Irish Association Of Self Builders

Copyright © 2003 - 2015 Irish Association of Self Builders

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via e-mail Print Share on Google Bookmarks


Ireland’s Number One Website For Building A House

Legal & Finance Design & Planning Schedule & Cost Health & Safety Renewable Energy Water Supply Heating & Insulation
Home Waste Management Problems & Solutions Tools & Machinery Contact Us Advertise
Directory Building Stages Building  Materials Household Appliances Landscape & Gardening How To Videos


1- Finding A Site 2- Ground Condition 3- Designing Your Home 4- Planning Permission 5- Finding Contractors 6- Site Clearance 7- Foundations
8- Base Structure 9- Drains & Pipes 10- DPC & Radon 11- Ground Floor 12- Wall Structure 13- Cills & Lintels 14- Second Floor
22- Second Fixes 23- Snag List 24- Decorating 25- Moving Water Connection ESB Connection Eircom Connection
15- Roof Structure 16- Chasing 17- Doors & Windows 18- External Wall Finishes 19- First Fixes 20- Interior Joinery 21- Interior Plastering

External Doors & Windows

Windows and doors always used to be made out of wood, in the old houses they used to stick, get wood worm, dry rot and let in a lot of cold air through their single glazing. Everyone did their best with the technology that was available to them at the time.

With today’s modern advanced techniques all has changed. We have come out of the cold and into the warm. No longer do we have to place radiators under the windows to help counteract the cold air coming in. No longer do we have to leave the windows open a crack to deal with the Condensation & Mould , the new era in windows and doors is here.

So what options are available for window and door frames today?

Hard Wood - When you mention wooden windows, most people remember the old days when they had windows gone rotten through wood worm, dampness and cracks caused by the difference in temperature. Those days are gone, with the new technology and the quality of the hardwood used by manufacturers these days, these kind of windows are designed to last a long time and are well able to cope with anything that the nature can throw at them.

A Wood window can be redecorated every 10 years giving opportunity to change the colour to something more in fashion, avoiding the problem of having a colour that was in a decade before.

Wood provides insulation, as opposed to metals that are natural heat conductors. It is 400 times more effective as an insulation than steel and 1800 times more effective than aluminum. A well-constructed wood door coupled with a good weather stripping package provides the best-possible barrier to heat or cold. Today's modern wood windows, with Low-E glazing, warm-edge technology and inert gas between the panes give builder's the most energy- efficient windows possible in their homes.

Naturally sound-absorbent, wood windows help block noise from entering or exiting a room. On the other hand, wood doesn't buckle or twist, thus allowing wood windows and wood doors to be opened easily, which is especially important in an emergency.

More importantly, wood is the most environmentally friendly of the major materials used in today's building industry.

Wood windows and doors provide long life. They don't rust or corrode, no matter how hostile the environment, can be repaired easily. They can be cleaned easily by simply washing and, if need be, they can be completely refinished.

Furthermore, today's modern preservative treatments provide a longer life than ever before.

PVC - Most common type of window used by builders these days. It has a PVC coating which helps it against any rust, rot or crack. If looked after, they will last a lifetime.

Aluminum - Comes in different colours , your traditional silver, white and bronze anodized. Still used by used by builders in Ireland but not as much as PVC.

There are other types of window frames available but you will have to talk to the manufactures if you wish to have them made in Ireland or you can make a trip abroad or order something from there online. .

Of course the functional side of windows and doors is very important as they can save you money on heating cost, but the design that you choose will no doubt add to the character of your new home. You have to be careful with the design of the doors and windows that you choose for your house. It might be that a design you like might not match the rest of the houses in that area and this can cause a problem with obtaining planning permission.

Roof windows are windows that can add a whole new dimension to a room but if other houses in your local area do not have them then you will need to talk to your Local Planning Department to see if this will be accepted. Usually, if the roof window is placed in the back of the house, you will receive less of an objection from the planning office. Not all roofers know how to install a roof windows correctly so when looking for a contractor if necessary check their previous work. A proud man will be happy to take time out to show you previous projects.

Shop around for your window but do make sure that you do this like for like and always make sure that the cost includes fitting and warranty.

If you decide that you want to buy from abroad check how long it will take for the product to be made and if they are going to supply a fitter to install them for you, if not you have to get them fitted yourself so add the cost to your budget. If you have to find your own fitter make sure that you do this before you make the order, tell him what is required and make sure that he is qualified to do the job.

Bad fitting windows and doors will never feel right and will cause nothing but trouble with droughts Condensation & Mould and cost a lot of money to put right.

Do remember, nothing is cheap for no reason.