Things to research ahead of buying new windows!

This window buying guide will point you in the right direction to creating a secure, warm, and comfortable home that the whole family can enjoy.

Avoid common new window pitfalls

It’s interesting to note that three of the most common problems caused by poor window installation are:

1. Opening and closing issues
2. Fogging between the glazing panes
3. Drafts / water damage

Quality double glazed windows are a substantial investment, potentially adding around 10% to a property’s resale value if done right. Of course, it stands to reason that potential home buyers are going to be much more likely to buy a home with new windows than one where they’re going to have to replace them at a later date. Your new windows should be airtight, secure, and energy efficient, whilst complementing interior and exterior stylings.

So start as you mean to go on, by researching the following before going ahead with purchasing replacement windows.

Large white tilt and turn radius windows
oak timber bay windows

Window installation quality

As well as the issues listed above, window replacement quality can also be compromised by higher household energy bills, careless/incomplete caulking (window sealant), gaps between the frame and the sill, and glass stains and discolouration.

Often caused by poor workmanship, faulty installation and/or low-quality window products, this flags up the importance of researching a range of local installers before taking the next step.

Look out for encouraging trust signals, such as:

Window material

Today, window frames are most commonly available in three materials: classic timber, modern aluminium and versatile uPVC. Often the most expensive of the three, timber windows are typically chosen in areas where window replacements must be ‘like for like’, e.g. conservation areas. Naturally insulating, timber windows require the most maintenance. Aluminium windows are renowned for their contemporary, slender, robust frames, often chosen to enhance more modern properties.

uPVC remains the most widely used window frame material, thanks to its high performance and low maintenance qualities. Versatile, efficient, durable, and affordable, uPVC windows can achieve some of the highest Window Energy Ratings around. Thanks to advances in the manufacturing process, uPVC is also a viable ‘timber alternative’; able to seamlessly mimic the look of traditional timber frames, so they can be considered in conservation areas too.

Golden uPVC windows 2 casement
white timber sliding sash bay window next to a shrub

Window glass and glazing

Typically making up 70% of the window, your choice of glazing will affect your homes thermal efficiency as well as sound insulation levels. Wasting up to 40% of your home’s energy, more energy can be lost through inefficient windows than through the walls and the roof!

Single glazed windows inevitably suffer from cold spots, draughts, and increased noise disruption from outside, which is why double glazing is the minimum standard for new windows in Britain. Containing a sealed unit made from two panes of glass, these are separated by gaps filled with air or argon gas to slow the transfer of heat through the windows. Triple glazing adds a third pane of glass, designed to heighten security, and eliminate condensation, draughts, and noise from outside even further. Upgrading from single glazing to double glazing can save around £100-140 per year on household heating costs and upgrading from single glazing to triple glazing can save around £175 per year.

Depending on your situation, there are other types of glass and glazing that are also worth considering:

Low E glass – Features a very thin, see-through layer on the inner pane of glass that allows the sun’s heat inside and reflects it back into the room to increase energy efficiency and lower heating demand.

Solar control glass – A special coating that reduces the amount of heat entering through the window. Available with a tinted, reflective, or neutral finish, solar control glass is also ideal for rooms that suffer from the sun’s blinding glare.

Toughened glass – Up to five times stronger than regular glass, toughened (or tempered) glass is designed to shatter into small blunt pieces. The ideal glazing option for balcony windows, windows below 80cm from floor level, windows 30cm or less from a door and windows up to 150cm from floor level must be fitted with toughened or laminated glass to comply with Building Regulations.

Window glass and glazing

Laminated glass – Made by bonding two sheets of glass together, laminated glass features an interlayer that holds the glazing together even if its broken. Laminated glass could be considered for homes or businesses at higher risk of break-in or low-level windows, as mentioned above.

Acoustic glass – Made in a similar way to laminated glass, the bonded internal layer reduces external noise by absorbing sound and vibrations. Acoustic glass is ideal for areas located near busy roads, schools and airports.

Self-cleaning glass – Featuring an ultra-thin coating of titanium dioxide on the outside, self-cleaning glass conveniently breaks down dirt by reacting with the daylight.

