In theory, buying windows should be a piece of cake. You note down the dimensions, find a retailer, go and visit their showroom. But after you get a closer look at the offer, it may turn out it is not that simple. What to do then? Trust the sales person’s expertise.
The most important stages of house construction are selection, ordering and fitting the windows. At that time, you have the complete picture of the building and all rooms. You are probably already planning room decor. But, wait. First, you have to make some important decisions about the windows. What will the profiles be made of, what will their colour be, how will the windows open? These are the things to consider at this stage. How to deal with this? The easiest way is to trust an experienced sales person.
Start from visiting several window retailers with showrooms. You will be able to see different models, with different types of opening, made of different materials and from different manufacturers. This is the best place and time to talk to the sales person and ask them questions. Feel free to ask even the most basic ones. You are not a specialist and you have a right not to know many things about windows! A good sales person is aware of this and will surely help you with your doubts.
In fact, this choice comes down to four options: PVC, aluminum, wood or wood-aluminum. At a first glance, it may seem that the choice is very limited but the more you study the subject the more doubts you might have. Each material has their pros and cons and, obviously, material type affects the price. PVC windows are the cheapest, but they are not suitable for large glazing, which is so popular nowadays. Aluminum windows are very stable, so they can be successfully used for large format glazing, including corner ones. The most technologically advanced systems, such as our Hi-Finity system, allow the fitting of glass panels weighing up to 500 kg. Aluminum frames come in various shapes and colours available in the RAL palette. Such windows are very resistant to weather conditions. Their only drawback is their price – they are the most expensive of all types of windows.
When choosing windows, first of all, pay attention to thermal insulation parameters. According to building regulations, from January 1, 2021, newly built houses must be fitted with windows with Umaks = 0.9W/(m2K). This is the value of triple-pane windows with a warm edge (less frequently, these are double-pane models). For renovated buildings, these requirements are not that stringent. But if you want to lower your central heating bills, then choose windows with a maximum U-value of 1.2. Another very important parameter is acoustic insulation. The higher you choose the Rw coefficient, the quieter it will be in the building. Standard windows usually have an Rw of 30-32dB. If you are building or renovating a house located on a busy street, opt for windows with the Rw parameter of at least 40dB.
Burglary resistance depends, among other things, on how solid the window profile is, the type of fittings and glazing used, and, obviously, on the presence of anti-burglary systems. Burglary resistance is determined from the RC class defined on a 6-point scale. The higher the class is the more problems the intruder will have with breaking the window and it will take him longer. Windows are usually RC2 class, where, in addition to anti-burglary hooks, they have special panes screwed or glued to the frame. They consist of two 4 mm thick glass panes connected by four layers of special foil. Window models marked with a higher anti-burglary class are very rare on the market.
When purchasing windows, it is a good idea to also consider buying internal window sills and blinds at the same time. This type of equipment can be purchased at most window retailers. Why we recommend this? Internal window sills and blinds should be matched to the colour of the windows. If you decide to buy these elements at a different retailer, it is very likely that you will not be able to perfectly match the colour of accessories to your windows.
When you decide on a specific type of windows, you will need to sign an agreement and make a pre-payment. At this stage, the window retailer should physically measure your window openings. Design dimensions can often differ from the reality. After the measurement has been taken, there comes a waiting time of around a few weeks till the windows are manufactured.
What is the process of window fitting? It all depends on the number of windows and the size of the facility where they are fitted. It may take 2-3 days, or even a few hours when there are few windows or when there are many workers. Before you start, check if there is no damage to the product. If you spot any flaws, contact the retailer immediately. This will save you problems later on. Good window fitters are equipped with high-class tools, are accurate and make sure they tidy up before they leave. After the works are done, make sure you check each window sash, and all the extras like handles with a key, shutters, blinds, etc. Only after you carefully inspect all the parts, you can pay the remainder of the invoice.