When choosing new UPVC windows, there are a number of design features that are seldom discussed, but are worth considering ensuring the finished installation matches your expectations.
One significant issue is sight lines. When manufacturing replacement windows, it is quite normal for there to be smaller areas of glass wherever there are openings or sashes fitted. Where the frames are fixed, the glass area will be larger. This is known as unequal sight lines and is quite normal and is generally acceptable to people.
On older properties, however, it was common to have an equal light line. In effect, you would not be able to tell from the outside, which windows opened and which did not. Fitting 'dummy sashes' or 'dummy openers' into the frames created this 'equal' sight line.
Although not everyone appreciates the bulkier appearance that comes with equal sight lines, there are some properties for which this approach is preferable. It is also a very good alternative with Georgian and Leaded Light window designs as it allows you to have rectangles or squares that are more equal in size.
Another possible alternative is to consider having horizontal equal sight lines in which opening windows are always above fixed windows or fixed windows are above opening windows.
Another feature that is never discussed is whether to use black or white gaskets on your uPVC windows. Black gaskets are the standard choice of most double glazing companies. In the past, white gaskets were not chosen, as it was not possible to match the white of the uPVC frames. Nor was it possible to offer a 'colour fast' guarantee. Today, technology has moved on and more companies now offer both alternatives with confidence. White gaskets are a good option, when used on white uPVC 'panelled' doors. An alternative to white gaskets are 'low profile' black gaskets which are very slim and inconspicuous.
Finally, think about your neighbours when replacing windows. It is sometimes worth considering the effect of your new windows on the overall appearance of the street or area where you live.
For instance, if you and your next-door neighbour both agree on a style for your windows the overall effect can be considerably enhanced if you both agree to use similar designs. It doesn't matter if you don’t use the same company or even have the work done at the same time. It’s the look that matters.