You're buying? You're selling? There are problem windows? Okay, read on.
I have bad windows, does it matter in order to sell?
If you have rotten windows and can't afford to replace them before marketing, then get three quotes from professionals and include the best one in a paper about your property. It's better to be as up-front and honest as possible and show viewers how problems can be solved and what repairs will cost.
I want to replace my windows before I sell...
All we can say is, please choose windows that are in sync with the age and style of your property. Leaded glass windows look strange on 1970s townhouses. If in doubt, ask an expert.
Replacing steel crittal with aluminium
If you need to replace your windows then aluminium windows are secure and easy to maintain. They are a very good replacement for old steel or crittal single glazed windows. They last very well and will not warp. They are also extremely secure as they will come fitted with locks. Aluminum windows have slim frames and can be designed to keep the look and style of the older steel crittal windows. They also have a thermal break, allowing them to meet with the new building regulations for thermal efficiency and so you are less likely to suffer from condensation on the frames and glass.
You can of course paint your windows - you may need to use specialist paints. In fact, by using the correct primer you can paint them any colour (we definitely recommend that you visit to a trade shop and ask advice, rather than a high street DIY store). How about a cool grey or taupe for a contemporary look? Sellers, please avoid bright, garish colours and stick to neutrals unless you want to attract butterflies.
Most buyers prefer wood windows to modern ones, but the most commonly installed window in Britain is the UPVC casement. They are cheaper and easier to maintain. Good UPVC windows are also energy efficient, which is a selling point.
Care for your wood
Wood-framed windows last very well when looked after properly. When paint begins to flake, rub it back and repaint the frame. You will seal the wood and prolong the life of the window. A tip for buyers: you'll be surprised at how awful a window can look but yet doesn't need replacing. Touch the wood firmly to see if it feels solid. If it does, you'll probably be able to avoid a costly full replacement.
The very least a seller can do is clean all windows...
If your windows aren't the bee's-knees, the very least you can do before marketing your home is clean them. Make sure the glass AND the frames are spotless.
A quick buyers' checklist:
A property's windows can give you certain clues about the home and even the area, so be sure to notice these things as you're cooing over the roll-top bath.
1. Security grills. You need to research the neighbourhood and see if there's a high crime rate.
2. Rotten windows. You need to look at the roof, attic, cellar, etc as the property has been neglected. Bring a builder along to a viewing to quote for repair.
3. Black around a window frame. There's a ventilation issue. Is there decent airflow in the bathroom or kitchen? Fans, grills or extractors need to be installed.
4. Overlooking neighbours' windows. Do you want to extend? If other people's windows overlook where you are thinking of extending, your planning application can be blocked.
A quick sellers' to-do list:
1. Clean your windows. Yes, it's the easiest and cheapest fix-up.
2. Rotten window frames? Get repair quotes and be honest.
3. Flaky window frames? Get a hand-sander and get on with it.
4. Choosing new windows? Go for what suits your property. Ask a window-fitter for advice.