Steel yourself…

John Pyatt, managing director of Crittall Windows, highlights the benefits and considerations when installing steel windows as part of your self-build project.

Correctly installing high quality steel win- dows adds value to the investment you’ve made in your self-build home – an important consideration when it comes time to sell. But, do your homework before making a final purchasing decision regarding which brand, style, and importantly, which material to choose.

Install the window brand it says it is – only the original, genuine, make. There are window companies claiming to be providing that, but are not.

British-made often look better and last longer. Most likely your self-build project is the biggest investment you will ever make. It’s crucial you protect that investment – and save on costly energy bills – by choosing high quality, well-designed stylish steel windows.

There’s an extensive choice of steel windows (and doors) suiting every style of home, enabling you to personalise its appearance and bring it to life. Reputable window installers will know which aspects of the Building Regulations are applicable to your property.

Steel yourself

Window frames come in many materials, styles and colours. But, it’s just not worth spoiling the look of a property and affecting its value for the sake of a cheap installation. It’s important the windows you specify match the overall style of the property.

Steel windows cannot be replicated by alu- minium, timber or plastic, because steel is an inherently strong material – far more than wood and three times stronger than aluminium – enabling a window’s frame to be more slender in appearance than alternatives. This gives larger expanses of glass with minimal sightlines for a wider, clearer view, maximising daylight in the home.

Well-engineered, simple and practical in design, maintenance-free, durable, cost and energy-efficient, residential steel windows have long faithfully served the housing market. The modern, high quality window features high performance double glazing, keeping heat in during cold winters and summer heat and noise outside for year-round comfort.

With the ‘retro look’ very much ‘in’, steel windows are increasingly popular – the slim ‘timeless’ frames and sight-lines and the graceful elegance present a light delicate feel inside and out, giving consistency of design. A welcome sense of airiness and space is created.

Right up your street

You may want to echo the Art Deco style of the 1930s – one of the most distinctive house styles; homes and buildings from this period were fitted with steel windows.

Or you can achieve a contemporary twist through curved double glazed window units available from manufacturers and distributors to re-create this unique style to its former glory.

Or give your planned property an attractive contemporary modern look with a traditional feel. Steel windows are ideal for that minimalist look, modernist styling – slim frames, large expanses of glass – and homes and buildings constructed with stone or brick window spaces.

Consider customised square or arched windows to accommodate the sizes and shapes required. Non-standard sizes can be custom-made.

The benefits of steel windows are unsurpassed and as steel is100 per cent recyclable, no other window material comes close for life cycle and minimum maintenance. To prevent chilly draughts and costly heat loss, con- sider opening windows (and doors) featuring built-in weather-stripping, plus those that are hot-dipped galvanised deliver complete protection against rust and corrosion.

Steel windows also last longer – for 60 years or more. Even before the arrival of ultra modern, high performance polyester powder coatings, steel windows installed in the 1920s and 1930s lasted over 50 years.

Steel windows – your questions answered…

Are steel windows costly?

Quality-made galvanised, steel windows are most durable. Very competitively priced, they are economical to maintain long-term. Polyester powder coated steel windows do not require redecoration for 15-20 years. Price comparisons and cost-in-use statistics indicate galvanised finish and white Duralife polyester powder coated steel windows provide excellent value for money.

I want steel windows – where do I go?

Carefully research your steel windows supplier – manufacturer or distributor. Only chose those from a reputable, well-established firm.

Will steel windows go rusty?

No. Modern steel windows are hot-dip galvanised (totally immersed in molten zinc). They are permanently sealed against corrosion and not warp or rust. Galvanised frames can even be left unpainted – saving money – as the layers of zinc and alloy resist corrosive action.

Are steel windows maintenance-free?

Polyester powder coated steel windows mean initial site painting is not required, remaining maintenance-free for 15-20 years.

Aren’t steel windows draughty?

No – they’re not. High quality, well-made, opening steel windows are weather-stripped for efficient draught proofing, offering excellent weather performance.

Can I have double-glazing?

Absolutely – installation of double-glazing is recommended. All steel windows can be double-glazed. They offer energy-saving thermal efficiency and effective acoustic insulation.

Are steel windows environmentally friendly?

Yes. Made from a totally recyclable natural material, they are among the most environmentally friendly windows available. Unlike PVCu, they do not emit toxic gases when burnt. Modern manufacturing processes help conserve energy and minimise toxic effluents. With a 60+ year life spans, steel windows are a cost- efficient use of natural raw materials.

Are steel windows secure?

Inherent strength of steel means they can more effectively defeat attacks by burglars/vandals than other window types