A guide about glass supply and installation for your home

New developments in window, door and conservatory installation means that replacing your existing glass can be a valuable investment. Today’s products are stronger, safer, provide greater insulation and are more aesthetically pleasing than those fitted even just ten years ago. You may be surprised at what a difference a glass installation firm can make to your property. These advantages make looking into replacing existing windows, doors and conservatories a wise decision.

Why should I employ a glass supply and installation firm?

If you are considering putting your house up for sale, new windows can add value to your property. You may have bought a house which has ramshackle windows which need replacing. Or you may want to give your home a facelift, by adding new windows or a conservatory.

The choice of styles of doors and windows is growing. You might now be given the option of having sliding doors and windows which open vertically, horizontally, or both. Skylights can also make a big difference to an attic room by adding much-needed extra natural light, instantly making the space seem large and airy.

If your property does not have double-glazed windows, you are likely to be spending more on energy bills than you would otherwise. The two panes of glass used in double glazing mean that heat does not escape so readily, and these windows are also much stronger than standard. Locks on the latest designs of windows and doors are often made of stainless steel – a very durable material. They may also have multiple locks, adding security to your home.

The cavity between the panes of glass also means that the new windows are likely to offer some sound proofing for your home. This will be particularly noticeable if you live on a busy road or in a noisy area.

The modern PVCu windows are completely weatherproof, unlike wooden or metal frames which can rot or rust after exposure. They are also much easier to maintain – there is no need to paint or sand down the window frames. Wiping dirt away is all the upkeep they require.

Condensation and misting will no longer be a nuisance if you get double glazed glass fitted. No more dripping window panes and soggy window sills!

Furthermore, the very fact that the doors and windows are new means that they are likely to stronger and more secure than a door or window which needs replacing.

More than 200,000 conservatories are built every year. Having a conservatory fitted can make your entire house feel much bigger. If it is south-facing, or if you have heating fitted, you can use the conservatory all year round as a relaxation area, play room or study. The heat can be useful for growing plants, and the natural light is also an attraction.

What is PVCu?

Today, windows, doors and conservatories are usually made of ‘PVCu’. It is predominantly stocked in white, but can also be found in darker colours which can have a wood-grain effect. PVCu is usually strengthened with aluminium or steel.

‘PVC’ stands for Poly Vinyl Chloride – a chlorine, carbon and hydrogen compound. The ‘u’ stands for ‘unplasticised’. This means it has not had chemicals, unsurprisingly called plasticisers, added to it. This material has been tested and found to be the most efficient and practical for making window frames, doors and conservatories today.

Will I need planning permission to have a conservatory fitted?

If you are considering adding a conservatory to your house, you may need to seek planning permission from your local planning authority. You can find out who your local planning authority is, and how to contact them, here.

A general rule is that if your property is in a conservation area, or if it is listed, you must seek permission. There are many other circumstances, depending, for example, on the size of your garden. Even if your neighbours have conservatories and did not need planning permission, it is not necessarily the case that you will not either. You should definitely seek the advice of your local planning authority before committing to buying a conservatory. It can be an expensive mistake if you do not look into it – in the worst case, you may be required to take your conservatory down.

For more detailed advice about conservatory installation, look here.

How much do glass installation companies charge?

It is very difficult to suggest costs of windows, doors and conservatories without knowing the specific details of the property in question. Shop around different companies – this is a very competitive industry, and special offers can bring the cost of a conservatory down to roughly £2000. This price is naturally sketchy and it may vary considerably depending on materials and size. The conservatories themselves can vary from small and cosy areas to much larger spaces, covering the width of the property – obviously the price increases accordingly.

Similarly, windows and doors can fluctuate widely in price. Most double glazing companies offer quick free quotes – often online – so it is easy to shop around without spending too much time browsing. Make sure you know whether the quote includes fitting and a guarantee. There are plenty of companies which offer free no-obligation quotes. Have a look at these websites which offer quick online quotes to get an idea: Safe Style UK and Quotes For Windows

There are companies which offer similar products at lower prices. For example, check out U-Fit. This Coventry-based firm sells PVCu conservatories at lower prices than elsewhere because they do not provide a fitting service. With easy installation guides, the idea is that the customer is able to fit the product themselves – even if they do not have any previous experience or special knowledge. This could be a risk, but it is an easy way to save money. If you have problems fitting the product, there is a support line to call, offering free advice. You could even get a friend or another professional to fit it. It is definitely worth getting a professional to install any electrics.

Conservatories may seem expensive. If you feel tempted to stick to a tight budget when you are choosing the design, think ahead. Do not be fooled by false economy. Cheaper glass or insulation may mean you have to pay more in heating bills to keep the conservatory warm in the long run.

Don’t forget to ask…

  • How long will it take for the windows/ door/ conservatory is fitted?
  • Can I see a choice of finishes for the PVCu?
  • Does the price include fitting?
  • Is the product guaranteed?
  • How much disruption will the fitting cause?
  • Are there any special offers if I buy windows and a conservatory at the same time?

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