Obscure glass – Obscure glass reduces visibility, which is why it’s often used in bathrooms. Gauged on a privacy rating scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the most private), there are a range of patterns available, from classic right through to contemporary.

Decorative glass – Decorative glass is used to create unique glass features in the home and is available in textured, etched, stained and sand blasted designs, as well as colour film overlays.

Cream wall and uPVC Flush sash window
energy ratings

Window Energy Rating (WER)

Window Energy Ratings allow you to compare the performance of different window products. Indicated by a rainbow coloured label, similar to those found on household appliances, they provide peace of mind that the window has been independently verified for thermal efficiency. Based on a scale of D to A+++ (A+++ being the most efficient), since October 2010 replacement windows must achieve a minimum WER of band C to comply with Building Regulations.

Window style

It’s essential to choose a window style that complements and enhances your Yorkshire home. However, this doesn’t mean having to stick with the same style of window. At Global Windows, we have a wide variety of styles to choose from:

Casement windows – Typically opening from the side like a door, casement windows work well with any kind of home.

Flush sash windows – Unlike typical casement windows that slightly overlap the frame, flush sash windows sit ‘flush’ against the frame to provide a neat, flat exterior appearance, synonymous with traditional timber window frames.

Sliding sash windows – Historically found within period architecture and traditionally styled homes, sliding sash windows feature one or two moving panels that vertically slide open and shut using a counterweight or spring balance mechanism.

Tilt & turn windows – Operating on a two-way functioning system, tilt & turn windows tilt from the top or bottom for secure ventilation and fully open inwards from the side for easy cleaning.

Bay & bow windows – Originating from English Renaissance mansions and very fashionable in Victorian times, bay and bow windows are multi-panel windows that project outward beyond the external wall of the property. Bay windows typically feature 3 windows fitted at angles of 90,130 and 150 degrees, whereas bow windows are fitted at an angle of around 10 degrees to create a curved protrusion that usually features 4-5 windows.

black uPVC casement window roof
house front 5 white uPVC flush sash window

Window style

Picture windows – Picture windows are fixed pane windows that do not open.

Bespoke windows – Not all window are rectangular or square. Bespoke windows are tailormade to accommodate arched, round, angular, apex or other unusual window shapes.

Egress windows – Also known as fire escape windows, egress windows feature special hinges that allow for openings of almost 90 degrees. Enabling residents to safely exit a building in an emergency, egress windows are required in any habitable room up to 4.5m above ground level, although exceptions may apply for ground floor rooms that open onto a corridor leading directly to an escape window or an external door.

Period detailing – Create traditional charm with any window style by adding Georgian bars (fit inside the unit) astragal bars (fit inside and externally), classic diamond or square leaded glass designs, woodgrain-effect finishes, authentic sash horns tailored to sliding sash windows and matching handles and hardware.

Window security

Often the main reason for upgrading windows, don’t forget to consider:

Is the glazing internally beaded? (the part of the frame that holds the glass in place)

Internal beading is positioned behind the glass, preventing intruders from removing it and gaining access.

Is there multi-point locking?

Multi-point locks bolt the window into the frame, locking it at multiple points.

Are key lockable handles available?

Have they passed PAS 24 security tests?

Are opening restrictors available?

Do they have night vents?

Night vents enable secure ventilation throughout the night.

window handle with key in it
thatch cottage with 3 white uPVC casement window

Planning permission for windows

Planning permission is not usually required to replace windows, unless your home is a listed building or located within a conservation area, another designated area or falls under an Article 4 Directive. It will depend on your specific area, so it’s always worth double checking with your local planning office or a local double glazing expert.

Situations that will require planning permission for windows include:

  • Installing an upper-floor side elevation window that is not obscure-glazed and can open (unless the opening part is 1.7m from the floor of the room)
  • Adding a new bay or bow window to the front of the house
  • Changing window style and colour in listed buildings and houses located in conservation areas

Building regulations for windows

Controlling the quality and safety of a structure, replacement windows will always need to comply with current building regulations. When it comes to building regulations for windows, bear in mind:

Energy efficiency
Replacement windows must achieve a minimum WER of band C to comply with Building Regulations.

Safety glazing
Windows below 80cm from floor level, windows 30cm or less from a door and windows up to 150cm from floor level must be fitted with toughened or laminated glass to comply with Building Regulations.

