Which uPVC double glazed windows are the best for me? ūü§Ē

We all want the best for our homes. But if we’re thinking about upgrading our windows, what exactly are the “best” double glazed windows for our home, and why? The best of anything will most likely depend heavily on your own personal needs, wants, expectations and inevitably your budget.

One of the most popular reasons to invest in new windows is improved energy efficiency. Replacing old, draughty and rotten windows with new, energy efficient windows can make a huge difference to your home. They look better, cleaner, more up to date, and if you want to, it’s a great way to completely “reinvent” and modernise (or even re-traditionalise!) the entire look of your home.

There are many different types of uPVC window, so how do you go about choosing the right type of window for you, your home and your budget?

Window styles and different types of window.

  • Casement uPVC windows in standard and flush fit (Rehau) ¬£¬£/¬£¬£¬£
  • Vertical sliding uPVC sash windows (ECOslide) ¬£¬£¬£
  • Timber replacement uPVC flush fit windows (Residence) ¬£¬£¬£¬£

A top consideration for most homeowners is what style of window they are looking for. Keep to the same look, or go for something different? If you’re looking to replace the original windows in your home, in most instances we would advise you to stay as close as possible to the existing aesthetics, as these tend to work better with the style of your home.

If you’re embarking on a major refurbishment project, this is a great opportunity to give your home a fresh new modern look.

However in some cases, particularly with Victorian and Edwardian homes, a previous window replacement may have resulted in the traditional window being lost to a modern casement that looks completely out of place. Reinstating new modern energy efficient sash windows or traditional style casements will make a significant improvement to your home’s visual aesthetics.

1. STANDARD uPVC CASEMENT WINDOWS (££/£££)

A classic 7-sided bay with new replacement REHAU uPVC casement windows. We’ve kept it as close as possible to the original windows, with diamond leaded lower sashes and rectangle leaded stained fanlights. Dummy sashes provide equal sightlines to the exterior.

2. VERTICAL SLIDING uPVC SASH WINDOWS (£££)

Ugly casement windows that are completely out of character from an earlier replacement install are replaced with traditional style ECOSlide vertical sliding sash windows in uPVC with single astragal Georgian bar. What an improvement!

3. PREMIUM uPVC TIMBER REPLACEMENT WINDOWS (££££)

A complete change here! From the original crittal leaded windows to new timber replacement Residence 9 flush fitting windows in Painswick woodgrain effect foil. A traditional style that looks fresh and modern.

Check out our Residence teaser video below … go on, we can all dream! ūüėć

Add a little colour.

Choosing a different colour window can give an immediate update to your home’s kerb appeal. After standard white, anthracite grey is our most popular colour. All of our uPVC windows offer an exciting palette of colour choices, including both smooth finishes and woodgrain effect foils (that resemble painted wood) in the following options:

  • Colour/woodgrain effect foil external with smooth white internal.
  • Colour both external and internal.
REHAU uPVC windows in oak effect and anthracite grey. The mix of colours and the bold shaped windows to the front add a fresh contemporary edge to this property.
ECOSlide uPVC sliding sash windows in black.
The wow factor! Residence Collection uPVC windows and doors in silvered oak and ginger oak.

Recommended further reading:

For more information on our full range of uPVC windows or to chat with us further, please contact us:

An Aftersales Service you can count on, every single time.

When you’re spending a lot of money improving your home, you want to be sure you are making the right choices, and that you’re protected if something goes wrong.

It can be a minefield out there. Despite a much more regulated industry these days, there are still companies that will use high pressure sales tactics and “too good to miss” offers to get you to sign up. At Ruislip Windows we want to make the whole experience of buying your new windows and doors as stress-free and as pleasant as possible.

That means no high pressure sales tactics or dubious sales practices just to get your job. And only honest, practical advice and a realistic quote without any “signing up” deadlines.

