It might be a kind of stereotype, but double glazing salespeople tend to make the average homeowner a little wary. While most companies are entirely responsible for their selling practices, it can’t do any harm to be prepared and knowledgeable, should you decide to buy new double glazed windows doors or conservatories.
Double glazing regulations
The first and most important thing you need to understand is the building regulations surrounding conservatories, windows and doors. All external windows and doors in your home are now considered a Controlled Fitting and therefore the materials must meet certain thermal standards under Building Regulations approved documents. Your installer needs to be registered, or the work needs to be approved by the Building Control Body.
- Always check the materials are suitable and the installer is registered.
The Window Energy Rating system allows you to compare different window types and is similar to energy ratings for appliances. A++ is the best rating and all windows must be at least C rated to meet Building Regulations rules. It has been found that you will pay around 15% more for each increase in rating and will save around 6.5% on your energy bills.
- Check your quote to see how your rating will affect the overall cost.
The glass used in double or triple glazing is almost always Low-E glass which is designed to prevent heat from escaping through the glass. This makes it thermally efficient and perfect for all windows and conservatories. Beyond this, you can also choose safety glass (this may be required in certain circumstance) and reflective or coated glass to lower the temperature in rooms such as conservatories. Safety glass is often required in windows next to doors or internal glazed doors.
- Consider how you will use the room before you decide on the glazing type.
You also have a number of frames to choose from. Most are easy care UPVC, however, you can also opt for more expensive and maintenance-heavy wooden frames. In some cases, aluminium is used, but this can be prone to damage. The frames can also be coloured to match your home, with white being the most popular. The frames can also be wide or thin, depending on the look you want and the amount of glazing that is required.
- Use a combination of aesthetics and cost to decide on the right frames.
Understanding the basics of buying double glazing will certainly help – but always use your intuition regarding the company, check their reviews and do your homework on the company before you agree. Then sit back and enjoy a warmer and brighter home with new windows and doors.