Ventilation
Areas that experience excess steam production will require additional ventilation, e.g. trickle vents for windows.

Fire safety
e.g. picture windows will limit the spread of fire between properties.

Means of escape
e.g. the width and height of an egress window (emergency escape window) must not be any less than 450mm, with a Clear Openable Area of no less than 0.33m², and the windowsill height should be no more than 1100mm above the floor area.

When you use a CERTASS registered installer (like us!) we will take care of all of this for you.

white uPVC casement with bars

Frequently Asked Questions

At Global Windows, we understand the importance of creating a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment for your home. We also understand that choosing the right home improvement is a big decision, which is why we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about our products and services. With our extensive range of products, expert advice and commitment to customer satisfaction, we strive to be your go-to destination for all your home improvement needs.

What types of windows and doors does Global Windows offer?

We offer a wide range of windows and doors to suit any kind of property. These include casement, sash, tilt & turn, bay & bow and flush sash windows, front and back doors, composite doors, bi-folds and patio doors, and French doors. For help and advice on the best window style to suit your home, contact us today and a member of our expert team will be happy to help.

Can I choose different frame materials for my windows?

Yes, at Global Windows, we offer a variety of frame materials to suit your preferences and budget. You can choose from PVC, aluminium or composite – and each material has its own advantages in terms of durability, aesthetics, energy efficiency and maintenance.

What are the benefits of PVC windows?

PVC windows have excellent insulation properties, which helps to reduce heat transfer between the interior and exterior of your home. They minimise drafts and keep the indoor temperature stable, thereby reducing the need for heating and cooling, which can ultimately save you money on energy bills.
PVC windows are also highly durable and resistant to various weather conditions, including rain, wind, and sunlight. They do not corrode, rot, or warp like some other materials. Additionally, PVC windows are low maintenance and require minimal cleaning. Unlike wooden windows, they do not need to be repainted or stained regularly.

What are the benefits of aluminium windows?

Aluminium is a strong and robust material, making aluminium windows highly durable. They are resistant to corrosion, rot, and warping, ensuring longevity and minimal maintenance requirements. Aluminium windows can withstand various weather conditions, including extreme heat, cold, and humidity.
Aluminium frames can be designed with slim profiles, allowing for larger glass areas and maximising natural light. This provides an open and modern aesthetic appeal, making aluminium windows suitable for contemporary architectural designs.

Are your products covered by any warranty?

Yes. At Global Windows, we stand behind the quality of our products. In the unlikely event that you experience a problem, we will take full responsibility. We provide a 10-year guarantee on the majority of our products and a 10-year insurance-backed guarantee through the CPA, giving you the confidence that your investment is protected.

Where can I view samples of your windows and doors?

A wide range of our uPVC and aluminium windows, doors and conservatories are available to view in our state-of-the-art showroom based at our head office in Sheffield. Come along and see our products up close, and a member of our expert team will be happy to walk you through and give you honest advice on the best home improvement option – and the best price – for you.

Award Winning Installers

finalist
installer awards winner 2020
The star small business awards 2021 finalist
NBCA national building and construction awards 2021 finalist
2021 top 3 window fitters in sheffield three best rated
G21 finalist
G22 awards finalist
glass and glazing products installer awards winner 2022

Windows & Doors

Brilliant company from all we’ve dealt with, right through to the fitters, to the follow-up emails making sure everything was ok. Having used you before and after having work done to my property, I thought you the only obvious choice to return. Was a little worried as I’d had insulated render fitted and was concerned about the removal and refitting into the same size opening, and the damage it would cause. No worries, it seems. Each to their own trade as they say, and I’m glad they managed it and left me in no doubt, another great job done. Many thanks to you all. And see you in 15 years again?

Checkatrade

Windows And Door

After a fair few months of looking for a good window provider we can say we are one hundred percent happy with Global. They exceeded our expectations from start to finish. Michael with the quote, the lovely ladies from the office and Andy and Josh who fitted our seven windows and front door. Very professional, good quality, quick and efficient work. A pleasure to work with such a team. Our next step is the conservatory with Global. Thank you and well done to all.

