Double Glazing Replacement Windows – Finding an approved supplier in Northumberland
What do you get double glazed window frames made from?
Within any double glazed sealed unit or replacement window there are two main parts, the frame and the glass. Within this article we will look briefly at the common types of double glazing frame and deal with the glass on another occasion.
Double glazing or replacement window frames are usually made up from one of four standard types, namely:
UPVC or PVC-u (the plastic frames),
Timber Frames (Usually hardwood frames)
UPVC or PVC-u window Frames
One of the biggest advantages of this UPVC / PVC-u material (same thing), is that it durable, is very strong yet flexible (which makes it difficult to break); is a highly insulate material making it ideal for assisting in energy saving and which, during its lengthy lifetime will require little maintenance.
For double glazing purposes this is by far the most popular material and as a direct result of the popularity has become the least expensive option which over the course of a complete house installation can be quite an advantage, and can make it very cost effective.
If it had its detractors (apart from the purists who will always opt for timber) is was mostly because of the very limited colour choices offered – usually white or….white, but as the technology has increased it can also now be acquired in Woodgrain finishes such as Mahogany and Oak and some companies also now have several colour variations. There can be a disadvantage however in opting for a colour which is that if that shade becomes unfashionable there is nothing you can do about it – it is not like timber frames which could be repainted.
With all but the timber frames, if the property is listed or situated within a conservation area, please do firstly check with the local authority as timber may be the only material allowed to remain in keeping with surrounding buildings and period.
Timber Frames (hardwood and softwood)
Some of us of course prefer to stick to traditional values and perhaps we live in a property where it is a requirement that traditional materials must be used, such as with a listed building, or where the property is found within a conservation area.
One of the advantages of using timber is that almost any style of window can be recreated or made bespoke, but still retain the advantages of double glazing.
Unlike the UPVC or aluminium windows, timber frames will require maintenance usually every 4-5 years such as sanding, painting or staining, or filling periodically, and they are more likely to be prone to adverse weather conditions than the other materials.
Especially if you are considering soft wood in order to reduce the price it may be a good idea to check on the types of joints used and you should seek assurance on the quality of the timbers used. A low quality timber can be prone to warping and cracking which is certainly not going to prove to be energy saving and the system is likely to be more expensive that the more popular system above.
Softwood especially, is likely to have a much shorter life span the UPVC, composite or Aluminium so do take this into consideration as well as the need for maintenance when making price comparisons.
When double glazing was first introduced to the UK, Aluminium frames were very popular indeed – it was strong and very secure, slim and lightweight and probably felt like the epitome of modern technology. Since the introduction of UPVC its popularity quickly declined and with it the easy availability and of course, the inevitable price increases due to the lack of economies of scale. Aluminium frames can still be see on many commercial properties as it is virtually intruder-proof so is found wherever security is a major issue and like UPVC it is not subject to weather conditions, it would not warp or crack, flake or peel,
In comparison to the uPVC frames it is not a particularly good insulator and can be a bit to condensation, but mainly due to cost it is rarely seen on domestic properties – having said that it will probably now see a massive comeback.
Technology has improved the matter of condensation, and this has been all but eliminated by applying a thermal break in the frame.
Composite frames have apparently been around for a while, but are not that well known to many of us.
These are usually made up from a combination of materials, most commonly being an inner core of timber (being a good insulator) and an outer layer of aluminium – by utilizing the two materials you have the insulation benefits of timber with the strength and durability of the aluminium, and this material too, can be used quite well in bespoke designs – I understand that this material also can be expensive and may not be so easily found on your doorstep but those who have it, seen unable to praise it high enough.
The overall picture in summary – Searching for a Supplier in Northumberland
To a large extent it is obvious that the frame you choose will depend on your home and your personal taste. According to the Energy Trust, for all frame materials there are windows available in each energy rating.
- uPVC frames are the most common to be used. They last well, require almost no maintenance and can be recycled.
- Composite frames strong and good insulators but can be expensive – little maintenance required
- Wooden frames can have a lower environmental impact, (particularly in their manufacture) but they do require some maintenance. They are often used in conservation areas where the original windows were timber framed.
- Aluminium or steel frames are slim and long-lasting. They can be recycled but may be expensive and can be difficult to source. They are often declined for use in conservation areas.
Search for an approved supplier in Northumberland – We cover all the following areas:
Allendale Town, Alnwick, Ashington, Bamburgh, Beadnell, Bedlington, Belford, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Blyth, Corbridge, Cornhill-On-Tweed, Cramlington, Haltwhistle, Haydon Bridge, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Hexham , Mohope, Morpeth, Otterburn, Ponteland, Prudhoe, Riding Mill, Rothbury, Seahouses and Wylam.