Energy Efficient uPVC Windows

So you’ve made the decision to insulate your loft, walls and have changed to Solar Power, a choice that will save you money and help to protect the environment by providing free energy and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. But why stop there?..

If you are going to be heating your home with your free solar energy, why not retain the heat within your home by installing A+ rated uPVC windows and composite doors? Not only will energy efficient glazing keep you warmer by minimising heat loss, it will also save you money by protecting your investment. You’ve insulated your loft, now insulate your windows…

What makes an energy efficient window?

Window energy ratings are calculated taking into consideration a range of variables including heat loss, air leakage and solar gain.

1)      Heat loss – Heat loss is the amount of energy that is able to escape from your home through both conduction and radiation.

2)      Air leakage – this is the measurement of how much air your windows are allowing to leak from your home, taking with it heat energy

3)      Solar gain is the measure of how much of the sun’s natural heat energy is allowed to enter your home, therefore allowing your home to gain free heat energy, thus reducing the need for additional heat sources during daytime hours.

These factors are tested by the BFRC (British Fenestration Ratings Council) and a window is allocated a window energy rating which is an indication of how efficient the window’s performance is when used with a particular glazing specification. uPVC windows are rated from G up to A+ rating; A+ being the highest performing windows and G being the least energy efficient.

Window Energy Ratings

What is heat loss?

Heat loss is quantified as a u-value and is measured in kW loss per m2 of window area per year, the lower the u-value the more efficient your windows will be. Here is a brief history of u-values over the decades an how u-values have improved:

  • 4mm Single Glazing: u-value 8.0
  • 28mm Double Glazing: u-value 4.0
  • 28mm Pilkington K-glass Double glazing: u-value 3.0
  • 28mm Pilkington K-glass Double Glazing, argon gas filled: u-value 2.8
  • 28mm Planitherm Soft coat double glazing, argon gas filled: u-value 1.4
  • 28mm Planitherm Soft coat double glazing,  argon gas filled, warm edge spacer bars: u-value 1.2
  • 36mm Planitherm triple glazing, krypton gas, warm edge spacer bars: u-value 0.8

How can a window reduce heat loss?

High quality uPVC windows and composite doors are designed to minimise heat loss by combining a range of design factors. These are explained here

1)      Multi-chambered extrusions – The multi-chambered design of our uPVC case frames and opening sashes means that there are several air gaps protecting the internal warm air from the external temperatures, this vastly reduces conduction as air is a highly effective insulator.

2)      Double and Triple glazing – Either 28mm double glazing or 36mm triple glazing can be used as glass units, these provide air gaps inside of the sealed glass units that are argon gas filled. This dense, inert gas is used in place of air, the denser the gas, the better it will perform as an insulator. Argon is 4x denser than air and mush more stable, providing a large layer of insulation between the cold external glass pane and the warm internal pane. This both reduces heat loss and stops convection of cold air around the glass, thus stopping draughts.

3)      Thermal Spacer Bars – Separating the panes of glass are spacer bars, traditionally made from hollow aluminium to house desiccant, these would conduct cold from the external pane of glass and reduce the temperature of the internal glass pane, leading to cold spots. This can be seen by condensation forming around the perimeter of the glass on cold days. To combat this a new composite material is used which does not conduct the cold, this is known as WarmEdge spacer bars, usually coloured black to make them less obtrusive.

4)      Low Emissivity Glass (low-e glass) is a term that describes glass that has thermally efficient coatings to reflect heat radiation, this stops the vast majority of heat from escaping, thus reducing heat loss. Several forms of low-e glass are available, the most efficient of which is ‘soft-coat’ low-e glass such as Saint-Gobain Planitherm glass.

5)      Thermal reinforcement has now replaced steel and aluminium frame reinforcement, this is again acts to reduce the conduction of cold which leads to heat loss. Thermal frame reinforcement is far more thermally efficient than metal reinforcement while retaining the strength.

How does a window minimise air leakage?

uPVC casement windows are designed to be as air-tight as possible. There have been several generations of uPVC window extrusions, starting in the late 1980’s, the profiles are continually being redeveloped as new technologies are introduced that can increase the performance concerning air leakage and thermal insulation.

1)      Dual elastin gaskets and weather seals are used in the extrusion of only the best quality uPVc profiles. Elastin is a material that will not shrink and deteriorate over time like traditional gasket materials such as neoprene.

2)      The co-extrusion of such gaskets means that the gaskets are extruded in situ as the uPVC profiles are extruded. This means that the gaskets are part of the frame extrusion rather than being pulled though after, this ensures a consistent seal on opening window sashes.

3)      Windows with fully reinforced window case frames and opening sashes will suffer far less expansion and contraction than windows that do not have reinforcement during extreme temperatures. Reinforcement ensures that large profiles will not bow or twist which can lead to the weather seals and gaskets not making a consistent seal with the frames, this therefore minimises air leakage and maximises energy efficiency.

4)      Windows that are both surveyed and fitted by experienced windows fitters will have a much better seal, using only the best materials to seal the frames in the brickwork apertures ensures that no air can leak around the parameter of the frames.

Window Heat Loss

How can I maximise solar gain?

Solar gain is referred to as g-value (gain value), this measures the solar heat energy that is able to pass through a glass sealed unit into a property. The solar gain reduces the need for domestic heat sources such as radiators while the low heat loss of the windows means that the heat is not lost.

1)      Low-iron low-e glass is used on the external glass pane of a double or triple glazed unit, this allows heat waves to pass more freely into the property while still blocking harmful uv radiation and keeping the maximum light to pass through the glass.

How much do replacement A+ rated uPVC windows cost?