Florentina

Which?

Excellent Service

My mum wanted to say thank you so much for the fantastic service Global windows have given her following her burglary. From start to finish they reassured her the replacement patio doors would be robust and fitted as quickly as possible to ensure the property was secured. On the day of fitting the fitters arrived promptly and installed the doors with no mess. The gentleman who organised this from Global (sorry she couldn’t remember his name) came out to check the doors and to see mum was happy with them brought her a beautiful bunch of flowers. Mum was over the moon. Thank you so much.

Margaret

Which?

Doors And Windows

We decided to re-use this Company despite moving house and County. Global were helpful and very professional at all stages of the installation. We found all their staff friendly and knowledgeable. Dates given, returning phone calls etc. were all met. The price was very competitive, the quality of their products was excellent with a good range of colours and styles. The fitters were very hardworking, managed to get the work done in one day rather than the expected 2, mainly due to the fact they worked as a team, didn’t take breaks and clearly knew their job. Great company.

Which?

Replace All Windows And Doors

Fantastic work from start to finish. Great suggestions made to my own thoughts. The date agreed happened and I was kept fully informed of progress before installation. The fitters were courteous and efficient and worked hard completing on time. I am happy to recommend Global windows to anyone.”

Checkatrade

Replace Lots Of Windows In 4 Bays Along With Others Throughout House. New Door Fitted Also.

Excellent communication and attention to details. Windows were fine quality. Workmanship of highest quality and very considerate and careful. Would recommend to anyone.”

Checkatrade

Approved & Accredited by

which? trusted trader
Checkatrade where reputation matters
best business of 2022 threebest rated
Trustmark government endorsed quality
Planitherm installer network
CPA consumer protection association
Certass
sheffield chamber of commerce

Testimonials

Our customers’ feedback is important to us. Read our latest customer testimonials below.

Windows & Doors

Brilliant company from all we’ve dealt with, right through to the fitters, to the follow-up emails making sure everything was ok. Having used you before and after having work done to my property, I thought you the only obvious choice to return. Was a little worried as I’d had insulated render fitted and was concerned about the removal and refitting into the same size opening, and the damage it would cause. No worries, it seems. Each to their own trade as they say, and I’m glad they managed it and left me in no doubt, another great job done. Many thanks to you all. And see you in 15 years again?

Checkatrade

Windows And Door

After a fair few months of looking for a good window provider we can say we are one hundred percent happy with Global. They exceeded our expectations from start to finish. Michael with the quote, the lovely ladies from the office and Andy and Josh who fitted our seven windows and front door. Very professional, good quality, quick and efficient work. A pleasure to work with such a team. Our next step is the conservatory with Global. Thank you and well done to all.

Florentina

Which?

Excellent Service

My mum wanted to say thank you so much for the fantastic service Global windows have given her following her burglary. From start to finish they reassured her the replacement patio doors would be robust and fitted as quickly as possible to ensure the property was secured. On the day of fitting the fitters arrived promptly and installed the doors with no mess. The gentleman who organised this from Global (sorry she couldn’t remember his name) came out to check the doors and to see mum was happy with them brought her a beautiful bunch of flowers. Mum was over the moon. Thank you so much.

Margaret

Which?

Doors And Windows

We decided to re-use this Company despite moving house and County. Global were helpful and very professional at all stages of the installation. We found all their staff friendly and knowledgeable. Dates given, returning phone calls etc. were all met. The price was very competitive, the quality of their products was excellent with a good range of colours and styles. The fitters were very hardworking, managed to get the work done in one day rather than the expected 2, mainly due to the fact they worked as a team, didn’t take breaks and clearly knew their job. Great company.

Which?

Replace All Windows And Doors

Fantastic work from start to finish. Great suggestions made to my own thoughts. The date agreed happened and I was kept fully informed of progress before installation. The fitters were courteous and efficient and worked hard completing on time. I am happy to recommend Global windows to anyone.”

Checkatrade

Replace Lots Of Windows In 4 Bays Along With Others Throughout House. New Door Fitted Also.

Excellent communication and attention to details. Windows were fine quality. Workmanship of highest quality and very considerate and careful. Would recommend to anyone.”

Checkatrade
Read all reviews
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