Windows are not just a portal to the outside world; they play a crucial role in the character, functionality, and efficiency of your home. Whether you’re looking to upgrade for energy saving, aesthetic appeal, or to increase the value of your property, changing the windows in your home is a significant decision that requires careful consideration to avoid making expensive mistakes. With our Design Consultation support Prestige Windows & Doors are here to help you manage this task and suggest 10 vital elements for you to bear in mind when considering your new window and door purchase:

  1. Energy Efficiency and Insulation

Modern advancements in window and door technology have led to a raft of energy-efficient options that can help you save on your energy bills. However, this information can prove confusing with some suppliers offering WER ratings (similar to Electrical Product ratings) while others offer a U Value for their window and door choices. The U Value rating on Windows and Doors is a different way of looking at the same problem and the lower the U Value, the better the frames are performing. So a 1.4 U Value is better than a 1.8 etc. Elements that can affect these ratings include features such as glazing type, low emissivity coatings and gas filled solutions such as argon or krypton, which can significantly reduce heat transfer.  Most modern products now hover around the A rated level with some of the historic traditional product designs sitting around a B Rating, but luckily the days of F & G rated windows are long gone.

  1. Material Matters

The material of your windows can seriously affect their style, maintenance needs and lifespan. For instance, timber provides a traditional look and great insulation but depending on the product range chosen can range from the need to paint yearly, to the higher quality products which offer 12 year guarantee’s on the paint finish, meaning you can have more time for relaxation. Timber Alternative is a term used to describe a family of windows designed to emulate a timber appearance, but are part of the UPVc family. As a result they’re low maintenance and offer a high level of insulation, but you may face some compromises on styling that simply can’t mimic from the timber products. Another option is Aluminium windows which can offer a sleek, modern effect on modern properties, or sit just as well in a Historic building where the window treatment needs to blend into the background. What leads to one client choosing Timber over Aluminium or Timber Alternative could be the age and character of the home and these are the areas where design advice can help to clarify the best choices specifically for your home.

  1. Style and Design

Window designs are very much linked to the style and period of your home. Homes built from 1980 onwards are more likely to have UPVc windows which can include grid bar designs to introduce different styles to the windows with traditional older properties leaning toward timber frames and modern new build moving towards Aluminium products. We find older Victorian and Edwardian homes are now benefitting from younger families moving in to breathe new life into these beautiful old properties.  Appreciating the traditional appearance its usual to keep the front elevation traditional with Timber Sliding Sash or Casement windows to echo the original era. However, the rear elevation of the property can differ completely as extensions form larger living spaces with wide, open plan living and garden views framed by large sliding Aluminium Doors to benefit from the light and space. Popular styles such as flush casement, lipped casement or traditional sliding sash windows all have unique looks and functionality. Additionally, the grid bar designs and glass types can further enhance the window’s design, so choose a style that complements your home’s era and aesthetic.

  1. Noise Reduction

If you live close to a road, or in a noisy area, consider windows specifically designed for noise reduction. These features are more likely to include thicker glazing, acoustic laminated glass, or at the extreme end of the spectrum specialized frame construction that can significantly reduce the transmission of sound into your home, offering a quieter environment. However, you’ll also find that well fitted, well manufactured frames can also make a huge difference to the noise levels in your home, so its not always necessary to go for the bullet proof versions to see a significant difference.

  1. Safety and Security

Windows are often seen as a weak point in a home’s security, so it’s important to consider features that can enhance safety while you’re making your changes. Impact-resistant glass such as Laminated glass can help where you have windows or doors with larger expanses of glass. Fitting Laminated glass won’t stop someone trying to gain entry, but it could be the difference between them getting inside or becoming frustrated and moving on elsewhere. Multi-point locking systems and reinforced frames can all increase your home’s security. Most new windows will meet or exceed local building code requirements for safety and protection, but where you’re working with local joiners or makers, please check that this is the case. .

