What to consider when replacing your windows

If you’ve decided to replace your windows, there are a number of decisions you need to address before purchasing replacements.

It is also important to check whether you require any specific planning permission before you proceed with the work.  If your property is listed or in a conservation area you may be restricted in what work can be carried out and planning permission may be required to carry out any work.

Choosing the right material

It is important to consider what material you would like your new windows to be manufactured from.

Plastic windows are often the cheapest option in the short term and require little maintenance.  However, they can reduce the value of period homes and cannot be repaired easily, often requiring replacement.  Properties that are listed and homes in some conservation areas are not allowed to install plastic windows.

Metal windows are also low maintenance and popular on contemporary style homes, however they are not as thermally efficient as wooden windows and are more expensive than plastic windows.

Timber windows often suit period homes and have a number of benefits, including the ability to repair and maintain the window, rather than having to replace.  This means that they can save you money over the long-term.  However, similar to metal windows, they are more expensive than plastic windows in the short-term.

If you choose to install timber windows you will also need to decide on the type of wood you wish to use.  Be sure to check that the wood you are using is stable and durable.


When deciding what style of glass you would like the window to have, you need to consider where the window is going to be located.

If the window is located in a bathroom you may wish to have privacy or patterned glass.  If you are replacing a featured window you may wish to have sections of stained or coloured glass to help create a dramatic effect within the room.

Consider whether you want double glazing or single glazing in your replacement windows.  If you live in a listed property or conservation area be sure to check if double glazing is allowed first.


There are a wide variety of styles of windows to choose from.  The most common windows are sash windows, which slide up and down, and casement windows, which open outwards.  However, there are also various different types of sash and casement windows, including fixed windows and bay windows.

The number of glazing panes can also vary between different windows, depending on the period of the property.

If you are looking to install sash windows you will also need to consider whether you would like horns on the windows.  Sash window horns are the short protrusions at the bottom or top of the sashes and were initially included with some sash windows to make the joints stronger and there are a number of alternative horns styles you can choose from.

Choosing the right company

When choosing which company to use to carry out the work, ensure that they understand your requirements and can design a window to meet your needs.  Replacement windows can be an expensive purchase, so it is important to get it right first time.

Check the quality of their work.  Ask to see examples of work they have carried out previously and, if possible, arrange a tour of their workshop to see the windows being manufactured.

Finally, it is also important to check that they are registered with FENSA or a similar body.  It is a legal requirement that complete new windows installed since April 2002 must comply with Building Regulations.  When looking to sell your property you will be required to produce a certificate proving that the work complies with the regulations.

The Sash Window Workshop specialises in the manufacturing, installation and refurbishment of timber windows and doors.  With over 20 years’ experience, all replacement windows and doors are manufactured in their workshops in Bracknell, Berkshire.

Obtain a free quote at www.sashwindow.com


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