Plus, as members of both FENSA and CERTASS, we are also required to provide our customers with all of the following:

  • Protection of any deposit taken
  • A guarantee covering the completed installation
  • An insurance policy to cover this guarantee should we cease trading*
  • Suitably qualified and assessed site operatives

*Check out our blog post on Insurance Backed Guarantees for more information on these.

Our reputation matters to us and we work to ensure we maintain our high standards of service for each and every customer. We receive a lot of very positive feedback from our customers about our aftersales service and this is something that we are understandably proud of.

Our commitment to our customers doesn’t end once your installation is complete – this is simply the first phase of the Ruislip Windows’ Service. The second is the aftersales support you will receive. In many instances you may have no need to call upon us, but occasionally something can go amiss and when it does, we are here to help put it right as promptly and as smoothly as possible. We have our own service engineer to tackle any problems you may experience. General repairs will usually be undertaken within a few working days; urgent repairs on the same day. And what’s more, this service is not chargeable within your guarantee period.

We receive a lot of positive feedback for our aftersales service.

At the time of writing, we have over 480 five star reviews on Yell, and over 70 five star reviews on Google – so we must be doing something right! For further information, please check out the following (all links open in a new tab):

Want to know more about our aftersales service? Then give us a call on (020) 8868 1133 or drop us an email ‚Äď we look forward to hearing from you soon! ūüôā

Feeling Flush? We check out the new Flush casements that are giving wood a run for their money.

Gone are the days when people had to rely on traditional and expensive materials for older, quaint and period properties. Now you don’t have to compromise on appearance if opting for more efficient and modern uPVC solutions.¬†

One feature that would always stand out on a wooden casement window was that the casements would sit flush to the frame. This would give a neater, more symmetrical look, and until recently, it wasn’t something that a uPVC could emulate. Opening vents on a uPVC window sat proud from the frame, often creating unequal sightlines, and, if you chose dummy sashes to create an equal sightline (ideal for feature leads and Georgians), the vents could often appear bulky looking.

Examples of timber flush (left) and “lipped” casement windows.¬†The “lipped” casement’s opening vent sits proud of the frame. The flush opening casement sits flush within the frame.

Wooden windows would often have a much more pleasing finish than a uPVC window, which at the time, would inevitably look like the smooth white plastic it was. Over years, the clean white finish would often fade, and take on a more grubby looking appearance.

Even the introduction of so-called “woodgrain effect foils” some time ago now, simply looked like a uPVC window pretending to be wood. It didn’t help that these foils were only available in a limited colour range – including the rather tangoed-tones of “golden oak” and the 80s inspired mahogany rosewood,¬†neither of which¬†looked anything like a genuine stained wooden window.

Example of an oriel bay window in the classic orange tones of Golden Oak, with dummy sashes throughout (so that all the leads line up). Does it look like wood? Not really.

uPVC windows may have been maintenance free with better thermal and security properties, but they were no match aesthetically for their wooden counterparts.

The problem was actually quite simple: that a uPVC window is constructed differently to a timber window. And until the construction of a uPVC window could match that of a timber window, it was never going to cut the mustard.

Finally some innovative companies began to push the boundaries in design and manufacture, producing windows and doors that included genuine timber aesthetics with improved woodgrain foils and traditional ironmongery. These windows, now usually marketed as “timber replacement” led the way in revolutionising the window industry. Consequently today we now have products that much more closely resemble the handcrafted qualities of genuine timber windows, but with none of the maintenance issues – the very best of both worlds!

Deceuninck Heritage flush casement window in English Oak with 90¬į timber effect corner welds and traditional pewter handles and stays. Does it look like wood? Yes it does!

Here at Ruislip Windows, we have not one, not two but THREE different Flush systems that we can offer our customers – the Heritage Flush from Deceuninck, The Rio from Rehau and our premium windows from the Residence Collection.

Residence 9 Flush casement window in light oak with 90¬į timber effect corner welds and ovolo putty horizontal Georgian bar. Does it look like wood? Yes it does!