The cost of replacement uPVC windows depends on the number of windows as well as the size and opening configurations. Some properties may be limited on the opening configurations to comply with FENSA regulations for fire escape. Some example prices are shown below, there are no hidden extras but no building works are included in the below prices such as rendering or lintel alterations, both of which are no usually required. You can of course personalise your installation with decorative glazing options, bespoke window colours, etc; these options can be priced separately.

Energy Efficient Windows Doncaster | Window Energy Ratings Doncaster


A+ Rated Windows

Welcome to our post on A+ Rated glass, the latest addition to the window energy rating (WER) energy efficiency scale for uPVC windows. Below we explain the difference between an A-Rated window and an A+ Rated uPVC window. Contact us for more information on our high quality trade uPVC Windows and Doors.

A+ Window Energy Rating

The window energy rating for uPVC windows is calculated on a scale from A-E much like electrical appliances that you may find in your home, the only difference is the way in which the rating is measured. For uPVC windows a range of factors will alter the rating including heat gain (g-value), thermal loss (u-value), air leakage and thermal conduction.

In 2013 the BFRC announced the latest criteria for window energy ratings, recognising A+ rated windows. The change came to help consumers as there was a vast difference in performance in A-rated windows. A+ rated windows will typically gain heat to a property rather than lose heat by having a low u-value, meaning that they retain the internal thermal energy and will also gain heat through solar energy by using low-iron low-e coatings.

A+ Rated uPVC Windows

An A+ rated uPVC window can be achieved in many formats, typically a thermal outer frame and thermally reinforced opening sashes will be used as well as warm edge spacer bars within the glass units. Then a high performance glass will be specified, for double glazed units a double soft coat low-e glass unit configuration will achieve an overall A+ rating.

Triple glazing can also be used to further reduce the u-value of a window and increase the thermal properties of the window installation.

At AWM Windows we manufacture high quality uPVC windows and supply to the trade and public in England, Wales and Scotland. Contact us for more information or call us for an official supply quotation.

WER Scale


Upvc Sash Window Prices

uPVC Sash Windows are easily priced due to the simple design of the sash window. Unlike other styles of upvc windows such as casement and tilt and turn windows, sash windows only have one design. All upvc sash windows are vertical sliders, both the top and bottom panes are able to slide independantly of one another, also each sliding sash can tilt internally to allow cleaning from the inside, eliminating the need for a window cleaner.

Sash Window Size Parameters

The maximum and minimum sizes for uPVC sash windows are as follows:

  • Minimum Width: 350mm | Maximum Width: 1750mm
  • Minimum Height: 700mm | Maximum Height: 2100mm

When sash windows over 1750mm width are required the location must be split into 2 or more sliding sash windows by use of an aluminium coupler. This increases the price of the sash window but also allows independent opening of the individual sashes.

When the lower glass pane of the sash window is below 800m from internal floor height toughened safety glass is required to comply with building regulations for glass safety. Toughened safety glass increases the price of the glass by 20 pounds per square meter over standard low-e glass.

Sash Window Energy Efficiency Prices

Specifying a level of high performance glass can affect the price of your new upvc sash windows, the lower the u-value the more expensive the glass. At AWM we recommend specifying the best glass possible; this is more of a long term investment but it helps to keep you comfortable during the Winter months and cooler in the Summer months.

Choosing A-rated sash windows over C-rated will add anywhere between £15-30 per square meter of glass area.

Sash Window Price List

Our trade and diy price lists shows sash window prices and optional extras should you wish to specify upgrades such as:

  • Travel restrictors
  • Sash Horns
  • Toughened Glass
  • Chrome Furniture
  • Energy Efficiency Upgrades
  • Decorative Glazing Bars

uPVC Window Price List

Alternatively visit us at our uPVC Sash Window page for more information on sash window prices: uPVC Sash Window Prices

Sash Window Prices | uPVC Sash Window Prices | uPVC Sliding Sash Windows


Black uPVC Windows and Doors

The latest craze in the uPVC window industry are Grey and Black uPVC Windows, Doors and Conservatories. The contempory design compliments many period properties. There are also 32 other colour designs to choose from; visit our Coloured uPVC Windows page to see all of our window and doors colours.

Black uPVC Window Cost

Many people are worried that Black uPVC Windows will cost much more than standard uPVC colour options such as Mahogany and Rosewood. However black uPVC only costs on average 10% more to manufacture than other foiled pvc colours.

The only potential downside to ordering black windows is the extended lead time which can increase the wait for your new windows by up to 4 weeks over standard coloured windows.

Black Window Price Examples

White uPVC Windows and Doors: £3000

Light Oak / Mahogany / Rosewood uPVC Windows and Doors: £3660

Black uPVC Windows: £4115

What Door options are Available in Black?

At AWM Windows we are able to manufacture any uPVC door design in Black uPVC; call us today for more information or alternatively visit us at Black uPVC Windows. Black composite doors are also available in a black upvc door frame to compliment your new black double glazing.


Windows Reducing Damp and Condensation

The majority of people with old double glazing will suffer from damp windows. This post offers tips and guidance to reduce and even eliminate damp in your residential property arising from your windows and doors.

The cause of Damp Windows

The buildup of moisture on glass is due to water condensing on your glazing when the moisture in the air hits the cold glass when the glass temperature is below 2 degrees centigrade; this temperature is know as due point. With inefficient double glazing and single glazing it is tricky to stop this problem as the glass does not catch any of the heat energy from the property.

Energy Efficient Double Glazing

Energy efficient double glazing stops the heat energy from escaping through the glass and therefore increases the interior glass temperature. The moisture in the air no longer condenses on the glass.

