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Double Glazing Replacement Windows – Finding an approved supplier in Durham

What is double glazing all about?
In today’s society we hear a lot about energy saving, and double glazing or replacement windows and doors play a significant part in helping to create those energy savings and reducing our personal carbon footprint.

Because double glazing has a greater level of insulation that that of a single glazed window it helps to retain the heat within a building and restricts any draughts. There are two layers of glass forming a sealed unit. There are usually spacers within the sealed unit and as technology has progressed several companies now use Super Spacers which have high insulation qualities and often the sealed unit contains Argon gas. Argon has a lower convection than oxygen and nitrogen found in the air. A low emissivity (Low E) coating can also be applied to the glass which allows heat into the building but prevents it from escaping again.

Safety

One of the reasons why double glazing is considered safer than single pane glazing is that prone to shatter in such a way as to produce long and possibly dangerous shards.

In the larger units like double glazed patio doors the Glass and Glazing Federation have made it a requirement that toughened glass has to be used.     
Of course, if you add security in as a part of safety then double glazed windows tend to score highly, being much stronger than standard windows, and that most can be supplied with individual window locks – indeed some have multiple locks.

Insulation

The figures vary depending upon where you read them but a consensus would seem to conclude that a home can loose around 25% of the heat through the windows and that a decent quality double glazing installation will prevent much of this heat escaping and reduce your energy costs. The added insulation will of course also reduce the noise levels that enter your home from outside which, in a heavily populated area can be a real blessing. 

Energy rated replacement windows in Durham

Before purchasing the product ask about energy rating and check for a BFRC label and rating – The BFRC scheme is the national system for rating the energy efficiency of the windows. It’s a bit like the ratings we get today with white goods and in this case there is a scale which goes from A to G where A is the most efficient energy saving window.

The measures also shown simply determine things such as:

  • How good it keeps out wind
  • How much heat it will conserve
  • How resistant to condensation it will be
  • How much it will contribute to improved sound insulation 

If you find yourself on a tight budget then from a personal view I would suggest that you don’t drop to a lower rated window but that you conduct the work in stages as and when you can afford it – starting with the most used rooms first.

Types of double glazed window frame in Durham

Windows can make a dramatic difference to the aesthetics of your home and can make it look elegant and tasteful when done well, or if badly maintained can make a house look shabby and uncared for. It is one of the first things a visitor will see and can make a vast difference to the impression one gains and, could make a real difference between selling and not selling the property.
Clearly they also have a main purpose which is pure functionality – letting in the light and fresh air when required and keeping the cold and damp out. Older windows tend to be draughty and allow a percentage of heat to escape plus, when they have been filled several times, it is probably a good time to seek replacement windows,

Window Frame Types

Today’s double glazed replacement windows are more often than not either UPVC, Timber (usually) hardwood or aluminium.

UPVC

UPVC or PVC-u are now the most widely used double glazed window frames used in the UK, they are strong and durable and very cost effective. As the popularity increased the price became more attractive, so that today they are often for many of us, a natural choice.  
Unlike timber frames, UPVC / PVC-u is tough and resilient, an excellent insulator and requires almost no maintenance, especially as it won’t flake or fade. Being such a good insulation material it is also excellent at reducing noise pollutants, and from a security perspective, is regarding as highly effective as it is difficult to break and usually comes with a wide choice of security locks and fixings.
An early criticism of the UPVC / PVC-u frames was regarding a lack of colour as most of us will still associate UPVC with stark white installations. However as technology has progressed so have UPVC frames so that they can now be purchased in various colours including wood grain effects. 
If however, you reside within a protected conservation area or perhaps in a listed property, it may not be allowable as a base material as it is not a traditional style.

Aluminium Windows

When double glazing was first introduced into the UK it was the main material offered and seemed a logical choice as it is both incredibly strong but lightweight, requires little maintenance and does not deteriorate easily.

Aluminium frames are not often seen today on domestic properties and are more likely to be seen on commercial or industrial properties where security is a major priority – it failed to compete with UPVC on price was not as effective as an insulator and had a tendency towards condensation – so the popularity declined. 

Aluminium can be supplied in a range of colours although once the frame has been powder coated, it cannot be repainted. As its popularity declined so did its availability and the cost of purchase started to rise. As with the UPVC frames it may be regarded as unsuitable in conservation areas or on listed building, so please do check first. 

Hardwood/Timber Frames

Timber frames are often the first choice of the traditionalists and can be more aesthetically appealing, even when getting a little rough round the edges. Timber frames including hardwood, pine and cedar are still the main consideration by planners where installations are taking place in conservation areas or on listed buildings.
Ideal for bespoke designs where windows sizes are awkward but it can still be expensive, albeit not usually worth opting for cheaper timers as they may be prone to cracking, splitting or warping.
One can not argue that a well made timber double glazing installation can still be a joy to behold but for many of us with busy lives or lacking a practical disposition, the thought of having to indulge in regular maintenance is off putting.

Search for an approved supplier in Durham – We cover all the following areas:
Annfield Plain, Billingham, Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Chester-le-Street, Consett, Darlington, Durham, Easington, Ebchester, Ferryhill, Hartlepool, Lanchester, Newton Aycliffe, Peterlee, Seaham, Sedgefield, Shildon, Spennymoor, Stanley, West Auckland and Stockton-on-Tees.

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Durham – Did you know…?

In medieval times Durham was a major centre of both political and ecclesiastical power, mainly due to its strategic importance near the border with Scotland. County Durham was a palatinate, ruled by Prince-Bishops who had secular authority and considerable autonomy from Westminster, minting their own coinage, dispensing their own justice and with the right to maintain their own armies. Every Bishop of Durham from 1071 to 1836 was a Prince Bishop except for the first Norman-appointed bishop Walcher, who was an Earl-Bishop. (The term Prince Bishop, while a useful one, is not one which the Durham Bishops themselves would have recognised.) Henry VIII curtailed some of the Prince-Bishop's powers, and smashed the shrine of Cuthbert in 1538. Finally, the public climate surrounding the Great Reform Act of 1832 removed the Bishop's extraordinary powers.

In 1832 the University of Durham was founded, which has several buildings on the peninsula and on Elvet Hill on the other side of the river. The 19th century also saw Durham grow as a centre of the coal mining industry. The first Durham Miners' Gala was held in 1871, and remains a popular annual event.

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