Window frames – what to look for when buying?

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It would seem that the choice of windows is one of the simplest decisions during the construction or renovation. It is enough to think whether we are interested in PVC plastic or wooden windows and then it is only a matter of choosing the right color and it is done. Well, nothing more misleading. There are many aspects that we have to pay attention to when buying windows and choosing the right frames.

The ideal window consists of several elements. First of all we want it to perform its function as thermal insulation, to dampen sounds from outside and to be a decoration of the building elevation and interior. What parameters should we pay attention to? 

 

Material 

Generally we can choose between frames made of wood, PVC and less often aluminum. Each of them has both advantages and disadvantages.

Wood

Wooden ones provide a beautiful look and give character. With proper care, they will last for many years without needing to be replaced. What’s more, wood can be varnished or painted depending on your taste at the time. You can easily change the style and atmosphere of the facade or interior without replacing the windows.

PVC

Frames made of PVC are by far the most popular choice nowadays. Thanks to their internal structure and large number of chambers they are excellent thermal insulators and do not allow for high heat losses. They also do not require frequent replacement. In terms of color we can bet on classic white or those covered with veneer.

Aluminium

Aluminum windows are probably the least popular option. In the past they were definitely used more often, however usually in residential complexes or office spaces. Nowadays their quality has definitely improved and their design composes well especially with modern projects. They are also an ideal solution for creating large glazing. However, it is not the cheapest option.

Color

Choosing the material, in a way we also decide on the color. Wooden frames can be painted or varnished, and in the case of PVC windows we can choose the color of the veneer that interests us.

Security

Currently available windows on the market also have practical safeguards, for example in the form of a film that protects the glass against breaking. Special rollers and bolts are also available. It is also possible to buy a window equipped with a special lock or a handle opened with a key. This is a great solution especially for families with small children.

Thermal insulation

This is another important factor that we have to pay attention to when buying windows. We will be particularly interested here in both the glazing and the frame together with the frames. It is recommended to buy windows with a thermal insulation coefficient Uw below 1.1 W / (m² K). In general the lower the coefficient is, the “warmer” the window is. When buying, also check whether the coefficient informs us about the quality of the glazing or the whole window together with its frame.

Soundproofing

This aspect is important especially for people living in the city, who want to reduce noise coming from the street. Influence on not only the appropriate glass, but also the window profile and proper installation. When shopping we pay attention to the RW index. And here the higher, the better. For example, if outside there is a noise of 70 dB and our windows have a RW factor of 50, then the final sound penetration to the interior will be only 20 dB.

main photo: pixabay.com/Pexels

Peter Bowers

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