3 easy steps to choosing the right windows for your house extension.
Like many items in the home, there’s an imperative in the choice of new windows because of their longevity. In fact, getting the windows right is a bigger consideration than most, not only because of the potential cost involved, but because – unlike, say, a new rug for the living room – they are difficult to remove and replace. Moreover, the right choice can really make a difference in terms of how a room looks, and one might also take a factor such as energy efficiency into account. So no pressure then…
…then again, it’s much like any big decision: if you sit down and start weighing up the options, the fog soon starts to clear. So for starters, here’s three easy factors to consider. Wood or vinyl? Air or argon? Read on…
Choose the right material for the frame
In fact, an initial question is whether to replace the entire window frame or merely the sash. The sash? It’s the part of the window that holds the glass and the framework around the glass to keep it in place. Sashes are fitted into the window frame and may or may not be movable. Most windows in newer homes are sash windows.
If the window is stuck and unable to open and close, then it may indicate a sash alignment problem. This can usually be resolved using minor adjustments, but if not, you may need to replace either the sash or the entire window.
A quick scan up and down your street will most likely point to the popularity of vinyl windows. The big advantage of vinyl is that it tends to require less maintenance: the windows will never rot or chip or peel. The same cannot be said for wood windows, but they are more aesthetically pleasing, can be painted, and by their very nature are resistant to temperature extremes.
There are also now aluminium wood-clad windows as well, which combine an interior wood frame with the outside durability of aluminium. Another hybrid frame – vinyl and aluminium – combines strength and efficiency.
Choose the right style for the room
There are many different styles available. Here are some examples; check them out using google images. Choices, choices…
Casement windows – are vertical (portrait) and open outwards. They may feature locks and are opened with a crank handle.
Awning windows – are horizontal (landscape) and open outwards. Single or double hung are the more traditional variety and opened by raising and lowering one half.
Slider windows – open side to side.
Fixed windows – cannot be opened and come in many shapes and sizes.
Picture windows – are large, fixed windows.
Bay windows – have angled sides that extend outwards to increase/improve the view.
Bow windows – similar to bay windows but use gentler angles to create an impression of curvature.
Skylights – are positioned in the ceiling and add natural light.
Choose the right glass
By doing so you can improve energy efficiency, thus reducing costs in the long run. Double and triple-glazed windows are more energy efficient and will keep your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer. They’re also more noise resistant. Low-E glass coatings reflect infrared and UV light, thus lowering heat transfer and also reducing fading on furnishings. Meanwhile, Argon and Krypton gas-filled panes provide better insulation than those filled with air.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s a big decision. So the best advice of all is to take your time: consult different manufacturers and people you trust – family, friends and acquaintances – who may themselves have been through the same process recently. Also, don’t be shy: if you’re out and about and see windows you really like the look of then don’t be afraid to go and knock on the door!
And feel free to get in touch with us as well. Whether you need advice about windows, or for more information about our house extension service, please contact us either by phone or by completing the contact form and let us know what type of project you have in mind.