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A window of opportunity from the Chancellor


They may not be top of your shopping list when it comes to taking advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday but replacing windows and doors should be

Windows. No, not the Microsoft operating system. The glass ones you only notice when a cold draught sends a winter chill knifing through your lovely, warm house.

They are one of the most important components in your home yet are consistently overlooked when it comes to maintenance… until there are problems.

That’s why it makes sense to take advantage of the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s decision to relax Stamp Duty until 31 March next year and invest time – and the money you had earmarked to save the tax – into checking over the windows in your new home and, if necessary, replacing them.

The latter option may be one of the most cost-effective improvements you will make. Quality, well-insulated windows could last up to 25 years as long as they are well maintained and the seals are not damaged, keeping the cold out and your fuel bills down.

Plus they offer good UV protection. Everybody loves a nice, naturally well-lit home but excessive ultraviolet rays can accelerate fading in soft furnishings whereas double glazing with argon gas between the panes can significantly reduce damage. As one industry expert commented: ”It really is like sunscreen for your house”.

Other major plusses include a reduction in outside noise, as well as increased security – tempered glass is more likely to break into small granular chunks if broken, thereby reducing the risk of serious injury if the pane is accidentally damaged, while laminated glass has a polymer interlayer holding the glass together if shattered, offering protection against intruders.

Similarly frames and locks are likely to be sturdier on newer windows than after a few years wear and tear.

And there is the not insignificant matters of curb appeal and future value of your home to consider.

New and improved windows will undoubtedly improve the aesthetics, both inside and out, adding visual interest and ultimately bolster resale value. In fact, industry experts estimate homeowners can recoup more than 70per cent of their outlay when the time comes to move on.

So, having made the decision to replace the windows – and doors, naturally – do you go for double or triple glazing? Obviously, the latter is better (but not by much) for heat efficiency, noise reduction, condensation control and security.

But they are bulky causing stress on hinges and corner joints, are more expensive to repair – particularly if there are issues with the middle pane because of temperature differences.

In the end, it’s all down to budget. But a highly-rated double-glazed window should be more than capable of repelling anything the UK weather can throw at it.

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