  1. The Importance of Window Installation

Even the best windows will under-perform if not installed properly. The installation process is critical for ensuring proper fit, sealing and operation. With over 40 years of installations under our belt and working with our own installation teams, Prestige Windows & Doors have both experience and an excellent reputation. With many of the traditional installation skills lost in the UPVc window era, our mature (OK, older) installation teams are extremely well equipped to support clients in all aspects of installation, both modern and traditional. Our experienced survey team will assess the site prior to order to ensure that every eventuality has been accounted for. This is also a perfect opportunity to speak with our clients to offer advice on how they might want their installation to be managed. Where an opportunity exists to offer more than one installation choice, we work with clients to help them choose their preferred route to get them the outcome they want to see. Whilst this isn’t always an option, we always go above and beyond to make sure our installations fit the bill on all fronts.  This attention to detail is a part of our company DNA and has lead to our high level of positive customer reviews – why not check us out here?

  1. Sunlight and UV Protection

While natural light is desirable, excessive sunlight and UV radiation can cause furniture and other items in your home to fade. Low-E coatings and tinted glasses can reduce UV damage while still allowing plenty of light into your home. Sunlight playing through your windows could be beneficial as you’ll benefit from the Solar Gain the suns rays will bring. However, this could also lead to overheating if the room is already warm, so knowing that there are options available to overcome these issues gives you another option when planning your new windows. Consider your space and the directions your windows face to make an informed decision about the level of protection you need.

  1. Ventilation

Good ventilation is crucial to maintaining a comfortable living environment. Not opening windows or keeping curtains closed can result in internal mould developing which is bad for your health and your home. Select windows that can be easily opened and closed, to provide excellent ventilation while keeping out the blustery UK weather. As a result of Building Regulation changes in June 2022 it’s now a requirement that Trickle Vents are now included in all new and replacement windows. Consider also introducing opening windows where you currently have fixed panes, this will improve ventilation options still further when we have hot summer months, but has the added benefit of offering greater safety in the event of fire as you’ll have a point of egress that wasn’t available to you before.

  1. Local Building Codes and Regulations

Before making any changes to your home, it’s important to understand your local building codes and regulations. Older properties may be subject to restrictions such as Article 4, Conservation Orders or Listed Building protection. If this is the case, you’ll face restrictions on the changes you can make without gaining permission from the local councils or conservation officers. On the other hand, most modern properties have no such restrictions and can make their own choices as to the window types and styles they’d want to see in their home. New builds will be subject to Planning restrictions and these will approve the window designs that can be used within each given new build.  Don’t assume that you can only use one type of product if you’re planning a new build – sometimes local planning prefer to see something completely different on new builds or new extensions, to show where the original property ends and the new sections begin. An architect can give you valuable advice into what restrictions you may face in your area.. If you decide to ‘risk it’ be aware that you could find yourself forced to uninstall any work carried out at your own expense. Our Design Consultations can help you to navigate the different requirements relating to your home and offer you guidance on which approaches will suit you best.

  1. Cost and Return On Investment (ROI)

Finally, while budget is an important factor, don’t make it your only consideration. Cheap windows often cost more in the long run due to poor efficiency, maintenance needs, and a shorter lifespan. Instead, think about the value and longevity your investment will bring. High-quality brand renowned windows may have a higher upfront cost, but they can also save you money on energy bills and will significantly increase the resale value of your home.

If you plan to live in your current home for 5 years or more for example, an investment in a high quality, secure and thermally efficient door could be the best decision you can make, but if you intend to move on after a short period of time, you may decide a more cost effective option such as UPVc will solve the problem for less cost.

The points above will hopefully help you make an informed decision when it comes to changing the windows and doors in your home. For further advice and to explore the best window options to meet your needs, consider reaching out to our Design Consultants for advice and support. We’re happy to guide you through the process without obligation or pressure. Investing your time at this stage to find the most suitable solution for your home and your budget will avoid any costly mistakes and help you make an informed decision that’s right for you and your home.