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These windows fit your house
These windows fit your house

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Windows come in many different colors, sizes and with different properties. It is therefore all the more important to carefully consider which type of window suits your own wishes and for use in the home. We explain the differences here.

Table of Contents Table of Contents These windows fit your home

  • Properties and types of windows and casements
  • Types of opening and use of windows
  • Made to measure and costs
  • The right frame made of wood, plastic or glass
  • The right window glass
  • Thermal insulation through effective windows
  • Sound insulation against outside noise
  • Windows for the loft conversion

Table of Contents Table of Contents These windows fit your home

  • Properties and types of windows and casements
  • Types of opening and use of windows
  • Made to measure and costs
  • The right frame made of wood, plastic or glass
  • The right window glass
  • Thermal insulation through effective windows
  • Sound insulation against outside noise
  • Windows for the loft conversion

Whether made of wood, or rather made of plastic, with insulating glass and soundproofing - windows play an important role in house construction. Not only should they visually match the building, but their properties should also be functional and adapted to the conditions of the environment.

Therefore, before you decide on a window type, it is important to inform yourself extensively. A basic distinction is made between the type of window, how the panes sit in the sash and how they can be opened. In the following we present the most common window types and their properties.

Properties and types of windows and casements

Single window

Single windows are seen most often, they consist of casements and casements. The energy-saving glazing made of two or three panes sits in each wing, hermetically connected to one another.

Composite window

Composite windows consist of separate outer and inner casements with simple glazing. The wings move on a common hinge ("hinge") and interlock on the opposite side with a fitting. This can be released using a special key, so that the inside of the panes can be cleaned. Because of the low pane weight, composite windows can be built as slender lattice windows with traditional window divisions. This is particularly true to style in old buildings.

Box window

Box windows have separate sashes on the inside and outside, which can be opened and closed separately. They sit at a distance of up to 15 centimeters in an all-round lining; the complete component looks like a box. The outer wing usually opens to the outside, the inner wing to the room side, the wings can be equipped with different types of glazing: Often you choose thermal insulation glass for the outside and inexpensive single glazing for the inside. In a listed building, the single glass is sometimes placed in the outer wing to preserve the pretty rungs of the windows. Box windows are very popular due to their good sound and heat insulation.

Types of opening and use of windows

A distinction is also made between how windows are opened. Because the type of opening fundamentally influences the use of the windows. The following questions can help you choose a window: can they be easily opened for ventilation, can I put decorations in front of them, how well can you clean the windows and can you install electrical shutters afterwards? Combinations are also possible, such as a double-leaf window with skylight and tilt-and-turn sashes, or a skylight for tilting with a lower part as a sash.

Whatever you choose, two points are extremely important: The window should be accessible without having to climb up and ventilate the room across the room. In addition, you should think about a suitable privacy screen for the window, because especially on the ground floor you don't want to sit on the presentation plate for neighbors' looks.

Fixed glazing

Fixed glazing is the cheapest solution, but it means that the window cannot be opened. Fixed glazing is used, for example, as facade decoration and is combined with rotating window sashes in multi-part windows or as a skylight.

Rotary wing

Swing blades rotate around a vertical axis on the left or right edge.

Fenster mit Drehflügel
Fenster mit Drehflügel

Windows with rotating sashes can often be seen. They rotate around a vertical axis, which can be either left or right.

Photo: britta60 / Fotolia

Bottom-hung sash

Tilting wings have a lower horizontal axis and open a little above. If the axle sits at the top, for example on a skylight, this is called a folding wing.

Turn-tilt sash

Tilt-and-turn sashes are among the most popular types of windows: the sash can be turned or tilted. On older models, you need both hands to fold the hardware, modern windows allow operation with just one hand.

Schiebefenster
Schiebefenster

Light-flooded buildings with large window fronts are only possible with sliding windows.

Photo: epr / HBI

Sliding window

Sliding windows and doors are raised by turning the handle or swung out of the guide rail and can then be moved sideways. They are used for large window fronts or floor-to-ceiling windows.

