Victoria Brocklesby, COO at Origin (origin-global.com) offers advice on updating your home’s windows
Q WHAT’RE THE RULES REGARDING A FIRE ESCAPE WINDOW?
A The UK building regulations were recently updated and included fire provisions. They now state that to ensure fire safety, all habitable rooms must allow emergency escape, and those on upper floors must be fitted with escape windows, unless they directly connect to a protected fire route. Jargon aside, this means that new windows fitted to a home should have an unobstructed openable area of 0.33m2 and be at least 450mm high and wide. Most modern windows will comply with this, but your builder or installer will be able to advise in more detail.
Q IS IT WORTH GETTING TRIPLE GLAZING RATHER THAN DOUBLE?
A Triple glazing offers superior thermal efficiency and noise cancelling properties, but it isn’t always necessary and is often much more expensive than double glazing. The extra thermal efficiency can reduce household bills. However, premium doubleglazed windows with quality thermal breaks can be just as adequate for residential properties. If you live near a busy road, then triple glazing can help dampen the noise, but homeowners could opt for double glazing on the windows that do not face it.
Q HOW CAN I STOP MY WINDOWS FROM GETTING COVERED IN CONDENSATION?
A Condensation is caused by the cold glass of windows colliding with the warm air from inside. Continuous, sitting condensation can damage windows and can cause mould. To prevent this, consider ventilation. Briefly opening trickle vents or opening the window a crack can help dispel a build-up of condensation. Rubber window seals that have become damaged increase the likelihood of condensation, but these can be replaced by a professional installer.