We recommend a full replacement of new uPVC windows and double glazing in order to completely eliminate damp problems arising from excessive condensation in domestic properties. In stopping the heat escaping from your residential property the glass interior surfaces temperature will increase past the point at which water condenses. W recommend installing replacement double glazing with an overall u-value of no greater than 1.2u.

To further increase the effectiveness of replacement windows, triple glazing can be used to further reduce the u-value to as little as 0.5. Assuming that the heating source in the property is active once a day there should be no risk of internal condensation after taking these steps.

Visit our Website: Energy Efficient Windows

NB: Always ensure that there is no active generator of moisture within the property such as an unsealed immersion heater that is not controlled by a thermostat. In cases such as this the source of the moisture much be adressed before taking any other steps to reduce damp.

Window Trickle Vents

Trickle vents can be used to improve the air flow around a uPVC window in order to reduce the amount of condensation that is caused by inefficient double glazing and single glazing. This can reduce the amount of damp that arises from excessive condensation; however you must be certain that the condensation is due to lack of ventilation and not the aforementioned energy efficiency.

Dehumidifier Eliminate Damp

By using a dehumidifier you can reduce the amount of moisture that is in your property which may reduce damp caused by condensation


Replacement uPVC Doors

When is it ever a good time to replace a door on your family home? Is it when it becomes a bit draughty? Or is it when you can see daylight?

The simple answer is that it never seems like the right time to replace a door; they are an expensive item and we can always think of a better use for the money; however there are many reasons why you should ‘bite the bullet’ and replace them sooner than you would have liked.

Door Security

Many forms of wooden, aluminium and pvc doors are easy to break in to; it is only in the past 2 years that residential door security has progressed to a much higher standard.

Up until around 5 years ago the preferred method of break ins was through a window or a weak wooden door. In recent years most people have changed to uPVC windows and doors which offer greater security benefits, these doors use Euro Cylinder locks.

It is now widely regarded that the cylinder lock is potentially the weakest point of a door and is very easy to break into; this is why we recommend installing anti-snap cylinder locks which protect against the following:

  • Lock Snaping – Anti-snap feature protects against the cylinder being snapped in half, milled out section will snap before the lock does.
  • Lock Picking – Anti-pick feature has opposing lock pins to eliminate the lock being picked.
  • Lock Bumping – Anti-bump feature protects against lock bumping by having zero-lift lock pins.
  • Lock Drilling – Anti-drill hardened steel plate deflects the drill bit so that the lock pins cannot be drilled through.

Energy Efficiency

Over the past 3 years double glazing technology has moved forwards at an impressive rate of development. We are not able to offer double glazing units that have a u-value of 0.6! When compared to 3 years ago the standard double glazing unit had a u-value of 1.8. The u-value of a glazing unit measured the amount of thermal transmittance through the glass unit, therefore the higher the uvalue the more thermal energy (heat) is being lost through your double glazing.

Thermal gain is also something to consider when installing new external doors; this is the amount of natural heat from the sun that can enter into your property. There is great debate over thermal gain; some people believe that it is good as it will heat up a property in Winter months, however others, myself included, believe that thermal gain it should be as low as possible in uPVC windows and doors.

Sound Proofing

A high quality uPVC or composite door can will improve the amount of sound entering a residential property. There are many options available to aid the reduction of external road noise and sound pollution  At AWM we recommend installing a triple glazed GRP composite door with high quality weather seals. The thick construction of composite doors is ideal for eliminating paths for sound to be transmitted.

With a multi-chambered uPVC door frame, GRP composite slab with a  dense foam core and an argon gas filled triple glazing unit there is no better specification for residential nose reduction.

More information in the external doors section of our website: Replacement uPVC Doors


HMV goes into Administration

Following on from the recent loss of such major high street retailers such as Comet, Game and Jessops; arguably one of the most recognisable chains has called in the administrators. On Monday the 14th of January 2013, HMV announced that it would stop the sale of shares and call in the administrators.

Unfortunately this leads to the loss of around 4000 jobs from hundreds of stores across the UK.

It would seem that as the music and video market has moved to internet retailing, such as i-Tunes and services such as Netflix, HMV was left behind as the culture changed towards e-commerce. Now it is once in a blue moon that we receive enquiries that are generated through footfall. It would be foolish for us to not learn from the mistakes made by these companies; we all need to focus more on the internet to maximise our market share in order to survive.

To quote Napoleon Bonaparte, “He that does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it!”

Such wise words should not be ignored, especially in such a competitive market as the UK window and door industry.

uPVC Windows and Doors


uPVC Window Life Expectancy

There are many news updates and innovations for uPVC window energy efficiency and noise reduction; all of which are intended to improve the living experience inside a house and to save the home owner money. However there is little research into the life expectancy of uPVC windows and doors. Below are a list of things to consider when purchasing replacement uPVC windows and doors.

Friction Stays

A friction stay is commonly referred to as the window hinge. However a friction stay is designed to stop where it is positioned by using clever runners that also do not let the uPVC window open too far. Most friction stays are adjustable to stiffen the operation, this is useful in situations where strong gusts of wind can open the window; this is more common in side hung ‘casement’ openers.

A friction stay is an integral part of a window and is crucial to the window operation. If the friction stays were to fail then depending on the age of the window they may not be able to be replaced and a new window frame would be needed.

Colour

uPVC window profiles now come in many different colours; to give you an idea we now offer 33 different woodgrain colour combinations. But how can the colour of a window affect the life expectancy?

Windows are subjected to the external elements ranging from direct sunlight to freezing temperatures, these changeable conditions can take their tole on window frames if the appropriate steps are not taken. The change in external temperatures leads to the uPVC profiles expanding and contracting, as they expand and contract more on the external side this can lead to warping.

