What is more important: glazing or the frame?

  Gavriel Fleischer 15:22 19 May 16
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We're building our new house and we're just about to decide where and which windows to order. I see all kinds of U values trying to sell either the glazing (double with LOW-E / Sunergy / ... coating) and another set of U values for different kind of frame profiles (aluminium / thermic aluminium / uPVC) I'm trying to figure out how much of an effect it makes to have a lower U value, but then I thought: where is it wiser to put our money? Does a lower U value for the frame worth the money or should I concentrate on the glazing and invest more into a "better" coating or wider glass?

  canarieslover 18:27 19 May 16

I chose aluminium because it is less flexible than Upvc and it also has a narrower profile that I prefer. The advantage of the stiffer frame is that the sealed units seem to last longer as a neighbour, who had Upvc windows soon after our windows were fitted, has had several sealed units fail during the last ten years. Also with coated aluminium a quick clean up with T-cut and a coat of car polish brings them up like new after a harsh winter.

  Pine Man 18:42 19 May 16

Also with coated aluminium a quick clean up with T-cut and a coat of car polish brings them up like new after a harsh winter.

The same treatment works exceedingly well on uPVC, removing stains perfectly.

  Forum Editor 09:15 20 May 16

In the UK there are regulations governing windows in new-build properties, and before you make any decisions you should consult the building control officer who is dealing with your project. You are required by law to submit detailed construction drawings to your local authority's building control department before commencing a new-build, and these drawings must contain full details of the windows, complete with U value calculations.

You would have had to apply for planning approval for your new house, and the application would have included details of the appearance of your windows. You must not deviate from the approved drawings without a variation approval from the planning department of your local authority.

I'm somewhat puzzled when you say you are about to order windows, but are undecided on the details - all that should have been settled before you submitted your drawings to building control. You can't just go ahead without approval.

  Gavriel Fleischer 16:02 20 May 16

I'm not in the UK.

Noone answered my original question: is it more important to have good U values for the glass or for the window frame profiles?

  wee eddie 16:27 20 May 16

There is no answer to that. The two products are interlinked

  Pine Man 16:28 20 May 16

I would argue in favour of the glass being more important.

The overall surface area of the glass is significantly larger than that of the frame therefore it is the biggest potential area for loss.

Having said that why are you seeking advice from amateur UK computer enthusiasts when you will get the best advice from glazing experts in your part of the world?

  Pine Man 16:34 20 May 16

Further to wee eddie's response which landed a minute before mine - I recently had new glazing fitted in my house and the glass and frames were not inextricably linked. I could have various frame designs in uPVC and different forms of actual glazing dependant on its insulation and reflective properties.

  Forum Editor 19:27 20 May 16

Thank you for the clarification.

"is it more important to have good U values for the glass or for the window frame profiles?"

Both, but if you are going to focus on one of the two, make it the glazing. UPVC frames will help, but many people prefer the look of aluminium.

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