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:

New for 2024! ūüď£ Introducing our brand new range of bespoke timber windows.

Traditional flush casement windows, elegant sliding box sash windows, decorative and shaped windows – come and be inspired by an abundance of handcrafted choice.

Perfect for conservation areas, listed buildings, traditional properties, period homes and in fact, anyone who prefers the natural aesthetics of wood.

Sometimes, only the best will do.

Take pride in transforming your house into a home with our meticulously handcrafted bespoke timber windows and doors. With a passion for craftsmanship and an unwavering commitment to quality, we will bring your vision to life, creating windows that not only enhance the beauty of your home but that also stand as a testament to timeless elegance.

  • Unrivaled craftsmanship: Each window we create is crafted by skilled artisans with years of experience. Our commitment to traditional craftsmanship ensures that every detail is meticulously attended to, resulting in windows that exude quality and character.
  • Customised to perfection: We understand that every home is unique, and so are the preferences of our clients. Our bespoke timber windows are tailor-made to your exact specifications, ensuring a perfect fit that complements the architectural style of your home.
  • Premium materials: We source only the finest timber for our windows, ensuring durability, longevity, and a stunning finish. Our materials are responsibly harvested, promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness.
  • Energy efficiency: Our bespoke timber windows are designed to meet modern energy efficiency standards. Enjoy a comfortable and well-insulated home while appreciating the natural beauty of timber.
White painted factory finished wooden vertical sliding sash windows, French doors and bespoke orangery.

Why choose handcrafted timber windows?

Aesthetics. Nothing quite matches the look of a well crafted wooden window. Timber windows have a classic authenticity that uPVC can’t compete with. Whilst recent developments now mean that you can have flush fitting uPVC windows with woodgrain effect foils and mechanical joints Рthe whole idea (ironically) is to replicate a timber window as closely as possible.

Innovation. Engineered and modified timbers increase the resistance to rot and mean almost no moisture-related swelling or shrinking.

Investment. As an upfront cost, timber windows are more expensive than uPVC, but if they are well maintained, the total costs are balanced out in the longer term.

Maintenance. Whilst timber windows will require maintenance every few years, well maintained wooden windows can last up to 70 years or more, far outperforming their uPVC counterparts.

Environment and sustainability. Choosing a reliable and sustainable product like wood is a responsible decision. Not only is timber a renewable resource, but a single tree will absorb upto one tonne of carbon dioxide in its life and generate enough oxygen to support two people.

Energy efficient. Advanced manufacturing techniques can now incorporate modern seals, thermally efficient sealed units and secure locking systems.

Factory finished painted timber windows with feature monkey tail handles and peg stays.

The process – how it works for you.

  • Consultation: Our journey together begins with a thorough consultation. Our expert surveyor will discuss your preferences, style, and functional requirements to create a customised design that aligns with your vision.
  • Design and approval: Once the design is conceptualised, we provide detailed drawings and 3D renderings for your approval. We value your input and ensure that the final design exceeds your expectations.
  • Craftsmanship: Our skilled artisans take over, meticulously crafting each window. This hands-on approach guarantees the highest level of precision and attention to detail.
  • Installation: Our team of professionals ensures a seamless installation process, treating your home with the care and respect it deserves. We aim for minimal disruption, leaving you with beautifully installed bespoke timber windows that will stand the test of time.

Our dedication to exceptional customer service means that we are with you every step of the way, from the initial consultation to the final installation.

For more information on our timber windows please contact us:

Can I save money on my energy bills by installing double glazing? Yes you can.

Black aluminium windows
Black aluminium windows double glazed in energy efficient argon-filled
sealed units with feature rectangle leads.

Did you know? 18% of heat loss occurs through windows. Across the UK, around 7% of households still don’t have double glazing. Heat is lost through single glazing twice as fast as through standard double glazing.

energysavingtrust.org.uk

All properties lose heat through their windows. But energy efficient double glazing, coupled with other energy saving measures keeps your home warmer and quieter as well as helping to reduce your energy bills.

What is energy efficient glazing?

Otherwise known as Low-e (low emissivity), this is a type of energy-efficient glass designed to prevent heat escaping out through your windows to the cold outdoors. Low-e glass has a special coating which is a poor radiator of heat and does not allow heat to be transferred to the outside. Instead, the low-e coating actually reflects the heat back into your room. Low-e glass can be used throughout your home to improve its energy efficiency. Windows, doors, conservatories and rooflights can all benefit from the use of energy-efficient glazing to help keep the heat in and save money on your energy bills.

How Low-e glass works in your windows and doors to prevent heat loss.