Schwingfenster
Schwingfenster

A swing window that can be swiveled completely around the central axis makes cleaning easier.

Photo: Velux / epr

Pivoting window

Swinging windows rotate around a horizontal central axis, with part of the sash protruding into the room and the other outside. If the window sash moves around a vertical axis, this is called a reversing window.

Tip: There is a suitable burglar protection for windows for all these variants.

Made to measure and costs

If you want to install windows, you get to know a rule: The glazed area of ​​a room must be 1/8 to 1/3 of the floor area - there are no regulations for the size of the individual windows. Many builders want individual houses and plan with special dimensions - if you want to save, choose the different windows of your house in the same dimensions and shapes - this results in a harmonious facade at the same time.

What do custom windows cost?

The prices for windows vary, of course, depending on the size and material, so it is difficult to state exact costs for windows here. Standard dimensions, also called preferred dimensions, are becoming less important according to information from the Wood Information Service: full automation also enables cost-effective construction to measure. The dimensions and profiling of the frame timbers, on the other hand, are standardized, which means that all types of windows can be built and configured inexpensively - even with special profiles, rung divisions and special shapes such as arched windows or triangles.

However, the acquisition costs are funded by the BAFA (Federal Office of Economics and Export Control) and KfW offers cheap loans. For the installation of energy-efficient windows, the state is doing something extra.

You can find a window manufacturer in your region here:

The right frame made of wood, plastic or glass

Wood-aluminum windows

Wood-aluminum windows combine the technical advantages of aluminum and the design advantages of wood: on the outside, a robust aluminum shell protects against wind and weather, on the inside you can enjoy the cozy atmosphere of wood. The aluminum is largely weatherproof and shows hardly any signs of aging or wear, even after years. So it makes sense to combine it with wood. However, the two materials expand differently when hot or cold. An aluminum shell directly on the wooden window warps the frame, it leaks and can only be closed with difficulty. This is why the separate aluminum shell is supposed to “float” on the wooden profile, as experts say: Special holders connect it to the wooden frame, but thermally separate the two materials from one another.

That means: aluminum-wooden windows consist of a load-bearing wooden frame and an aluminum shell on the facade side, the two are connected to each other by a rotating clip holder. A water chamber drains any water that may penetrate without touching the wood and an additional inner stop seal makes the windows windproof. The fact that there are no fixed contact points gives the materials the necessary scope to move.

Holz-Aluminium-Fenster
Holz-Aluminium-Fenster

Wood-aluminum windows offer a permanent solution against weather damage.

Photo: epr / PORTAS

Wooden window

Suitable wood for windows are spruce, pine, larch, fir, oak or meranti. There are also windows made of precious wood such as maple, alder, cherry and walnut, as well as teak and even mahogany. They age with time, so you should paint your wooden windows regularly in order to have the longest possible durability.

Although wooden windows are more sensitive to moisture, frost and UV rays, the windows are still extremely popular. Because you can not only treat them with every color and change them, they also convey a special warmth and comfort in the living room. In addition, wood is a renewable raw material and therefore a must for ecological building. Because wood binds carbon during growth. Anyone who uses the material as a building material in the long term will reduce the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO 2). Processing, manufacturing and disposal of wooden windows also consume the least amount of energy compared to other building materials.

It is important to apply wood protection, this process can already be carried out during the manufacturing process. The wood is impregnated and coated all round, which also protects the hidden inside edges of the corners from the ingress of moisture. A triple color build-up extends the durability of the paint application.

Altbaufenster
Altbaufenster

Old windows exude a special charm, but waste a lot of energy.

Photo: epr / record

Plastic windows

Plastic windows are by far the cheapest option. Not only are they easy to clean, they also have a long shelf life without surface treatment. Weathering, corrosion, acids, exhaust gases and cleaning agents don't bother them much. Thanks to the easily formable PVC, plastic windows are available in all shapes and colors. They are even available with decor for a surcharge. Painting plastic windows is no problem afterwards. Although this type of window is much cheaper, it is in no way inferior to wooden windows in terms of heat and sound insulation. Plastic windows, however, become static and attract dust. In addition, plastic conveys a cooler living atmosphere and the production of PVC is considered to be less environmentally friendly.

