COMPOSITE WINDOWS ARE A POPULAR CHOICE FOR SELF-BUILDERS
Self-building your own house can have a huge number of benefits and be the start of an exciting and rewarding journey in creating your own unique home. It also comes with it’s own challenges and more choices and decisions to make than many appreciate.
According to Property Wire website the number of people wanting to build their own homes in the UK is up by over 80%, with over 33,000 signed up to the Right to Build registers across the country to secure their plot of land. This has increased from 18,000 last year, according to research by the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA).
Right to Build is an initiative to support aspiring custom and self builders who want to build their own homes. As part of the Self and Custom Build Housing Act 2015, it requires local authorities to ensure there is adequate land provision for those who want to build their own home. You can visit the website here to register with your local authority: https://nacsba.org.uk/campaigns/right-to-build-portal/#legislation
The UK parliament’s research briefing on self-build and custom build housing (England) reports that the UK has a much lower rate of self-building than other European countries. The sector currently accounts for between 7-10% of completions while in Austria it accounts for around 80%. A survey commissioned by the Building Societies Association (BSA) in 2011 suggested that 53% of people in the UK would consider building their own home given the opportunity, and this looks to become a reality with the current UK government’s commitment to double the number of self and custom build homes by 2020.
The desire to build your own home is certainly becoming more popular with self builders from all walks of life, from young families looking for an affordable home, to couples with aspirations of an eco-friendly home, and retirees creating a bespoke home for their retirement. Self-build provides the opportunity to design a home for your needs and lifestyle, that’s unique to you. It gives you the opportunity to specify exactly what you’re looking for, from the initial design, layout and build materials to the finishing touches.
There are many resources available to guide you through the decision making process, including websites and magazines such as Build It, Grand Designs and Real Homes. When it comes to choosing the right windows for your self build we can offer some top hints and tips…
1. CHOOSING COMPOSITE WINDOWS
Your choice of windows will depend on the style of your build and your budget, and there are many options to consider which is right for your project. Just bear in mind that the most cost effective option up front may not be the most cost effective in the long run. For instance, timber windows will need extra care and maintenance to ensure they continue to look good and last a long time.
Although aluminium clad windows may seem the same as composite windows they are not a true bonded composite construction, and are basically a standard timber window with a piece of aluminium clipped to the outer face, which creates a gap, allowing air, moisture and dirt to penetrate the timber. These two options are often not as energy efficient as true composite windows.
Westcoast Windows’ unique bonded aluminium and timber composite window system uses a high density timber inner section bonded to a powder coated aluminium outer section to create a window with maximum lifespan and minimum maintenance. Find out more about our composite window construction: About Westcoast Windows composite windows
2. CHOOSING YOUR WINDOW FINISH
Westcoast Windows’ products are manufactured with a low maintenance stylish aluminium exterior that can be finished in a huge range of powder coated colours, including two finishes that mimic anodising which are unique to Westcoast Windows.
This finish requires the minimum of maintenance – no annual window painting required! Your warm wood interior can be finished in a range of paints or lacquers to suit your style, including clean white, clear lacquer, teak, cherry, oak or dark brown. Visit our COMPOSITE WINDOWS HOMEOWNER ADVICE page to view the range.
3. CHOOSING ENERGY EFFICIENT COMPOSITE WINDOWS
Our composite double-glazed Classic opening windows are rated with U-values down to 1.4 W/m2 K and as low as 1.0 W/m2 K for our triple gazed Design series composite windows. The fixed light windows offer an even greater energy efficiency.
Our windows are factory assembled with sealed units incorporating the latest ‘warm edge’ technology, insulated super spacers and argon gas filling as standard for maximum thermal insulation performance.
4. CHOOSING COMPOSITE SLIDING PATIO DOORS
Our easy glide sliding doors are the perfect way to bring the outside into your home. In the winter the large glazing areas allow you to enjoy your garden from the warmth of your home and in the summer you can bring the outside in and enjoy easy access to your patio, decking or balcony. Plus they save space by sliding back on themselves.
They make a fantastic feature for open plan kitchen and living areas, just take a look at this STARGAZER seaside home for some ideas: STARGAZER PROJECT with Westcoast Windows
5. CHOOSING GLAZING BARS FOR YOUR COMPOSITE WINDOWS
If you’re creating a contemporary new build you will likely opt for larger glazing areas for maximum light, for which our Design series is ideal. However if you’re looking for a more traditional style or something with a Scandinavian feel, you might consider glazing bars which can be added as a design feature.
In our glazing bar article we explain the difference between True Composite Glazing Bars, Bonded (Duplex) Glazing Bars, Integral and Clip on Glazing bars: COMPOSITE WINDOWS GLAZING BARS
6. CHOOSING SOUNDPROOF ACOUSTIC COMPOSITE WINDOWS
If you’re in a high traffic area or flight path, you’ll need to pay particular attention to the sound-proofing credentials of the windows you choose. Westcoast Windows’ standard double-glazed Classic Series offer tested sound reduction performance of 35dB (Rw) and 29dB (Rw+Ctr) respectively.
Areas of high noise pollution can be better insulated by increasing the thickness of the glass, using acoustic laminated panes or adjusting the size of the cavities between glass panes. Westcoast Windows can offer a variety of tested glass combinations to improve whole window noise reduction up to 48dB Rw. View our datasheet for more information: ACOUSTIC COMPOSITE WINDOWS
7. CHOOSING SBD CERTIFIED COMPOSITE WINDOWS
All our composite windows and doors are SBD (Secured by Design) certified, which means successful testing to PAS 24:2016 and also regular independent UKAS accredited 3rd Party auditing to ensure consistency of product quality and performance and evidencing compliant with Building Regulations Approved Document Q – Security. For more information read our Part Q feature: PART Q AND SBD COMPOSITE WINDOWS
8. CHOOSING COMPOSITE WINDOWS WITH A 10 YEAR GUARANTEE
Westcoast Windows strive to provide the best quality products that are covered by our 10 year guarantee, with 10 years also available on glass from the date of manufacture. See our Aftersales page for more information.
9. CHOOSING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY COMPOSITE WINDOWS
Only PEFC certified timber is used in the construction of Westcoast window and door products. Frame and sash profiles use laminated timber sections in order to reduce waste and improve stability of the finished product, whilst the composite construction eliminates the need for impregnated timber and therefore no harmful chemicals are used in the manufacturing process. Only water based paints and stains are applied to finish timber surfaces.
10. CHOOSING THE RIGHT WINDOW SUPPLIER
Westcoast Windows’ dedicated team of designers, distributor partners and installation engineers will be with you every step of the way, ensuring your window specification meets your design, budget and delivery requirements. Just get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your project: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01359 241944.
Visit our INSPIRATION gallery for lots of great ideas for your project or see our PINTEREST page.
Download our brochure: WESTCOAST WINDOWS BROCHURE