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Replacing windows

Cost: Difficulty:

Reasons to replace a window

There can be many reasons for deciding to change a window apart from it needing repair or re-painting. The fitting may be poor allowing draughts to enter the house, through gaps at the bottom or sides of the window. The window could be in a poor state of repair, squeaking and sticking when opening and closing.

Running water on the inside of the window, particularly in winter, signals condensation that can encourage mould to grow.

Choosing a window

You should always replace a window with a type that maintains the style of the property. Decide how many openings and fixed panels required. Remember that a window can be a means of escape should fire prevent you leaving the room via the door.

A small top window allows extra ventilation. It is essential to measure the window frame in a number of places across its width and height. Make a note of any discrepancies in the measurements as they may help when fitting the window.

Wooden windows Standard sized wooden windows are often treated with preservative to meet NHBC (National House Building Council) requirements. Many are already double-glazed and weather sealed, coming in both hardwood and softwood.

Metal windows Old metal windows may rust, but modern ones are galvanised to stop rusting. Metal windows are available in various styles and sizes. They are strong and slim and often fitted into wooden frames, and require primer, undercoat and gloss paint.

Aluminium windows Available in various styles and sizes and usually double glazed ready to install. They are strong and slim and often fit in wooden frames. The aluminium frames require washing down but the wooden sub frames require preserving and varnishing or painting.

UPVC windows Available in various styles and sizes, double glazed and ready to install. They are strong, low maintenance and give good insulation. They are usually fitted in UPVC frames.

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