From whether it slides or swings open to its pane arrangement, frame material, colour and glazing pattern – each small detail helps define a window’s style. 

This guide will help you choose new windows that perfectly suit your home and your sustainability wishes while keeping the energy bills down for decades to come.

Jump to a section
What are your new window ‘must-haves’?
Choosing the ideal window frame material
Picking the perfect style
Colours and finishes
Your glazing options
Fittings and hardware options
Safety and security
Choosing your new windows in five steps

What are your new window ‘must-haves’?

Before jumping heart-first into galleries of gorgeous new windows, it’s a good idea to consider your new windows’ must-have features. 

Keeping these factors in mind during the shopping process helps you compare your options and make sure you aren’t overlooking important quality and performance standards. 

Ideally, new windows worth your investment should offer these benefits:

 

Choosing the ideal window frame material

The window’s material can make a big difference to its appearance, performance, lifespan and cost. Below is a comparison of the three most popular window frame materials to help you choose.

It’s worth remembering that there are higher and lower-quality products on the market within each material category, depending on who you buy from and how much you pay.

These scores intend to give you an idea of how good-quality examples of uPVC, aluminium and timber window frames compare to each other, assuming equal glazing quality. 

uPVC-window-frame-close-up

Energy-efficiency

★★★★☆

Better inherent energy efficiency than aluminium, but not as high as timber. 

Looks

★★☆☆☆

Mostly available in white, but other colours are available. Don’t use natural materials. Many styles and designs available but can look out of place in older, period and traditional homes. Generally less appealing to modern house buyers than timber windows and don’t add as much value to the home.

Maintenance

★★★★☆

Very durable and weatherproof while still being lightweight. Can sometimes discolour if not cleaned regularly. Difficult to repair compared to timber equivalents. 

Sustainability

★☆☆☆☆

Although there are on-going efforts to improve the impact of uPVC windows, a study that analysed service life, ownership cost and polluting effects concluded that ‘all timber-based window frame materials are preferable to uPVC alternatives in every environmental impact scenario considered’.

Lifespan

★★★☆☆

Typically 20-35 years, depending on build quality, installation and maintenance. 

Cost

★★★★★

The lowest cost window material, ideal for tight budgets and non listed properties that allow plastic frames. 

aluminum-window-frames-exterior-shot

Aluminium Windows

Energy-efficiency

★★★☆☆

Relatively poor heat insulation due to metal’s high thermal conductivity. Must have extra thermal barrier technology to rival uPVC’s energy-efficiency, let alone timber’s. 

Looks

★★★★☆

Slim frames let in lots of light. Available in a wide range of colours, including non-metallic options. Many possible styles and bespoke designs thanks to the material’s inherent strength. Often not suited to period or traditional properties.

Maintenance

★★★★☆

Robust, usually resists rust and should not corrode, extremely weatherproof. Cannot easily be repainted.

Sustainability

★★☆☆☆

100% recyclable and non-toxic. However, the initial production of the metal from ore requires a lot of energy, giving the production of aluminium windows the largest carbon footprint.

Lifespan

★★★☆☆

Typically last up to 30 years. 

Cost

★★★★☆

Usually more expensive than uPVC but lower cost than timber windows.

Oak-casement-windows-by-JELD-WEN

Timber Windows

Energy-efficiency

★★★★★

An exceptional natural insulator. Recommended by the WWF as the window material of choice if you want to make the minimum impact on the environment while improving the performance of your home.

Looks

★★★★★

Add class and character to almost any property. A traditional, tactile, ‘homely’ material, perfect for period and traditional homes. Can have different colours on the inside and outside and can be easily repainted for a new look. Practically unlimited styles and designs. 

Maintenance

★★★★☆

Easy to keep clean. Requires an annual check of the finish to keep the timber protected from moisture. Shouldn’t require recoating for at least ten years.

Sustainability

★★★★★

Carbon negative, made without chemicals that damage the ozone layer. Fully recyclable. According to research, timber windows have ‘significantly lower environmental impacts than uPVC equivalents’. 

Lifespan

★★★★★

Typically 60 years. Or up to 87 years in sheltered locations with average maintenance levels. 

Cost

★★★☆☆

Usually more expensive than uPVC and aluminium, but last up to twice as long. 

Timber windows come out on top for looks, natural energy-efficiency, lifespan and sustainability. 

Timber windows are initially more expensive than uPVC and aluminium frames. However, their long-term value (lifespan, added value to your home, and energy savings) can be considerably higher than other materials, especially if you live in a traditional property.  

Picking the perfect style

There are two main window types to choose between depending on the style and operation you’re looking for.
 

Sash windows

  • Sliding sash windows offer a charming traditional look with modern operation.

  • Box sash windows open and close using traditional weights and pulleys.

Casement windows

  • Standard casement windows are versatile and modern.

  • Flush casement windows are an elegant option with sleek window lines.

Sliding sash

Sliding-sash-windows-interior

Sash windows usually open by sliding vertically. With double-hung sash windows, both sashes (the frames that contain the glass) move. Single-hung sash windows have only one operational sash. 

Sash windows were popular in the Georgian and Victorian periods, with various pane arrangements used in each era. 

  • No outward swing movement.

  • Number of panes depends on the period you’d like to evoke.

  • Traditional charm, ideal for conservation areas and listed buildings.

  • Double-hung sash windows provide excellent ventilation.

Like this look? Check out our sliding sash window in detail.

 

Box Sash

Regal-box-sash-interior

A box sash window slides open like other sash windows but using ropes and pulleys within a traditional frame construction. In contrast, a standard sash uses modern mechanisms to open in the form of spiral balances.