To eliminate warping we advise people to specify a window frame that is both fully reinforced with steel of aluminium and is multi-chambered. The number of chambers in a profile adds strength and eliminates the risk of future warping and the reinforcement reduces expansion in hot temperatures.

Brown uPVC windows absorb more heat than white frames; therefore it is crucial to install reinforcement.

Glass Units

Double glazing units are well known for ‘breaking down’; this is the term used to describe the failure of the seal between the two panes of glass. Atmospheric moisture is then able to enter the glass unit and then condense on the inside of the glass.

In recent years the glass and glazing technology has improved greatly and therefore has significantly increased the life expectancy of the sealed glass units. Now Polythermide, also known as hot melt, is used to seal the units; this material has been developed so that it will not deteriorate and will not become brittle over time unlike previous materials.

The advancement in gas technology has also increased the life expectancy of double glazing units. By using inert gasses such as Argon and Krypton to fill the 20mm air gap we can control both the convection and expansion of this area. As Argon is four times denser than air it does not expand and will not gain energy like air, therefore it does not expand, thus taking pressure from the double glazing seals.

Handles

Handles are a very important part of a uPVC window; it must last as long as possible. We recommend using only the highest quality handles as it is sometimes the case that handles cannot be replaced due to different fixing centers and spindle centers.

A good idea to protect your investment in replacement double glazing is to purchase a set of spare handles from your contractor; meaning that they can be kept in storage in the unlikely event of a failure in years to come.

Gaskets

Gaskets are renowned for shrinking and becoming brittle; leading to draughts and water ingress. This has previously occured in both the first, second and third generations of uPVC window frames as Neoprene gaskets were used. Neoprene becomes brittle with age and has a tendency to shrink.

To ensure your new gaskets do not fail we recommend specifying a uPVC profile that has gaskets made from Elastin, rather than Neoprene, and utilizes co-extruded gaskets to ensure a tight seal.

Life Expectancy

By following the steps detailed above we have been able to create a window and door suite which we believe will last a minimum of 30 years if properly maintained and if not abused. Lesser uPVC windows systems have been known to last as little as 8 years before needing attention.

Visit our website for more information: Windows Yorkshire

Call us today for more information on our uPVC window and door suite or to book in a property survey if you live in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire or Lincolnshire.


Not a Great Deal for Green Deal

The uPVC window and door industry has recently been anticipating the release of the governments new scheme named the ‘Green Deal’. The Green Deal had a soft opening a little over a month ago to judge the response of the new scheme, however no funding is yet available, this will come in the first quarter of 2013.

What is the Green Deal?

The green deal is a new initiative introduced by the government aimed at persuading home owners to replacing their existing windows and doors for energy efficient A-rated uPVC alternatives. The scheme is funded by Green Deal funding providers that contribute towards the installation to later get the sum paid back by the savings to the household bills.

In a way I see that the initiative in flawed in the the home owners will never see a direct monetary benefit, however they will be more comfortable and reduce their carbon footprint.

So why not a great deal?

The scheme was launched a month ago and only one company has signed up to become a provider from over 10000 federation of master builders members.

The government estimated that around 10000 companies would be needed to make the scheme work and so far only 300 have signed up… that is 3% of the required number of companies.

These figures are mostly being blamed on the lack of advertising that has been carried out by the government.

 


GRP Composite Doors

GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic), aka fiberglass, doors are quickly becoming the most popular form of replacement residential front door in the UK. Over the past ten years composite doors have slowly become more popular; now in their third generation composite doors are not only stylish but highly energy efficient and secure.

What is a composite door?

A composite door is named in this way because it is made entirely from a mix of man made materials. A composite door ‘slab’ is hung in a reinforced uPVC door frame, replacing the conventional uPVC door sash. As the composite door slab is made from one piece it is viewed as being more secure than a uPVC door panel.

The center of a composite door is mostly high density foam material that is both highly energy efficient due to the thickness and also impact resistant due to the nature of the foam material. A GRP skin is then laid on the external of the door to add more strength and give the composite door its distinctive appearance.

Composite Door Energy Efficiency

Starting from 2013-2014 composite doors will be required in new build properties to meet energy efficiency regulations in the UK. This new change comes due to the unbeatable energy efficiency of composite door slabs when compared to uPVC door panels. Our GRP composites achieve a u-value of only 1.1; this is compared to a uPVC door panel which achieves around 1.6.

Composite Door Costs

Composite doors are now far more affordable when compared to five years ago. A composite door now only costs around £200 more than a uPVC door; as composite doors are expected to last around ten years more than a standard uPVC door the cost will work out the same in the long term.

Composite Doors in Yorkshire

At AWM we manufacture and install our range of GRP composite doors in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. Contact us today if you require advice on pricing or design on composite doors in Yorkshire. Composite Doors Yorkshire


Replacement Windows Yorkshire

Many people in Yorkshire are faced with the decision of weather to replace their existing wooden windows with new timber windows or to make the change to uPVC windows. There are many reasons why people are hesitant to change to uPVC windows, however in recent years the uPVC window industry has worked hard to develop new product lines to eliminate the downsides. Now it seems more and more that then only excuse that remains is people being stubborn, taking the stance that wood is the traditional material to make windows from. That being said, why not go one step further back and make the windows from lead, or mud?

