cazlit

What windows should we choose?

Caroline L
6 years ago
I'm new to this site and on-line forums generally, so bear with me whilst I get used to the etiquette. We have a lovely individual red brick 1950's house in the UK. It has double glazed timber surround aluminium windows plus some single glazing stained glass crittal windows by the front door and chimney. We are having a two-storey side extension and have been advised by our architect to try and match the existing windows, but we don't really like them. We are really stuck making a decision and the builder starts on Monday!!!!
We like the idea of black or or dark grey windows, like Boston red brick buildings but you see so few red brick buildings with dark windows in the uk, apart from offices, it's scary to pick this. Also we can't afford to replace all the windows in the new style if we choose direct fix aliuminium but maybe could if we went laminated uPVC. Our architect is dead set against us choosing uPVC but the builder is raving about it. If we save money on the windows we can afford other upgrades internally, like under floor heating. Will uPVC windows really 'totally ruin the house' as our architect suggests?
What do you think we should do:
Match the windows?
Opt for black/anthracite/ grey powder coated aluminium windows in the extension and replace the others when we can afford it?
Opt for a cheaper uPVC but bight the bullet and get the whole front of the house done to match?
Does anyone know of an App where I can upload a picture of my house and change the colour of the windows? That would be awesome, I've searched and searched but can't find one, someone should develop one. I guess it could be photo-shopped if I knew how.
Any help with this huge decision very much appreciated.
Thank you

Comments (56)

  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    I think go for dark charcoal windows - look at the products available and that suit your level of 'maintenance' that you want to put in, and the price you want to pay and go for the whole house the same . It will uplift and unify the whole house and will be quite stunning in my opinion !

    http://houzz.com/photos/13984742

    If you have iPad there's an app which may help - will add a screen shot of it - you can build up layers on a picture so might be able to get an impression of what the new windows could look like ! Hope that helps !!
    Beautiful house by the way !!!

    Do drop me a line if you a looking for independent help with designing new rooms /kitchens etc ! ( sorry - blatant plug !!!)
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    You can get really good deals with company's like b&q if you open a trade account ( as a 'developer' ) one if my clients did this and was offered £45k on a fixed 0% deal for five years !!! Enabled them to put their cash where it was needed and pay off the other stuff over time ...
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  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Hi OnePlan. Here's my hilarious attempt to use the Morpholia App with my finger to draw fine detail. Mind you even this clumsy it gives a good impression and shows that black (or charcoal- didn't purchase the upgrade for that) could look striking. uPVC hits the cost and maintenance brief but I'm concerned it isn't the right product for this property. Do you think we could get away with it. A 45k 5 year interest free loan would definitely help :)
  • rumblerun
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Hi I am really interested in your project we have a not too dissimilar looking house and are having plans drawn up for an extension so will follow what works for you and grab ideas if thats okay. I'm posting as my house has black crital windows at the back (white upvc at the front) but attached pics may give you some idea what your house would look like with black frames, I've included a pic of one of our stained glass as well to give you an idea of that as you said you have stained glass. Good Luck
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    Tee hee !! Nice try ! I have had a go too - with and without the front door painted too ! ...
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks, that looks better and a neat little bench too, these little details do help. I'm quite encouraged about going for a dark window now but am still struggling with the cost of aluminium or painted hardwood, which we really cannot afford. Should we do the house piecemeal in which case the windows won't match for years, which will look ghastly, should we go slimline uPVC and get over ourselves, loads of fancy houses near us seem to get away with it ok, or should we remortgage and do 'staycations' for the next 10 years?! Big decisions to be made, going to trawl the local showrooms today and tomorrow. Thanks for your help.
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Ooh, also, what about the soffits and fascias, should they match the windows, or at least be black like the guttering? That can stay black with dark gray windows can't it?
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Hi rumblerun. Thanks for posting pictures of your red brick home. It would be interesting to see the front of your house with the white windows. Do you have a preference and how do you think the uPVC at the front compare with the crittal at the back in terms of style. And also touchability, there is something more pleasing, from a tactile point of view i think, about opening a wood or aluminium window compared to a uPVC one, or am I over analysing it and coming across a bit weird?!
  • benburnett
    6 years ago
    I can understand the architects disdain for uPVC as they are hardly the most aspirational windows. Whilst they are zero maintenance and hugely energy they are still huge chunks of poly vinyl whatever. My suggestion would be to look at some styles of Crittal windows. They are double glazed, thin and gorgeous.
  • rumblerun
    6 years ago
    Hi,
    In reply the crital windows win hands down, feel nicer and in my opinion look nicer, when we can afford it we will switch the front (which were here when we moved in) back to crital / aluminium . I hope the photos help.
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Crittal windows for the whole house heh, benburnett? I'd better buy a lottery ticket tonight! Seriously, I have just been on their website and am drooling. I want one of those amazing horizontal bar door panel arrangements rather than bi-folds now. Gorgeous.

