Some tips and a few of your questions answered by an Essex window supplier and fitter:
When do windows need replacing?
If you are wondering whether it is more feasible to install new windows or have them replaced, there are a few things you may want to consider. How old are your windows? Depending on the brand and model number of your windows, parts may have become difficult or expensive to source, if they can be found at all. This would make new windows an easier option than a repair. Other reasons for considering new windows over a repair job include rotting timber frames, bent and worn out hinges and fogging between double-glazing. Old windows can be restored and repaired but always compare the cost of parts and labour against that of a new window.
How to maintain your windows to prevent the need for early replacement
The routine for inspecting and cleaning your windows will depend on the materials and finish of your window frames. Timber framed windows should be inspected regularly for cracks in the paint as cracks expose the timber to moisture which accelerates decomposition. Aluminium windows need the least maintenance and we recommend washing the outside, frame and hinges, a few times a year to prevent a build-up of dust that can lead to discolouration. Mild soapy water should be sufficient for keeping windows clean and we suggest that apart from routine removal of cobwebs to ensure effective drainage and ventilation, that you lubricate joints and locks at least twice a year to make sure they continue to operate smoothly.
What are your rights when purchasing new double glazed windows?
If you purchase your windows at home, on the Internet, by post or fax, you have an automatic right to cancel within 14 days of the delivery date. This does not apply to windows that are custom made or made to measure, or where the purchase of your new windows was undertaken in the supplier’s offices. Check trader contracts for your right to cancel if you are purchasing in-store.
In the event that you have problems with your double-glazing, you are protected under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. Double glazing installers are responsible for ensuring that the job is undertaken with “reasonable care and skill”, that the windows are of a ‘satisfactory quality’ and ‘fit for purpose’ and that they match the description of your order. To default on any of these is a breach of contract and in the first instance you should send a letter of complaint to your supplier and agree a date by which the problems will be sorted. When choosing a supplier, ensure that they have been certified by an organisation like FENSA or BM Trada, which would mean they have been vetted for competence.
Did you know … that installing new double glazed PVCu windows could add considerable value to the cost of your home? If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, many new home buyers will consider these windows to be an essential part of their purchasing decision. It could make the time you have left in your home more cost-effective and comfortable too. PVCu windows require very little maintenance and are more energy efficient.