptionally stylish appearance, but they’re thermally-efficient and have a hard-wearing finish that’s capable of withstanding the harshest of weathers.
But it’s uPVC frames that are a useful and practical material on several fronts. They’re great value financially, but they’re also thermally and energy-efficient and need very little or no ongoing maintenance, making uPVC a great choice for good looking, long lasting and hassle-free windows.
The uPVC window manufacturing process has also improved substantially over the past decade. Together with an increased range of options, styles, and colours, they’re also much further advanced on efficiency, security, and durability, making state-of-the-art, modern uPVC windows a better – and more efficient – choice than ever before.
4. Opening Options
The functionality of your windows and how you want to operate them is probably one thought that’s far from being one of your main concerns when buying windows. While it may seem to be a relatively small detail, it’s really quite an important decision to make.
Modern windows are available in a range of opening actions to suit particular properties or purposes. But whatever age or style of home you have, your windows should reflect that and suit the type of property you own. For example, an older country cottage would suit a casement style, outward opening window, whereas a period property may suit more traditional single or double hung sliding sash windows.
An excellent window installer will be able to give you a broad range of opening options to choose from. That’s why at Majestic Designs, we offer windows styles to suit all properties. From those traditional opening options, such as casement windows and sash windows, to windows with the latest opening actions more suited to modern, everyday living, such as tilt and turn windows.
Perhaps you might even be looking for a fixed window to create either a central showpiece to your home or just to add some much needed daylight to a dark corner. Whatever your property style and personal choice, we have the perfect choice for your needs.
5. Double Glazing
Double glazing is essential to improving your home’s energy-efficiency and thermal insulation. All too often, homeowners think carefully about the benefits of loft and cavity wall insulation, while almost forgetting that badly insulated windows can be responsible for losing up to 25% of your home’s heat.
Installing quality double glazing is a worthwhile investment and is one of the key home improvements that homeowners choose to complete sooner rather than later. And apart from excellent thermal efficiency, double glazing greatly reduces outside sounds caused by traffic, noisy neighbours, or other loud noise nearby.
Key to all these thermal and acoustic insulations is the two panes of glass. In Between them, the 20mm space bar gap is filled with a mix of trapped air and around 90% argon gas. This actually reduces the heat being lost from inside your home, while also creating an effective barrier to eliminate noise coming in from outside.
So double glazing provides excellent levels of both thermal and acoustic insulation, making it a perfect choice for both modern and traditional homes.
6. Window Energy Ratings (WER)
The type of glazing you choose for your new window will have a noticeable effect on its thermal and energy performance. This means that you should give careful consideration to the type of glazing you want your new window to have. A reputable and trusted glazing manufacturing company will be able to offer you high performance double glazing with your window – many don’t.
At Majestic Designs, all our high quality glazing is rated using the industry standard (Window Energy Rating (WER) scale. The WER rating system places windows on an alphabetical scale of energy-efficiency from the best performing, energy efficient windows rated A+ to the lowest performing, inefficient windows, rated G.
By choosing a window that has a high WER rating, you can improve the energy-efficiency of your home and potentially save money on your heating bills. Majestic Designs has a rating of A+14 as standard, so you already have the most energy-efficient windows you can get.
Plus, all our windows are certified by the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) for overall energy performance. So you can rest assured each glazing unit has been recognised as having improved solar gain while reducing air leakage and thermal losses of heat from your home to the outside.
All of the windows we offer at Majestic Designs make them among the best performing currently available on the market. When you’re looking for windows with exceptional energy-efficiency, Majestic Designs is the best company to choose.
7. Decorative Window Features
Adding a personal touch is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying parts of choosing and buying your new windows. Good glazing companies will be able to provide a variety of different decorative features that can inspire you to add extra personality and individuality to your window. But what features can you choose?
At Majestic Designs, we can offer you plenty of options. We have a range of coloured and textured glazing suitable for any area in your home. Plus, you can choose square or diamond leaded glass for a traditional finish or even Astragal or Georgian bars and sash horns so that you can customise your window to give you a truly authentic finish.
8. Window Furniture
The term ‘window furniture’ includes all the parts that make a window what it is – from handles and hinges to locks and security. Window installers can often supply a bewilderingly extensive range of hardware for you. But a company who understands what you need will be able to offer you advice about what type of hardware is best suited to your window, making the process a lot easier.
At Majestic Designs, we offer a full range of window furniture designs and finishes suited to your chosen window, giving you everything you need for a bespoke finish that’s fit for purpose and perfectly matched to your home. From window handles, hinges, and restrictors for casement and tilt & turn windows to catches, pulleys, lifts, and locks for traditional sash windows.
Our team of skilled window experts will be able to show you all the available options for your chosen window style and give you advice about the best one to choose for you. These finishing touches will give you a quality touch to any window.
Contact Majestic Designs
There’s a lot more to know when buying your windows, but this list should give you plenty to think about beforehand, as well as some inspiration to make a few decisions before you start your project. But at Majestic Designs, we’ll be pleased to give you all the advice you need.
We want to make the process as simple and straightforward for you as possible and we’re happy to take the time to get to know you and your requirements, and our experts will be happy to help you. Our 17 years trading have seen us design, manufacture, and install high quality uPVC and aluminium double glazing windows, doors, and conservatories for thousands of satisfied customers across Somerset and the South West, each one helping us to gain over 2,300 reviews with a 9.49 rating on the Fairtrades website.
Get in touch with our Majestic Designs Customer Service team today for more information. Contact us through our contact form or call us on 01934 741 294. We look forward to making your home safer, warmer, and more energy-efficient.