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Double glazing in Canberra?

By Deref - 18 September 2011 36

I’m thinking about retrofitting double glazing.

Does anyone have any experience or recommendations?

Thanks!

What’s Your opinion?


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36 Responses to
Double glazing in Canberra?
sepi 8:42 am 19 Sep 11

We’ve got some magnetite too. They do work really well for insulation and noise reduction, but they make it very very hard to open some of the windows.

JC 7:20 am 19 Sep 11

Hosinator said :

JC said :

One bit of advice, if you are going to retrofit do it properly and replace the whole window. Do not accept film or ad-on inner windows as double glazing. Whilst they may improve things it is not substitute for the real thing.

Really, I beg to differ. We have magnetite windows and they have worked exceptionally well, both in keeping heat in and noise out.
For a quarter of the cost of double glazing, we have the benefits of proper double glazing. When I compare our magnetite windows to those of friends who have double glazing, our windows seem to out perform theirs.

As I said they may well improve things but they are NO substitute for the real thing. BTW comparing the performance of your windows to someone else’s is hardly a fair comparison, unless of course they have an identical house in layout, construction and insulation. There are heaps of other factors that change the perception of performance that go beyond the windows, insulation, draught sealing for starters.

milkman 5:41 am 19 Sep 11

Unless your existing glass is really thin, I woould struggle to see the benefits of double glazing over spending the money on decent window dressings and insulation for ceilings, walls (and sometimes floors).

There does come a point of diminishing return when considering efficiency improvements.

Hosinator 11:30 pm 18 Sep 11

JC said :

One bit of advice, if you are going to retrofit do it properly and replace the whole window. Do not accept film or ad-on inner windows as double glazing. Whilst they may improve things it is not substitute for the real thing.

Really, I beg to differ. We have magnetite windows and they have worked exceptionally well, both in keeping heat in and noise out.
For a quarter of the cost of double glazing, we have the benefits of proper double glazing. When I compare our magnetite windows to those of friends who have double glazing, our windows seem to out perform theirs.

I remember their used to be a gentleman in Canberra of German origin, who ran a window business manufacturing and installing double glazed windows.
He had learnt his trade in Germany and used some of the latest European techniques when manufacturing window units. Not sure if he is still around, worth a look though.

EvanJames 11:27 pm 18 Sep 11

mikal said :

Under no circumstances go with Stegbar. Incorrect reveals, wrong winders, broken windows delivered, missing fly screens, incorrect lock keying. 12 weeks later, we’re still waiting for them to install the last security screen. We call them daily and they never return our calls.

Hey, it could be worse, you could have acutally ended up with Stegbar windows on your home. You might as well have gladwrap… They leak amazingly, and the double glazing eventually gives up and you end up with heavy condensation in between the panes. I have a housefull of them, and they’ll all have to be replaced, at massive expense. Cut your losses now!

Ronnielane 9:34 pm 18 Sep 11

Try this company http://www.certainteed.com.au/. They specialise in installing double glassed windows into existing window frames or openings. Certainteed have been in business in Canberra for over a decade and should be able to give you local references and clients to contact in regard to the product. Be aware that you are considering purchasing one of the better building products and therefore seem expensive. However, the performance and quality of their windows is outstanding and should provide added value (over the cost) of the windows to your house.

Innovation 8:32 pm 18 Sep 11

Deref – It depends on how much you want to spend. Also, don’t forget the frames as some are more efficient than others (eg standard metal).

#2 2604 – Personally, I think that there is a benefit from double glazing that can’t be measured by cost alone especially if there is thermal mass in the house.

#3 patrick_keogh – Your order of merit is possibly correct. However, I’m curious to know who your supplier/glazier was?

#4 kakosi – You’re quite right. Gaps between glazing for thermal performance should be at least 12mm and preferably more (and most double glazing here only has 10mm). Gaps for noise insulation should be at least 16mm and, I might be wrong but from memory, gaps of 10mm or less are actually worse than single glazing for sound insulation. Glaziers in Australia also appear to (ignorantly) reduce gaps in the double glazing units depending on how thick the glass on either side has to be to meet building code requirements. Heaven help Australian glaziers if triple glazing in Oz ever takes off.

