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

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

 

What is an insurance backed guarantee and why do I need one?

The low-down on Insurance Backed Guarantees and what they mean for you, the customer.

 

For all replacement window and door installations that are notifiable to “competant person schemes” such as FENSA or CERTASS (we are members of both) the installer¬†is¬†required to provide the following insurance policies for their customers (it is a government requirement that companies must have certain insurance policies in place where applicable).

  • Insurance Backed Guarantees (IBG): Replacement of windows and doors in domestic dwellings must have an Insurance Backed Guarantee provided.
  • Deposit Protection: If a CERTASS or FENSA Registered Business takes deposits in advance of installations, they must give some form of deposit indemnity. Deposits may be guaranteed by, for example, trade association Deposit Indemnity schemes, or credit card protection.
  • Guarantee or Warranty:¬†Registered businesses must provide a guarantee or warranty covering the cost of completing rectification work in respect of installation defects for a period of ten years.

Deposit protection and Insurance Backed Guarantees can be provided by a number of companies – we have been using Quality Assured National Warranties (QANW) for many years now. Watch their short video below which explains the benefits of IBGs to consumers.

If you have any further questions about your insurance backed guarantee or deposit protection, please give us a call on (020) 8868 1133 or check out the QANW consumer website here >>

We hope to see you again very 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!

 

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.