Replacement Windows UK: When is it time to install new double glazed windows?
You may have thought about replacement windows for your home a couple of times, but not quite got around to doing anything about it just yet.
However, there are some sure signs that will tell you that the time to install new double glazed windows is coming swiftly, if not already upon you.
Here is this guide, we will cover the 5 biggest signs that you are going to need replacement windows, either now or in the near future.
Not only that, but we will also cover the different types of designs from which to choose, how certain features can influence double glazed windows prices and how much new replacement windows cost in the UK.
Information you can find in this guide
- 5 signs that it’s time to buy replacement windows
- Double Glazing Prices: How much do replacement windows cost to buy?
- Choosing a double glazing installer.
5 signs that it’s time to buy replacement windows
- Damp, mould & condensation problems
- You currently have single glazed windows
- Broken, damaged or missing window seals
- Windows don’t open or close properly
- Draughts and noise from the outside
Ignoring any one of the items on this list is going to cost you money in either the long or short term.
Here we look at each problem in more detail.
1) Damp, mold & condensation around your window frames
A big culprit for this is frame distortion, or warping, which breaks the seal between the main windows frame and the surrounding wall.
Timber windows could be suffering from some kind of wood rot leading to leakage. Older (10 to 15+ yrs) UPVC window frames that were not metal reinforced could have warped.
Internal damp and condensation on the walls can be also be caused by failed seals on the glazing.
Rubber strips used around the sides of the sealed double glazed units can also deteriorate over time, become stiff or crack and allow water to enter.
Condensation and damp problems are a “triple threat”, because not only does damp look terrible, it means the windows are letting in cold & letting out heat. There is a potential health risk to the family if the problem is not quickly fixed.
2) Your current windows are single glazed
With todays’ high cost of heating, having single glazed windows in your property is just throwing money away.
The amount of heat that escapes, and the amount of cold that comes in, means you will have to run your heating a lot higher for lot longer.
Not only that, you will definitely be suffering from the previous problem, condensation. On top of that, single glazed windows are less secure and let more noise in.
If you have single glazed windows, it’s definitely time to get them replaced with double glazed windows.
3) Broken, damaged or missing window seals
There are 3 areas where you will find window seals, each one is just as important as the other in terms of impact on the window performance.
Seals around the main frame stop water from “going around” the window. If your existing frames are in good shape, then it can be a simple job to remove and repair the silicone seal.
However, if the frames are damaged or warped, then doing only that will be a very temporary “quick fix”.
Window sections that open and close have seals around the edges, if these fail you get water leaks or condensation at best.
The double glazed units themselves are held in place by window beads. These beads are strips that clip into place, usually on the inside of a modern replacement window. In older single glazed windows this was usually putty.
Between the inner and out window beads are rubber seals, these can fail for multiple reasons over time and will result in water being allowed to enter the property.
The actual double glazed unit is also sealed. The seal keeps the internal atmosphere of the double glazing isolated to prevent heat convection and must be 100% free of moisture.
If these seals fail, moisture will get inside the unit causing condensation and destroy the energy efficiency of the unit.
4) Windows don’t open or close properly
Quite an obvious problem that needs swift attention for a number of reasons, the first of which is that your home is not secure and could be at risk from unwanted visitors if your windows don’t close properly.
The secondary impacts are on your energy use and your quality of life. Windows that don’t’ close properly will allow draughts, water and noise to come into the house. They will also let all your heat out.
Windows that won’t open can cause condensation to build up (think of your kitchen window being stuck closed!) because you can’t ventilate the room. It also means the window can’t be used as a way to get out of the house in an emergency, very dangerous in an upper floor.
Simple causes can be broken or damaged handles, locks, or hinges and in some cases only require a simple fix. More complex problems with frame distortion or failure mean replacement windows are the only option.
5) Draughts and noise from the outside
Cold draughts hitting you when you stand or sit next to your windows are not only annoying, they are costing you money.
Heat loss is no joke given the price of gas and electricity in the UK. Your heating bills can rise dramatically over the colder months of the year if your windows don’t keep out the bad weather.
According to https://www.cieh.org/, residential noise accounted for the largest proportion of noise complaints in the UK, with London having almost twice the national average.
If you live in an urban area or close to a high road, then traffic noise can “drive you mad”. Being close to a school or even a hospital is also potentially noisy at certain times of the day.