    So seriously, if I opt for what most people consider the best material for the house, Crittal or aluminium, which I understand, I'd love to have them too, ( did I really expect to get a big thumbs up for uPVC on a design website?) I cannot afford to do it all, so from a design perspective the house will look unfinished for years from the road/ garden but will be ok inside, as all rooms will be either done or not done. Is that really the best plan? And we haven't even started on the Ikea vs Schmidt kitchen argument yet. Always secretly knew we could afford the house but not the renovations when we fell for it.
  • PRO
    Jaimie K Designs Ltd
    6 years ago
    Hi Caroline, I would suggest get the whole of the front done and matching in one go. Window frames really don't change that much so you could go for a less expensive option on the back but looks similar even if its the same colour. If the windows are not desperate then wait a few years save and do the back. Its always lovely to get everything done immediately but not always achievable.
    I do think a dark grey might be really nice rather than black that is quite harsh and with a dark grey door farrow and ball mole, with chrome ring knocker etc.it will be nice mix of traditional and contemporary. plus the grey doesn't look so dusty. And I don't think they are too expensive. I really dont have a hang up about pvc if they are good windows and suit. kr jaimie k
  • PRO
    Jaimie K Designs Ltd
    6 years ago
    missed one plans note there and seeing that agree the grey will be lovely,
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Doing the front fancy and the back cheaper or later, though a sensible suggestion, is not really an option as most of the back is the new kitchen extension, so needs windows now and that's the WOW room, the only one that's getting the full treatment this time. I have been doing loads of research this weekend, nothing like the builders actually starting to focus the mind. I am in love with Crittal and it is the most expensive, but good news I have found a supplier of aluminium Crittal style for 20% less than current quote from builders so if we go with them can afford to do front too. Just have to decide on colour now. I think black might look better than grey with red brick, though I appreciate it can look grubby if not cleaned regularly. Gloss or matte anyone?
  • puffinrock
    6 years ago
    We have just replaced all our windows on a 20's house during a full renovation. Some of which are 2m wide and one large 3x2m wide stairwell with aluminium doubleglazed replacements, go to local smaller manufacturer/installers who will be more competitive. £45k is the normal amount everyone quoted but we changed 15 windows and turned two into patio doors for £15k... also think about a Ral colour other than black or grey, navy blue is a great idea!. Good luck!
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    OMG puffin rock. I've been to a few local suppliers and for 7 windows 4 glazed single external doors and a 4.m 5 panel bifold the cost is coming in at about 30k ncluding VAT and fitting, does your 15k price include these? Also 3 of the windows are only 900x 1200 largest 2200x1200. Where are you? Which company did you use? I need to get a quote from them.
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    PS are yours navy blue? Would love to see that. I think colour can work well on render but on red brick I'm not so sure. Thanks for the food for thought. .
  • puffinrock
    6 years ago
    Were in Suffolk not sure where you are?. We did get VAT and fitting included in that price and by the way my husband insisted on white (can sadly look like upvc) but when I saw all the sample colours I have to say the navy would have worked well. The problem with black or dark grey is that that is what is most popular now but will it be in future? Look for a few local firms to you, visit their showroom and bear in mind that any colour other than white costs more. Check the handles also, are they the same colour as the frame, we insisted on changing the handles and most companies can easily source what you want.
  • rumblerun
    6 years ago
    Sorry to jump on the bandwagon but has anyone had a reasonable quote in the Hampshire area? The price difference are HUGE!
  • Jenny West
    6 years ago
    Jumping on the end of this fascinating conversation! I've had to google both "Boston red brick" and "crittal window".

