The most common mistakes when choosing windows
When choosing windows for your home, it’s best not to test that old expression, ‘third time lucky’. It’s better to make the right choice the first time. Anna Franczyk from OknoPlus talks about the pitfalls that await ‘beginner’ customers who try to go it alone, without the help of an experienced advisor.
Despite appearances, buying windows is not that easy. If it were only a question of choosing the right shape, size, and colour, it would be simple enough, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. In our experience, there are many options and parameters that customers often forget about – or aren’t even aware of. They imagine the window as a whole, without thinking of all the individual components that can be adjusted to suit their needs or specific conditions.
Anna Franczyk, Customer Advisor at OknoPlus
Never buy windows as a ‘set’
Surprisingly, many people who are ordering windows for the first time are convinced that they are sold in ‘sets’, or that the same window can go into every opening in the house. That would be a mistake. Of course, you can order products from the same line for the whole house, but you don’t have to, and you usually shouldn’t.
As an example, we often choose simple windows for small utility rooms, while living rooms and terraces require larger, more complex constructions. In the first case, economical PVC windows with the appropriate burglary protection and matching colours usually sufficient, while sliding terrace doors and larger window surfaces often require a strong aluminium structure, low emission glass, excellent thermal insulation parameters, and innovative hardware that ensures easy opening and closing. Remember that every window has different requirements, and it isn’t about ‘completing the set.’
Match the window to the space and the environment
Even customers who understand that they should choose the right windows for each individual room (kitchens, bathrooms, and kids’ bedrooms all have very different requirements, for example) sometimes forget to consider the outside environment. That would be a mistake. The window separates what’s the interior and the exterior, and it needs to be in tune with both. A few examples…
When choosing a kitchen window, it’s important to consider ventilation, as air circulation is particularly important for kitchens – something many people forget. That would be a mistake. In this respect, OknoPlus recommends products equipped with the Comfort hardware and an optional ventilation slot. When choosing a bathroom window, in addition to ventilation, it’s also worth considering privacy. When they have to consider so many factors, customers often settle for imperfect solutions. That would be a mistake, as we now have windows with electrically adjustable translucency, so you can choose exactly as much privacy as you need. When buying windows for kids’ bedrooms, customers often forget to consider basic safety features. You wouldn’t want to make that mistake. Here, you should choose unbreakable windows that a toddler can’t open unintentionally and that won’t accidentally slam shut. OknoPlus recommends windows with SAFEkids toughened glass, Comfort hardware, and a keyed handle.
The other group of ‘mistakes’ happen when customers forget to consider the exterior environment when choosing windows. If you live in a remote area where all you can hear is the trees rustling and the birds singing, you don’t have to worry about soundproofing. In any other case, don’t forget it. If you can create blissful silence in your noisy neighbourhood, why not do it? OknoPlus recommends windows with SILENCEcity or SILENECEair glass, which can cope with anything from a busy street to a nearby airport.
Remember that it’s not just PVC windows the keep you warm
Customers often think that plastic windows are warmer than metal windows – that they offer better insulation. That’s not true. If you want warm, energy-efficient windows, you don’t have to limit your choice to plastic frames. That would be a mistake. The insulation specifications of aluminium windows match – and sometimes even beat – those of PVC windows.
For example, OknoPlus offers both SwissForm Activ plastic windows (a 6-chamber profile with triple-glazing) with at heat transfer coefficient of U = 0.7 W/m2K and Reveal aluminium windows with a coefficient of U = 0.68 W/m2K. Both products are energy efficient.
Trust us – big windows mean big savings
Although large format windows appeal to almost everyone, many customers worry that they will let the cold in the winter and overheat the room in the summer. Again, that’s a mistake. You can your home just as warm or cool as you like it by choosing the right glazing package, which means you can achieve the fashionable aesthetics of large-format windows without sacrificing comfort.
In this case, OknoPlus recommends either multifunction heated glass or selective glazing such as Cool-Lite and SunCool, which reduce overheating on warm days and energy loss on cold days. There’s no need to compromise design, since large-format windows can do so much these days. Large windows (especially if they have Eclaz glass, the best on the market today) means more light in the house and lower electricity bills. They also help you make the most of the sun’s rays and save on your heating bills – especially if they have a southern or south-western exposure.
Don’t learn from your mistakes – it’s not worth making them
It’s better to seek professional advice right away. Not everyone can know everything about windows and stay on top of industry news and innovations. The pitfalls that await customers choosing windows for their home are easily avoidable. “All you have to do is have an honest conversation with your advisor,” says Anna Franczyk. And he’s not just a window salesman. He’s someone who thinks of everything the customer might have forgotten, someone who knows how to ‘put together’ a window to best meet the occupants’ needs, the room itself, and the environmental requirements.