Whichever way you look at it, fitting new or replacement windows will always be an investment so it is well worth taking the time to consider whether off-the-shelf or made to measure wooden windows will deliver the best value for your property renovation project.
Off-the-Shelf Timber Windows?
It may be hard to imagine walking out of a store with windows under your arm but off-the-shelf windows do exist and are widely available. They can be made from uPVC, timber or metal and are usually stocked in a variety of sizes, openings and styles. Off-the-shelf windows have the convenience and lower cost as key advantages. If you can find windows to fit your property then you can purchase and fit them immediately which is ideal where you may want to replace an aged fitting.
Made to measure wooden windows will involve the process of measuring your windows and having them built to a design of your choice. This, of course, takes the time to measure, order the windows and have them fitted. But do made-to-measure deliver superior quality and value to their off-the-shelf counterparts?
Having made-to-measure windows designed and built delivers the following benefits:
- Off-the-shelf windows are quick and convenient but your choice is limited especially if you want a specific finish to your frame and its opening. A made to measure timber window offers great flexibility, enabling you to customise details such as the finish of your wood, glazing, aperture and closures. Made to measure timber windows offer a range of options and adaptations that will mean that you can create the new or replacement windows that truly work best with your property.
- Made to measure timber windows usually offer a high standard of fabrication and glazing. These timber windows are made to measure by skilled craftsmen who have the carpentry and glazing expertise to precisely build to measure, as opposed to factory builds of a generic product. The made to measure timber windows can also be designed and finished to meet the needs of the property, for example, a property in a coastal environment.
- If you own a period, historic or listed building, you will know that older methods of house building often do not have regular window dimensions. For some old houses and cottages, the windows may not even be straightly aligned or may have shifted as the building has aged. In this case, your windows must be made to measure. Fitting an off-the-shelf model may damage the building or be poorly installed. Made to measure windows can also take into account the fabrication methods for the window and any other aesthetic details such as the type and style of glazing so it is in keeping with the rest of the building.
- A made to measure window will involve less caulking and fillers to keep the window in place. Using an off-the-shelf window can lead to the window being poorly installed and potentially leaving gaps, loose masonry, excessive caulking and a fit that is not flush. Inadequate installation of any kind will not clear building regulations so made to measure windows, executed by the right professionals are the better investment.
- If your property is in a conservation area, you will be aware of the stringent controls surrounding the type of windows you can install in your home. Procuring made to measure windows probably provides the best opportunity to upgrade your windows in a compliant manner. Working with a made to measure timber window company means a window design can be produced which is more sympathetic to the building and its surroundings.
- It is a myth that windows are of standard sizes. No two windows are the same. At best an off-the-shelf window is an approximation. To be assured of accuracy and precision get a made to measure timber window for a unique fit.
- If you are undertaking a highly custom project, an off-the-shelf window is unlikely to meet your requirements. Experienced timber window manufacturers are able to work with architects, construction contractors, and interior designers to build specification windows that will be in keeping with your project.
Despite the competitive pricing and convenience of off-the-shelf windows, made to measure windows clearly demonstrate better quality, improved installation and overall tailored solution to the needs of your property. This makes them an excellent investment with the aesthetics and durability of your property needs.