Whether your renovation budget is large or small, most homeowners will be seeking to get good value for money from the products they choose – as the saying goes, ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’.
Deciding how and where to invest your money can be a frustrating task. While investing in premium quality windows may not be as exciting as choosing a new kitchen or interior decor, it is important to remember that windows are a crucial feature of any building project – not just for aesthetic reasons but also for the long-term performance of your new home.
Timber technologies and processes have evolved significantly in recent years, paving the way for developments in engineered woods such as Accoya® – an ideal material for crafting long-lasting, high quality, and cost-effective window products – a winning combination that is difficult to achieve with other window materials on the market.
1. Minimal maintenance
When specifying product details for a self-build project, materials that perform well and look visually appealing without constantly requiring maintenance efforts are likely to be the ones that are chosen. Recognised for its extreme dimensional stability, and class 1 durability that exceeds traditional hardwoods, Accoya® is a cost-effective material for windows as it will not warp, twist, or swell over time, ensuring a smooth open and close for decades to come. This is enhanced further by its ability to hold a paint coating for up to a decade before a new coating is needed, keeping the maintenance costs of timber windows to a minimum.
2. SustainabilityAlso high on the agenda for most modern self-build projects is the consideration of sustainability. Accoya® is 100 percent environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and sourced from certified FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) forests. It has a gold standard ‘cradle to cradle’ accreditation meaning it has no impact on the environment throughout its lifecycle. This certification means you can be sure the timber has come from a sustainable and responsibly managed source and can be traced back to the original forest in which the wood grew.
3. High performance
In addition to investing in quality and sustainable materials, the environmentally conscious homeowner will be seeking an energy-efficient product to help reduce energy consumption and expenditure over time. This is where a quality engineered timber really excels itself as a material for windows, offering attainable whole product U-values as low as 1.0 W/m2K. Any reputable timber window manufacturer should be happy to share third-party certification of independent product performance testing. Seeking timber window products that have been built and tested to provide strong insulation from weather and noise, along with robust security protection will also boost the long-term economic performance of the building.
Opting for a UK based window company to supply windows for a project will help to save money and time by speeding up delivery and installation costs and waiting times. This can be particularly important should anything go wrong on site e.g. if an incorrect measurement has been communicated or a glazed unit has been dropped or broken. Unfortunately, accidents can happen and the speedier manufacture and delivery of a UK provider will be invaluable then. It’s also good to know that the financial investment you are making in your windows is also an investment into local craftsmanship and quality materials – not the unpredictable import fees of those manufacturing abroad. Where possible, arrange a visit to the manufacturer’s showroom in order to witness first hand the quality of the products and craftsmanship prior to making an investment.
5. Making the most of the light
Well thought out window fenestration not only alters how a property appears from the outside, but it also has an impact on the lifestyle being lead within those walls because people will naturally gravitate toward well-lit spaces. Take time to consider how the different areas within the building will be used and how much light will be required to carry out and enjoy those tasks. Early investment and planned placement of quality windows will help to prevent any rooms from becoming redundant areas or in need of any expensive alterations further down the line.
If you’re fans of our blog, you’ve probably heard us talk about a blend of ‘form’ and ‘function’ before but it applies perfectly to fenestration products too: windows need to work hard for a home in terms of how they look (inside and out) and how they operate but also in terms of their carbon footprint during manufacture and how they impact the sustainability of the property. No mean feat.