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windows & doors: Choose a smart outlook; One of the best ways to improve your home's appearance - and save money in the long-term - is to go for double glazing.

NOTHING freshens up the exterior of a house more than smart new windows and doors.

High-quality doors and windows don't come cheap, but it's an investment well worth making.

Well-chosen fixtures will not only add significant value to your property, but will also make your home more cost-effective to run by cutting fuel bills.

What's more, they can even improve the security of your home.

The benefits of choosing double-glazed windows and doors are obvious.

Double glazing not only improves heating and the sound insulation of your home, but it can also completely transform the appearance of your property.

And that extra layer of glass also acts as a deterrent to burglars.

In today's competitive market, you will find double-glazing solutions for any type of property - old or new, traditional or contemporary.

The wide selection of doors and windows means you're bound to get just what you need to enhance the look of your home.

The materials used range from wood to UPVC and aluminium, and your choice should reflect the style and appearance of your home.

UPVC is the easiest to maintain and is available in a variety of finishes from white to wood-style effects such as mahogany.

But ultra-modern fixtures won't necessarily sit well with a traditional building, so try to avoid any clash.

If you happen to live in a conservation area, you should consult your local planning department to see if there are any special planning considerations to take into account.

Planning officers may look askance at your choice if it does not tie in with the general tone of the properties they are trying to preserve.

The trick is to go for doors and windows that combine elegant and attractive styling with durability and strength.

You can choose anything from traditional casement windows to tilt-and-turn, fully-reversible windows or vertical sliders.

When it comes to doors, an elegant new front door will add a flourish to the more public aspect of your home, while French or patio doors will allow you to bring in more light into living areas.

When it's time to make the actual purchase, it's very much a question of looking at your budget and going for the highest quality you can afford.

That said, you don't want to pay more than you have to, so shop around.

Remember that many small building outfits can handle basic double-glazing jobs with ease. All they do is measure up your windows and get a manufacturer to run up the appropriate size.

Fitting is relatively simple, but make sure you go for a firm you can trust.

You'll want to know that your new doors and windows are up to the job of keeping your house warm in winter and cool in summer - and that they will last.

If you're getting a new front door, you shouldn't forget to budget for the those important finishing touches, such as a door knocker, security chain and the letterbox.

If full double glazing is beyond your budget, you could consider putting in secondary glazing.

This involves adding an extra pane of glass - made to measure by specialist firms - to the interior of the existing window.

Secondary glazing may not be quite as efficient as double glazing, but it will still cut down on noise and reduce heat loss.

Effectiveness will vary depending on the type and thickness of the glass you put in.

CAPTION(S):

YOUR OPTIONS ARE OPEN: Doors and windows come in a wide range of styles and finishes, so it should be easy to find something to complement your home
COPYRIGHT 2007 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 28, 2007
Words:594
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