Find out more about our Flush casement windows here and download the brochures from our website:

Want to know more technical details about our Flush casement windows? Then give us a call on (020) 8868 1133 or drop us an email – we look forward to hearing from you soon! ūüôā

 

The Guardian Warm Roof

Re-invent your existing conservatory with one of our super fully insulated solid roofs by market leader Guardian.

 

THE PROBLEM
If you already have a conservatory, you‚Äôll know how the outside temperature and weather conditions can effect the overall comfort of your room and how it’s used. If you’ve inherited an older conservatory through a house move for example, you may¬†find that it’s an unusable space during the winter or hot summer spells. A common remark we hear is that ‚Äúmy conservatory is too hot during the summer and far too cold in winter.‚ÄĚ A new Guardian Warm Roof could therefore be the perfect solution for you.

THE SOLUTION
The Guardian Warm Roof is a¬†revolutionary step forward in home improvement¬†‚Äď a high performance, lightweight roof system¬†that has been designed to replace your existing¬†glass or polycarbonate roof or be installed as an¬†alternative on your new conservatory.

INSTALLATION BY RUISLIP WINDOWS. BEFORE: Glass conservatory roof with decorative cresting. AFTER: New Guardian Warm Roof installed – a complete transformation!

Fully tested and approved to all thermal and structural standards, the Guardian roof is a high performance insulated roof system comprising of a pre-engineered lightweight frame, two layers of rigid insulation board, internal insulated plasterboard, exterior grade plywood and a vapour membrane. Altogether this creates a more thermally efficient living space than your existing conservatory, keeping the warm air out in the summer and preventing the heat from escaping in the winter.

  • The solid roof will help you to maintain a consistent interior temperature.
  • Your room will be quiet and comfortable all year round.
  • Your new room can now be fully integrated into your ground floor living area.
  • It will give you the extra space you have always wanted.

Designed to retain the conservatory’s original windows, doors, frames and walls, the Guardian Warm Roof System is fully tested and approved to all thermal and structural standards.

(1): Choice of tile Ô¨Ānishes. (2): Membrane. (3): Exterior grade plywood. (4): 25mm high performance insulation. (5) 40mm high performance insulation. (6): Timber battens. (7): 72mm high performance insulated plasterboards. (8): Rafter.

By removing your old conservatory roof and replacing it with a new insulated tiled roof, you’ll completely change the appearance of the rear of your home and garden. Now your conservatory will more closely resemble a proper extension and by choosing tiles that match your house you’ll be getting all the benefits of a ground floor extension along with the convenience and style of a conservatory.

If you’d like more details about the Guardian Warm Roof system and how you could transform your existing conservatory, download our PDF brochure here >> or contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail. We’re here to help! ūüôā

Double glazing -v- triple glazing: what’s the best option?

Triple-glazing is often marketed as a better option than double-glazing, especially when it comes to thermal insulation. But is this really the case?

 

If you look at the websites of the big nationals for instance, you could be forgiven for wondering why so many companies are still even selling double glazing when triple glazing appears to be so much better at insulation¬†and soundproofing your home! Here we attempt to debunk many of the myths that surround triple glazing, and clarify the facts to help you make an informed decision that’s right for you.

Example of a triple glazed sealed unit and a double glazed sealed unit.

While it’s true that triple-glazing does offer some benefits, it may not be the best or most economic solution for you.

Triple glazing is a better insulator for your home than double glazing.
The energy performance of windows is measured in U-Values. Lower U-values = a more energy efficient window. Traditional single glazed windows can have a U value in excess of 5. Building Regulations now stipulate that modern double glazing should have a U-value of no less than 1.6.

U-Values for older double glazing used to be much higher. However in recent years the manufacturing process has been greatly improved to provide much more energy efficient units. These improvements have been brought about by the introduction of wider cavities between the two glass panes, low-emissivity coatings being added to the glass to stop heat escaping (glass such as Pilkington K or Planitherm Softcoat Total), the cavity being filled with an inert gas (usually argon) and the use of warm-edge spacer bars (instead of aluminium).

