Windows are an important part of any home and house sales can stand or fall depending on the type of windows it has.
If you plan on modernising your home then there is nothing better at improving the look of a house than UPVC windows. Unplasticised poly vinyl chloride windows are smart, durable and require little or no maintenance to keep them looking good.
New windows could increase the value of your home by several thousand pounds so you should see the project as a worthwhile investment.
The types of upvc windows that you choose will depend on your personal taste, the size and type of the rooms and spaces where the windows will be, and of course your budget. We may all love the idea of a huge picture window looking out over a large garden, but this window style can be prohibitively expensive. Most people will not have the same type of window in every room. Bay windows for example are usually on the ground floors of houses, while fixed windows might be better at a turn in the staircase or as an extra alcove window to let in more light.
Single or Double Glazed
When you start looking for new windows you might think that all windows are the same but you will be astonished at the range of styles and materials available in UPVC windows. You can have windows that reflect the general style of your home whether you live in a new build or in a renovated Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian property. Probably the first important choice that you make is whether the windows should be single or double glazed. Not everyone is a fan of double glazing and single glazed UPVC windows have greater insulating properties than traditional windows. Single glazed UPVC windows do a good job of keeping the draughts out and most of the heat in, and they provide you with a greater level of noise insulation than traditional windows.
You may decide that what you really want to go for is double glazing. If you decide to sell your home at a future date, you will get considerably more for it with double glazing than with single. Although double glazed UPVC windows are a more expensive option, though not as expensive as triple glazing, they will also pay dividends in increased insulation properties. With double glazed windows you will be spared from most of the noise going on outside of your home and you will be surprised at how much warmer your home is.
The British government has given grants so that people can have their lofts insulated to prevent energy loss. The government have also taken to extolling the virtues of double glazing because the fact that they keep the draughts out and the heat in means huge energy savings. Saving energy is beneficial for the environment but even more to the point, it could save you a considerable amount of money on your heating bills. There is some evidence to suggest that you could easily cut up to thirty percent off of your annual energy bills when you have UPVC double glazed windows.
Colours and Tints
It used to be the case that the only colour you could have in UPVC windows was white, but that is no longer the case. Nowadays you can choose from a range of colours for your window frames, including a wood grain finish. If you want your windows to look more like traditional windows then you can have them designed in that way. You can have wood style finishes in cherry wood, oak and teak, unlike traditional wooden style frames however; UPVC window frames will not swell or rot as they are not affected by damp in the same way. When it comes to the glazing of UPVC windows, there are different types of glass, including bevelled and diamond pane, you can even have the glass tinted if you want to lessen the glare of the sun. There are different tints available but you would need to check what individual installers have on offer.
Types of Upvc Windows
You may think that you won't be able to get the type of windows that you like, but with UPVC there is a wide range of window types and some of these are listed below.
Fixed windows are those windows with no openings and these are best in spaces where little or no extra ventilation is required.
Casement windows are those windows that generally have hinged openings that are more usually attached to the side of the frame that is uppermost. Unlike sash windows that open by sliding up and down. Casement windows open outwards. Casement windows are often preferred in spaces where a sashed window might be difficult to reach.
Gliding and Sliding Windows
Both gliding and sliding windows operate in the same way, and slide from side to side rather than up and down or outwards. Gliding and sliding windows are useful in small rooms where there is a lack of space. The problem with windows that slide laterally is that they are more difficult to fully insulate.
An awning frame has one or more sashes, they swing outwards and have hinges at the top. Awning frames are good in areas where more light is needed, as each sash can be swung out and opened.
Palladian frames are arch shaped at the top and have a double hung single wide window, with a double hung narrow window on each side.
A scaped window refers to one that runs across the whole wall. This type of window is very expensive but it does let in lots of light and in rural areas provides inhabitants with great views.
Single and Double Hung Windows
Single hung windows are fixed at the top but the bottom slides up and down like a traditional sash window. Double hung windows on the other hand, have a fixed bottom but can be opened at the top. The double hung window is very popular and is great for ventilation; they are also popular in family homes as they are a safer option when children are about.
Picture windows are large and are often the focal point of a room. The picture window is excellent for letting in the light; however, they cannot be opened and are therefore not a source of ventilation. Because this window is a single large pane, it can be expensive to replace if broken.
Bay and Bow Windows
Bay windows are often found in Edwardian style homes where there is an alcove at the front of the room; they are glazed on three sides, which means they catch the daylight from different angles. Bay windows may have sashed openings; they make an attractive feature and are a very popular type of window, even in more modern properties. Bow windows are similar to bay windows and are often used where there is an alcove, but it is less angular than the bay window.
Oriel windows are similar to both bay and bow windows although they are not as large as either of these windows and they have a supportive bracket underneath.
Rotating windows operate from a central ball or pivot so they can be opened from top or bottom or either side. The greatest benefit of the rotating window is that it is easier to clean than most of the other types of window.
The hopper window is actually a casement window with hinges at the bottom as well as the top. They're often used in basements because they are great where extra ventilation is needed. The problem with this type of window is that it is especially difficult to operate if you have window blinds.
The style of window is obviously dictated to some extent by its type. Where these windows might differ in style is in the colour of the frames and the type of glass that is used. Some people like tinted glass in rooms where they need less light. Those people who want greater privacy may go for Georgian style windows with lots of small panes. Another type of glazing that helps to give people more privacy from the gaze of the outside world is bevelled glass.
Ultimately, the type and style of windows that you have in your home will depend on a number of factors, not least how much money you have to spend on the project. The general style of your home will have an impact on what sort of windows you might have, many Victorian and Edwardian properties for example, traditionally had bay or bow windows. If you have alcoves at the front of your main reception room, then a bay or bow window is the logical answer.