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What is Secondary Glazing?

Secondary glazing

Secondary glazing can help to keep your home warmer, reduce outdoor noise making its way inside and increase security. And this ‘secondary window’ is exactly that, a second window installed over an existing one to double the level of glazing.

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What is secondary glazing?

Secondary glazing involves the installation of new, fully independent secondary window frames on the room side of the existing or primary window. An aluminium outer frame will be joined to a hardwood surround which is then attached to the existing primary window.

Without proper insulation and sound proofing, your windows will be responsible for letting both heat out and noise in. If fitting uPVC double glazing is too costly or unsuitable then secondary glazing may be your best option. In fact, according to the Energy Saving Trust, secondary glazing is ideal where double glazing isn’t viable.

Compared to uPVC double glazing secondary glazing is a cheaper but less effective solution to your home’s windows/glazing needs. However, if installed properly adding secondary glazing will still be able to help you cut your home heating bills.

Benefits of secondary glazing

Unlike installing new uPVC replacement windows, secondary glazing is less disruptive. The main benefits and advantages include:

  • Improves thermal insulation
  • Protection against noise pollution from outside
  • Reduces energy use and heating costs
  • Cuts carbon emissions
  • Can reduce condensation
  • Increased security, acts as an additional barrier against intruders

Secondary glazing is ideal for listed buildings in conservation areas, where getting permission to install new uPVC windows may be an issue. In addition, what makes it such an attractive option for period properties is that the character of the property will be conserved.

With different styling options, you will have a choice to make on which may be restricted by the period of the property. Most consumers have an idea of the style and material they want, and with window firms stocking wide ranges of choices, a homeowner should be able to find what they are looking for.

What type of secondary glazing is right for me?

The type and style of glazing you opt for can depend on a variety of factors, not least the type of property you live in and the existing window system you have installed. Products available include:

  • Vertical sliding – a perfect choice if you have vertical sliding sash windows.
  • Hinged – ideal for bay windows.
  • Horizontal sliding -suitable for hinged and casement windows with vertical bars.
  • Lift out secondary glazing – not beneficial for windows that require frequent access, these are ideal for tight spaces.
  • Fixed secondary glazing – as the name suggests, suitable for windows where access isn’t required.

Many window companies will offer package deals of supply and installation of custom made secondary glazing windows. Supplied fully assembled, you’re likely to get a better deal by buying the windows from the same firm that installs them for you. It is wise to remember that most firms will be able to offer discounted prices for the supply and fitting of your secondary glazing windows and many firms will be offering buy-one-get-one-free deals and offers to fit upstairs windows for free.

Is secondary glazing as good as double glazing?

While double glazing is superior to secondary glazing in terms of thermal efficiency, security and blocking outdoor noise, it can still be benficial.

Secondary glazing is often more affordable than double glazing and doesn’t require planning permission if you live in a listed building, unlike double glazing.

How much does secondary glazing cost?

Secondary glazing costs depend on the type of window, material of the frame and the size. Typically, secondary glazing costs sit at around £300 per window. This doesn’t include the installation, the price of which will also vary based on the rates charged by the installer. For this reason, we highly recommend comparing quotes from at least 3 window installers to find the best possible deal.

Can you fit it yourself?

Although secondary glazing can be fitted as a DIY job – with custom made DIY ready-to-install kits available – mounting and finishing a window, as well as removing the existing windows if relevant, is a delicate job. If you don’t have a flair for DIY then it’s best to utilise the services of a professional window installer.

Use our Windows Guide form and we’ll be able to source up to three quotes from local and national firms who will be able to complete the job for you. You’ll get free quotes from as many as 3 window installers which you can then compare and be confident that you’re getting the best price for secondary glazing installation in your area.

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