According to the Oxford Dictionary the definition of window shopping is

The activity of looking at goods displayed in shop windows, especially without intending to buy anything

That’s not what we’re about to do. We are shopping for actual windows.

The history

When we bought the house the street side windows were leadlights, giving it part of its charm. It also meant that at certain parts the wind could blow straight through it though… All windows still were single glass, so they all had to be replaced rather sooner than later from an energetic point of view anyway.  We did want to keep some of the charm of the leadlights though.

The choices

One thing was for sure: we were going for insulated glazing.

The next choice to make was which material we wanted the frames to be. Basically there’s tree options: wood, aluminium or PVC. They each have their benefits and their drawbacks, so we did what we always do.

We made a list.

Wood

Pro
  • The choice for centuries, so a lot of knowledge is available
  • Can be recycled
  • It’s a good insulator
  • Flexibility in look and feel
Contra
  • Needs maintenance
  • Becoming expensive

Aluminium

Pro
  • Can be recycled
  • Freedom in coloring
  • Easy in maintenance
Contra
  • More expensive
  • Doesn’t insulate well

PVC

Pro
  • Easy in maintenance
  • Cheapest of the three
  • Freedom in coloring
  • Insulates well
Contra
  • Needs metal reinforcement inside the plastic

After deliberate consideration we opted for PVC window frames.

Remember that we wanted to keep the charm of the leadlights? We did so by partly having the front windows divided (but with the division inside the glass, for easier cleaning).

With that choice down another one popped up: color. We didn’t want the standard plastic white, as that seems, well, plastic white. It also had to complement our facade brick (which isn’t standard red, but some kind of darkish yellow). After going through the whole range of colors available (in the form of those little sample cards), we opted for a green-grey called quartz grey outside. For those freaks out there, it’s RAL 7039. On the inside, white or cream were standard choices. White seemed a bit too flashy, so we went for cream, being safe enough so that we could still decorate the room any way we want to see fit in the future.

Another thing to choose was the outside surface finish. More choices! Do you want your window smooth, grained or a little roughened? Oh boy… The smooth was out of the question, it just plain looks cheap as hell. The grained did appeal to us, as did the roughened. Unfortunately our first choice being grained wasn’t available for the color we chose. Roughened it was.

So we ended up with insulated glazing in PVC, with some subdivision, a roughened outside quartz grey surface and a smooth cream inside. How does this all look like? You’ll find out soon enough, in our next post!