Triple-glazing enables window manufacturers to achieve U-values of 1.0 and lower. So yes, triple glazing can enhance heat retention.¬†¬†But such U-values are really only of benefit when they are installed into an overall energy saving build, such as in a low energy house or a “passive house”. ¬†Where windows are being fitted into a standard build or as part of a refurbishment project then sealed units offering U-values as low as 1.1 are preferable and easily achievable with double glazing.

With the exception of perhaps the northern reaches of Scotland, the rest of the UK is simply not cold enough to warrant the use of triple glazing. Scandinavian countries such as¬†Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and other far northern countries use triple glazing because temperatures such as -20¬į C can be quite frequent. Highly energy efficient windows and doors, triple and sometimes quadruple-glazed are absolutely necessary to help reinforce the fabric of the buildings against the cold.

As far as the UK is concerned, there are many who argue that triple glazing simply doesn’t make sense in our climate. It is more costly to produce, produces much heavier sections and has an embodied energy approximately 50% higher than double glazing. Why would home owners pay more when good double glazed windows would easily tick the box?

Triple glazing is a better sound insulator than double glazing.
One of the biggest selling points of triple glazing has been its ability to reduce noise and outdoor sound. The thickness of the glass used is one of the three key elements of the sound insulation. Different thicknesses of glass will block a different frequency, so a combination of panes of varying thickness is more effective at keeping noise out. This is known as asymmetrical glazing. However, (and somewhat ironically!) most fabricators currently appear to offer triple glazed units with standardised cavities and glass thicknesses.

The second key element is the size of the gap between the panes. The larger the gap, the better the overall sound insulation effect. Finally the use of an acoustical resistant gas to augment or replace the inert gas (usually argon) will effectively help reflect noise away.

If sound insulation is important to you¬†then it would be worth considering acoustic glass sealed units (such as Pilkington Optiphon or St Gobain’s acoustic glass, both of which are laminates) or even secondary double glazing instead. Secondary glazing will have a much greater air gap than can be achieved in triple glazing, and can achieve great noise reduction at considerably less cost.

In conclusion –¬†For

  • Triple-glazing offers¬†low U-values suited to specific low-energy and “passive house” projects and can return the value of your investment when fitted as part of these specifications.
  • If asymmetrical glazing is used together with acoustic glass, some noise reduction can be achieved.

In conclusion – Against

  • Higher cost.
  • Reduced light penetration due to additional layer of glass.
  • Minimal savings in energy bills in comparison to the higher cost.
  • Benefits such as noise reduction and solar control can be included in double-glazing for less than the cost of a standard triple-glazed unit.
  • Overall greater weight than a double glazed unit could pose problems¬†for your windows¬†– sashes dropping can be an issue.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you soon! ūüôā

The double glazing industry explained

Our handy quick guide about the double glazing and conservatory industry.

DOUBLE GLAZING
The term double glazing refers to windows and doors that are glazed with sealed units – two panes of glass with a spacer bar around the edge. The edge is sealed with a special sealant (usually today known as a “warm edge spacer”) to prevent air and moisture entering the sealed unit. Sealed units can be used in uPVC, aluminium and timber windows and doors, although timber traditionally used much thinner units.

Example of a sealed unit fitted into a uPVC window profile.

Although the first double glazed units were experimented with in the 1950s, it was in the early 1980s that the double glazing industry really began to grow and develop. Windows had, until that time, usually been manufactured in steel (such as Crittall windows) or timber. Aluminium windows and doors, often in a matt silver anodised finish, were manufactured and installed into hardwood subframes (often Brazilian mahogany). By the mid 1980s, many small companies were manufacturing their own aluminium windows and doors. Powder coating meant aluminium was now available in white and other colours such as brown and black. Towards the late 1980s, uPVC windows and doors started to become more popular. Manufactured from a thermoplastic polymer known as unplasticised polyvinyl chloride, uPVC is a rigid and cost-effective plastic, ideal for building materials.