The right window glass

Single glazing

Houses that are over 30 years old = " still consume a lot of energy. Because the single glazing means up to five times worse thermal insulation than is common today. Since 1977 they have not been used in residential construction. The Uw value for single-glazed windows is around 5.5 W / qmK. In comparison: windows with three-pane thermal insulation glazing achieve a value between 0.5 and 0.8 W / (m²K). However, exchanging simple glasses with insulating glasses is often not possible because the rungs of historic old building windows are often too filigree for the thick glasses. The Wood Information Service advises: Where window replacement is not possible, retrofitting box windows reduces energy consumption. Or try it first with the cheapest option and renew the window putty of your old building window.

insulating glass

DIN 1259 Part 2 defines insulating glass as a glazing unit consisting of two glass panes that are separated from each other by an air or gas-filled space - optionally more than two glass surfaces are arranged one behind the other with spaces. All panes are airtight at the edges and impervious to moisture through sealing compounds, soldering or welding. A two-stage sealing system connects the edge:

  1. Primary seal: A spacer profile made of metal or plastic holds two panes apart. An all-round butyl cord on both sides of the spacer acts as a water vapor and gas diffusion barrier.
  2. Secondary seal: Polysulfide is applied between the two window edges over the back of the spacer profile. It permanently connects the two panes and seals the unit against the ingress of gas.

Tip: If you want to seal your windows optimally, they should have two sealing levels: on the frame and on the sash, they prevent condensation in the rebate area, make the windows windproof and at the same time improve sound insulation. For windows with triple glazing (i.e. windows with particularly high thermal insulation up to the passive house standard), many manufacturers install three sealing levels.

Double glazing

Glass from the beginning of double glazing has a U-value of 3.0 W / (m²K), the U-value of modern panes is between 1.1 and 1.6 W / (m²K), there are also windows with U-values between 0.6 to 0.8 W / (m²K). It is also a good idea to replace old windows: Retrofitting old insulating glass windows with heat protection glass is usually possible. Improvements can be achieved, for example, with a rare gas filling in the space between the panes, a heat-reflecting coating on the inner pane or a larger pane spacing. The replacement of metallic spacers with plastic webs also increases the thermal protection of the glass window.

Three-pane thermal insulation glazing

These glasses are the specialists in thermal insulation. The "super window" consists of a thermally optimized wooden frame with a central insulation core. The aim was to achieve a Uw value of around 0.6 W / (m²K) for the glazing and 0.8 W / (m²K) for the entire window.

Sun protection glass

Sun protection windows have a wafer-thin layer of precious metal on the inside of the outer pane. It reduces the light transmission compared to conventional insulating glass and at the same time increases the thermal insulation. However, no energy gains can be achieved that could be offset in the energy balance. A normal sun protection for the window is less expensive and much more varied.

Thermal insulation through effective windows

Think of the glass and frame of a window as one: a poorly insulated frame makes the best thermal insulation glass ineffective. The Uw value provides information about the thermal insulation capacity of the entire window. The measure indicates the amount of heat that is lost when there is a temperature difference of one Kelvin between the inside and outside of a component with an area of ​​one square meter. The unit is watts per square meter times Kelvin - or W / (m²K).

The Uw value is determined for a window in a standardized test size. The following applies: The smaller the Uw value (usually between 0.9 and 1.4 W / (m²K), the better the window protects against heat loss. For a so-called passive house, it must be below 0.85 W / (m²K) (based on the test window dimensions of 1.23 x 1.48 meters).

Sound insulation against outside noise

Soundproof glazing combines panes of different thicknesses and weights with a larger space between panes. Sound insulation grows with the distance between panes. How effectively a window blocks out noise not only depends on the type of glazing and the space between the panes, but is also influenced by the design and number of seals, the frame construction and a professional wall connection.

