uPVC Windows Alliance
Read all the latest news and information regarding uPVC Windows, the energy efficient and low maintenance alternative to traditional window frames.
10 questions to ask your uPVC window supplier
You have made the sensible decision to specify uPVC windows for your project and have identified some local manufacturers / suppliers. What are some of the things you need to ask them?
Here are our suggested 'top 10' questions to help you make a well informed decision about purchasing windows.
1. Where are the windows made?
It is important to be confident of the quality of the windows you purchase and to ensure your construction milestones allow for necessary lead times. Many high quality uPVC profiles are imported into Australia, warehoused in bulk and fabricated into windows locally for our market. Alternatively, whole window units may be imported. Either way, it is important to know the uPVC profiles' origin and that they have met the high standards required in Australia for resistance to our harsh UV.
2. Have they been tested to the Australian Standard?
The Australian Standard for Windows and external glazed doors in buildings, AS2047, was updated in 2014. Section 3.3 of the Standard has specific provisions related to uPVC frames. Windows and externally glazed doors are required to be designed and constructed in accordance with AS2047 under the Building Code of Australia. Manufacturers should verify the windows you are purchasing meet the window rating or design wind pressures you request.
3. Can you show me their WERS ratings?
This is the most relevant benchmark towards proving thermal performance in black and white terms. The manufacturer should be able to supply you with ratings under the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) of the window products you specify so that you can provide the information to your building energy assessor. WERS ratings comply with the Building Code; other ratings the supplier may offer, may not.
4. How long has your business been selling windows?
Find out how experienced the manufacturer is in Australia. Can they refer you to earlier projects where their windows have been used? Is your chosen fabricator a member of the Australian Window Association (AWA) and does their profile comply with the industry code of practice promoted by the uPVC window alliance?
5. Who do you use to install the windows?
Some manufacturers will install their windows on site; others supply the windows to the builder or suggest using a carpenter.
6. Is the installer a builder or carpenter?
Any builder or carpenter will posses the necessary skill set to install uPVC windows once shown the minor installation differences to timber or aluminium windows. The AWA has released a series of window installation videos to assist.
7. How long is the warranty?
The manufacturer should offer a warranty of at least 10 years for uPVC windows.
8. How long will it take for me to receive my purchase?
Windows are made to order so require a lead time of usually two to six weeks. If non-standard colours are required, these profiles may need to be imported adding further weeks to the lead time. Fortunately there are several standard colour options available and on hand to many fabricators.
9. How long does installation take?
This may vary depending on the scale of the order and size of the project. Nevertheless, the supplier should be able to estimate the installation time required.
10. Do you seal up between the reveal and stud? How do you seal between the brickwork and window?
Reputable uPVC window systems are known for their remarkably good sealing designs that minimise air leakage and achieve unrivalled air-tightness. The use of expanding foams and tapes, together with good in-built sealing systems in the window sashes will significantly improve the thermal performance of any building envelope and create a pathway toward reduced energy consumption.