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Guide: How to Renovate & Modernise Your Windows

Home improvements and renovation projects are booming in the UK thanks to initiatives such as the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

Experts estimate that UK residents will spend over £24bn on upgrades that make us fall in love with our homes all over again. One of the most popular alterations is the installation of modern and thermal-efficient windows.

Windows: what you need to know

Improved windows not only add value to your home: they can also enhance your family’s quality of life by helping to create a warmer, cosier and lighter space. Because contemporary homes have more glazing than earlier styles, design choice is especially important.

  • Combine fixed and open styles. Install open windows in rooms where natural ventilation is an asset, such as bedrooms and kitchens. Fixed windows are a better choice for living rooms and bathrooms.
  • When it comes to frames, think minimal. Thinner frames maximise both views and natural light. Aluminum is popular for its strength and minimal appearance, but timber frames are also an excellent choice and can add a more ‘homely’ touch to your interior.
  • Think thin. Modern house designs support an eclectic mix of window shapes and sizes. Be creative and if your working on a new build work with your architect or designer to add a variety of shapes or sizes to the properties windows.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand out. Traditional flush designs are functional but if you want to try something different there are options such as a box-style window, a modern alternative to a bay window that can add a dramatic touch to the exterior of the building, and create more space inside.

 

 

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  • Go big. Forget about the regimented window sizes of earlier house designs. Large and frameless patio-style windows will add a minimalist beauty to a living area or dining room.
  • Drop the curtains. Because modern windows are sleek and classy, don’t clutter their effect with curtains. Integrated blinds can provide privacy without spoiling the design.

Hiring tradespeople

When sourcing tradespeople, look for a company that has membership in a professional network or association, such as the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) or the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID). Be sure to verify any membership claims: it isn’t unheard-of for companies to claim membership in a well-known trade association or scheme when no such affiliation exists. Some will even use bogus schemes to boost their credibility.

 

Additional guidelines

  • Look for a design partner. When you interview companies, look for those who freely offer suggestions on how to reduce your energy bills, incorporate current technologies, etc. You want to work with someone who will give you the insights necessary to make smart design decisions.
  • Clarify the planning permissions. Getting the required permissions can be complex, especially if you live in a listed building or conservation area. Look for a builder or installer who knows how to comply with any regulations and is approved to do so.
  • Don't just go for the cheapest quote. Look closer if a deal is too good, and never yield to a pressure sale. Your money and future condition of your home are on the line.

Upgrading your home’s windows will add character and comfort without breaking the bank. If you choose the right style for your property and work with accredited and experienced professionals, the result will add value and maximise enjoyment.

If your building a new home choosing more expensive windows may seem like a good way to blow the budget, but the return you may get on the investment could make it well worth while.

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