  • Retains the charm of a period property.

  • The ideal replacement for an original box sash window.

  • Expert engineering ensures effortless lifting.

  • Single and double glazing available.

  • Various bar designs, e.g. one-over-one, six-over-one, etc.

Interested in this classic design? View our Regal Box Sash window

 

STANDARD CASEMENT

casement-window-exterior

Standard casement windows usually open outwards using two or more hinges on the side, top, or bottom. 

 

They were popular in the Tudor and Edwardian periods and are the most common type of window in the UK today. 

  • Simple to use.

  • Versatile, can be tailored to suit all sizes.

  • Excellent insulation, generally better than sash.

  • Generous ventilation due to wide openings.

  • Double casement, sometimes called French casement, has two windows that swing out and meet in the middle.

Like the flexibility of this style?
We have four options to choose from in our range of casement windows.

Flush CASEMENT

flush-casement-exterior

Standard casement window sashes have a lip that extends just beyond the frame. In contrast, flush casement windows have a sash that fits flat, or flush, in the frame.

  • The history of flush casement windows goes back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

  • Combine a modern and traditional window style.

  • Can work as well in a country cottage as a more modern home.

  • Available in a range of sizes, colours, bar designs, and hardware options.

colour-chart-wheel

Your new windows don’t have to be white – you can fully customise the colour and finish of your frames. You can even choose different colours for the inside and outside. For example, a brighter colour on the inside could complement your modern decor, while a subtler outside shade matches your home’s traditional look. 

Green and grey tones are increasing in popularity, while pastel shades are ideal for conservation casement windows. And if you’d like to show off the timeless elegance of timber, we have oak casement windows that come fully finished with a golden or dark oak stain.

Also, unlike uPVC or metal frames, timber gives you the option of repainting your windows with a fresh colour in the future. 

Our wooden windows are available in thousands of RAL colours, and we use Hi-Build paint and stains. This type of finish releases moisture whilst protecting the timber. 

Your glazing options

The two main considerations when choosing the glass for your windows are energy efficiency and appearance.

Energy-efficiency

Windows lose around 15% of your home’s heat. Choosing the right type of glazing can therefore make a big difference to your energy bills. 

Double glazing uses two panes of glass separated by air to improve heat and sound insulation. Not all double-glazing is equally energy-efficient, though. The gap size between the panes, the type of gas inside, and the glass coating all make a difference. 

Triple glazing uses an extra pane of glass to make the window even more energy-efficient, but you should consider whether the boost in performance is worth the additional cost. Read our guide to triple-glazed windows to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

To compare windows’ energy efficiency, look for Window Energy Ratings. Windows rated A+ offer the best insulation. Our guide to energy-efficient windows explains more. 

Appearance

The glass you choose for your window plays a big part in how it looks and functions.

  • Obscure/patterned glass distorts or blurs the view to create a decorative effect and increase privacy. This is ideal for bathrooms and ground-floor windows.
  • Low-E glass uses an invisible metallic surface coating to reflect heat and offer better thermal insulation than standard double-glazing. You’ll find this feature in all JELD-WEN windows.
  • Laminated glass uses a layer of plastic to increase strength, security and sound insulation without affecting transparency.
  • Noise-control glass is specially designed to offer maximum sound insulation. It’s ideal if you live near traffic or under a flight path. Our triple-glazed window offers improved sound insulation.

To read more about your glass options, check out our guide to window glazing types.

Fittings and hardware options

Your new windows’ fittings should balance style and functionality. You have a wide range of handle options for casement windows, including chrome, black, bronze, gold, and white finishes.

For sash windows, you can choose the colour of the fasteners and metal hooks at the bottom of the sash and, if pulley-operated, the hook on the wall. 

For traditional windows, more decorative handles, like the antique black monkey tail style below, can be a good choice.

JELD-WEN’s windows are supplied factory fitted with stylish handles suited to match many of our exterior doorset and patio ranges. All finishes are salt spray tested to 480 hours and come with a 10-year manufacturing guarantee. 

casement-window-decorative-handle

The fittings play an essential role in the smooth operation and security of your windows. We trial our window hardware in a test house over 50,000 times to guarantee flawless operation without corrosion or jams. 

Safety and security

Secured-By-Design-logo

JELD-WEN’s windows meet the requirements of BS6375: Part 1:2004. These standards define the level of watertightness, wind resistance, and other performance factors of your windows. 

Our windows also meet the requirements of BS 6375-2:1987, which guarantees they have an acceptable level of strength and operation.

For extra peace of mind, we can build your windows to meet PAS24 ‘Secured by Design’ standards. This certification is only awarded to companies whose products pass standards and tests defined by the police.

We offer a range of Secured by Design casement and sliding sash windows

To deter burglars, you can also choose small sash windows to make entry harder and laminated glass for better protection against breakage. 

Choosing your new windows in five steps

It might feel like there’s a lot to consider when choosing new windows (and there is!), but when everything is combined, we can boil the process down to five simple steps.

  1. Decide on the style and functionality that best fits your property. For example, do you prefer modern casement or traditional sliding sash windows? Would you like an unusual shape such as circular, triangular or arched windows?
  2. Pick the best material. Each material has its pros and cons, but timber offers the most charm and long-term value if you can afford it.
  3. Choose the right glazing. Double or triple glazing with Low-E coatings offer the best energy efficiency and can fit within any timber frame.
  4. Select the perfect colours and fittings to complement your home.
  5. Get a quote to see if your dream windows fit within your budget. 

Ready to choose your new windows?

Our window quote tool gives you a free, no-obligation estimate based on your choice of style, colour and glazing.