Modern double glazed windows are famous for deadening noise pollution. Not only will they greatly reduce noise coming into your home, they will cut down the noise coming out of your home. One tip is to have different thicknesses of glass on the inner and outer sides, this cuts out even more noise.
If you get a lot of noise pollution, then it’s time for new replacement windows.
Summary: So, what are the benefits of new double glazed replacement windows?
To be fair, some issues can be rectified, if not too severe, without having to buy a whole new window. If your windows are less than 10 years old, they may still carry a manufacturer’s warranty – so check that out first.
Potential savings on your energy bills: Having double glazing means you keep out the cold and keep in the heat.
Improved appearance: Fitting brand new windows is going to make your property look well maintained and appealing. You’ll feel better about your property and make it more desirable to potential buyers if you are in the market to sell.
Safer Home: Modern double glazed windows are fitted with stainless stell hinges, multipoint locking systems and internal glazing beads. Also, a double glazed pane of glass is much harder to break than a single pane of glass. More peace of mind for you and your family.
Less noise: Double glazed windows help reduce sound transmission. If you want peace and quiet, then new double glazing is the perfect solution.
How much do replacement windows cost to buy?
Having taken a good look at your current situation you have decided to take the plunge and now you are asking “how much should I pay for double glazed windows?”
In most cases buyers opt for one of three popular types of double glazed window and one of three different materials for the frames.
Popular windows styles are:
- Casement – side opening
- Sash – vertical sliding opening
- French – like a twin casement window, side opening
Popular frame materials:
- UPVC – energy efficient long lasting vinyl
- Aluminium – slim frames contemporary styling
- Timber – hardwood or engineered wood
There is also a hybrid aluminium clad timber frame option.
With aluminium and UPVC windows, you can opt for coloured frames or even frames with a “woodgrained” surface – although these are charged as optional extras in most cases.
Replacement Double Glazing Prices Guide
Sash windows prices
French windows prices
Casement windows prices
How much does it cost to double glaze a house UK?
How much your replacement windows cost will depend on what type of windows you are buying, what they are made from, and how many you are ordering.
Doing the whole house at once is going to work out cheaper than doing 1 window at a time.
If you are also changing the front and back doors, then you should allow an extra £500 – £1,000 per door depending on the style & material. UPVC doors are around £500 to £750, Composite doors can cost £1,000 +.
You can view our other articles for more price guides
5 Tips for choosing a good double glazing installer.
All your careful planning and money could be wasted by making a mistake here. No matter how good the quality of your new windows, if they are poorly fitted then they won’t do the job properly and may even be a liability both financially and safety wise.
If you take a little bit of care in your selection, you can avoid any trouble 99.9% of the time.
Look for installers who are approved by recognised UK trade associations. The big trade bodies in the UK like FENSA, CERTASS, GGF, DGCOS all assess their members before they are allowed to join and continue to do so afterwards.
Windows and doors need to meet UK building standards and only CERTASS & FENSA members can self-certify compliance for you.
Most, if not all trade associations have arbitration facilities to handle any potential problems.
Most of them will insist that their members offer insurance backed deposit guarantees.
If the member ceases trading during your installation, or afterwards, and you need remedial work, trade associations offer cover for this and you can get your work completed or repaired.
Get multiple written quotes from a range of installers – local & regional. This will give you a better understanding of market prices, and help you spot who’s too expensive and who’s too cheap.
Ask for references from the installers’ clients. New client referrals are good, but also ask for someone who had their windows fitted a year or so ago – that can tell you if there were longer term problems with the job and let you get an idea of how good their customer service is / was.
Get everything in writing, and no, that does not mean some scribbles on the back of a cigarette packet! The devil is in the detail, so they say.
Don’t fall for high pressure sales patter. It’s not often a local firm will employ highly paid sales professionals, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also try to “put the hurry up” on a prospective client.
It’s understandable that installers will want to finalise a contract without undue delay, but any reputable company will hold the price for you while you think about it.
Don’t sign a contract “on the night”, it’s highly improbable that the price can rocket, or the deal disappear overnight if you don’t’.
Always ask for a better deal. You don’t really have anything to lose by asking for a better price.
On the other hand, try negotiating the deal up – maybe ask for 28mm units for the price of thinner ones or ask for Argon gas filled units included in the deal (for free!).
Maybe you could get an extra opener or two at no cost. How about some patterned glass or upgraded window furniture?
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.