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When we personalise our homes, much of our focus can go into considering the interior design. It is there that we lay bare our character and style. However, when the first thing people see of your home is the facade, surely you would want it to shine too? Here’s why quality windows and doors can be a better investment for your home…
Whether you are renovating, putting your mark on a new home or embarking on a new build project, your choice of windows and doors are an essential consideration. Whatever products you choose, they will have a lasting effect on your home; from aesthetics to function. However, all too often, these elements can be overlooked in favour of standard, off-the-shelf designs. In this article, we explain why choosing custom-made, high-quality windows and doors will give your home an elegant, sustainable and environmentally responsible exterior.
Beauty, form and aesthetic
The award-winning architect Juhani Pallasmaa once said “the door handle is the handshake of the building”. While it may be true that we get to know the building once we have crossed its threshold, it is the exterior of the building that greets us.
Working with a manufacturer that has a reputation for crafting exceptional doors and windows means you can be sure that these features complement the architecture of your property in the way that off-the-shelf products might not. Consider, for example, the appeal of a classic wooden box sash window inlaid in the front of a Georgian property versus that of a modern PVC window.
What’s more, working directly with a design-led manufacturer means the balance of size, scale and proportion of your windows and doors can be taken into consideration alongside the rest of the exterior and interior of your property. Each constituent works with one another in harmony to create an aesthetic for your home that will really stand out.
Material and product; function and performance
The word “window” is derived from the Old Norse Vindauga, literally meaning, “wind eyes”. While we still want to see the world through them, the wind is most certainly something that we do not want to come through our windows. Nor for that matter, our doors.
Manufacturers of made-to-measure, high-quality windows and doors will create just that; windows and doors that are made to fit perfectly into your building’s aperture – making even period properties draught-free. Furthermore, any superior product will be made using only the best materials such as Accoya, an engineered, laminated timber. Accoya is knot free and won’t split like traditional timbers. Additionally, it offers better dimensional stability than even tropical hardwoods, with a reduction in swelling and shrinkage by 75% or more. Accoya timber is guaranteed for 50 years, so your beautiful windows and doors will look as good as new for half a century, even in the most exposed of locations.
This dimensional stability has an additional benefit, because the Accoya does not significantly expand every summer and shrink every winter – making it the perfect timber material for painting over. Paints won’t crack through UV exposure or seasonal mechanical stress, and can last up to twice as long as a standard painted window. Accoya timber painted with specialist water-based microporous paints such as Teknos can last for 12 years or more before they require repainting, providing they are washed down biannually.
By working with a manufacturer that understands your needs, you can have perfectly functioning windows and doors that are designed to suit your requirements. In addition, because the materials are of high quality, you do not need to make the trade-offs between low-maintenance and high-longevity that you might have with inferior products.
Responsibility, sustainability and impact
Today, society is far more conscientious about the impact of our purchases on the environment and this concern extends to a building’s thermal efficiency too.
Every exterior surface of a building will lose heat through it, flowing from higher temperature to lower temperature. The rate at which this happens is dependent on the thermal effectiveness of the material. This heat loss is, of course, why we insulate our walls. Unless we treat our windows and doors in the same manner, then our homes will not be thermally efficient. Poor insulation gives our homes a larger carbon footprint and makes them needlessly expensive to heat.
An off-the-shelf window manufacturer may quote a low U-value (the amount of thermal energy lost through a material per meter squared at a specific temperature) for the glass constituent. However, it is the entire product efficiency that needs to be considered; frames and panes. High-end products will use materials that together offer the highest performance, especially for something as fundamental as energy efficiency.
As we move towards a low/zero-waste society and the so-called circular-economy, the impact of a product’s entire life cycle matters. Responsibly sourced, custom-made timber products that start their life in forests and end up being recycled or repurposed will outstrip mass-produced uPVC products.
In the end, you get what you pay for. By opting to work with a manufacturer that uses premium materials on your project, you do not need to compromise on style, flawless performance or sustainable credentials.