Taking our time and getting it right

Finally, at long last, we ordered our new windows for Westacre.

It took us months to get it right. This is the single largest expense for our eco-renovation project, and we had to try different compromises between energy efficiency, cost, and aesthetics.

We got quotes from several high-end window companies. We were after windows that would give us a Uw value of 0.8 or lower. And we knew we would have to pay for the privilege of having well insulated windows.

Our experience with the different companies was variable, but we ended up with a few likely contenders, including Uniwin, based in Scotland, and Russell Timbertech, who had competitive prices.

A local company, Spectrum, based just 20 minutes’ drive from here, sells and installs Internorm windows. They were friendly and helpful from the start and prompt in their replies to our e-mails. So although they didn’t give us the cheapest quote, we decided to go for known product quality and support a local business.

With Spectrum’s help, we went through a number of permutations in our requirements.

At first, we thought we wouldn’t be able to afford aluminium clad wooden windows and we were looking at alu-clad uPVC. But with the discounts Spectrum was offering at the time, the price difference wasn’t that great, and we decided to go for the wood after all. This gives us a better insulated window with a Uw value in the region of 0.7.

We also considered the final look of the renovated house. Having looked at houses of roughly the style and age we are trying to emulate, we noticed that many of them have white casements inside black frames. They look very smart and trying to copy that look would help us get the Edwardian period feel we’re after.

Turns out, though, that opening windows are quite a lot more expensive than fixed ones. All those moving parts do add to the cost. To remain somewhere near our budget, we had to minimise the number of opening windows in our order. And if our windows didn’t open, we couldn’t have them in two colours.

The final order we placed with Spectrum is for all white windows at the front of the house, and dark grey for the side and the back. They will be aluminium clad wooden windows, that will give us great insulation and, hopefully, a good looking house.

We are expecting delivery and installation towards the end of November.

2 thoughts on “Taking our time and getting it right

  1. What guarantee have you got on the sealed glass units. I was shocked to discover from somebody in the trade that these have a certain life expectancy.

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