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A buyers’ guide for PVC-U windows and doors

16 January 2023

Get all the information you need to make the right choice and guarantee the appearance, comfort and security of your home.

Regulations and planning permission

First things first: you don’t need planning permission for replacement windows. But, if you’re in a conservation area or your property is listed, you may face restrictions about the type or style of window you can have. Check with your local authority for more advice.

When your windows have been installed, you’ll receive a certificate to prove the work complies with Building Regulations. This will arrive in the post.

However, we do not obtain permissions on your behalf. Please make sure everything is in place before placing your order.

Energy efficiency

Just like fridges, freezers and washing machines, windows and doors use an ‘A’ to ‘E’ energy rating system. A++ are the best-performing models; E the worst.

The Windows (and Doors) Energy Rating (WER & DER) schemes are independently operated by the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC), a subsidiary of the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF).

A-rated windows are increasingly popular because they offer a substantial improvement in performance. 95% of BFRC-certified A++ rated windows are made from PVC-U, while C-rated windows are now the minimum standard required to comply with current Building Regulations.

Design: window types

Casement windows remain the most popular option in the UK. These have side opening ‘sashes’ and smaller top opening ‘lights’.

However, in recent years window design has become simpler. This helps to maximise the light entering a property. The smaller top ‘lights’ are becoming rarer, replaced instead with ‘night vent’ position on the sash that guarantees ventilation without compromising security.

Design: frame styles

Three basic PVC-U window frames are available today:

  • Flush sash, where the sash sits on top of the frame
  • Chamfered, which features a simple angled shape to the top and bottom of the frame
  • Ovolo, which has a sculptured shape to the top and bottom of the frame

Design: colours

White remains the most popular choice, but a huge range of colours are now available. If you want to blend in with the environment, you can. And if you want to make a big, bold statement, you can do that too. The choice is yours.

Anthracite Grey (RAL 7016) is one of our best-selling colours for windows and doors, especially on modern properties. Our range also includes several more greys and our ‘heritage’ colours, such as Chartwell Green, which are perfect for stone-built houses.

Privacy

Privacy glazing is recommended in entrance areas, bathrooms and upstairs landings. Frosted patterned ‘backing’ glass also features in our composite and PVC-U entrance doors, obscuring the internal view from outside.

There are other quick ways to create privacy, too. Consider roller or venetian blinds, which can keep a room light while still increasing comfort and improving energy efficiency.

Security

Today’s windows and doors should come with minimum security standards, including:

  • 3-star-rated cylinder door locks
  • Locks on all windows to prevent forced entry
  • Internal glazing beads to prevent intruder access

Care and maintenance

PVC-U windows and doors require very little maintenance. They won’t rust or rot, but some effort should still be made to keep them in pristine condition. Download our Care and Maintenance booklet for full guidance.

Quality and durability


To ensure the longevity of your new windows and doors, look for three accreditations to give you ongoing peace of mind.
BBA Certified Systems: A BBA certificate is recognised throughout the construction industry. All Eurocell windows, bi-folds and French doors are BBA-certified.
CE Marking: This proves that a product complies with UK and EU safety, health and environmental requirements.
British Standards: Eurocell Home doors and windows are manufactured to BS6375 and BS476.

 

Jargon buster

Aperture - Opening in which the frame sits
Transom - Horizontal plastic bar which divides the window into two or more panes of glass
Mullion - Vertical plastic bar which divides the window into two or more panes of glass
Profile - Frame
Chamfered - Angled frame
Sculptured - Rounded frame
Threshold - The bottom rail on the outer frame of a door: chose from PVC-U or Low Aluminium
Beading - PVC-U accessory used to hold the glazing or panel in situ (Eurocell install internally for security)
Hinged - Which side the door is hinged when viewed from the outside
Lock mechanism - The multipoint system which is operated by the handle on the edge of a door or window
Midrail - The PVC-U rail that runs horizontally through the centre of some door designs
Sidelight - PVC-U sideframe fitted beside a door, which can be fully glazed or fitted with a PVC-U panel
Toplight - PVC-U frame used above a door which usually holds a glazed unit
Flag window - PVC-U window fitted at the side of a door usually with a brick or panelled section at the bottom
Sill - PVC-U accessory used beneath the door which is used mainly when the door has concealed drainage
Add on - Additional items not included in the standard price shown on the Eurocell website
Euro Cylinder - The locking barrel where you place your key to open a PVC-U door
Toughened glass - Safety glass which shatters into hundred of small pieces if smashed
Backing glass - The glass used on your internal glazing (i.e. behind your choice of exterior glass)
Head drip - An external trim that sits on the head of the window to stop excess water from dripping down the window/glass
Trickle vent - A vent that allows air flow through your window, which sits either at the top of your opener or the head of your frame
Sash - Part of a PVC-U frame that opens away from the installed outer frame
Outer frame - The outer frame which is fixed into your window or door opening

Enhance Your Home with Elegant Door Options

For those of you looking to enhance your home’s aesthetic and functionality, Eurocell presents an impressive selection of door options. Explore their Composite Doors for a blend of durability and style, or opt for the UPVC Doors for a low-maintenance yet stylish solution. Their French Doors add a touch of elegance, while the innovative Bi-Fold Doors are perfect for saving space. The detailed Door Architrave designs offer a unique finish, and the Patio Doors invite natural light and outdoor beauty. Don’t overlook the versatile Internal Doors, which combine functionality with aesthetic appeal.

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