Replacement Windows Cost

One of the major reasons that Yorkshire properties choose uPVC windows as apposed to timber is the initial replacement costs. As uPVC can be produced and reinforced for far less than the cost of the timber materials the cost of the replacement windows is a fraction of the cost of quality timber windows. This is because plastic window profiles are ready to face the elements as soon as they are extruded and welded together, however timber must be stored, aged and treated before a bench joiner can start work on production. Even once timber windows have been installed they must be annually sanded down, treated and painted.

At AWM we recently installed uPVC woodgain windows in a Yorkshire period property. The owners initially wanted timber windows but were shocked to find that they would be paying up to three times as must for the project. However they were delighted when we were able to offer them a solution that not only saved them money but also looked just as good as real wood. Here are some before and after photos of the window project.

Window Before            

uPVC Window Colour Options

At AWM we are able to offer 33 different woodgrain colour combinations in order to compliment your Yorkshire property. Our woodgrain colours are also available for conservatories and fascias; meaning that your windows, doors and conservatory will all look like new timber for decades to come!

For more information visit our website: uPVC Windows Yorkshire

Proudly serving Yorkshire with uPVC Windows, Doors & Conservatories.


Yorkshire Orangeries

With the Yorkshire Orangery becoming a fast growing market in the conservatory industry I thought it appropriate to write about the differences between a traditional orangery construction project and the new ‘orangery style’ conservatories.

Traditional Orangeries in Yorkshire

A traditional orangery, put quite simply is an extension with a glass skylight. Orangeries in Yorkshire differ from conservatories in many ways…

Firstly and orangery is constructed using lintels which span the brickwork openings, much like a bungalow, then a few more courses will typically be added above this height. Then timbers are hung in the brickwork and a wooden frame is constructed; this is what the orangery skylight will sit on. The timbers which make up the flat roof are then covered over by using wither felt, fibreglass or rubber roof coverings.

The construction process for a traditional orangery takes around double the time it takes to build a conservatory; mainly due to the timber work.

New ‘Conservatory Orangeries’

The latest product to enter into the Yorkshire orangery market is the Global Summer Conservatory Roof system. The roof differs from a traditional orangery as it is constructed in the same way as a typical upvc conservatory. The roof system is attached to an aluminium ring beam which sits on top of the window frames, exactly like a conservatory.

However the orangery roof system has a heightened ring beam and an extended internal bracket to replicate the internal look of a traditional orangery. The internal bracket is then boarded over and plastered after spot lights have been installed.

What are the benefits of each Orangery?

If a traditional orangery is constructed correctly it will last as long as an extension without the need for maintenance, especially if self-cleaning glass is used. The only thing that could require attention are the windows and skylight, which will last over 30 years if high quality windows are fitted. Traditional orangeries are however the more expensive option and must be viewed as a long term investment. A well designed, high quality orangery that is finished well should add a considerable amount to the value of any property. Traditional orangeries will compliment almost any property style in Yorkshire, especially if the property is constructed from Yorkshire stone.

However, with a conservatory orangery you are relying on the longevity of the entire structure, it is only the base will not require any future attention or maintenance. These orangery style conservatories do cost much less to purchase but may need to be replaced in 25-35 years.

What should I do next?

When planning an orangery in Yorkshire it is essential to take your time when choosing the right company for your home improvement. We recommend viewing 2/3 installations to inspect the quality of finish and construction techniques. Also research the background of a company to make sure they do not have a chequered past and that they have been in business for a substantial amount of time.

Orangery Installation

AWM Orangeries Yorkshire

Manufacturer & Installer of high quality Orangeries and Conservatories in Yorkshire.


Replacment Sash Windows Sheffield

Replacing Original Sash Windows in Sheffield

Replacing sash windows in Sheffield will always be more complicated than replacing standard casement windows. As Sheffield city center and surrounding villages are predominantly still fitted with wooden sliding sash windows you may be considering changing these to energy efficient uPVC casement or uPVC sash windows. There are many things to consider before rushing ahead and employing a window company to take on the work. Our expert advice could save you time and money…

Is your property in a Windows conservation area?

Many people would not think to check if their property is in a conservation area; however it only takes one phone call to Sheffield council to find the answer. This is not something to be ignored, as the conservation officers can request that you remove our new windows if they do not meet their requirements. This is usually down to the external colour and style of the window openings.

Do I have to convert my Sash Boxes?

Unless someone has taken the time to explain to you what a sash box is you may not even know that they exist. Sash boxes are hollow spaces to either side of your sash windows that house the counterweight pulley mechanism that allows the sash windows to stay in place once opened. This will be hidden behind the plaster and will be made from wood.

As the latest generation of uPVC sash windows operate by coil springs and not pulleys there is no need to retain the existing sash boxes. However to avoid re-plastering and redecorating some people opt to retain the existing sash boxes. This can potentially cause problems in future if the wood is rotten and can cause your property to be less efficient than converting th sash boxes.

At AWM we recommend converting the boxes by cladding them with new timbers and plastering the reveals. Alternatively the reveals can be bricked up and re-toothed depending on the specific site conditions for the window installation. Both of these options will make the property more energy efficient and also reduce external road noise. As Sheffield city center is renowned for being busy at peak times and is home to many bars and restaurants it is advised to make the initial investment for this reason.

Acoustic laminated double glazing should also be installed in noisy regions of Sheffield center to further reduce the external road noise. The laminated double glazing utilises a 6mm laminated external glass layer to distrb the sound wave as it passes through the glass window. Laminated glass also increases the security of your new windows in Sheffield.

Replacing Bay Window Canopies In Sheffield

Many properties in Sheffield are fitted with sash bay windows; careful consideration must be taken when replacing a large wooden bay window for upvc casement windows or sash windows.

