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Door And Windows

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 30 Jul 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Property Renovation Renovate Homes

If you’re renovating an unprepossessing house on an estate, and doing it purely for profit, then you can be forgiven for calling in the double glazing companies, getting the cheapest deal on doors and windows and then selling on for a profit. But if your project is a house with any character at all, careful consideration will pay dividends in the future.

Take a Look Around

With any period home, if you want to get the best price after renovating it’s crucial to make sure the windows fit in with the period and the neighbouring houses. Take a walk along any street with houses that are over seventy years old and you will see what a difference it makes; how easy it is to spot the houses where people have put in aluminium or plastic framed windows and how bad some of them look compared to those that have stuck with the originals.

Sash Windows

If you have a Victorian or Georgian property with sash windows, they can be mended or replaced with hardwood copies that will be undetectable from the originals. These days, it is also possible to get frameless double-glazed units that can be slotted into your existing window frames. These make a big difference in terms of road noise and heat insulation, but are very expensive as each pane has to be tailor made.

Cheaper plastic framed double-glazing units that imitate Georgian windows can’t do the job properly because the pretend crossbars in the frames are the wrong proportion, and proportion is everything in a Georgian property.

Wood is Good

This might sound a bit picky, but the desire to rip out original features and be ‘modern’ died out in the Nineties and original features are what buyers want. Besides, in many areas, planners will insist on wood being used regardless of how closely the PVCu alternative resembles the original.

Plastic Fantastic

If you think that you’re not going to damage the aura of your property with modern PVCu double-glazing then it’s definitely a good investment. If you’re staying in the property and are replacing single glazing, you’ll notice it is quieter and your heating bills should be lower, although it will take some years for it to pay back. If you are renovating to sell on, then buyers will appreciate double-glazing.

Seconds Out

Secondary double-glazing is an option if you are subject to planning restrictions. This is the installation of separate larger panes of glass (or clear plastic) mounted in a framework inside the existing windows. Cheaper, simple types are mounted with clips and can be removed and stored in the summer and replaced in the winter.

More expensive, permanently installed versions slide to allow the original window to be opened for ventilation. Secondary glazing is nowhere near as efficient as replacement double glazing but can help heat and sound insulation and is better than nothing.

Door of Opportunity

Similar warnings apply to doors; a front door is a key part of the ambience of a property and if you ruin it with an inappropriate choice you will pay when the time arrives to sell on. Consider the style and also whether you want windows, either plain or decorated, in the door.

A solid door can block a lot of light that comes into a hall and you may not realise it until after the door has been installed, so think about frosted glass or some decorative finish. If you can fit a solid door, consider fitting a spy hole so that you can see visitors before letting them in.

Final Word

One thing to be careful of with doors provided by double-glazing companies, along with their windows, is that they often have inappropriate locking mechanisms. These are similar to patio door types and do not lock automatically when closed, as a traditional door with a Yale lock does. They can also have a handle on the outside, and this means that unless you lock the door from the inside, your door is open to anyone who tries the handle from the outside.

This is ideal for opportunistic sneak thieves. It’s also awkward when you have guests, as they give you funny looks when you have to lock the door behind them after they come in!

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