Do I Need New Windows? Find out here

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Do I Need New Windows?

Deciding whether you need new windows can be a big decision. Still, you will know that it's time to replace your glazing if you're experiencing problems with draughts, high energy bills or older frames that are becoming difficult to open and close. 

New windows can dramatically improve the energy efficiency in your home, add value to the property and boost natural light and ventilation. If you think you need new windows, it's best to speak to window fitters in your area who can inspect your windows and provide you with an accurate cost.

Fill out the form below and we'll put you in touch with several local window fitters in your area so you can compare costs for free! Time complete - 30 seconds. 

You don't want to invest in new windows if your current glazing is still in good condition - and it's best to check whether you have a guarantee or warranty that might cover repair work!

Today we'll run through some of the key indicators that you need new windows and how to choose the right materials and designs.

Signs That Your Windows Need Replacing

Even top-quality windows don't last a lifetime, and a double-glazed unit will last about 20 years on average (although durable windows could last longer).

Many factors impact the longevity of your glazing, from the weather to the type of material and how well you've maintained the frames.

For example, timber windows will start to wear down pretty quickly if the weather-proof paint or staining hasn't been repeated periodically.

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1. What type of windows do you need?

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3. Recieve 4 no obligation quotes

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Reasons why you would need new windows:

1. Worn Out Windows and Failing Double-Glazing Seals

While UPVC is highly durable, it may begin to discolour and warp over time due to heat expansion - particularly if the frame hasn't been installed correctly.

Wooden frames will also start to show rot and dampness as they age, which can cause a security risk if the windows don't lock properly.

Double-glazing is beginning to fail if you spot excessive condensation, cracks, water leaks, scratches or chips.

2. Your Home is Difficult to Heat or Keep Warm

Energy bills are a big expense, and poorly insulated windows can cause your utility costs to skyrocket - a sure sign that your windows aren't performing well at retaining the heat.

To check whether your windows are the culprit:

  • Test whether the glass on your windows feels cold to the touch when the heating is already on.
  • Look for gaps in the frame, or sit nearby to identify whether any draughts are coming through.
  • Stand or sit next to the windows, and check if it feels colder in that proportion of the room.

Older single-glazed windows are far more susceptible to draughts and leaks and cause considerable heat dispersion, so you could go for double-glazing or triple-glazing with options such as low-emissivity glass, which maximises heat conservation.

3. Problems Closing or Locking Windows

Windows may be a vital escape route, so if they are hard to open or shut, it's essential to repair the frame or replace the unit. Some of the common reasons for this include:

  • Edges have been painted shut.
  • The frame has warped and is jammed.
  • Your property foundations have shifted.

If you find your windows are sticking or require lots of fiddling to lock, we'd suggest you look into replacing them.

4. Soundproofing Issues

Any modern window provides a level of sound transfer reduction, which can make quite a difference if you live near an airport or busy road.

Soundproof windows are specifically designed to make life more comfortable close to high-noise zones, which can be a valuable selling point.

A new window could solve the problem if you can clearly hear noises from inside when the windows are shut.

5. Window Draughts and Leaks

Draughty windows can drive up heating costs by around 25%, so it's often more economical to go for an energy-efficient modern window than keep turning the heating up to compensate.

You might get draughts because the window doesn't fully shut, the frame is warped, or because there are gaps in the structure.

Leaks are a similarly problematic indication that you need new windows and can cause no end of water damage, peeling paintwork and even structural decay if left over time.

You can wipe away condensation, but when those droplets start appearing inside the panes on a double-glazed window, it means the seal isn't in good condition.

Factors in Deciding Whether to Replace Your Windows

If you don't have double-glazing, it may be worth replacing your windows even if you're not seeing any leaks because older windows will always mean that your rooms are colder in the winter and overly warm in the summer.

Before you make any decisions, there are a few steps to run through:

  • Measure up - most fitters will offer pricing on standard-sized windows, either in mm or cm, so you need to measure the opening the window sits in (the aperture) from the outside.

If you have unusual sized windows or custom designs such as rounded frames, you'll need to include this information in any quote requests you send out.