Window Energy Ratings (WER)

Window Energy Ratings (known as WER) are a guide to the energy performance of your windows. There are two main schemes run by the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC) and the British Standards Institute (BSI). The window energy rating scheme checks all the components to ensure the final window achieves the energy efficient standard claimed. This means that you just need to look for the A-E ratings and remember the higher the energy rating, the more energy efficient it is. Windows installed by Ruislip Windows usually achieve at least an A rating, and often higher.

Examples of WER

Benefits of installing energy rated windows:

  • Reassurance of certified scheme approval of the windows.
  • Improves the energy-efficiency of your home, reducing the amount of energy you use and helping you to save money on your heating bills.
  • Significantly more effective than existing single glazing.
  • Manufactured to UK and European quality standards and meet the requirements for building regulations concerning energy efficiency of homes.

By installing double glazing into an entirely single glazed house, you could save the following each year (for a typical gas heated home):

What to consider

We recognise that choosing new windows and doors for your home is a big decision, and one you want to be confident in getting right first time. So it’s good to know that even our standard uPVC windows and doors (Rehau/K√∂mmerling) achieve WER of A+. However different customer circumstances will determine which windows and doors you can replace with double glazing and what products you can replace them with, for instance:

CONSERVATION AREA

What if you live in a Conservation Area or a listed building? There are strict rules about what you can replace your existing windows and doors with (such as like for like) and that can restrict your choices and options.

PERIOD PROPERTY

If you’re in a Victorian or Edwardian building you may have traditional sash windows, or an Art Deco home with steel crittal windows. You may have original stained glass and leads that you would like to preserve.

ALUMINIUM

Aluminium is a popular choice for contemporary homes but is more expensive than uPVC. Energy ratings have improved significantly for aluminium profiles, but uPVC generally hits higher energy efficiency targets.

We offer a wide range of products and many of these will be suitable for traditional properties who want to preserve their aesthetic style:

  • Sash windows: “A” rated uPVC sash windows that replicate very well a traditional box sash window. Good aesthetics and great energy efficiency mean these windows will make a huge difference to your home.
  • Timber replacement windows: “A” rated premium uPVC windows that don’t skimp on authentic style. Flush fitting like traditional wooden windows and available in a range of painted wood effect grained foils. 90¬į timber effect corner welds and ovolo putty Georgian bars complement their traditional aesthetics beautifully. See more here >>
  • Alitherm Heritage aluminium windows and doors: perfect for all crittal replacement installs, with slim slender profiles. Also available as multi-part windows and doors – ideal for commercial premises and warehouse flat conversions and even internal doors.

For more information about the energy ratings of our products and how they could save you money on your energy bills, please contact us. Also, energy ratings are available in all our product brochures for each type of window and door that we install. Download our brochures from our main website >>

See also our other articles:

We hope to see you very soon! ūüôā

Condensation

For the glass and glazing industry, the transition from winter to spring and summer to autumn often sees an influx in customers asking why they are seeing external condensation on their windows, especially from those with higher performing, low-emissivity glazing. While some homeowners may see it as a nuisance, external condensation is a tell-tale sign that energy-efficient windows are actually doing their job.

However, if condensation is appearing on the inside surface of your windows or between the panes of double or triple glazing, this is for a very different reason.

You can download our CERTASS Consumer Guide to Condensation below:

EXTERNAL CONDENSATION

External condensation happens because of the dew point ‚Äď the temperature at which air can‚Äôt hold any more water vapour, causing droplets of liquid water to form. When the air next to a piece of glass reaches this temperature (which varies with humidity) condensation forms on the surface.

External condensation is more common with modern, high performing, low-emissivity (low-e) glazed windows, as the outer pane is colder as a result of heat being retained inside the home. With single or older double-glazed windows, more heat is passing through, warming the outer pane and reducing the likelihood of external condensation. An analogy is frost on roofs – those with good loft insulation can remain frosted for a long time, while those without quickly defrost.

Above: External condensation with the tell-tale gap around the edges as shown here indicates your low-e sealed units are performing well.

This phenomenon is more likely to happen in the spring and autumn, when cold morning and evenings combine with high levels of humidity in the air.

Not all panes are affected by early morning condensation, even in the same window. Small differences in the orientation and the position of objects outside, such as trees or a close building, can change the surface temperature of the glass to the point that one pane suffers and another doesn’t.

There is little that can be done to avoid condensation to the outside of the window entirely without specialist glazing. However, its occurrence doesn’t tend to last for long. Once the window pane warms from the sun, the moisture evaporates and the condensation clears. The air movement from a gentle breeze can also help to clear it. You will find that as the weather warms (spring) or cools (autumn) the phenomenon simply disappears.