As the existing wooden sash windows will be thicker than upvc casement windows the angles will definitely be different and must therefore be carefully surveyed by an experienced surveyor. Many companies will advise you to retain the existing wooden bay canopy and wooden bay posts as this is easier to install than a full replacement. This is not advised as there is no way of knowing the internal condition of the wooden bay posts; as the posts are load bearing we recommend replacing these with uPVC clad aluminium bay posts with additional bay jack reinforcement.

The bay canopy can either be retained or replaced for a new tiled roof or custom made GRP (fibre glass) canopy. The least expensive option is to install a GRP canopy; these are not only cheaper to install but will require no future attention. Alternatively you may wish to install a new tiled roof which will involve a specialit joiner being on site whe the windows are being installed in order to match the dimensions of the new bay window to the custom made roof. The tiled roof must then be finished internally with a new plastered ceiling.

Will I need to re-plaster?

The need to re-plaster around the internal window reveals will depend on both the age of the property and if you have opted to convert the sash boxes. In some instances it may be possible to simply patch and trim the internal with upvc trim. However if you have chosen a full conversion you will definitely need to install plasterboard and skim the reveals; this will mean that the plaster will run directly up to the new windows and look much more aesthetically pleasing once the work is completed.

Other points to consider when replacing Windows in Sheffield

The existing sash windows will be installed on the inner course of bricks; this is how sash window boxes remain hidden. Modern properties have the windows installed on the external course of bricks and run almost flush with the external of the building. When installing new double glazing in Sheffield you will have the option to move the windows to the external brickwork; if opting for a full sash box conversion this will not impact the price of the projects as the building work will not be impacted. Many people prefer to secure their new double glazing to the external course of bricks as this allows for window boards to be fitted.

What now?

More information can be found on our upvc windows website. Alternatively you can call us to arrange your initial property survey and replacement window quotation.

Windows Sheffield
Sash Windows Sheffield

AWM are manufacturers and installers of high quality uPVC windows and conservatories in Sheffield. Call us for high quality windows in Sheffield and surrounding areas within a 50 mile radius.


Constructing Conservatories in Doncaster

AWM Windows and Conservatories in Doncaster are manufacturers and installers of high quality upvc conservatory systems. We install replacement and new build conservatories in the Doncaster area and within a 60 mile radius.

In our many years of designing and installing conservatories we have come up against many design obstacles due to there being many different property styles in Doncaster. Some properties are limited by size where as some may be an odd shape that require a bespoke conservatory roof.

However there has never been a situation in which we have not been able to over come the obstacle; a site may require a certain amount of preparation work or we may be able to design a roof to suit the property.

What if my house walls are not straight and at 90 degrees?

Do not worry if your house is not 100 percent square; many older properties in Doncaster suffer from this problem. In this situation we are able to bring the wall into shape by hanging timbers on the side walls. The conservatory roof can now attach onto the timber work and be covered over by lead to ensure there is no risk of water ingress.

My garden is on a slope!

Many rear gardens in Doncaster have a large amount of soil that will need to be removed in order to construct a conservatory. In this situation we will remove the earth and also remove enough additional earth to construct a path around the conservatory. The path is then lined with a triple skin retaining wall which is tied into the garden using root grabbers. The retaining wall eliminates any risk of the garden from sliding in future and provides good access around the conservatory.

If you do not install a path around the conservatory you will most definitely suffer damp problems in future if the earth level is above the conservatory damp course. All of our conservatories in Doncaster are installed with a full damp proof membrane to eliminate the risk of rising damp.

Some areas in the North of Doncaster are beneath the water table; in this situation it is recommended to construct the base using tanking solution on both the external and internal sides of the external course of bricks. This ensures that the conservator base is 100 percent water tight.

I have a large drop at the back of my property!

Many properties in Doncaster and South Yorkshire have a drop at the rear of the property. This is more common in Sheffield and Rotherham due to the sudden elevation changes; this is not a problem for conservatories in Doncaster.

It is essential to build your new conservatory on a base that will not move or suffer from subsidence in future. At AWM we tailor each conservatory base to the specific ground conditions for different areas of Doncaster. If a large amount of build up is required to bring the conservatory to house floor level then the footings must be much deeper and wider than standard in order to cope with the additional weight. As standard our conservatories in Doncaster will have footing at least 600mm deep and 500mm wide; depending on the site conditions it is sometimes necessary to double this depth and even add reinforcement cages to the concrete.

On such conservatories in Doncaster we would install an insulated structural timber floor in place of the conventional concrete floor.

I have a manhole or inspection cover in my garden!

Many gardens have an inspection cover which provides access to drainage or sewerage channels; it is a common misconception that this poses a problem to install a conservatory.

The inspection cover can either be raised to the new floor level and sealed to ensure no gases will escape or moved to the external of the proposed conservatory base. This is not a big job and is made easier because we would be excavating a large amount of the garden in the base construction process. This will typically add £200-£250 to the conservatory construction cost.

I have a soil pipe where my conservatory would be!

There are three options that are available in this situation. The first is to run the waste pipe through the conservatory roof; this is achieved by using a lead flashing kit to ensure that the hole in the glass is made water tight. The pipe that is viewable from inside of the conservatory is then boxed in plastered over.

The second and preferred option is to relocate the waste pipe to another position on the property. This is achieved by re-routing the pipes in the bathroom so that they exit the house at a different point; the waste pipe also has to be relocated and plumbed into the sewerage channel.

The third option is only available to bungalows; in this situation it is possible to lower the pipe and fit a non return valve. This is a one way valve that ensures no gasses enter the conservatory while still allowing the pipe to draw in air to provide the required pressure.

What else do I need to know about conservatories in Doncaster?

