Advice on choosing windows and doors

31st May 2016

Foiled Windows

Advice on choosing windows and doors


Craig Smith, Director Copperfield Windows explains what you need to think about when choosing energy efficient windows and doors


We often take windows for granted and only notice them when things have gone horribly wrong. The wrong choice of windows – and there are plenty of examples – can ruin the appearance of a property.


TV’s George Clarke’s ‘Ugly House to Lovely’ house citing inappropriate leaded windows as one of the biggest architectural mistakes made by homeowners. Anyone who has seen the series will understand straight away, just how critical window choice is in defining the character of your property.


That’s before we get to performance. Energy efficient windows can trim thousands off your heating bills – according to the Energy Saving Trust up to £160 per year – but knowing the difference between u-values and WERs can be a minefield.


Take a look at this guide for those starting out on their window-buying journey:


  • Let’s start with the basics. Choose windows and doors that reflect your home’s style. Stick with, or subtly update, your homes architectural style. You can modernise but think carefully about its impact on the appearance of your property.


  • Think about material type. Do you want to maintain timber windows or do you want a low to ‘no’ maintenance PVC solution?


  • Colour and finish. Your choice of window colour and finish will go a long way to defining the overall character of your property. Energy efficient and low maintenance double and triple-glazed PVC-U windows are available in a wide variety of finishes. 


  • WERs or U-values. This is where we get a little bit technical. The performance of windows are measured in both. To meet building regulations, all new windows must achieve a minimum WER ‘C’ rating or U-value of 1.6 or less.


  • Consider the location of the sun – Solar gain is in general a good thing. You’re using energy from the sun to warm your home but it can also be a problem. We have all been in those old conservatories which are impossibly hot in summer and freezing it in winter. If your windows are south facing, or like a conservatory get a lot of sun, consider solar control glass. This has all the insulation of energy efficient units but will deflect unwanted solar gain, keeping your room at a comfortable year-round temperature. 


  • Don’t forget about ventilation! It's the main reason why we have windows. Trickle vents maintain a regulated air flow through your property helping to reduce condensation and maintain air quality. Your installer will discuss these with you.


  • Think about interior colour schemes. Generally most interior windows are white but energy efficient PVC windows are available in dual-colour options.


  • Security – all windows and doors will deliver a high level of security, featuring multi-point locking. Enhanced Secured by Design or SBD options go one step further. The Police administered scheme sets an even higher level of specification. If you’re concerned about burglaries you may want to consider enhanced security SBD doors and windows. 


  • Picking a good installer. It goes without saying that you want a good installation business to fit your windows. They’ll help you make the right choices for your property. Make sure that they’re a member of an accreditation scheme, for example Which Trusted Trader; FENSA; the GGF or DGOS.


For more information, please don’t hesitate to email me on  or call a member of our team on 02476 452688.

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