‘Tis the Season to be Jolly (Cold)

At secondarydiyglazing.com we have grown accustomed over the years to two regular types of customers. At the end of the summer holidays, just after the schools go back, we get Planners, who have thoroughly researched what they want and are getting it organised before the cold weather kicks in, to get the full benefit. The other group are the Responders, who often mean to get their insulation improved, but it takes the first bitterly cold weekend of the winter to spur them into action.  Since Covid struck in 2020, the pattern has changed a little as there are new groups of customers emerging: Homeworkers or those who were furloughed or isolating, who want the house kept warmer not just because of the extra hours at home in their pyjamas, but also for reducing traffic noise; Environmentalists, who as well as keeping a lid on rising energy prices are also concerned about their energy efficiency; Landlords, who are now required to achieve certain efficiency standards for their properties. For all these groups, especially when the weather suddenly gets cold, it works well that we have (and meet) our target completion rate for orders of 2 working days maximum before we have them ready for despatch, so you can order at the weekend and get what you need from us well in time to install in the following week.

Whatever the timing, the whole process tends to kick off with a foray onto the internet, looking at all of the many options available, and trying to work out which gives you what you need whilst being good value for money and time. It can be helpful if you think beforehand about what your priorities actually are, because the range of products is very varied, with (as you’d kind of expect) each manufacturer extolling the virtues of their products without necessarily providing a direct comparison to others. Here are some of the more obvious things to consider:

  • Cost – there are many choices, from ripping out the windows and starting again to adding insulating film, with refurbishment and other options in between. Back in 2013 we did a full Case Study, comparing the most obvious options with costs; all details on this page: www.secondarydiyglazing.com/case-study
  • Lead Time – usually, you might face a wait of many months for made-to-order frames, particularly if you want them installed in warmer weather. Rare not to be waiting weeks for any trade to complete an order. Covid has exacerbated this, with a greater desire for home improvement coinciding with shortages of materials and longer lead times. DIY secondary glazing is generally days.
  • Disruption – it is not always this bad, but in an old house you might be facing scaffolding, gaping holes with temporary sheeting, dust and dirt, and even ceiling supports as the old window frames were helping keep up the brickwork.
  • Effectiveness – given that it is largely the air you trap that provides the insulation, secondary glazing can be as effective as double glazing. To beat it you might be looking at thermal glass and other top of the range solutions.
  • Appearance – an understandable concern, but for so many of our customers, who discuss this with us before purchase, it is gratifying how quickly this becomes irrelevant once fitted, as secondary glazing is noticed far more for its heat and noise impact than for appearance. Have a look at our fitted products here: www.secondarydiyglazing.com/customer-gallery
  • Use of the Window – you can get more or less anything you want, secondary glazed. Magnetic, sliding, hinged, screwed or stuck in place. Bear in mind ease of ventilation, escape routes or even removing it for the spring, summer and autumn months if you want.
  • Type of Property – for rentals and student accommodation, cost and ability to remove cleanly are all important. For listed or conservation property, damage to the appearance or structure of the original windows likewise.

You’ll have seen in the above comments that we have no shame in offering our own DIY secondary glazing products as worthy of consideration, research and installation. To make sure we’re talking about the same thing, it involves installing an internal pane which traps air between it and the outer window. The air provides a thermal barrier (much like the gap between panes in double glazing) which insulates for both heat and noise. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a simple edging system, glass or plastic sheet cut to size and bingo! Simple and inexpensive. Where to start? Go to www.secondarydiyglazing.com/secondary-glazing-systems, where each system is explained in a helpful video and in text. Click on from here to the one suits you best, look in more detail, and if you are happy, place an order. It can be received and fitted by the following weekend.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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