Quite simply, ever property in Doncaster and Sheffield is different! Which is why it is a good idea to let us survey your property for you and talk you through the options. For more information on conservatories in Doncaster you can visit our website local information page…

Conservatories Doncaster

Conservatories Sheffield

At AWM we are happy to offer advice and quotations for conservatories within a 60 mile radius of Doncaster and Sheffield. Contact us to book in your initial design consultation or to visit a recently competed conservatory in your local area.


Conservatories Doncaster – Planning Laws

Recent proposed changes to planning permission for conservatories in Doncaster could mean that planning is exempt for certain sizes.

Under current planning permission laws in Doncaster conservatories are limited to 3 meters in projection from the rear of a property. The width can be as wide as the property assuming that the conservatory does not block light into the neighbouring property. The new proposed changes could mean that conservatories can have a projection of up to 4 meters. The change in planning permission rules is proposed to increase the amount of conservatories and house extensions in the construction industry.

However at AWM Windows and Conservatories we strongly advise that people still consult the Doncaster council to ensure that the conservatory does not require planning permission. AWM are able to offer free advice on planning laws to anyone within a 50 mile radius of Doncaster.

If your conservatory does require planning permission we are able to produce elevation plans, block plans and flood plane surveys to ensure that you obtain a pass. Call us today for more information.

High quality conservatories manufactured and installed in Doncaster.


Bi Fold Doors | Doncaster | Sheffield

At AWM windows, doors and conservatories we manufacture only the highest quality UPVC windows and replacement double glazing available. We install replacement windows and double glazing in Doncaster and Sheffield.

Why install a bifold door in your Doncaster or Sheffield property?
Bifold doors are not only the fastest growing sector in the home improvement industry, they are also incredibly stylish and practical. Bifold doors in Sheffield provide a larger opening than any other form of UPVC patio door. Once installed, you will be able to enjoy your garden and patio area much more easily in the summer months and also if you install energy efficient glass they will retain heat in the winter time.
Until recently energy efficient glass could only achieve a  U-value of around 2.0, however now with soft coat glass technology we are able to provide a glass that has a U-value of only 1.0. This improvement in U-value means that the soft coat glass retains up to 4 times more heat than hardcoat glass.
What are the downsides to installing bifold doors in Doncaster and Sheffield?
Put quite simply the only downside to installing a bifold door in Doncaster or Sheffield is the initial cost of the bifold door system. Also if your existing brick opening requires enlarging and requires the installation of a lintel then the building cost can also have implications. However if your brick opening on your property is already at the desired size then bifold doors will not cost much more than a conventional French door or sliding door. Please call us today for advice and for a rough quotation or to book in your initial design consultation.
At AWM we are experts in the design, manufacture, and installation of UPVC bi fold doors in Doncaster and Sheffield. Visitors today at our UPVC window and  bi fold door factory in Doncaster, near Sheffield.

Doncaster Glass Roof Conservatories

Roof Glazing for Conservatories in Doncaster

Conservatory roofs in Doncaster can either be glazed with 35mm polycarbonate roof glazing or 24mm self-cleaning glass. There are many benefits of conservatory roof glass, mainly due to energy efficiency and low maintenance. Polycarbonate roof glazing can only become energy efficient by blocking the light that passes through the roof; this in turn makes the conservatory darker. Heat-guard polycarbonate, also known as Solar Control polycarbonate has a metallic layer on the external layer of the conservatory roof which reflects the heat waves and therefore controls the thermal gain in Summer. Heat guard polycarbonate does not perform as well as high performance conservatory glass roofs, however glass roofs do cost more than polycarbonate.

Doncaster Conservatory Roofs – Self Cleaning Glass

Conservatory roof glass comes in many different specifications. At AWM we recommend both Pilkington Activ’ self-cleaning glass and Saint-Gobain Bio-Clean glass. Self-cleaning glass has an active layer that is able to break down the organic dirt such as tree sap. When the conservatory experiences rainfall the rain is then able to wash away the inorganic dirt that is left as the roof glass has a non-stick layer.

Self-cleaning glass also improves the aesthetics of conservatories as well as allowing more light to pass through the roof and into the conservatory. To arrange to view one of our recently completed conservatories in Doncaster please call us or visit our website.

Yorkshire Conservatories

Conservatory Roof Glass Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of conservatories is massively influenced by the conservatory roof glass specification. At AWM we recommend installing a self-cleaning glass with a u-value of no more than 1.2. This enables the conservatory to be used in all seasons by minimising the solar gain in Summer and minimising heat loss in the Winter.

Energy efficient low-e glass is able to reflect heat waves as it contains metal layers that block the long wave heat energy from both entering and leaving the conservatory. There are many types of low-e glass technology, soft coat glass technology is able to perform better than hard coat glass technology, therefore it is recommended to install soft coat low-e glass in conservatories in Doncaster.

In areas of Doncaster which suffer from noise pollution we advise installing laminated glass. Laminated glass reduces the transference of sound waves by disturbing the sound waves as they try to pass through the conservatory glass. This can reduce external noise levels by around 5 decibels when compared to 24mm non laminated glass. Our partners at SD Garritt noise consultants of Doncaster are able to provide us with noise calculations in order to meet the required sound levels.

We recommend installing any of the following roof glass specification:

  • Pilkington Activ’ with Pilkington Optith Backing Glass
  • Saint Gobain Bio-Clean Soft Coat Glass Self Cleaning Glass
  • Celcius Plus Complete with Bronze Anti-sun Glass (not self-cleaning)

At AWM we are more than happy to meet you in your Doncaster property in order to explain and demonstrate the differences between the conservatory roof glass specifications. You can call us for advice if you are looking for any of the following services in Doncaster:

  • Conservatories Doncaster
  • Conservatory Specialist in Doncaster
  • Conservatory Roofs Doncaster

Call us today to arrange your initial conservatory design consultation or for advice on conservatories in Doncaster.


