Specifying the windows is a major part of any home building project, so it’s important to be sure that you’re making the right investment.
If you’re a self builder or renovator, there are some key things to consider before making your selection.
Consider the style of windows you want and how well it will fit in with the architecture of your property.
You need to think about the material the window frames will be made from, the colours you prefer and how the units will open and close – there are so many options out there.
Think about how you will use them in your home when it’s complete – like whether they are going to be in an area that gets a lot of sun or a room that doesn’t see much use.
The things which are important to you, whether it’s insulation values, aesthetics or security, are all points you need to consider.
Once you’ve weighed up your options, find a reputable and experienced supplier that can work with your initial brief and come up with an appropriate scheme.
You should also make sure that everything you’re shown complies with the relevant regulations for your particular project – like the standards for thermal performance, for example.
Never invest in windows without having seen and operated them first.
Visit a few firms’ showrooms and ask for a comprehensive demonstration of their offerings, so you can be sure you’re getting the quality that you expect.
You should always have a reasonable timeline for your scheme in mind and communicate this at every step of the project to all suppliers and contractors.
Certain glazing specifications may take longer to produce than others, so giving your supplier a clear spec as early as possible will ensure you’re not falling short of your build programme.
Successful companies can be very busy, so make sure you’ve got a good indication of lead times upfront and are given a firm delivery date once you’ve placed an order.
Sometimes you may fall behind in your predicted schedules and timings have to change. It is very important to communicate this to your window supplier as soon as you can, so they can work with you to change delivery dates if necessary.
As with every part of a self build or renovation, things can go wrong, so all aspects of your schedule should include some tolerance.
Your project is a moving target and sometimes expectations will have to change in line with what can and can’t realistically be achieved. By entering into this type of endeavour, you do take on an element of risk on your part.
That’s why it’s so important that you choose the right professionals to work with – they should help make everything easier.
Windows should be ordered with enough time so that they arrive and are installed once the roof goes on, so the structure can be made watertight.
It’s a case of coordinating the trades to ensure this goes to plan. Sometimes it may be beyond you or your builder’s expertise to measure apertures.
This is a very precise task, so if you’re not completely confident doing it yourself, then a site survey from the fenestration supplier is highly recommended – especially on very large or complex jobs where there are many windows to fit.
Handing over the responsibility for correct installation is something that definitely gives most consumers the peace of mind they need during an often stressful build process.
|Matt Higgs is a director and co-owner of Kloeber UK. He has been involved in manufacture and construction for over 20 years, with experience in production, design, engineering and project management roles. For over nine years he has been on hand to advise self builders, developers and home improvers on doors and windows and has managed many glazing projects including extensions, Passivhaus builds and eco homes as well as large scale developments.|