Not all PVCu replacement windows are the same. Modern, high quality windows, such as those manufactured by Swish, are slim, smart and elegant with curves designed to match a wide range of homes. The beading (the surrounds that hold in the glass) can give your windows a more sophisticated look and the glass itself can transform a window. And don’t forget there is a wide range of conventional and tilt and turn options available.
Here are some questions to ask – click to discover the answer’s you’re looking for.
Q1. What types of windows are available?
There´s the traditional casement window – side or top opening (sometimes known as an awning) – and these can sit alongside fixed (non-opening) windows. There are also Vertical Sliders; imagine a sash window that slides and then opens inwards. Then there´s an array of tilt and turn options where windows tilt back for ventilation and then turn to open.
Q2. What is beading and is it important?
Beading is the surround that holds your glass in place and by selecting a design that complements your frames and reflects your home interior, you can provide the perfect finish for your replacement windows.
Q3. What is the most secure beading – internal or external?
Most people say that internal glazing is more secure as there is no external beading that can be prised open. It can be argued that it is possible to kick-in internally fitted glass panels – but a burglar would have to be very reckless to do this and would probably break the glass in any event.
Q4. Should I use toughened or laminated glass?
Toughened and Laminated glass are types of safety glass. Toughened glass is designed to break safely if smashed – so that the you don´t get sharp shards of glass. Laminated glass is like the glass in your car windscreen. If it breaks it will crack but not shatter. This is very secure – but can be a problem if you need to escape a fire – that´s why it isn´t usually used for windows.
Q5. What wood finishes are available?
Various wood finished – such as rosewood and light oak – are all now available. Advanced new technology has created a look and feel that is close to wood – plus there´s the flexibility of having either wood or white finishes for the interior.
Compare the windows – and go an look at some real installations if possible. Also make sure that any samples you are shown are exactly the same specification as the windows that you order – you could visit your suppliers factory or office to see what they’re really like.
Q6. Is decorative glass available?
Elizabethan Leaded, Georgian Leaded, Georgian Bars, Jacobean, Queen Caroline – these are just some of the options you can choose for your glazing. These lead patterns add a distinctive touch to your windows. There are also bevelled glass designs – in either clear crystal or colours.
Q7. Is PVCu the same as UPVC?
They are both the same – unplasticised (or hard) PVC .
Q8. How can I tell good quality PVCu?
One way to assess the effectiveness of a frame is to examine the thickness (depth from inside to out). Ideally choose 65 mm or 70-mm thickness and ask about the thickness of the PVCu in the frame – a multi-walled (not solid) section should be 3 – 3.5 mm. Also ask about the locks – these are often different from installer. Look for good brands such as Swish for windows.
Q9. Should I fully replace sash windows?
Ideally you should always replace the windows and the surrounds. Sometimes, replacement windows are inserted into the remaining sash frame if the wood is sound – although it is then important to maintain the wood. After all being maintenance free is one of the advantages of PVCu in the first place.
Q10. Is window PVCu as tough as conservatory PVCu?
Both windows and conservatories are built from the same products – however Conservatory installers often strengthen windows by using thicker frames to give better structural strength. After all the conservatory windows will need to help support a roof. This is also why conservatories with Polycarbonate roofs are sometimes cheaper than those with glass roofs.