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Double glazing


Le Rosbif vert
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I have single glazed windows and doors, that are not efficient at keeping heat in our house in the Pyrenees. All the woodwork is sound so its just the eco efficiency I am worried about.

Can I simply replace the openers with double glazed units and if so which builders merchants are the best to supply them.

Or

Do I have to buy new windows and frames.

Obviously the former is easier to do as there would be no mess/redecoration required.

Hope this makes sense.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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We thought of doing this at one point, but the price was exorbitant compared to just changing the whole set up for modern, low maintenance PVC. It's not a difficult job.

https://www.lapeyre.fr/c/magazine/pieces-maison/opter-pour-la-renovation-de-fenetres

Is a good start if you just want to renovate the windows rather than replace them.
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We had our windows replaced with uPvc units for much the same reasons, keeping warm. The fitters made hardly any mess at all and very little redecoration was required, just a little paint touch-up in places. Generally these guys are very experienced; I wouldn't worry about that aspect too much.
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Unfortunately Architectes des Bâtiments de France have told us that we cant have UPVC as we are in a conservation area (within 500m of an historic church).

Looking at the link you sent me Lapeyre seem to do custom sizes in wood (house only built in 70s but nothing standard size so far!) so that may be the best way forward.

Many thanks for taking the time to reply.
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I wish I could afford quality wood double glazing again. We had it in the french house we had built and it was good, 25 years there and regularly varished with good varnish and stood up to extreme cold and extreme heat really well.

We now have UPVC and I do not like it at all.

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Id, I agree with you about UPVC, I don't like it either.  So I understand about poor Rosbif's problem; the house just wouldn't look the same, would it?

I dislike UPVC shutters particularly.  Putting my head above the parapet here, but they just look too regular and "nasty" to me.

Actually, double glazing is excellent for noise insulation but not so much for heat insulation.  As long as the windows are well-fitting, IMHO, it's not worth the cost of replacing with DG.  After all the heat "insulation" is the air between the glass panes.

Do you have good shutters, Rosbif?  Would you consider fitting inside shutters or even some good quality thick curtains? Or simply having the windows overhauled, maybe change to plate glass if the existing glass is not of sufficiently good quality.

We live in a house that is made up of an old original house and a new extension.  The older bit has excellent joinery and plate glass on all the windows.  The newer part also has good windows and doors all double glazed.  I can't say I notice any difference in comfort between the 2 parts of the house.  What I do notice is that the old joinery is a lot better quality and classier although, to be fair to the previous owner, they have matched up the joinery throughout and must have spent a fortune.  I guess the newer stuff is simply just not as well-made or as beautiful. 

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Thanks Mint.

Yes we do have good wooden shutters and being British we have also put up thick curtains. This is great in the evening when we lock ourselves down for the night but in the day time it means we can't see the wonderful views of the mountains down the valley.

I had wondered about just changing the glass panes for double glazing but wasn't sure if that was going to be even more work making the rebate bigger to fit the increased width. I have to admit I hadn't thought about just fitting thicker glass!

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Thanks Norman.

Tryba have a depot in Tarbes so it looks like a day spent travelling the menuiseries! My wife is going to Love that!

The odd thing about the ADBF decision is that there are other houses nearer to the Church than us that do have UPVC, but having said that I have agree with them that the properties with UPVC don't look as nice as those with the traditional wooden frames.
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Thanks Idun.

wow you were brave having a house built, I have problems getting Artisans to come out at all! We have been waiting/chasing for a quote (from a reputable local company) for an airsource heat pump to replace an old oil heating system since last April! I've given up on that for now and thought I would look at improving the insulation instead, although new windows look as though they are going to cost me a lot.
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Brave, hmmm, I'll have to look up the definition of that.

Very little french, in fact it literally took me months to learn how to say the name of the village where we had bought the land....... and pregnant and getting a house built 25 miles from our rented appartment.

Yes, there are probably some rather less flattering adjectives than 'brave', naive would certainly be one of them.

Good artisans are always hard to get hold of, lousy ones are rather more easily available, a lesson, amongst many that we learned to our dismay...... and cost.

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Rosbif, here are a couple more suggestions, if you do not have these already!

Whilst pvc windows tend to be better fitting than old wooden window frames and thus make the room feel warmer, do you use any sort of draught excluding strips on your windows to help with getting a good fit?

You may remember those tv adverts from Anglian windows years ago where a man sits in front of a replacement window, holding out a feather and letting it drop to the floor.  What that demonstrates is that the windows are free from draughts.  My windows have some sort of strip (neoprene?) around them. 

You mention that you have wood windows but do they have beading around the glass?  If you do opt for overhauling your windows instead of replacing them, you might like to consider having beading as well as draught excluding strips.  The beading would also be good for security.

And, lastly, don't forget a good old-fashioned draught excluder at the bottom of the door can add hugely to comfort[:)]

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Thanks again Mint.

Yes I remember the advert Ted Moult but I think it was Everest.

I have put neoprene strips around some of the draughty windows/door openers. I tried the foam stuff first but that keeps peeling off. The other windows/doors are tight fitting and don't have enough gap, which is good.

The wooden frames are inset into a concrete surround so there is little draught from around the frame and we do have the traditional French beading around the edge of the frames on the inside too that is a boon for decorating and helps.

The issue is really the glass itself so in order of investigation I think I will need to see; What the size of the rebate is on the windows so I can determine if I can fit either new DG sealed units or thicker glass.

If this isn't possible then its either change the casements for new DG units or change the whole window including the frame.

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to respond to my post and make suggestions, your help has been very much appreciated.

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The glass is usually 4mm thick and double glazing spacers go from 6mm in 2mm increments. So the minimum thickness double glazing would 4+6+4 = 14mm.

But that would have a very low performance. Double glazing today often has a 16mm spacer. A useful chart of performance https://tinyurl.com/t2yf3tv

Don't forget the possible effect of the extra weight of the glass on the wood frame.
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As so much has been mentioned of northern Italy and skiers with

coronovirus returning to the UK, it reminded me that when we used to ski

in the Alps in Italy, that at least two of the hotels had two lots of

double glazing.

No idea what it is called, secondary, perhaps?

Worked well though.

Would you be able to do that instead.
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Thanks Pomme, so I will need at least 24mm to fit new (high efficiency) DG glass panels into the existing casements, that might be a challenge.

I will need to consider the extra weight on the frames if I go down the replacement casement option too, so I might just be better buying new frames as well and saving myself a whole load of hassle!

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