When overhauling a house, instead of leaving it as it was, everyone wants to make it better, safer, and adjust the building to modern energy efficiency and design standards. But there is a budget, and you need to be within it. How to save money without sacrificing quality when replacing doors and windows? Order those from Europe.
Why are European Windows Better?
Despite globalization and the leveling of quality standards in the world, windows from Europe are better than American ones. Why is that?
Roll-up sash windows are still popular in the US. They are more familiar, but have problems with tightness. Although it is possible to order tilt-and-turn windows from local manufacturers, they are second to European products in terms of energy efficiency.
European economical habits have led to strict standards for the energy efficiency of buildings. Local manufacturers improve production technologies. Even aluminum profiles provide an average heat transfer of 1.1–1.4 W/m2K, and for passive house systems this figure can be even 0.7 W/m2K.
Energy saving is achieved due to complex lintels and thermal breaks inside the frame, thick glasses and seals that provide tightness at the level of 800-900 Pa. This made it possible to reduce heat loss by 15–25% compared to that of American windows.
In Europe, high-quality materials are commonly used in the production of windows. For example, manufacturers give a guarantee of 50 years or even more for ‘warm’ aluminum profiles, in contrast to 20-30 years for PVC and no more than 10-15 years for wooden frames. Fittings and seals last an average of 15 years, unlike seals in windows with lifting vents, which have to be changed once a year. The standard is a double-glazed window with three thickened tempered glasses. They are durable, do not crack even with a outside and inside temperature difference of 40-50 degrees. And you do not need to pay for this option, as for an exclusive one.
There is no Binding to the Design
In Europe, the joinery market works differently than in the US. There are no standard sizes here. European companies will produce a non-standard window at no extra charge for custom sizes. For example, you can order arch-shaped stained-glass windows, panoramic sliding systems, oversized entrance doors. And you will pay only for the work performed and the cost of materials, without any extra charge for the exclusive design. In this segment, the difference in price with American manufacturers will be impressive.
Why are European Windows Cheaper?
The window business in Europe and North America operates differently. There are many small companies in the USA that produce window profiles and assemble finished windows from them. There are major profile manufacturers in Europe. They are focused only on the design and manufacture of specialized systems. And there are processors assembling finished windows.
This model allows combining large scale and flexibility. For example, the cost of production in Eastern Europe is comparable to that in China. The salaries are about the same, but the standards, working conditions, and equipment are better. And local processors use quality profiles from Belgium (Reynaers), Poland (Aluprof), Germany (Schuco).
If you order translucent structures in bulk for a whole house from Europe, not from the USA, for the same money you can get windows that will last longer and be 15–20% warmer.
Where and How to Order?
The flexibility of European manufacturers allows you to place your order without visiting the office. You can agree on the delivery, get instructions for taking measurements online at alumglass.eu or by phone.