When building a house or buying one, the number of aspects you need to cover is most likely overwhelming. Good news – We´re here to help you out and spare you at least one of the big ones -windows.
When buying windows it´s impossible to be too careful. The importance of a quality window can´t be overemphasized as a good window will benefit you in more ways than you could possibly imagine. For example – really taking your time and planning your windows the right way you can save a big chunk from a number of your bills. Starting with lighting, a well placed window that lets a lot of light through can on many occasions erase the need of a lamp. Second, but for countries with varying climates, maybe even more important is the thermal transmittance of windows. Nowadays, quality Windows for winter climates all have triple glazing filled with argon – some, such as us at Lasita Aken even offer quadruple glazing.
A factor even more important than keeping the bills low is functionality and understanding your needs. German type DK Windows offer a lot of possibilities with both tilt and turn options as well as a micro-ventilation option. Outside opening, Scandinavian type windows are a good option for classical balcony doors, as there seldom is enough room inside the house for it to be open properly. Sliding doors offer plenty of bang for the buck as choosing to use these will enable you to open large sashes up to 3m width and height without any effort. There´s also folding doors for those who wish to fold lenghts of an entire wall and open up the whole room and glass facades for the ones that want to go really clean and slick, to keep the frames and sashes to a minimum and maximize the glass area of windows.
There´s surely a lot to consider, so where to start? We´re here to give you a quick guide to look out for when making some of the biggest decisions for your home:
Choosing your window type
PVC-windows are without question the most wallet friendly, while aluminium windows offer clean and narrow, minimalistic lines. Neither is a very „warm“ window by its nature compared to a wooden or a wooden-aluminium window, not by the aura nor the actual thermal transmittance. Wood has life to it and looks like an accessory rather than just a window. We at Lasita Aken believe that a wooden or a wooden-aluminium window is worth investing into as they are the only types that you can, with proper maintanence inherit to your children, or childrens children.
As we already referred to the subject of kids – your, and especially your childrens safety is surely a thing you´re worried about. A big part of being safe is having good glazing for your protection. There are two ways to look at safety when it comes to glass –
Tempered and laminated glass. Tempered glass offers about 4 times as much strenght and toughness compared to a normal glass, making it a lot harder to crack or break. It also offers durability to bends and is often used for windows with large glass areas such as skyscrapers open to heavy winds. When tempered glass does break, it shatters into tiny blunt harmless pieces. Tempered glass is a popular option in houses for windows which start from the floor or close to it. Tempering both the inside and outside glass gives you security as when someone falls into the window, they will not injure themselves. For the same windows on higher floors, it is common practice to temper the interior glass as there is no hazard on the exterior.
Laminated glass is another option where actually two glasses are joined together by a layer of plastic called PVB. This offers security as when the glass breaks, it sticks to the laminate. This option is useful for higher floors, where the laminate prevents a person falling through the window, no matter the strenght. The same applies for lower levels and the exterior side, as it is very tough to break through the laminate into the room.
Other than glasses, there are more variables to consider while thinking about safety. It is possible to choose different hardware types which offer more security points as well as the possibility of choosing a child-lock option for the windows, making it impossible to fully open the window without a key while keeping the functionality of tilt-opening.
When choosing windows, you should invest some time into thinking how much sun the house is exposed to. Our recommendation is to consider solar protection glasses on the southern and western side of the house, in areas open to the sun, in the northern hemisphere. So how does it work? Basically, the exterior glass has more reflection to it making the rays of sun bounce off the window, not letting the heat through. Keep in mind though that this means it also reflects the light, hence making the room darker! When going for solar protection windows it is important to keep in mind that as the reflection and light transmittance of the window are different from regular float glass Windows, it also looks different in the facade, both from the inside, and out. To fix that, you should always use the same glasses on the entire side of the house. To balance out the differences from the inside, our specialists are happy to help you in that regard.
Other than the obvious lighting function of windows, there actually are a number of things to consider while choosing the right ones for you. Before I start, let me just say that German type DK windows offer the most functionality with a variety of options. The windows are both tilt and turn, making it easy to open them for cleaning or just for ventilation, tilting them. They´re also equipped with a micro-ventilation option where the seals leave a small gap in-between them making air circulation through them possible. But to go on with the topic, the most important thing to consider is to know how the window will be used. If there will be no-one going in and out of it and you have plenty of ventilation in the room as it is, it is relatively pointless to make the window openable. On the other hand, if you have a window or a balcony door starting from the floor taking you out to the terrace, it is wise to have a snapper, a magnetic latch and small handle or even a handle with the possibility to lock from the outside. Using these options, you can easily go into the garden and shut the door behind you. When you have big openings to a balcony or a terrace, it is wise to consider sliding doors which don´t require any turning room inside or outside the room. One sash slides behind the other leaving you with a big open space to walk through and two sashes behind each other to look through without blocking any of the view. Our GU parallel sliding door has a very low threshold and the sashes are very easily sliding making it very comfortable to use for anyone, big or small, regardless of age.
When speaking about functionality, an aspect that surely needs to be covered is extras. What good does an openable window do when you will never open it as insects tend to fly straight in when you do? We offer a variety of different insect screens from fixed screens and screens for balcony doors on hinges all the way to rollable insect screens, all of which are very user friendly. You can also choose from a variety of lattices if you want to give some extra touches to your windows. For example, we offer removable lattices that make it very easy to maintain and wash the windows as a whole without the need to go through every small square separately. As building a house has a lot of different aspects, we at Lasita Aken understand that getting the most out of one provider is essential, which is why we also offer our customers the flexibility of getting their exterior doors and window sills, both on the inside and the outside from us, hassle free!
Hopefully this article gives you some hints about what to look for when buying windows for your next house. If any questions arose, don´t hesitate to contact our team for input – we´re happy to assist!