    I think One Plan's charcoal grey was spot on. I would go matte.

    Your house is gorgeous - we have next to zero brick houses over here, and I miss them. However, you say it's "red brick" but actually the colour appears more browny. I think that's why the charcoal works but black wouldn't look as good.

    UPVc - slimline charcoal, good compromise. If you think you can't bear it, then go crittal!!
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Well everyone, I've made on decision. Not Crittal. Just been quoted £3200 excluding fitting (and possibly VAT-I didn't bother to ask as it was no longer relevant) to replace ONE single glazed single door in white. We need to replace 5, so £16000 plus installation and still no windows. So I phoned a renovation company: £1700 per door, single glazed, though they can put double glazing in apparently but that will be extra. So I am off to hunt down reasonable aluminium looky likeys.

    For all of you that hate uPVC I am going to admit I did see some really rather nice uPVC at the weekend, a new product that looked and felt like wood, I was rather taken with it, until they priced it up, same price as aluminium. So they've improved their product, no doubt about it in my mind, some uPVC is now looking pretty good, but the price has gone up to match.

    As always, you tend to get what you pay for in the end.

    I've just added a couple more photos of the brick. It varies, reddish brown, more brown where it has a greenish mildew type coating :(

    I hear what you're saying about trends and black windows being the latest one but there is a lovely Edwardian Villa nearby that has had black windows forever and it looks gorgeous. Will take a photo of it later. There is a new build red brick with a grey garage door and front door which doesn't look great, but the grey is fairly light. Dark dark grey very nice, I agree.

    Off now to The Heritage Window Company in Dorking, Surrey, which is fairly nearby, and looks like it has some nice products.
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    PS thank you for all the comments so far and raving about how nice the house is. You know how sometimes you get fed up with a place when you're renovatinfg and you lose sight of why you're doing it and can't see the beauty anymore. I'm reminded that I need to take care of it and make careful choices to maximise its potential to be really handsome.
  • ukoap
    6 years ago
    Yes, it is lovely, we used to live in a house very like it for 25 years and never thought we would move - until our new neighbours extended their house next door so much it took the sun from our back garden, then we felt we had to move. We had crittal windows, which had square leaded lights in the front and side of the house and plain glass in the back, they were excellent windows and French windows in a lovely house, but we still felt we wanted to move. So, just do what you can with what you can afford, you may find you want to move anyway in the future, things change, jobs, school choice, etc. and any new owners may have more money and want to put their own stamp on the house, you need to have a life as well as a warm, comfortable and happy home! We now live in a house with wooden double glazing, it needs painting every few years, but it does seem to suit the house and I understand as long as it is looked after will outlast any upvc, however, if I couldn't afford to replace like with like, I would put up with upvc, even if that would probably change colour over the years, nothing is perfect in life!
  • PRO
    Finn Gheury Architecture
    6 years ago
    There are a number of suppliers for steel framed (Crittall style) windows that are cheaper than Crittall.

    Personally I'd do it piecemeal and go for a quality product.

    The grey looks good too.
  • rumblerun
    6 years ago
    I agree your house looks fantastic really full of character. There is the ideal and the realistic and unless you are super wealthy something has got to give. I've no doubt your house will be great with Upvc or crittal. (Ouch for those crittal prices I knew it was expensive but was way out, we may have to review our own plans)
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    I was gobsmacked too but don't panic rumblerun, they did say windows were relatively a lot cheaper than doors, but it could be a problem if your front windows aren't standard Crittal sizes.
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Hi Gary

    Thank you so much for your post. That option came to me yesterday but not very seriously, now I'm really thinking about it. We've already painted the wooden frame internally in a couple of rooms to good effect. I'm going to go and buy some materials this week and have a go at painting some of the existing windows that are being taken out for the extension, then if I bodge it it won't matter. And I can try out black, grey and cream. Am thinking of just painting the wood and leaving the aluminium in the first instance as this will be a lot easier, though this might only work for the grey and maybe black, not if I went for cream.. I'm not very meticulous when it comes to this sort of thing, but when I think of the amount of money I'll be saving even I might be able to acquire the patience to do this.

