A guide to renovating your home with new windows and doors
Updating your home can be an incredibly exciting experience, and you’re sure to feel a huge amount of anticipation as you look forward to seeing your property transform. Here’s our helpful guide…
Whether you want to avoid hefty moving fees or you just love the home you are already in, improving your house can be just as rewarding as getting onto the property ladder.
Many homeowners find that installing new doors and windows can make a big difference to their property without having too much of an impact on their daily lives. We’ve put together this handy guide to make sure you are well informed before you get started!
Working with the right people
To ensure that the work is being carried out to a high standard, check to see if your installer is a FENSA member – FENSA is the largest and most trusted scheme for replacement window and door installers, trusted by local authorities, the industry itself and the government. Members are continuously inspected to ensure consistency with the relevant building regulations so you can be confident that your installer will work to the right standards.
Replacing your doors
Taking your time while considering different door options on the market is highly recommended; a poor-quality product or a badly fitting door can leave you at risk of leaks, cold draughts, and break-ins. In addition to this, a door can have a big effect on the overall look of your newly renovated property and a traditional timber door can be a highly attractive feature.
Entrance doors: Fitting a brand new entrance door can make a phenomenal change to the aesthetics of your home, improving its ‘kerb appeal’ along the way. A front door can speak volumes about what the rest of your home might be like inside, so it’s worth investing in a premium product to make a good first impression. If you replacing an old, poorly performing front door, you’ll notice the immediate insulating benefits of a modern, made-to-measure product. When choosing a new entrance door, consider the look and style you want to achieve – it goes without saying that a beautifully crafted timber door painted in a smart colour with traditional unlacquered polished brass or oil-rubbed bronze ironmongery is an ideal choice for a period property, in comparison to a standard, uninspiring uPVC door fitted with shiny chrome handles.
Back doors: Sometimes forgotten, doors to the rear of your house can have a big impact on the look and feel of your home. If you’re looking to make a statement, opt for French doors which will elegantly open out onto your garden, or bi-fold sliding doors which can be fully opened to bring the outside in.
French doors are a great option if you are looking for a specific style, as there is a vast combination of glazing bars and panel styles to transform the appeal of your property.
Security and quality: When specifying new doors for your home, choose products that have been independently tested by a third party UKAS accredited test centre to current British and European standards. Doors which are tested in accordance with PAS24:2012 “Enhanced Security Performance Requirements For Doorsets And Windows” should keep you and your family feeling safe and protected. Locks should be specified to comply with BS3621.
Do I need to worry about planning? Planning permission will be needed if you live in a conservation area and want to replace your front door or enlarge existing openings or door frames. If you have a listed building, you’ll also need to obtain consent if you are thinking about replacing your internal doors.
Replacing your windows
Replacing your old windows with the latest products on the market will give your home an instant update while making it feel warm and cosy on the inside.
Style: A well-designed and attractive window is one that is perfectly balanced in terms of proportion, shape, and colour. The right products can make your house stand out, rather than looking like any other property on the market, so it’s important to get it right and choose windows that perfectly suit the style of your home. Restoring original features like sash windows will add more value to your home than simply replacing with a standard design.
Glazing: If you’re replacing windows in a room that is prone to overheating or being too cold because of where the sun faces, consider glazing with a Low-E coating that reduces heat transfer. It will reflect the heat back inside or protect the room from too much warm sunshine. Warm edge spacer bars insulate the edges of a sealed glazed unit and will keep the panes apart, preventing cold bridging. If you want to achieve a more traditional look for period properties, double-glazed windows filled with krypton achieves as much energy efficiency as argon-filled glazing but with a thinner, classic aesthetic. Our glass is toughened and laminated as standard, making it ideal for use in balconies, landings, and staircases; as it is four times stronger than regular glass, it will shatter into smaller pieces if it breaks, making it a safer option for windows that are high up.
Safety considerations: In addition to looking elegant and keeping your home warm, bright, and well ventilated, there are other factors that need to be considered when installing replacement windows. Escape from fire is going to be a vital consideration for windows on upper floors; windows will need to accommodate for an escape route and be accessible by a ladder to comply with fire regulations. Security is another factor, particularly on ground floor levels.
Ventilation: Replacement windows also need to comply with requirements for ventilation, and trickle vents are ideal for securely and constantly drawing out the stale air from a room and bringing in fresh air from outside.
Do I need to worry about planning? Planning permission isn’t specifically required for simply fitting new windows in place of where old ones stood before. In conservation areas and listed buildings, you may find there is an exception so it’s always worth speaking to your local planning authority. However adding a new opening for a window could require planning permission, particularly to the side or anywhere a new window would overlook neighbouring properties.
Westbury Windows and Joinery is a FENSA registered company and has been designing and supplying bespoke joinery to homeowners and specifiers for over 25 years, using its expert design knowledge and understanding to help you choose the right products. Click here if you would like to discuss your requirements with a consultant or request a brochure.