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Advantages Of UPVC Replacement Windows And Doors
Fitting upvc replacement windows and doors can often halve heat loss, practically eliminate condensation and often noticeably reduces noise from outside. The latter is often the primary reason for installing replacement windows and doors in busy inner city locations, as are the security benefits that come with properly installed units with multiple in-built locking systems. It is one of the most popular home improvement projects carried out on older properties.
Timber framed windows are naturally susceptible to rotting over time and regular maintenance is essential. This usually involves sanding down surfaces, patching any imperfections and then painting with a good quality exterior undercoat and then gloss. All in all quite a bit of work and not an inexpensive job, even for the keen DIY person. In contrast upvc surfaces require very little maintenance and even that is usually only a question of cleaning materials and soft cloths.
UPVC double glazing may not always spring to mind as the most aesthetically appealing solution. However, the range of modern styles of double glazed unit is now fairly broad. Exterior doors and porches often feature stain glass windows for example. While aluminium or hardwood frames might be considered an alternative, UPVC is generally a better insulator than either of these choices. Since it does not rot or biologically decompose, upvc is ideal for window and door replacement. Resistant to weathering, it has low maintenance requirements, is tough and yet can be recycled.
Of course for older styles of property aluminium frames may be preferred. However it always makes sense to check carefully for any local planning issues that may impose restrictions on this type of property - best not invest in new upvc replacement windows and doors, just to find that you have run foul of local planning regulations! This applies equally to adding a conservatory to increase available floorspace and add that wonderful open-air feeling when the French doors can be opened on to a patio when the weather allows. Conservatories require careful planning and overseeing, particularly in ensuring that foundations are properly laid.
Timber frames are the most expensive choice but if your home is a listed building, they are often the only choice for replacement windows or doors. A variety of hardwoods are available, though the range of choices seems to be diminishing as upvc becomes ever more popular. Hardwood frames are not as durable as UPVC or aluminium and generally a thicker frame is required to provide the equivalent strength of upvc or aluminium and reduce the likelihood of warping. After typically 5 years a timber frame will need to be re-painted with the attendant sanding, priming, painting and the house reeking of paint for days.
UPVC windows or doors are durable, easy to maintain and provide the best level of insulation - while improving the look and value of properties. The latter is these days an important consideration and buyers look favourably upon properties that have already had this work done, knowing they will not have to put up with the mess when having it done themselves. The usual colour for UPVC is white but there are now a wide range of other options, including wood grain effects. Most double glazing companies offer a range of colours and styles. We would recommend you selecting internally glazed units with internal beading, this is the most secure design in our opinion. Always check what locking systems are going to be fitted - Yale is considered to be among the most secure. Modern multi-point locking mechanisms provide a formidable barrier for even an experienced burglar.
UPVC systems are generally multi-chambered with internal gaskets to ensure watertight sealing. They all feature some form of reinforcement, usually an aluminium or steel box section. Double glazing with aluminium frames has become less popular as upvc has found its way into the market. While aluminium frames are strong and almost burglar proof, they do not have the same high insulation properties as upvc. Since the pay-back is much longer with the more expensive aluminium systems, their market share has diminished in recent years. The side effect of this is that the choice of finishes and the number of experienced installers has also diminished because of this.
If you are on a budget and the structure of your windows is essentially sound, then secondary double glazing is a less expensive option. This involves fitting a matching window to the inside of the existing frame. Care must be taken to ensure no dampness is present when this secondary unit is put into position. This procedure is not only less expensive but much easier to install as no external ladders or scaffolding is required. It will however rarely match the sound insulation that a new double glazed unit would provide.
Approximately 60% of heat loss from a home is through standard windows. Installation of double glazing reduces heat loss substantially, consequently reduces bills for heating - 10% off heating bills are often achieved. There is also a 'Green" spin-off, in that households burn less fuel and this plays a part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hopefully the advantages of UPVC replacement windows and doors over the alternative types of home improvement have been adequately outlined above.
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