    Will post pictures. Here's hoping for another lovely weekend.
  • Matthew Jobling
    6 years ago
    I can provide you with contact details of a company which manufacture and install aluminium glazing products if you like?
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks Matthew but unless you're near junction 9 M25 I'll say no. I want to use a localish company so I can really see and feel the product at close quarters and compare different ones between suppliers. I've had three companies out this week and one next, then it's decision time.
  • Gary
    6 years ago
    No problem... Zinsser Bullseye 123 is a good primer, the key to a good finish is prep, prep, prep... Complete pain in the behind but it might just mean you can live with the windows for a year or two whilst saving for a replacement... Thats our eventual plan. As for colour, i would say antracite or dark grey is going to be most forgiving if painting... And i think is more than a passing fad! Good luck.
  • Gary
    6 years ago
    PS photo of rear... Doors are oak, small window is aluminium (it had an old crittal that was (believe it or not) hidden behind kitchen cupboards on the inside so we replaced it when doing the front (see attached taken whilst ripping out the old kitchen...owners were bodgers!!!). PPS Forgive the state of the garden... Thats on the list after extending into side return... TBH the real plan is to open up the back and extend out... The painted windows just need to last another year or so :)
  • grewy
    6 years ago
    You could try steel windows
    www.west-leigh.co.uk
  • patriciaramsden
    6 years ago

    Looking for slim profile windows to replace all mine in a 1930s house, they would have been Crittall originally; we have two left. The house has white render and the windows on the front facing view are slim and narrow so wouldn't want to lose any light. Also, the price must be competitive, we are in the North West so would prefer to have a company who could supply locally if possible. Thanks Patricia

  • HU-790263
    5 years ago

    Hello! So how did your windows end up? I’m having a similar problem right
    now and don’t know what to do! I heard that sash windows would also give a
    house that classic British look, and I’m thinking about Klassen company – did any
    one of you deal with them? Please let me know! I appreciate all the help!

  • alyper
    5 years ago

    Wow, Chad. What wonderful windows .... and that staircase! A bit beyond the average renovation spectrum maybe!, but lovely to see. Houses - how about an article on Klassen?!

  • Mea Rice
    5 years ago

    Great article, I’ve recently just added a conservatory to my home and added aluminium windows as it was a lot less up keep on the house and also allowed me to choose from an array of colours to suit my home furnishings. Have to give thanks to Reynaers aluminium for doing a great job http://www.framemaster.co.uk/reynaers-aluminium-windows-doors

  • yk06043
    5 years ago
    Caroline L this you won't want to hear so feel free to ignore the advice. Windows/fenestration are the eyes on the face of your house. Your architect is correct - you can't mess with the original design. My opinion is that the widely available choice and ease with which replacement windows can be bought and fitted has spoiled individual houses and has near destroyed the unifying look of roads and streets of houses in the British Isles. Planners have been remiss in not "encouraging" greater conformity with good fenestration design and replacement guidelines. I have uPVC windows in my house for nearly 35 years - they're fine but they're no beauties. You have a fine and beautifully designed house I would encourage you to stick with the original architectural widow treatment - don't mess with the eyes. Wait and budget and put in place a long term plan that marries your extension windows and main house replacements in line with finances and the original look of your house - even if you sell up your replacement plan partially executed can be transferred to new owners - a concept that respects the design integrity of the original house is a selling point.
  • badgersarebold
    5 years ago

    so Caroline, what have you decided? Did you go ahead with replacing some/all your windows, and if so, can you post some pix? We're all dying to see the results!! We've just moved into a late 1950's house, with original Crittal windows which are as cold as ice, and currently looking to upgrade them with same style aluminium. We absolutely don't want uPVC, but do want to be warmer and with a little less noise. We're close to a main road, but because the house is up high, it has beatiful views across the surrounding countryside.

