Busting secondary glazing myths

Old fashioned? Ugly? Nonsense! There are so many unfair, unreasonable – and above all, untrue – preconceptions about secondary glazing, that we just had to set the record straight. 

We’ve spent over 50 years perfecting the art of quality products and providing sympathetically designed glazing solutions that offer significant heat and sound insulation. So if anyone’s going to stand up for our industry, we think it should be us.

Myth: Secondary glazing is a cheap alternative to replacing primary windows

‘Cheap’ isn’t an attractive word, but the fact is that secondary glazing is often the most cost-effective retrofit solution to tackle issues with cold, noise and security.  Wholesale window replacement is an expense few businesses want to incur. Replacing primary windows requires scaffolding and this means lots of manpower, time and money. Secondary glazing can be a phased installation, so businesses can still operate and spread the financial commitment. So if by ‘cheap’, people mean cost-effective and flexible, then this is one myth that rings true. _____

Myth: Secondary glazing isn’t relevant in today’s market

In a time of soaring heating costs, more stringent energy efficiency regulations and an ever-growing climate crisis, secondary glazing has never been more relevant. It is being used more and more frequently to insulate existing buildings and is by far the best way of providing noise insulation.  Secondary glazing installation is a more sustainable option than replacement of primary windows. The embodied carbon in the existing windows is retained and there is no carbon cost associated with removing and sorting materials for recycling or landfill. Read more about secondary glazing and sustainability here _____

Myth: Secondary glazing is crudely designed and finished

Like the cheap frames with basic silver finishes from the 60s that stand out like a sore thumb, views like this belong in the past. Advances in materials, designs, manufacturing, fixing and fitting mean that our secondary glazing is more discrete – or we can make a design feature of it.  All of our units are aluminium, and we can offer a wide variety of finishes, including any RAL colour, and a number of wood grain finishes. We can also produce unique solutions such as curved on plan windows.  Of course, products and design are one thing; expertise and precision are another. Craftmanship and application are vital. The specific method and approach of installation is every bit as important. Our attention to detail makes us stand out from the crowd – for instance, avoiding large gaps which require fillets and silicone that can age poorly is true precision bespoke installation. _____

Myth: secondary glazing is a one-size-fits-all solution

At Selectaglaze, we offer a bespoke design and construction service, where we recommend the most appropriate treatment for each window opening and take detailed measurements to ensure the tightest seal. _____

Myth: secondary glazing isn’t suitable for listed buildings

A quick look at our heritage and listed buildings experience would suggest otherwise! We are passionate about using our expertise to help preserve the finest examples of our architectural heritage – and even bring them back to life.  Sometimes, secondary glazing is the only way of properly insulating a traditional or historic building. It can help regenerate buildings like these, which would otherwise become disused or redundant, by raising the performance of the windows to modern standards.  Secondary glazing is accepted, in most instances, by heritage bodies, such as Historic England, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, The Victorian Society, The National Trust, Historic Scotland, The Georgian Group, The Listed Property Owners Club and Cadw. Because it is a fully reversible adaptation, it can be removed and the building restored to the original architect’s vision, with minimal making good. At Selectaglaze, we pride ourselves on providing sympathetic secondary glazing solutions that become part of the character of individual listed buildings – and enhance the experiences of visitors and occupants for years to come. And that’s the truth.

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