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To Double Glaze Or Not To Double Glaze - Windows Is The Question
Until around five years ago, double glazing was considered a ridiculously expensive luxury in Australia. Times have changed. Like anything, as more manufacturers come on board, the price goes down. It is now possible to buy good quality Australian-made double glazed awning windows for a very reasonable price. Taking the example of a 250 metre square home.
Double glazed windows will pay for themselves. In just three to five years, the reductions in heating and cooling costs will mean the windows have paid their own way. They reduce heating costs enormously. Everyone needs to put in blinds or curtains to cover windows, to keep out light and heat. If you have double glazed windows, you only need to control light. This also means a much lighter grade of window furnishings; these savings alone could balance out the total cost of your windows.
Double Glazed windows allow you to better utilise your house, where you place furniture or where you sit. You can merrily sit by the window whether the day be cold or hot. Most standard Australian homes have places that are no-go zones, purely because of the heat gain/loss associated with single glazed windows.
So if your budget is such that you think you can't afford double glazing, at least put them into the living areas. Bedrooms are a night-time experience, and you can insulate yourself with a doona. The exception to this is the master bedroom, because it is often at the front of the house, nearer to street noise. The acoustic performance of double glazed windows is wildly superior.
You may not be able to change your orientation to face North but anyone can put in better windows. It isn't rare on a sloping block, that there are sensational views to the South or West, and orientation becomes a challenge. A lot of South-facing windows would mean a very cold home in winter, and in the case of West-facing, it would be hot in summer UNLESS you incorporate double glazing and insulate yourself from that problem.
Most people will happily call a stone mason and change bench tops, but they don't see changing windows as a practical solution. Double glazed windows will have far more impact on resale value than fashion driven items such as bench tops and glass splash-backs.
Still can't afford better quality windows? Oh, come on! You could literally change the windows of an existing home from single glazed to double glazed for less than the cost of what you would pay an agent to sell it. Fashion is only today. You may find yourself putting tiles over glass, or replacing stone with stainless steel, but your choice of windows is essential to what makes your house feel safe, comfortable, home.
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