The so-called rated sound insulation index Rw indicates the sound insulation of a window, i.e. of the frame and glazing. It is calculated for a frequency range from 50 to 5000 Hz. The quality of the sound insulation is measured in decibels (dB). A 24 centimeter thick, plastered and solid outer wall has a sound insulation value of 52 decibels. A single-glazed window brings it to 20 decibels, a double-glazed window to about 30 decibels (which corresponds to a halving of the volume compared to 20 decibels). Special soundproof glass even reaches values ​​of up to 52 decibels.

Windows of sound insulation class 1

Windows of sound insulation class 1 insulate 25 to 29 decibels and are sufficient on residential streets with 10 to 50 motor vehicles per hour and more than 35 meters distance between house and street.

Windows of sound insulation class 2

Windows of sound insulation class 2 insulate 30 to 34 decibels and are recommended for houses on residential streets with 10 to 50 motor vehicles per hour. The distance between the house and the street should be about 26 to 35 meters.

Class 3 windows

Windows of this class are suitable for houses on busy residential streets with 50 to 200 vehicles per hour. They insulate between 35 and 39 decibels of sound and should be about 26 to 35 meters from the road.

Schallschutzfenster
Schallschutzfenster

Loud traffic noise is also masked out with noise protection glass.

Photo: epr / UNIGLAS

Class 4 windows

If you live on main roads with 1000 to 3000 vehicles per hour, you should install windows of sound insulation class 4. The distance between the house and the street is preferably 100 to 300 meters. This means that 40 to 44 decibels can be insulated.

Class 5 windows

These windows dampen noise by 45 to 49 decibels. Such windows should be installed in houses on main roads with 1000 to 3000 vehicles per hour. The distance to the street must then be about 36 to 1000 meters.

Windows of sound insulation class 6

With these windows you can make rooms quieter by about 50 decibels. They are recommended for houses on expressways with 3000 to 5000 vehicles per hour and less than 100 meters between the house and the street.

Windows for the loft conversion

Sloping windows can inject three times more light than vertical windows. But before you can tackle the loft conversion and decide on new roof windows, you should make sure that two escape routes lead out of the roof. One down the stairs and the second through the window. There are sophisticated models that can be folded out to the balcony, for example, or pushed away like in a convertible. This is not only practical, but also safe at the same time.

Calculate height

Use the yardstick to check whether you can see out of the planned windows while sitting and standing. Ideally, the lower edge of a window is at most 90 centimeters above the floor covering, the upper edge at least 2.20 meters high. With electrical remote control, even tall windows or glazing with difficult access can be opened.

Gable window

Under a roof up to eight meters in length, enough light falls through gable windows on both sides. They can be easily installed in small formats: masonry walls can be lifted like on the ground floor, in wooden frame constructions they can be fitted into the grid of the supports. If you want to glaze the entire gable surface, first ask a structural engineer or carpenter who will check whether the roof structure needs reinforcement.

Roof window

The carpenter measures the rafter spacing above and below before ordering, because old rafters often do not always run parallel. If a window is to be wider than the rafter spacing, the wood professional cuts the rafters and stabilizes them with horizontal bars (so-called changes). Steel brackets firmly connect the crossbars to the rafters. Two narrower windows next to or on top of each other (instead of a wide one) save time-consuming carpentry. If the lower wing wood sits less than 80 centimeters above the floor (in some states, 80 centimeters apply), a railing must be installed. The roof cavities around the window must be carefully insulated in any case, prefabricated roofing frames make sealing easier. Roof windows must be clearly visible for the fire brigade from below and must be accessible with a ladder.

Dachfenster
Dachfenster

Skylights inject three times more light than vertical windows.

Photo: Velux

Dormer window

A roof house provides headroom and good prospects - even when it's snowing. Glazed side walls increase the light output. A large or several small dormers next to each other should be at most as wide as a third of the roof. A small balcony fits in front of dormer window from a height of 1.80 meters, so you can win a pretty breakfast corner or a place to ventilate your bed.

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