Guide To Selecting Windows And Doors

Whether you are creating a brand new dream home or refurbishing or extending a property, the choice of windows and doors will have a major impact.

But getting this right is more than merely selecting the right style of windows and doors for the development (although this is a fundamental consideration), and when it comes to window and door quality and performance, beauty really is more than skin deep.

Some of the key influences that will drive the decision making process should include:

Legislation/Security – PartQ

The mandatory classification, seeks to ensure high security standards for new build homes including homes created by change of use, such as barn conversions.

So what does that mean for homeowners, builders, developers and self-builders? For any new build, the windows and doorsets being used must be manufactured to a design that has been successfully tested to meet the security requirements of PAS 24:2012.

Approved Document Q is designed to ensure the prevention of unauthorised access to dwellings (including flats). As part of this, doors and windows or roof lights which could be accessed need to resist physical attack by a casual or opportunist burglar. The requirement set out by the government is that, “Reasonable provision must be made to resist unauthorised access to any dwelling and other buildings exposed to comparable risk”.

Simply put, anyone building a new home must install windows and doors which are shown by test to meet the required performance as detailed in PAS 24: 2012. This will mean proving to building inspectors that the windows and doors selected for the project are fully certified with full product details for each design showing supporting test reports for each product in the range that are supplied and installed.

Specifically it looks at windows and doors that could be easily accessed such as:

a) A doorset or window, any part of which is within 2m vertically of an accessible surface such as the ground or basement level, or an access balcony

b) A window within 2m vertically of a flat or sloping roof (with a pitch of less than 30 degrees) that is within 3.5m of ground level

In addition, doorset letter plates should have a maximum aperture of 260mm x 40mm and be designed to hinder anyone from removing keys with a stick or by inserting their hand by incorporating a flap or other feature to restrict access.

The main door into a dwelling should have a viewer or other means to see callers, such as clear glass either in the door or adjacent window, and be fitted with a door chain or door limiter.


More people than ever are concerned about sustainability and the environmental impact of building. And that is also true of the type of windows and doors people are opting for.

In recent studies researchers have found that when properly protected with paint or woodstain, timber windows last twice as long as PVCu. This has been reflected in an upturn in demand for natural building materials such as timber windows and doors.

Choose products from more environmentally sustainable sources, such as timber windows and doors from managed forests supported by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) will enable customers to meet their own environmental interests.

Improved thermal performance/energy efficiency – How Important are U values?

Around 66% of the energy lost from a standard window is through the radiation travelling through the glazing, known as the U-value. The lower the U-Value, the less heat loss and the more insulation is provided.

Consider as standard double glazed units featuring performance glass along with warm edge spacer bars and argon gas for superb insulation. Look for U Values of at least 1.1 W/m2K (centre pane u-value), which equates to 45% more energy saved than with ordinary double glazing, and 80% more than single glazing.

Product failure remains the key reasons for replacing windows and doors

When it comes to replacing old windows and doors, you need to ensure you select a range of windows and doors that not only look good, but perform well and are built to last. Products that are guaranteed to perform over many years will give the customer added confidence. These guarantees can include:

30 Years – Rot & fungal infection
10 Years – Double glazed units
10 Years – Hardware
8 Years – Paint finishes
5 Years – Stain finishes
If you live in exposed coastal location you need to select doors and windows that have been independently tested and approved in accordance with BS 6375-1:2009 and BS 6375-2:2009 for the following:

Part 1 – Weather-tightness

Part 2 – Operation & Strength

Has exceeded requirements for:

Air Permeability (EN1026)

Watertightness (EN1027)

Resistance to Wind (EN12211)

Operating Forces (En 12046)

Static Torsion (EN 14609) Racking (EN 14608)

Soft Body Impact (EN 13049) Safety (EN 14609)

Repeated Opening (EN 1191)

Coastal locations will also provide the risk of corrosion – particularly for door and window hardware – so have the option of providing anti-corrosion hardware on your windows and doors such as 316 Marine Grade.

Talk to the Experts

Leading manufacturers such as Dale Joinery have a wealth of knowledge and expertise you can call upon, providing answers to technical questions or general enquiries, and can provide added support and benefit to customers. Site visits can also be arranged to ensure that customers are making the right decisions about the windows and doors for their project.

For more information about the range of timber windows and doors from Dale Joinery click here call 0800 030 2222 or email