OpenYourMind 6:30 pm 18 Sep 11

Depending on your window design, you could try our ‘poor man’s’ double glazing. We then fit a 12mm square bead of timber in the frame and then we buy sheets of 3 or 4mm acrylic/perspex from ACT Plastics cut to about 4mm shy of the window size and then hold the acrylic in place using clips of various sorts eg. bookshelf pins. The double glazing works as well, if not better than real double glazing. We place some silica gel in the bottom of the inside gap to reduce condensation.

The positives are it is relatively cheaps and can be done DIY, for lower windows it adds an element of safety for small children. There are some downsides, namely the perspex shrinks and contracts more than glass, it will over time potentially craze and yellow and it can get scratched more easily than glass. Not all windows are suited to this treatment and opening windows call for more creativity.

For small windows near front or rear doors, you can use much thicker perspex and mount it securely. This can deter a smash and grab burglar.

JC 6:08 pm 18 Sep 11

One bit of advice, if you are going to retrofit do it properly and replace the whole window. Do not accept film or ad-on inner windows as double glazing. Whilst they may improve things it is not substitute for the real thing.

Holden Caulfield 6:00 pm 18 Sep 11

FYI HTH = hope that helps

okthxbye

Deref 5:03 pm 18 Sep 11

😀 Excellent advice folks – thanks!

Thanks Mikal – of course they’re one of the first organisations that comes up under Google, so I’m very grateful.

HTH – that’s an excellent point.

Patrick, definitely. We’ve got excellent ceiling insulation and draught exclusion, but our house is passive solar so its long northern wall is virtually all glass – fantastic for solar heating, of course, but also a significant source of heat loss/heat incursion and, of course, it’s going to be expensive if we end up doing it. I’ll definitely look at window coverings too.

kakosi 4:51 pm 18 Sep 11

I fitted double glazed windows to my house and I don’t notice any difference in insulation or noise reduction over the other windows.

I went to Spanline who used another firm to contract out the fitting to. They were messy, destructive and very very quick. Although the windows look great compared to the old ones I think they won’t last as long and I’m not sure the wood they used around them was the best quality. Also, I had to get Spanline back several times to repair locks that just wouldn’t work after a few uses.

The moral of the story is that if you know ANYONE who is a chippie get them to do it for you. The windows cost me a lot of money.

Another thing I was disappointed at was the very small gap between panes and the very thin glass they use in Australia. Having visited a friend in Canada previously I can tell you that the double glazed windows overseas are far more insulating and a lot thicker and better made.

patrick_keogh 1:19 pm 18 Sep 11

We have retrofitted double glazing to our entire ’80s vintage house. I’m probably telling you what you already know, but double glazing is about 4th on the list of things to do… decent in ceiling and in wall insulation, closing off draughts, decent window coverings, self discipline in terms of which parts of the house you heat and to which temperature… all more important.

Having said that double glazing has made a significant difference to our place… we had already done all of the above. It has an effect on comfort and heating cost and noise reduction. We went with good quality plastic extrusion and argon filled glazing. We have everthing from large sliders, wind outs and two sliding doors all done. Can’t particularly recommend our glazer (from Sydney), he did an OK job but nothing special.

2604 12:45 pm 18 Sep 11

My recommendation is to make sure it’s worth the money and if the ROI justifies the spend. In other words:

1. Get quotes for how much the glazing will cost.
2. Work out how much you would get if that amount of money was sitting in a high-interest savings account. (For every $10,000 you should allow for $651 in earnings, before tax).
3. Figure out whether the glazing will reduce your heating costs by an equivalent dollar amount.

HTH

mikal 12:01 pm 18 Sep 11

Under no circumstances go with Stegbar. Incorrect reveals, wrong winders, broken windows delivered, missing fly screens, incorrect lock keying. 12 weeks later, we’re still waiting for them to install the last security screen. We call them daily and they never return our calls.

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