Content supplied by Hedgehog Aluminium
The four main things to consider when upgrading your windows is the material choice, the configuration of your window, the U-value and the glass type you are after. The main framing materials include uPVC, aluminium, steel and timber. Each material provides a different aesthetic and performance level to your property.
Pros and Cons of Each Framing Material
uPVC: uPVC windows are highly weather resistant and will need very little maintenance. However, they can cheapen the value of a period property if used to replace timber, and although good timber effect versions are available you need to carefully balance the benefits of the low cost against the aesthetics.
Aluminium: Aluminium windows are usually less expensive than other materials and can create the ideal contemporary addition to any home. Aluminium framing can oxidise creating a white residue however, they can be easily cleaned to make them look brand new.
Steel: Steel windows on the other hand create a more traditional or Art Deco design to your home and is the ideal material for more traditional properties. These windows are usually more expensive than other framing choices and the finish may fade with time.
Timber: Using timber as a framing material is increasing in popularity due to its incredible levels of performance. Timber provides a stunning finish but is more costly than aluminium and steel.
Style and Configurations Available
Different styles and configurations are available with inward or outward opening windows, tilt and turn windows or top hung, side hung and bottom hung windows. Each of these configurations are great for keeping your living spaces well ventilated.
However, fixed windows are also available for creating a picture window in spaces where ventilation may not be required. You can integrate ventilated windows into these fixed windows, providing stunning views as well as the ventilation required.
The U-value is the measurement of how effective a material is as an insulator. Three different U-values are used for windows including Uf, Ug and Uw values.
Uw: This is the overall value of the window.
Ug: This is the U-value of the glazing.
Uf: This is the U-value of the frame used on the window.
The lower the U-value, the better the material is as a heat insulator. The overall Uw value can be influenced by the size of the window as well as the glazing and framing used. It is best to discuss this with a professional as each project will differ in regards to the performance of your chosen window.
What Glass Types are Available?
Different glass types and coatings are available to create a bespoke window best suited to your requirements. Sandblasted or privacy glass are perfect for providing additional privacy to living spaces such as bathrooms. Sandblasted glass creates a translucent, cloudy appearance to your window providing privacy whilst allowing natural light to pass through into the space.
Controlling your privacy is very easy with switchable privacy glass. This glass type is ideal for living spaces where privacy is required at certain times but natural light and views are also wanted.
A range of glass coatings can be integrated including solar control coatings, perfect for reducing the heat intake into your home in the warmer months without reducing any natural light intake. If you live in a coastal environment then marine grade finishing can be applied to the frames and glazing to make your window survive the harsh weather conditions.