  • Decide whether you need specialist windows - all fitters comply with safety regulations, one of which is that a frame less than 80 cm from the floor needs to have toughened glass.

This glazing is about five times stronger than standard and breaks into large chunks. You might also decide you want noise reducing panels or eco-friendly glazing treatments.

  • Double or secondary glazing? If your frames and windows are in good condition but aren't efficient, you might decide to look at secondary glazing.

That means your fitter instals a second glass pane inside the window - it's not as high-performance as double-glazing, but the next best thing if you're on a tight budget.

  • Pick a frame material. You might go for UPVC, timber, composite or aluminium - all of which have different price points, pros and cons.

If you're in any doubt about which type of windows to choose from, you can always request comparable quotes. UPVC is undoubtedly the most common option with minimal maintenance requirements and a long lifespan.

  • Select the window style you'd like. That might be a bay window in a living room, sash windows for period properties or a standard casement window.

You don't necessarily have to select an identical style of window to that you have at the moment, so it's worth looking at some of the popular options to see whether your replacement windows offer an opportunity to revamp the exterior of your home.

Most installers will want to come and measure up, although some will provide indicative pricing from your measurements.

We'd recommend you look for three quotes at least to ensure you're getting value for money, and take your time to research different types of windows, so you're comfortable the style, material and glazing are right for you.

Average Costs of New Windows

As we can see from the various decisions to make, new windows come in at very different prices depending on your choices.

Price variables include:

  • Glazing type - double, triple-glazed, treated glass and soundproof panels.
  • Window style - casement, sash, tilt and turn, bay, or another design!
  • Location and access - upper storey windows will likely require scaffolding, and trade prices tend to be highest in London and the southeast.
  • Materials - UPVC is most popular, but you could also go for timber or aluminium, both widely available.

Most double-glazing projects cost from £4,500 to £7,500, depending on the above factors and how many windows you're replacing.

We've listed below the average costs for some typical window sizes to give you a better idea.

Average UPVC New Windows Cost

Window size Ground floor casement window Upper floor casement window
60 cm x 90 cm £500 - £600 £550 - £650
90 cm x 120 cm £750 - £850 £1,550 - £1,650
120 cm x 120 cm £850 - £950 £1,750 - £1,850

Average Aluminium New Windows Cost

Window size Ground floor casement window Upper floor casement window
60 cm x 90 cm £550 - £600 £600 - £700
90 cm x 120 cm £650 - £750 £700 - £800
120 cm x 120 cm £750 - £850 £850 - £950

Average Timber New Windows Cost

Window size Ground floor casement window Upper floor casement window
60 cm x 90 cm £850 - £950 £900 - £1,000
90 cm x 120 cm £1,200 - £1,300 £1,300 - £1,400
120 cm x 120 cm £1,350 - £1,450 £1,400 - £1,500

We've shown here the approximate costs for casement windows, but you could opt for multiple other styles.

Triple-glazing is slightly more expensive, but it's also very energy-efficient and often comes with sound reduction glass, or you could go for double-glazing as the most prevalent option for most new windows.

Complex installations will also command a higher budget, and windows above the ground floor normally require scaffolding hire.

You'll either need your fitter to include the cost in their quote or organise scaffolding separately through a local contractor.

Most homeowners find that it is more cost-effective to replace several windows at once (since the labour costs and waste removal provide economies of scale) - you might also be able to negotiate a discount, so it's worth asking your window fitter.

The Benefits of Installing New Windows

We've run through some of the signs that you need new windows, but it's also a bonus if you're thinking of selling your property.

Buyers place a great deal of emphasis on energy-efficient upgrades since they mean the home will be cheaper to run, and they won't need to think about buying new windows for many years to come.

Other advantages to investing in new windows or advanced glazing include:

  • Reduced thermal loss and a home that is easier to heat.
  • Energy savings, particularly if you have low emissivity glass, which is the highest performing double-glazing option.
  • Sound reduction, making your property quieter and insulated from outside noise.
  • Protection from condensation, dampness and leaks.
  • Fewer draughts and cold spots.