CONDENSATION IN BETWEEN PANES

Condensation within the cavity of a sealed unit is likely to indicate a failure of the edge seal. You will usually notice a misting or ‚Äústeamed up‚ÄĚ effect inside the gap between the panes of the sealed unit. In this case, the sealed unit has broken down and will need replacing. Sealed units are designed to last many years, but occasionally may break down due to some external factor or a manufacturing default or simply due to age. If your windows are still under guarantee, then you may be able to have your broken down unit replaced under your guarantee.

CONDENSATION ON THE INSIDE

All air contains water vapour, but the amount of water air can hold is determined by the temperature of that air. This ratio is called the relative humidity. Hot air is able to carry much more moisture than cold air, so as the temperature of air rises it is able to hold a greater volume of water. The water comes from everyday activities including bathing, cooking and washing. Even our breathing causes condensation, and this is why your car will steam up when you sit with the windows closed and the fan off.

As soon as warm air, containing vapour, hits a cooler surface, it will condense. This is most obvious on windows, mirrors and wall tiles, but condensation can also gather on walls and ceilings and often go unnoticed. The only way of preventing condensation is to provide ventilation. The warm air, containing the water vapour, will rise and circulate around the room until it finds a cooler surface, unless we let that air out and some cooler air in.

In order to ensure that there is good ventilation in your home, a change of air is recommended in all rooms of the house at least once a day, and ideally more often. Install extractor fans at the sources of water vapour such as the bathroom and kitchen. Increasing the room temperature so that the air can hold more water vapour without condensing can also help.

AXA Insurance helpful video on how to prevent condensation and mould in your home.
  • Ventilate your home regularly and open your windows. If you have trickle vents, leave them open.
  • Fit an extractor fan, and use it: ensure your bathroom fan is working while you are bathing and showering, use your kitchen extractor fan when you are cooking.
  • Avoid drying washing indoors. If you have a tumble dryer, ensure it is properly vented or use a self-condensing model.
  • If the condensation still remains a problem, use a dehumidifier.

Want to know more technical details about condensation? We recommend this online article from St Gobain here. Plus AXA Insurance have put together a thorough guide about condensation – what causes it and how to stop it. If you need any further help then give us a call on (020) 8868 1133 or drop us an email ‚Äď we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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

 

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

Solutions for planning and conservation areas

Conservation area woes – now you can have the best of both worlds with our Residence 9 windows!

 

‚ÄúI’d love to replace my rotten old timber windows with a maintenance free option but I’m in a conservation area and need to obtain planning permission. The council won’t allow uPVC windows – what can I do?‚ÄĚ

A conservation area is an area of specific architectural or historical interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance. Many towns and villages rely on historic windows for much of their architectural impact and character and inappropriate, poor quality replacement windows can easily erode traditional features on historic buildings.

ARTICLE 4
Article 4, as it is known, is when a planning authority applies to restrict development rights in a conservation area and replacement windows will then need to be approved by planning. Some planning authorities precluded the use of modern materials because the window designs were considered inappropriate in size, shape and design. However with the recent introduction of new profiles that are designed to resemble traditional wood, some authorities have now adopted a more modern approach and will approve the use of specific profiles because of their consideration of the Article 4 directives. Residence 9 has been specifically designed to replicate the documented historical window designs from the period.

Looks like wood – Residence 9 Window showing authentic looking ovolo/putty Georgian bars, flush sashes and 45 degree “timber effect” welds.

The design brief for Residence 9 was to extract the key principles, shapes and dimensions from the Article 4 Conservation Area guidelines for windows and integrate market leading technology into the design using virtually maintenance free materials.

Residence 9 is thermally and acoustically brilliant. It features the latest security, maintenance and performance innovations, whilst appearing completely traditional. Your windows won’t warp, swell, flake or need sanding and painting.

  • Residence 9 has nine chambers and is 100mm wide, resulting in superior thermal, acoustic, strength and security performance.
  • Achieves a certified window energy A+ rating
  • Can accommodate 44mm triple glazing and 28mm double glazing.
  • Attains U-values of 0.8 with triple glazing, PassivHaus Standard, and 1.2 with double glazing, far surpassing the British Building Regulation requirements.
  • All of this contributes to lower energy bills, keeping you cosy in the winter and cool in the summer.

Interior view of a Residence 9 window clearly demonstrates the authentic timber styling and feature monkey tail handles.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Residence 9 windows are not only stylish, they will withstand the test of time too. They include state of the art design features and champion British craftsmanship using time honoured traditions and modern manufacturing processes. With a range of splendid styles and configurations, Residence 9 allows you to create an individual design statement for your home Рchoose from a vast colour palette and a series of decorative options such as peg stays, authentic looking Georgian bars and weather bars to truly personalise your windows.

The devil is in the detail – these small but very important design features create an authentic looking window beyond comparison.

Download our latest Residence 9 brochure from our website here or give us a call and have a chat with John about how Residence 9 could work for you. We hope to see you soon!