Composite Doors Sheffield Benefits

Composite doors are one of the fastest growing products in home improvements, this is mainly due to the aesthetic improvements that are achieved by installing composite doors rather than upvc doors in Sheffield. The fibreglass mound resembles a true woodgrain effect and composite doors are available in 12 different colour combinations with 4 glass design options.

 Composite Doors Sheffield – Energy Efficiency

GRP composite doors are constructed from a fibreglass mould and an HDF core; this means that composite doors are not only better looking than upvc doors but also much more energy efficient when compared with upvc doors. Composite doors will become a requirement for new build properties in Sheffield due to the proposed change in building regulations concerning the installation of entrance doors. At AWM our triple glazed GRP composite doors achieve a u-value of 1.2, this is a market leading efficiency for external entrance doors.

 Composite Doors Sheffield – Security

GRP composite doors are also highly secure when compared to standard residential doors. Sheffield and South Yorkshire are known for high crime rates, therefore it is advised to install either a composite door or a high security upvc door. Fully reinforced door case frames and Anti-snap cylinder locks are also advised to minimise the risk of forced entry into your property in Sheffield.

 Composite Doors Sheffield – Durability

Composite doors are not only better looking, safer and more energy efficient than upvc doors; they also last longer than upvc entrance doors. A GRP composite door is predicted to last a minimum of 30 years compared to 20-25 years for upvc residential doors.

 Visit our composite door page of our website for more informatio: AWM Composite Doors Sheffield

At AWM windows and doors of Sheffield we manufacture and install our composite doors to order. We are happy to visit your property in Sheffield or within a 50 mile radius of Sheffield to offer some advice.


Conservatory Bases Sheffield | Conservatories Sheffield

Conservatories Sheffield | Local Information

At AWM conservatories we aim to share our experience with homeowners in Sheffield who are considering a new upvc conservatory. Many conservatory companies in Sheffield will give little or no thought to the local ground conditions in the area which can make a significant impact on both the structural and practical implications of constructing a new conservatory.

Conservatory Base Construction Sheffield

Construction of a conservatory base is by far the most crucial step in the installation of upvc conservatories or porches; in Sheffield, if built correctly the masonry and concrete in a conservatory base will last for over a hundred years where as the windows and roof may need to be replaced. Therefore it is important to ensure that it is constructed to the correct standards for the recommended ground conditions in Sheffield.

As conservatories in Sheffield are not classified under building regulations, therefore there are no regulations for companies to follow for conservatory bases. At AWM Yorkshire conservatories we recommend constructing deep concrete strip footings around 600mm minimum in depth and 50mm in width to take the weight of a high quality conservatory. In certain areas of Sheffield it is necessary to dig much deeper to ensure there will be no future base movement.

Sheffield is subject to regular adverse weather conditions including extreme cold which can cause damage to conservatories if engineering bricks are not installed beneath the house damp course. Engineering bricks ensure that water does not soak into the damp course and expand when external temperatures drop below freezing. It is also advised to install high quality conservatory floor insulation under the concrete floor to ensure that the floor temperature remains warm in the Yorkshire Winter months.

It is essential to install a high quality damp proof membrane in the conservatory base between the compacted hard-core and concrete. This eliminates any future chance of rising damp.

For more information and advice concerning base construction for upvc conservatories in Sheffield call AWM today or visit our website: AWM Conservatories


uPVC Door Security Yorkshire

How far should we go to protect ourselves? In recent decades domestic break-ins have become far more common than say 40 years ago. No longer can one leave the door open for the neighbors to ‘pop in to borrow a cup of sugar’; but is locking the door even enough?

Many people believe that upvc doors are ‘safe as houses’; this is not always true. Our security depends on how determined someone is to force entry into a dwelling and how much noise they can afford to make in the process. In fact some experienced criminals are able to enter a property in under 25 seconds without leaving any sign of forced entry. This can be done by upvc door lock ‘bumping’ and ‘snapping’ of the cylinder locks.

At AWM upvc windows in Sheffield we recommend making every possible step to increase the security of your new or existing upvc windows and doors; including high security cylinder locks; reinforced window friction stays, security glass and reinforced window frames. Retro-fitting these items can be a costly process, however if you are considering buying new upvc windows in Sheffield it is advisable to take these steps as the windows are being made.

We strongly advise people to invest in the latest in cylinder lock technology, the Yale Anti-Snap cylinder lock. this lock is the only 5-star cylinder lock on the UK market and makes forced entry through upvc doors almost impossible. It works by breaking off an allocated section of the lock should someone try to snap the whole cylinder lock in half; this means that your PVC doors in Sheffield will remain locked and the remainder of the lock cylinder will be hidden inside the upvc door profile. You will still be able to use your key until the locks are replaced.

The Yale Anti-Snap cylinder lock also has opposing lock pins which means that the lock cannot be bumped using a bump key; another common way that people can enter your home!

At AWM we are happy to replace your existing cylinder locks or provide you with a quotation for a complete window and door replacement in Sheffield and surrounding areas of South Yorkshire; call us for prices or read more about upvc windows and doors at out website… AWM Windows, Doors & Conservatories Sheffield

Also read our sections on laminated security glass and window locking systems.

  • Windows Sheffield
  • Conservatories Sheffield
  • Doors Sheffield

AWM Windows, Doors & Conservatories manufacture and install high quality windows and doors in Sheffield and surrounding areas.