HOME RENOVATIONS – choosing the right windows

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I’ve been bleating on for ages now about our planned home renovations, impatiently waiting in our not-quite-completed home that has clutter everywhere *tears hair out*.

But this week we took a big step forward, and I’m SO excited! We’ve found an architect who can help us come up with a practical plan for our awkward layout (we’re a semi-detached, and there’s not much space between us and the neighbours on the other side).

The house is a typical late 1960’s build; it’s functional, but not particularly sexy, and that’s one of the biggest changes we want to make – bringing our home into the 21st century.

There’s a lot we need to achieve on a relatively modest budget; a bigger kitchen, at least one extra bedroom (hopefully two), an area that can double as an office for me and more play space for the girls. And storage. Lots and LOTS of storage!

We’re lucky that OH is in the building industry so we have his expertise to fall back on, but it’s still quite daunting when you think of the sheer volume of decisions we’re going to have to make – everything from prioritising our wish list (what can we live without if the budget doesn’t stretch far enough), to what kind of doors and window we want.

There’s so much choice these days – different frame colours, materials, opening systems and designs – that making the right choice can be overwhelming. When we first moved into this house and did our initial remodelling I had a newborn baby and a toddler, so wasn’t present for a lot of these kind of decisions. End result? I’ve never been entirely happy with a lot of the finishing touches.

This time round I want EVERYTHING okayed by me first.

I’m pretty good at visualising things, but sometimes it’s hard to imagine the end result. That’s where showrooms are a Godsend; gone are the days or door-to-door salesmen waving around laminated brochures, nowadays most companies have showrooms where you can see their full-sized doors and double-glazed windows installed on mock facades, so you can see exactly what the finished result will look.

Not only are you able to visualise how they will fit in with your own home, but you can take hardware along (handles, knockers, etc) to make sure they match too.

There are many window companies out there, and visiting their showroom is also a great way of checking their professionalism and standard of their work. If you live in the South-East one option is Albion Window’s Croydon showroom, or their window showroom in Bromley, Kent. Otherwise, a quick internet search will turn up your nearest company.

Don’t be afraid to take your time and ask questions; new windows are a big investment and an integral part of the aesthetic of your home. I know this time round I’ll be spending time as well as money to make sure ours look perfect.

• image ‘hand close open window‘ courtesy of Shutterstock

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