You may find that some local window fitters offer pricing plans or scheduled instalments, which can be a viable way of budgeting for new windows if you need replacements and want to be mindful of your household budget.

Checkout this video which talks you through some of the signs that it might be time to replace your windows:

Frequently Asked Questions - Do I Need New Windows?

Below we've run through some of the most common questions we receive about whether it's time to consider new windows.

Do I Need New Windows if I Have Draughts in My Home?

Before you request window quotations, you might want to double-check that it's your glazing that is causing the problem (especially if your windows aren't particularly old and aren't showing any signs of wear!).

There are many reasons you might have draughts or cold spots, such as letterboxes, chimneys, or doorways that aren't sealed properly.

If your windows aren't performing well, they can cause up to 30% of the heat in your home to escape, so if you feel a draught coming from the windows, you probably need new ones.

Does Condensation in Double-Glazing Mean I Need New Windows?

Likely, yes, if the condensation is between the two panes of glass, it generally means that the seal has failed or the frame hasn't been fitted correctly.

You'll often get condensation on the inside, which you can wipe away - that doesn't always mean the windows are ineffective and could be because of excess moisture in your home, which you can remedy with a dehumidifier or opening windows to improve ventilation.

External condensation is also typical and is a natural occurrence when the air inside is hotter than that outside - it'll usually disappear later on in the day.

However, condensation inside your window unit means that your glazing is no longer thermally efficient and should be replaced before it causes dampness, mould or structural damage.

How Often Should I Replace My Windows?

A lot depends on the type of windows you have and where you live.

For example, a property in a coastal town may need new windows more often since the salt air and high winds can cause a greater impact on the outside of a property than somewhere more sheltered.

Likewise, suppose you live somewhere with high levels of outdoor noise. In that case, you might decide to replace your windows sooner to reduce the discomfort of disturbances, particularly if you live close to a motorway or airport that is busy during the night.

Most homeowners replace their windows at around 20 years, although you can get UPVC windows with a warranty of up to 25 years, extending to the anticipated lifetime of the unit.

Is There an Easy Way to Check if My Windows Are Energy-Efficient?

There are several ways to assess the efficiency of your windows, including infrared cameras, which show where heat is escaping from your home.

If you've moved into a property and don't have any information about the windows, it might be tricky to establish exactly when they were installed and how well they're performing!

Some of the easy options are to:

  • Light a match and hold it close to the glass - if the reflection is of one flame, not two, your windows are single-panelled.
  • Hold your hand about an inch from the frame, and feel for any air leaks or draughts.
  • Look for the tell tale signs we explained earlier - things like condensation inside double-glazing or cold windows when your home is heated.

If in doubt, a local window fitter will usually advise.

What is the Cheapest Way to Replace Windows?

For most properties, UPVC is the cheapest option since it's very energy-efficient, easy to maintain, and you can get a better deal if you replace multiple windows at once rather than one at a time.

Aluminium windows can also be very affordable, but the issue is that without proper upkeep, they can begin to tarnish and rust.

Casement windows are typically the lowest-cost style, hung on one side so you can open them outwards to increase ventilation.

Will New Windows Add Value to My Property?

Usually, yes, a set of slick new windows will make your property more aesthetically appealing and will commonly add to the value if you're considering selling or remortgaging.

Although a lot depends on the type of home you have, your location, and the style of the property, the average homeowner boosts their property value by around 10% by fitting new double-glazed windows.

Buyers tend to prefer homes with new windows because they won't need replacing any time soon.

The property normally achieves a much higher energy-efficiency rating certificate that must be displayed when you put a home up for sale.

When is the Best Time to Install New Windows?

Any time that you notice your windows causing energy loss, dampness or security issues, it's worth looking at fitting new windows as soon as possible.

However, if you're choosing the right time, fitters are usually busiest in the spring, when the weather starts to warm up.

It's not advisable to wait until the coldest winter months since the work itself will cause a little disruption and may expose your home to the elements while the new frames are installed.

Single panelled glass can make a room incredibly hot, as well as cold, so the height of summer isn't ideal as the uninsulated glass can become very warm very quickly.