Which Windows to Buy if you Have a Seaside Home
- Posted. 13 December 2017
Choosing Windows for a Coastal Home
Picking out a set of new windows for your home is hard enough already. You need to choose a price point, a manufacturer, an installer, a specific design, a hard-wearing material, the type of glass and the number of layers of glazing for your home. That is enough to confuse even the most determined of buyers!
Unfortunately, being lucky enough to live by the sea can add yet another factor to your decision-making process. With Cornwall’s pristine beaches, remarkable geology and brisk sea air come a cocktail of factors that can wreak havoc on your home over time.
Why do windows in coastal homes not last as long?
Year-round high winds blowing salty air at your home, combined with driving rain and broad seasonal variation in the weather can cause your windows and door frames to age significantly faster than those of houses further inland.
The damage can be purely aesthetic to start with, with only superficial damage to your frames like bubbled coating, stubborn stains or faded colour. Eventually, however, ever-present moisture, alkali and salt can begin to affect the structural integrity, shape and fit of your windows and doors. This can result in warping and sticking, far from the smooth motion you’re used to from your windows.
It can be tempting to ignore these issues when they start to occur. However, as your coastal home is buffeted year-round by stiff sea breezes and the sound of squawking seagulls (and tourists!), the result can be a progressively draughtier, noisier home as the damage builds up.
Solutions for the Seaside
Fortunately, in the modern world, we have the materials and specialised coatings to manufacture windows that can stand up against coastal conditions for decades when maintained correctly.
Our team has years of experience weatherproofing houses all over Cornwall and can work with you to find and properly install the product that’s suitable in your specific case. All of our products are manufactured in Clevedon, where they’re rigorously tested to ensure they can cope with Cornish sun, rain and wind.
One stand-out option we like to showcase is our MarinespecTM components, which use a British-designed-and-made coating that can help them to last up to 25 years in even the most wind-blasted setting. We know our windows are designed to be durable in the long run and can cope with conditions where other, non-purpose-built windows may quickly run into issues.
At CTG, we manufacture our window frames from two main materials, uPVC and aluminium. These materials are hard-wearing, insulative and can be designed, coloured or finished to fit well with the unique aesthetic profile of your home. However, there are subtle differences between the two.
uPVC is, on balance, slightly cheaper than aluminium and a slightly superior insulator, while aluminium’s natural strength and resistance to wear and tear means it looks newer for longer. For those seeking a more rustic feel, uPVC can be treated and finished to give the appearance of quality wood, but without the high level of maintenance those frames usually need.
On the other hand, aluminium’s tensile strength allows for thinner frames and larger windows, which might be perfect for those looking to fit a bright, expansive room with a panoramic view of the sea.
As mentioned above, the seaside can get noisy. Chugging outboard motors, passing 4x4s, squawking seabirds and (in the summer months) carousing out-of-towners are a natural part of Cornish life, but can still drive residents to distraction. And, as a general rule, if you can hear a lot of noise outside your property from within, there’s direct, air-to-air contact between you and the outside world — in other words, there’s a hole.
It’s easy to see, then, how poorly fitting windows can reduce your quality of life and expose you to noise, with all the negative consequences this can have.
That’s why we stock SGG Stadip Silence glass, which is specially designed to provide thermal and noise insulation. This glass is made up of two panes of category-A glass, which are bonded into a sealed sandwich around a completely clear, noise-dampening plastic interlayer. This double-and-a-half glazing also has insulative benefits. Even at its minimum (i.e. cheapest) thickness, this glass has a mean sound reduction of 35dB — the equivalent of wearing a top-of-the-line pair of earplugs.
Buying new windows isn’t just another carbon-heavy purchase — it can actually reduce your energy usage in the long term. Draughty, poorly fitting windows – or those made of older, less insulative materials – will usually lead to higher heating bills in the winter, meaning that new windows often pay for themselves in the long run.
Secondly, like almost everything else in our homes, windows and doors eventually require replacing. Don’t worry too much about the long-term environmental impact of our new windows, however — aside from their energy benefits, nearly all of our windows’ components are recyclable, including our aluminium and uPVC frames.
Older materials, or more old-fashioned companies, might land you with unrecyclable or even toxic products. At CTG, we recognise the world is moving on.
CTG Recommends …
For those who live by the sea, substance usually has to come before style — and it’s true that when choosing new windows for a coastal property, you have to prioritise longevity and insulation. Fortunately, our top quality materials, our broad range of window designs and our bespoke options mean you don’t have to sacrifice style either.
A useful tool for those seeking inspiration might be our “design-a-solution” page, which allows you to virtually customise our products to fit your preferences. You can even use a picture of your house to show how any newly-fitted improvements would look once in place.