If you have decided to replace your windows and doors, then you have the opportunity to not only make your home more energy efficient, and therefore cheaper to maintain, but also to improve its outward appearance. The windows and doors of your home have a massive impact on how successful the structure is at keeping the cold out and warm in, and they also make a big difference to how your home looks on the outside.
The choices you make at this juncture will have a big impact on your home for many years to come, so it pays to make the right decisions. Here are some of the things you should be thinking about when it comes to choosing replacement windows and doors for your home.
Choosing the right replacement windows
There are a few different materials you can choose from and a number of different opening styles. Both factors make a big difference to the outward appearance of your windows.
Aluminium frames are long lasting and tough, but they don’t come cheap, and are better suited to homes that are built in a modern architectural style. Wooden frames are much loved for their pleasing appearance and strength, but it’s worth remembering that they will require maintenance and need to be given a new coat of paint at regular intervals. One of the most popular materials for replacement windows is uPVC. It comes at a comparatively low price and is very easy to clean and maintain. Standard uPVC windows come in white, but there are also many realistic woodgrain finish options if you are interested in something a little more rustic in appearance.
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When it comes to the different types of windows, a classic design style is the sash window. Although not the cheapest type, sash windows look great on period properties, and have a timeless charm. Casement windows are probably the most popular type, and these are certainly the best in terms of the amount of light that they let in to the home. You can also get Tilt and Turn windows, which have a flexible dual hinge system, and are a great choice for those with young children, as they can be fixed so that they only open a certain amount.
In terms of the types of glazing on offer, the only environmental and economical choices worth considering are double or triple glazing. Triple glazing is more commonly used in northern countries like Sweden and Norway, whereas most people find that the slightly less expensive double glazing is perfectly adequate for the British climate.
Choosing the right replacement doors
The doors to your home need to strong, sturdy and secure, but they also need to look right. A colour that clashes with the brickwork or windows, or a material that doesn’t sit right with the period of the property, will make your home’s appearance seem at best unbalanced, or worst, ugly. Remember that your front door is the first thing that a visitor sees of your home, and it makes a strong statement about the home’s overall aesthetic and the taste of the people who live there.
Panel doors, french doors, sliding doors and even stable doors, are all possibilities, as is the option to include glazed panels – even in front doors. As with the windows, think carefully about the material you choose, not only in terms of initial costs, but the possibility of ongoing maintenance and care.