Whether you want to create a grand entrance or a bold first impression, windows and doors play an important role in enhancing a building’s kerb appeal. But with so many design options to choose from, how do you know which one to opt for, or what to recommend to your customers? As we head into a new year, Nick Cowley, managing director of manufacturer of uPVC windows Euramax, analyses some of the key trends for 2021.
DIY sales soared in 2020, as homeowners spent their time indoors making home improvements. In fact, the Office for National Statistics reported a 1.5 per cent rise in DIY sales between August and September 2020, at a time when many industries stood still. This trend could well persist throughout 2021, with homeowners continuing to spruce up their spaces. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the window and door trends worth the investment.
A splash of colour
It’s a common assumption that poly vinyl chloride (uPVC) window frames come in standard white. While some may prefer to keep things simple, coloured window frames are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Dubbed “the new white,” grey frames work well across numerous house styles, from trendy modern spaces to more traditional, period properties. The neutral shade can create a sophisticated effect while offering a hint of colour, making it the perfect choice if you want a subtle break from conformity.
Moving away from traditional woodgrain and white uPVC, doors could also receive a splash of colour in 2021. Composite doors are one of the most popular entrance door options, and are available in a range of colours. Inspired by perhaps the most famous front doors in the country, 10 Downing Street, black is an increasingly popular choice for those who prefer a sleek and simple statement.
Taking inspiration from elsewhere in politics, Chartwell green is another shade that continues to gain traction. Named after Winston Churchill’s Kent home, the light and bright pastel shade provides a refreshing change from traditional colour options.
Time to open up
As well as revitalising homes, many homeowners paid extra attention to their gardens in 2020 — and what better way keep enjoying them than to bring a touch of the outdoors inside?
Open plan has been a popular trend for many years as homeowners seek to create a large and airy space that transports them from feeling confined indoors. However, budget restrictions and the need for extensive remodelling can put the open plan dream on hold. Instead, additions such as bi-folding doors can make an effective replacement.
In the warmer weather, bi-folds can completely fold away to create the illusion of more space and a fluid transition between the home and garden. In the winter months, their floor-to-ceiling glass panels bring in plenty of natural light. Opening just one panel at a time means they can still be used as an access point while keeping the heat in.
As we grow a year closer to the UK’s 2050 net zero emissions target, our homes need to do more than just look good. Among all building envelopes, the design of a home’s exterior, windows and doors are a main culprit for heat loss — with losses accounting for 20 to 30 per cent of a building’s entire energy consumption.
To improve thermal efficiency, some may opt for triple glazing. The third pane of glass, located halfway between the inner and outer panes of double glazing, creates two air locks that beat the energy performance of regular double glazing by around 50 per cent. Between each pane is a pocket of air or inert gas, such as argon, which is heavier than air and works as an insulator for both noise and heat.
However, this window option can cost around 20 per cent more than double glazed options, so it’s worth evaluating if the extra pane is worth the upfront investment. Thermally efficient frames can also have a large bearing on the overall performance of a window, so should also be considered when looking to improve energy efficiency. Because argon gas is denser than air, adding it to the captive air in double glazed windows improves their thermal efficiency, without the needed for added glass. When used in conjunction with a special low emissivity glass coating, argon gas can bring the temperature of the window closer to room temperature.
Whether you plan to continue sprucing up your space in 2021, or are looking to reduce your heating bills with smart upgrades, windows and doors could be the key to your new year’s refresh.