Advice for landlords and developers when upgrading windows

By Weru UK

20 May 2024

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Your property’s windows, along with the front door, often create the first impression of your asset. But replacing older, tired, window systems will not only increase the value of your investment, it can also impact monthly bills, increase security with burglary deterrent features and improve acoustics through effective soundproofing. 

Are you a property developer or a landlord, wondering whether it’s time to upgrade your property’s windows? We caught up with Graham Lindsay, managing director of Weru UK, a distributor for Weru, Germany’s market-leading supplier of windows and doors, who outlines six key areas to think through. 

When is it time to upgrade?

To fix or replace? Almost all UK homes are now double-glazed and with the advent of energy-saving glass, which has been mandatory since 2002, most homes already have that significant benefit. The last decade has seen huge growth in “replacing these replacements” which now offer big kerb appeal with lots of colours and contemporary styles that stand out from the crowd.

Surprisingly, however, this switch has remained on the whole very cosmetic, with disregard to thermal performance. Almost all remain double glazed still even in new homes. It was expected that recent 2023 building regulations would enforce using triple glazing in all new homes and phase-in for the replacement sector soon after. This didn't happen, but the latest UK Future Homes Standard for 2025 indicates it will certainly happen thereafter. Watch this space! The message here is to take care and don’t spend twice. 

DIY fixes

Either upgrade to a true 3rd generation window designed to use effective triple glazing (minimum 40mm), or if you’re not ready to replace, consider DIY or a cosmetic upgrade to get you another few years out of your existing windows. DIY can cover decoration, and on older, tired frames, easily applied draught sealing products can make a big impact on room comfort and heating bills. You could also consider retrofit locking devices. 

Choosing window styles

Today's huge choice of window types and materials ensures that even traditional properties can upgrade and benefit from the effectiveness of triple glazing, whilst making homes more comfortable and secure. When choosing windows, there are a huge variety of bespoke options to consider. Foil or paint finish, light or dark colours or matching internal colours to external ones. The colour is really personal preference, but it is wise to consider the location and environment of the property and look at the other homes in the area. If you are looking for an extremely modern and contemporary finish, your window choices need to reflect this. 

Comparing window materials: pros and cons 

Over recent years, there has been a demise in PVCu and a significant increase in demand for aluminium windows - which now offer a choice of over 5,000 bespoke shades across the RAL and NCS colour swatches - and hybrid alternatives. There are extremely innovative hybrid solutions available on the market, which deliver superb quality and unrivalled thermal and acoustic properties.

For example, at Weru UK, we manufacture a hybrid alternative to aluminium called AFINO-tec, which is 25 per cent lighter and allows for a 30 per cent increased aperture than PVCu, making it an ideal option for bespoke, architecturally designed builds which demand larger, stronger glass areas.

The AFINO-tec system has load-bearing hardware components screwed into the steel at several points, ensuring enduring functionality and long service life of the window. This steel reinforcement, paired with the GFP high-tech material in the sash, will guarantee outstanding stability and tensional rigidity. For the customer this reinforcement means exceptionally large windows can be installed, allowing up to 30 per cent more daylight to enter the home.

Security considerations

In many cases, window hardware is often overlooked, with a higher focus being placed on the glass itself. However, we are starting to see that built into most of the latest, innovative designs are various burglary deterrent features, with resistance class 2 tilt hardware and security corner transmission hardware becoming standard. This advancement in technology is becoming a staple with homeowners and UK architects, as the remarkable strength and durability provide a greater level of burglary deterrent, ensuring ultimate protection for the home.  

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