  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Folks. The windows are in and I love them. I chose black slim profile aluminium chamfered profile. I've been delaying posting a picture because, as you can see the front drive isn't done yet so the house isn't set off very well in its surroundings.
    To be clear, the windows we replaced were already Everest replacement windows from the late 70's early 80's I'd guess. The only original glazing we had being external Crittal doors that were ffffreezing, so they have gone and the Crittal stained glass windows by the front door and chimney breast, which we've kept, though they need painting black to match the new windows. We haven't replaced all the other non-original windows, but will aim to do so over the years, when the cash flow improves. I managed to persuade my husband to at least agree to all the first floor front elevation windows being replaced, so now they are all the same when you view the house from the street. The windows of a brick built sun room, front right, that you can partly see, are probably going to be removed, to make that area part of the garden rather than the house.
    One thing I would say is that we are having a bit of trouble with condensation on the outside of the new windows, which was unexpected and made me quite miserable at first. It turns out we're a bit unlucky, it's a known, but not extremely common, issue with such good thermal insulation in modern double glazing and it depends on the aspect of your house and the dew point. Our front elevation is west and exposed, so cold in the morning resulting in condensation and our view being foggy until the air temperature rises. I've attached a poor photo to show a mild version of what I mean, it can be a lot denser and we have far reaching views from the upstairs windows, so disappointing.
    But I've got over it. The main plus point is that the rooms with new replacement windows are so much warmer than the ones which still have the old ill fitting wood and aluminium windows. I'm also really pleased that we chose the windows to be black on the inside too. A neighbour up the road has black on the outside, white on the inside and I think it looks really odd when the windows are open. Finally, all the houses on our road are completely different, so there is no uniting feature that ties them together, our windows couldn't clash with the windows in the other houses as they are all individuals, though I suppose you could say they are all clashing, but as we are fortunate enough to be in a big plot with the houses set well apart I don't get that sense.
    Thanks for looking and all the advice. It was really helpful.

  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    PS We are also near a busy road and noise is significantly reduced with new windows. Can't wait to replace them all but I have to be patient.
  • yk06043
    5 years ago

    Caroline L congratulations on embarking on the first part of the window replacement plan. The pictures you posted show a very pleasing window treatment of your very beautiful house. Keep pursuing this plan and enjoying what must be a lovely home. Controlling humidity with a standard dehumidifier when the weather doesn't oblige may help you deal with the worst of the window condensation problem - window condensation problems are seasonal with us but there are times when you want those uninterrupted vistas and we (sparingly) use our dehumidifiers to help with this.

  • Tracy Sidaway
    5 years ago

    They look lovely. We have upvc and sometimes get the same condensation but only at very times of the year and depending on the weather. You are very lucky to have such a lovely home.

  • Victoria
    5 years ago
    Yk, the condensation is on the outside of the windows...
    No dehumidifier will work for that :-)

    We have the same problem on cold days with our triple glazing.
  • Keely
    5 years ago
    Hi Caroline, we also live near j 9 and are looking for Aluminium windows, where did you end up getting yours from please? Also which were the slimline pvc, like you, we are weighing up budgets! Thank you
  • Caroline L
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Hi Keely

    We got our windows from Ewell Windows in the end because their quote came in the cheapest. However on reflection I might have gone with Dorking Window Company who's quote was only slightly higher and they are a smaller family business and specialise in SAPA Windows, which are the type we chose so have experience with them. Ewell Windows will recommend a different product, but we asked them specifically for SAPA. We have had a couple of problems with the fitting of them and I'm not sure if this is why, as its not a product they usually deal with, but they have come back to resolve the problems when asked. Hope this helps. I don't understand your pvc question so can't address that now. Good luck.
  • irenefoster
    5 years ago
    We have recently bought this 1960's red brick house which needs updating and modernising. What we are struggling to decide on is how to improve the kerb appeal. The problem is that it was built along the length of the plot, so that one gable end of the house fronts the road. At some point along the history of the house and building of the surrounding area it seems that the access has changed so that what you see as you approach the house is the side/back of the house. We're trying to decide how to improve what is now essentially the front. Hope all of this makes sense
  • irenefoster
    5 years ago
    Sorry everyone - incorrectly posted. Meant to add this as a new discussion. Please ignore. I'll start again
  • PRO
    Designer Range
    5 years ago

    Hello Caroline

    The good news is that you have a wealth of choices available. The bad news is that you will have to spend some time filtering out what you like/don't like. You may be surprised as plenty of our clients are, as to how far a good quality UPVC frame design has now come on. Please take a look at our page for some inspiration. Our R9 collection is a premium UPVC low maintenance offer the replicates a traditional timber window. We also have Composite systems triple glazed systems and slim line Aluminium options to consider.

    We wish you the best of luck with your decision and please contact us if you need any personal guidance.

    Regards

    Dave and the Designer Range Team.

United Kingdom
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