In days gone by, the builder often chose the different components for your home, but that was then. Now, thanks to our greater understanding of the choices available many of us research all aspects of our proposed build or renovating project, from the latest building products to bathtubs and low flow shower heads. We google, we read blogs, we compare. And what about windows?
Windows and doors are a major investment, so you want to get it right the first time. But this is not so easy. Windows and doors have many different components, just as a couch is made up of a frame, foam, fabric, springs, and stitching. So the choice is not only between single and double (or triple) glazing, but also the hardware, security, glass, frame material and type, and craftsmanship need to be considered. And also what you want to get out of your window and door products.
Windows and doors are no longer just about access and ventilation. They contribute to the airtightness of your build and can reduce the running costs of the home. Low quality windows will let down a well-built home, while energy efficient windows will work with a quality build to reduce the heating and cooling costs of the home. But comparing apples to apples, or windows to windows, is not straightforward. Even within the same window manufacturing company there can be a variety of windows and doors on offer with different attributes and differing prices making it not so easy to do a straight comparison.
A good place to start in your search for a quality windows and doors manufacturer is to confirm membership with the Australian Windows Association (AWA). Members are required to abide by the organisation’s rules and regulations and submit to regular audits to check for compliance to Australian Standards. An AWA member company will issue a Certificate of Compliance underpinned by a 7-year warranty.
Your reputable window maker will also be able to provide you with Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) ratings for their products. The ratings are based on the whole window, not just individual components like the glass. This is important information as it will show performance measures for the product. Each component contributes to the overall performance or energy efficiency of your window or door, which translates to financial savings. When the cold of winter is kept outside, heating costs decrease. The opposite is true in summer.
A good window manufacturer will assess your requirements individually and advise what is best to use for each situation, always complying with all relevant Australian Standards. It is worthwhile to take the time to choose the company and products that are right for you, delivering high performance, durability and long life expectancy. A building envelope should last for more than 50 years, and so should your windows and doors.
Enjoy the comfort of a well-insulated home with energy efficient windows and doors, which only a reputable window maker can provide.