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Everything you need to know about finding a Window Installer

Windows are a vital part of the home as they provide light and ventilation, as well as help to define the home’s style.  They are also important for insulation purposes.  If the window is positioned correctly, you will receive optimum ventilation and lighting while still maintaining the ideal level of security, safety and privacy.

©A-Z Security Screens & Doors

What Window Contractors Do

Using a professional to install your windows means that they will be installed to the manufacturer’s requirements and to the best standards.  Also be sure to get all warranties and paperwork from both the manufacturer and the professional that installed the windows. Some of the things window contractors can help with include:

  1. Window installation: When installing windows, a windows contractor will typically acquire accurate on-site measurements; ensure the manufactured frames are the correct dimensions; utilise flashing in and around the window frame; fully insulate and seal the window frame; protect the window during post-construction and plastering and complete the interior detailing and paintwork. For more see windows installation.

  2. Whole window replacement: You may periodically need to replace your windows, particularly if you live in an old property which does not have adequate insulation, or perhaps the latest style you desire. For more see whole window replacement.

  3. Window glass supply: When it comes to the glass for your windows, you will need to check that all products comply with current Australian Standards relating to glass and glazing and that glass replacement is left to trained and qualified glaziers, who have the experience and appropriate glass handling equipment. For more see window glass supply & replacement.

  4. Supplying window frames: Window frames are in integral part of the structure of a home, providing support for a variety of glazing options, as well as adding aesthetic detail to the interior and exterior. If frames do not fit or are warped, they are liable to allow moisture or drafts to penetrate the home. This can lead to more maintenance being required, as well as increased energy bills. Also see window frames.

  5. Window repairs: Windows are unfortunately susceptible to being damaged. This may be the glass, or an element of the window frame, such as the rollers or locks. A windows supplier is best placed to undertake any work in this regard, as glass installation and repair is a particularly specialised task. For more see window repairs.

©BNR Costruction

Choosing Windows

The basic things that you need to consider when selecting windows is:
  1. Size: The right sized windows are those that suit the space in which they are being installed and provide for the right amount of ventilation, natural light and security.

  2. Shape: Short, wide windows will let in a wide but shallow amount of light, while tall, narrow windows let in a narrow but deep amount of light.

  3. Security: As intruders favour windows or doors when trying to break into a home, windows need to be able to be locked – preferably with a key.  Windows should be locked whenever they are not in use. 

  4. Placement: Try and place your windows so that they suit your needs for different times of the day.  East-facing windows will get the morning sun; west-facing windows receive afternoon sun, while north-facing windows will receive the most light overall.  South-facing windows do not get much light but they can still be used for ventilation purposes.

  5. Ventilation requirements: As a general rule, each room in the house should have a minimum five percent of ventilation but preferably it should be ten percent.

  6. Glazing: From toughened glass to laminated, tinted, patterned, reflective and low-e glass, there are many types of glazing to choose from for your windows. For more read types of glazing. 

  7. Energy efficiency: Choosing energy efficient windows is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your home is comfortable year round; that you’re saving money on your energy bills; and you’re reducing the demand on the environment. 

An interior designer or architect will be able to help you with window selection or placement.

Types of Windows

There are several different types of windows, to suit any style of home.  Here we outline the most common types:

  • Sliding – sliding windows slide horizontally along a runner.  They are very versatile windows and are relatively cheap.  Sliding windows suit most styles of home, take up little space and are low maintenance.  They are lockable for extra security.

  • Fixed Pane – these windows cannot be opened and are essentially a sheet of window glass set within a frame.  Because they remain in place, they can be made to any shape or size and they are easily dressed with curtains or other window dressings.

  • Bi-fold – these operate in the same fashion as bi-fold doors, with the windows opening inwards or outwards in a concertina way.  As these windows let in a lot of light and air they are well-suited to entertaining.  They are also lockable.

  • Double-hung – double-hung windows are common and have two separate panels that move up and down independently.  These windows are lockable, let in as much or as little air as you want, and allow you to fit flyscreens.  They also allow for a variety of window dressings.

  • Casement – these windows open outwardly to as far as ninety degrees.  The windows are then held open with a metal rod.  Because they open so far, they are a good source of ventilation.  However, flyscreens for casement windows need to be custom-made and they are not lockable.

  • Awning – these open outwards using a chain winder, and these chains hold the window open at the desired position.  Awning windows are suitable for spots that are difficult to reach or where the window may be partially obstructed.

  • Louvres – louvre windows are made up of panels of slatted glass that turn to the desired position.  They are great for ventilation as they let in maximum air.  It is even possible to have them open while it is raining if they are turned to the correct position.

©Vogue Windows

Hiring Window Contractors

Always get at least three quotes before selecting a professional and ensure that the quote includes any fixtures you may require such as locks and handles.  Check your professional’s references and ask to see samples of their previous work if at all possible.

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