If your windows have seen better days, replacing them with new, energy efficient windows will increase the value and curb appeal of your home, while significantly reducing the amount of money you spend on heating and cooling.
However, selecting the right windows for your home can be difficult especially in New Zealand where quality of materials, insulation, and styles are among the important factors you need to consider. In addition, installing new or replacement windows is a major investment, as such, it is important that you do your homework so that you end up with windows that can stand the test of time.
So what do you need to consider when choosing windows for your New Zealand home?
Choosing the style
Whether you are installing new windows or replacing the existing ones in your house, it is important that you know the different style options available to choose from. In the first place, certain styles will work primarily for certain rooms, while other spaces will benefit from a mix of one or more styles.
Some of the common window styles in the country are:
- Double hung: These are traditional double hung windows that can be installed in just about any room. These types of windows typically feature two sashes that open vertically and tilt for easy maintenance.
- Sliding: Sliding windows are modern styled windows that feature two or three sashes that open from left to right or vice versa.
- Casement windows: Casement windows are usually hinged on just one side and open with the aid of a crank
- Bay windows: Bay windows provide a dramatic view for those in the house. These types of window is characterised by three windows extending from the exterior wall, with the left and right side operable, while the middle window is permanently fixed.
- Bow windows: Bow windows are typically designed to have a curved top of four or more windows that can be either fixed or operable.
Your choice of window style will depend a lot on your personal choice and architectural style of your house, as choosing a window that properly complements your house is a key factor when it comes to windows selection.
Choosing the right materials
Windows can be built from a variety of materials, each of them with its own merits and demerits. For example, while real wood is ideal if you are looking for an original traditional look, it is very expensive.
The most common choices for windows in New Zealand are wood, aluminium, and uPVC, each of them perfect for specific houses and style. However, if you are looking for something that is not expensive, yet durable and easy to maintain, look into strong aluminium windows. Some of the features of well designed aluminium windows are:
- Low maintenance
- Long lasting
- Multiple styles, colours, and designs
- Can be customised to match the look and feel of your home
Of course, an aluminium window may not be the best idea for traditional styled houses, as the combination of modern materials will contrast badly with the old world charm of an authentic traditional house, but it will be perfect for modern houses, offices, and even commercial business places.
Getting the best performance
It wouldn’t do to install new windows in your house and start facing the same set of issues almost immediately. A new window should not only enhance the aesthetic value of your property, it should also enhance the performance of your house so that you enjoy a better mix of form and function.
To this end, when considering new or replacement windows, you should keep the performance aspect in mind. The following factors will add the performance of your new windows, so that you enjoy better energy efficiency, better noise production, and value for your money:
- Glazing type: If you want enhanced energy efficiency, you should opt for either double glazing or triple glazing. These types of windows provide up to nine times the efficiency level of single pane windows, as well as the ideal Low-E value and U-Factor for maintaining the perfect temperature in your home. The type of glazing and glass you choose will also determine the level of acoustic insulation you enjoy. Better sound resistance mean less noise from outside to disturb the peace and quiet inside your house.
- UV Resistance: Ultraviolet rays can damage a lot of things in the house. It can damage sensitive furniture and artworks, carpet, books, paint, and even cause harm to overly sensitive skin. Invest in windows that carry appropriate coatings so that you can prevent these harmful rays from ruining the inside of your home.
Getting the best quality
Up until 1987, houses in New Zealand were not insulated, neither was double or triple glazing used. This caused a lot of energy efficiency problems for Kiwis including condensation, heat loss, and so on; making a lot of homes barely manageable once the summer is over.
The quality of the windows you choose is therefore important when it comes to durability and practicality. One of the ways to ensure high quality windows is to work with a reliable and qualified windows supplier and installation company. Of course, you may spend a bit more than if you hire a glazier off the street, but you can be sure of windows that will fit the purpose that match the expenses.