Today, both aluminium and uPVC are available in a wide range of colours and the profiles are now direct fix, so no subframes are required.

SYSTEMS, FABRICATORS AND INSTALLERS
Both aluminium and uPVC windows and doors are are manufactured from a series of profiles that are cut and crimped or welded together, such as the outer frame, sash, transom and beads. Together, the profiles make up one complete system, and the companies who design and manufacture them are known as extrusion or systems companies. There are around 25 or so main uPVC and aluminium extrusion companies who supply the UK market.

Lengths of residential aluminium window profiles

These systems companies supply businesses who then manufacture the windows and doors Рthese are known as the fabricators.

Fabricators manufacture the finished window or door, cutting and assembling the profiles together and adding hardware (locks, hinges, handles) along with weatherseals and gaskets. In the UK currently there are around 4500 window and door fabricators, of which some 1500 fabricate uPVC, 800 aluminium and the rest are joiners, or timber window and door manufacturers. Some companies manufacture more than one material type and may supply and fit direct to the homeowner, whilst others may supply only to the trade, such as builders or specialist window installers.

Fabricating uPVC windows

There are over 12,500 specialist double glazing and home improvement companies who fit windows and doors in the UK, primarily in the domestic sector. Many small companies used to fabricate their products and then install them too Рit was common back in the 1980s and 1990s. However with the introduction of the new building regulations back in April 2006 (known as Document L), most installers today now prefer to focus primarily on sales and installation.

CONSERVATORIES
A conservatory consists of three main parts: The base and foundation (including dwarf walls), the elevations (window and door frames), and most important of all, the roof.

Conservatory roofs are a specialist engineered product designed to withstand the elements and support the weight of the glazing material. The conservatory walls (including windows and doors) need to be structurally strong enough to support and secure the conservatory roof above it.

Similar to windows and doors, the roof is manufactured from a series of profiles, components and glazing materials. Due to structural requirements, the material tends to be aluminium or aluminium clad with uPVC. There are a number of specialist conservatory roof systems, including Synseal Global, Ultraframe Quantal, and K2 who manufacture the roofs and also supply a network of around 260 conservatory roof fabricators.

A popular variation of a conservatory is the orangery. A more solidly built structure than a conservatory, an orangery tends to have a solid roof with roof lanterns and is more like a proper extension with lots of glass.

Conservatory elevations and roof installed by Ruislip Windows

If you’d like any further information on any of our products, or would like to arrange your free no-obligation quotation, please give us a call on (020) 8868 1133. We hope to hear from you soon!

 

Welcome to the Ruislip Windows’ blog!

Features, articles and comments on just about everything you might want to know when purchasing your new windows and doors.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Based in Watford and Eastcote, Ruislip Windows and Doors are a respected local installer specialising in replacement windows, doors and conservatories in both uPVC and aluminium. Proud to be celebrating over 35 years in the business, the company was established back in 1986 by John Flynn, a City and Guilds qualified carpenter and double glazing installer. Originally trading as Ruislip Building Ltd, we became Ruislip Windows and Doors Ltd in May 1995 to better reflect our business.

As the company grew and became more experienced, we undertook increasingly more challenging contracts and our portfolio continued to develop and expand. Now, over three decades since we first began, our installations range from the local domestic market to large commercial contracts.

Advances in the development of uPVC and aluminium systems, along with cutting edge technology and attention to detail now means there has never been a better time to experience the benefits that our home improvement products will bring to your home.

As professional installers with a reputation for quality and integrity, we choose our products very carefully, ensuring that our customers will benefit from the latest in technical and security specification. To this end, we install a range of products from trusted leading manufacturers, guaranteed to provide you with a top quality product that you will enjoy and benefit from for many years to come.