Window Installation Information
Windows cover a surprisingly large amount of the wall space in our homes and offices, providing valuable light, insulation and ventilation that we couldn’t do without. They come in different shapes, sizes and designs ranging from simple uPVC single windows to the more ornate, wood framed installations that have been specially made for period buildings.
Installing high quality, energy efficient double or triple glazed windows can significantly reduce the amount you spend on your heating bills and also provide a higher degree of security for your property. They are a long term investment that makes sense if you want to make sure that your home or office is properly insulated.
History of Windows
The earliest windows were, of course, just simple holes in the wall that were later covered in animal hide or had shutters attached to protect against the cold. It wasn’t until the Roman times that glass began to be used, albeit in thick, bottle form. In England, we had to wait until the 17th Century before glass making techniques developed and became more widely used for middle class family homes. The industrial revolution brought the advances in technology which made mass production of glass panes more economical and experimentation with different types of window developed in the late 19th Century.
Find out about the history of windows and double glazing.
Double and Triple Glazing
Most homes in the UK now use double glazed, framed windows that consist of two layers of glass with an additional layer of gas in between. Triple glazing adds an additional layer of glass and is available at a greater cost but is more suited to colder regions than here. There are numerous benefits for double glazing including:
- Keeping in the heat of the home and reducing draughts which means your property is better insulated, reducing those all-important heating bills.
- Lowering the amount of noise coming from outside, particularly relevant if you live near a busy road.
- Cutting down on condensation around the glass of your windows and in the home.
- Improving security because it is more difficult to break than single glazing.
Changing from single glazing to double glazing can save you between £75 and £110 a year depending on the energy saving efficiency of the windows you have installed (based on a 3 bedroom semi-detached home). Installations can last comfortably for 20 years or more which provides significant savings for any home over that period.
Find out more about double and triple glazing here.
Types of Window
There are a wide range of different types of window style available nowadays and a lot will depend on the type of property you have and how much you want to spend on installation. Unlike many energy saving measures, windows are as much about their aesthetic value as their energy efficiency and installation cost.
Just a few types of window design and frame construction on the market today include:
- Bay Windows: These have multiple panels to provide a large installation that lets in a good amount of light and are suitable for areas such as living rooms and bedrooms.
- Sash Windows: These are a more old-fashioned in design with a window that lifts up and were the staple of many homes in the UK for a long time. They are still popular today but do tend to cost a little extra.
- French Windows: More of a door than a window, these are large installations that are hinged to open outwards or inwards depending on their design. They are often used in conjunction with something like a patio installation or conservatory.
- Casement Windows: These have hinged doors and open in or out and come in a variety of different types and designs.
Discover other types of window style here.
The way windows are constructed is just as important as the style that you choose. This can include the type of material used in the frame to the actual gas that is used between the panes. Different types of window construction include:
- PVC Windows: Vinyl style frames have become popular in the last twenty years because they are cheaper and are usually reinforced with steel inside the frame.
- uPVC Windows: A more durable and recyclable option, uPVC has large taken over from normal PVC windows and provide a highly energy efficient window frame.
- Timber Windows: If you want a more natural look then timber windows could be the option for you. They are greener and more aesthetically pleasing but need regular maintenance and may not last as long as uPVC or aluminium windows. They can also cost more than uPVC windows.
- Aluminium Windows: These tend to be used in larger structures mainly because of the low cost and durability over time. They are not as energy efficient as other window frame types and not generally used in the average domestic or commercial property.
Find out more about modern window construction here.
Windows for Domestic Properties
For a normal three bedroom semi, you can expect to save in the region of £100 on your heating bills if you change from single glazing to double glazing. The type of window you eventually opt for will depend on a number of factors, not least the aesthetic appeal and the level of energy efficiency. Installations can move surprisingly quickly for what seems such a big job, often completed within a few days to a week, depending on the windows being replaced, once the frames have been ordered.
Cost across the industry can vary considerably but you should be expecting to pay anywhere between £5,000 and £10,000 for the installation for an average house.
Find out more about domestic window installations.
Windows for Commercial Properties
Of course, commercial properties can vary in size and the job of replacing windows for more energy efficient ones can be bigger and more expensive. Other factors that may come into account is the location of your business – for example, if you are on the fifteenth floor then you might have to pay more in installation costs. The materials used may well also change depending on the size and location of the commercial premises.
View some case studies for commercial properties here.
Energy Ratings for Windows
More now than ever, the energy ratings for insulation technology such as double and triple glazed windows have become very important. Ratings range from A which are the most energy efficient down to G. New builds now have to have at least C rated windows and doors installed. One thing to note is that the energy saving between an A and a C rated window is fairly small but the cost difference can be quite significant.
Find out about energy ratings for windows.
Manufacturers of Windows
As you might expect there are quite a few window manufacturers in the UK many of whom specialise in particular models such as uPVC. Companies such as Mumford and Woods in Essex produce period style windows and can design bespoke ones for your home, though the cost is naturally higher than normal window manufacturers. Others like Kawneer specialise in large constructions and windows for office blocks.
Discover more about manufacturers here.
Installers of Windows
Probably more than any other part of the building industry, double glazing has its fair share of complaints about bad practice. If you are considering having them installed, or having your current windows updated, then you need to get more than one quote and do your research before committing to any particular installer.
Most installers will ally themselves to a particular manufacturer/fabricator or type of window (for example, uPVC) and it helps to have a look at some of the work they have done in the past to see how it will fit in with the construction of your own home or office.
You can now explore our database for installers in your areas. Find out more here.