What windows to choose?
If you’re planning to choose windows or any kind of window carpentry for the first time, you probably don’t even know where to start. Windows are not something we buy frequently; rather, they are meant to serve us for years, and they are often not a cheap purchase. Therefore, it’s worth considering this well in advance.
Preparing for a conversation with a window manufacturer or supplier
The simplest and most powerful tool at our disposal today is the internet, so finding someone offering help in choosing carpentry is easier than ever. All you need to do is search for the nearest company and arrange a meeting or visit to get acquainted with the sellers and their products directly. As a customer, you should deepen your knowledge about modern windows, their parameters, properties, and possibilities beforehand. Then, the conversation with the seller will be more constructive, and as a result, you will buy windows that will pass the test for years and leave you satisfied.
The choice of a window supplier
It’s best to use products from reputable companies. Remember that the quality of windows is influenced by profiles, glass, fittings, and installation. Therefore, it’s important to know whose profiles are used in the product you have chosen. If it’s VEKA, you can be assured of the highest quality. Do some research on construction forums to find out what opinions various manufacturers have, what are the strengths and weaknesses of their windows. Warranty matters are also important – more on that below.
It could be said that choosing a window supplier is somewhat similar to choosing a life partner, where we make decisions based on our own hierarchy of values. In the case of windows, these values include the technical parameters of profiles, glass, fittings, and the quality of installation, good customer service from the person assisting you, as well as economic factors such as prepayments, settlements, installments, prices, etc.
Warranty on windows
Only a written warranty is a legally binding document. When purchasing windows, it’s important to carefully read the terms, as the warranty can cover the entire window, as well as fittings, glass, or just the profiles. Another issue is the warranty for installation. Often, a condition for receiving a warranty for the window is to use the installation team recommended by the manufacturer. Installers should also provide a warranty for their work.
The attributes of a window
Energy-efficient windows are those with a low Uw – heat transfer/thermal insulation coefficient. It’s important to know that since 2014, investors are required to purchase windows with a thermal insulation coefficient Uw not higher than 1.3 W/m²K. In the following years, this value will be reduced: starting from 2017, it was minimized to Uw=1.1 W/m²K, and in 2021, windows in newly built and renovated residential buildings can have a Uw coefficient not exceeding 0.9 W/m²K. Therefore, this parameter is one of the most important factors when making decisions about window selection. If the windows are from the VEKA Softline 82 window system, their Uw heat transfer coefficient can already reach 0.9 W/m2K today (with the use of triple glazing or thermal insulation wedge and proper installation in the building).
If you live in a noisy area, it’s essential to pay attention to the Rw index, which indicates how well the window isolates the interior from external sounds. The Rw index is expressed in decibels [dB] – the higher it is, the better the window reduces noise. What index should a window have in a building located on a busy street? Typical VEKA windows have an Rw index of about 35 dB. This may be insufficient for noise reduction in a noisy area. In such cases, windows should have an index of around 40 dB.
The most popular PVC window profiles are white. Firstly, they are cheaper than colored ones, and secondly, homeowners of single-family houses can afford colored windows. In multi-family buildings, the window color is typically determined by the developer or housing cooperative. VEKA offers profiles in a choice of 38 colors. The profile can also have a wood texture finish on both sides of the window or only on one side. Each window in the VEKA system can be made in two different colors – one on the outside and another on the inside.
“Muntins,” which are thin strips that visually divide a window into several parts, can come in various colors and widths. They can be either applied to the window or inserted between the glass panes. The first type is simply adhered to the glass on the inside and outside. You can decorate your windows with them at any time. However, muntins between insulated glass panels must be ordered together with the glass or the entire window. There is no option to add or change the color without having to purchase a new pane of glass.
If you are thinking about anti-burglary windows, specifically enhanced resistance to break-in attempts, you need to decide on this when ordering your windows. You can have windows with anti-lever fittings, laminated safety glass with special foil layers, handles with keys or buttons that make it more difficult for burglars to break in. Fittings and glass must be chosen at the time of purchasing the window, while handles with keys can be installed in any window during use.
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