CHOICE membership

Tilt and turn windows

Does anyone change their windows to tilt and turn? Living in England (moderately high rise buildings) for 10 years we like the double glazed windows with tilt and turn mechanism - good for ventilation and very easy to clean the windows. I have googled and found a few manufacturers in Sydney and would like to change our windows for better insulation, ventilation and cleaning. Any suggestion? Thanks.

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Before you spend time collecting information about their effectiveness, you might first get a rough quotation. For whatever reason windows seem to cost double in AU as compared with reported costs in the UK.

Although cleaning and insulation and noise control are often causes to ‘invest’, sometimes the cost of doing so has more than a century payback time, and when that is not important often a $20-60,000 project (for a home, not a flat) is a determining factor.

If you live with a strata title the body corporate also has a say.

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Thanks, PhilT, for your reply.
We live in a house (one level but on a slightly slopping block of land) in Sydney and our timber windows are really old, paint flaking off and hard to clean because they don’t open fully and we need ladders to clean half of them. At our age (retired) we don’t want to climb ladders :grin: so would like something easy to manage the cleaning. Some people said the new tilt and turn windows may “devalue” the house as they would look out of place for old houses. But we are after comfort (better insulation) and easy to clean. We may call around and get quotes for them - and prepare for the shock. There was an informative article in “which” England (equivalent to “choice” in Australia) on different types of windows. I have found tilt and turn windows are so easy to clean, open and close - on the top floor of a 7 storey building.

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The other suggestion is to go for casement windows which pivot on the vertical axis. Something like these ones…

These are standard in many Australian homes, including ones with some age. Like the tilt and turn, they can be pushed open fully and the outside can be easily cleaned (the window at the end, like the far right window in the above photo, there is usually a ~150m gap to allow one to place their arm/hand through to clean - unlike the tilt and turn windows). The pushed out window can catch the breeze and they can be hung on the left or right so that some windows in the house catch the breeze, while others will allow hot air within the house to exhaust. They work similar to the tilt and turn windows…but don’t tilt so the mechanism is less complicated.

The mechanisms for casement windows can be manual or wind out types. The wind-out ones may improve security if one wants to open the window little (say an inch) to let some air in but know that a hand/arm can’t enter from the outside to open the window fully.

They come in timber/aluminium/PVC frames. The later two require less maintenance but look more modern. They also can be double glazed to provide better noise attenuation and insulation. It is also possible since they are a more standard window in Australia, they might be cheaper especially if they can be readily fitted to the existing window frames.

If you have an old house and decide to pursue the tilt and turn type windows, check to see how they work with movement in the house. Many older houses move and it is important that the tilt and turn mechanism can handle building movement which can occur during dry/wet weather or changes in temperature.

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Thanks, phb, for your suggestion. I have not seen those casement windows pivoting on a vertical axis. But, will google them and read more about them. Hope they are simple to clean.

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They are very simple to clean. As easy as a tilt and turn window.

If you go with casement windows, ensure that the window is fully open that there is a sufficient opening to stick your hand through. From experience, narrower windows may have a smaller gap.

The hinge mechanism looks like this (one of the top and bottom of the window):

As the window open, the hinging point slides towards the centre of the window opening. This creates the gap between the window and window frame like in the earlier photo.

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I’ve noticed the same thing in Europe. The windows come as complete units that just pop into the hole. Looks brilliant. I too was wondering why we don’t have them, then I thought about fly screens. That would be a problem. In Australia, we like to keep everything open to let cool fresh air through the house but without the insects. Not so in the colder parts of Europe. They are used to keeping windows closed. Even when it warms up they only slightly open them. We found it stifling. They don’t have fly screens but they don’t have many insects either. The pollution keeps them down :joy: I dare say someone has come up with a fly screen solution but it would be awkward like having fly screen on louver windows and even more expensive. It’s much easier with sliding windows.

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@BobT: Agree with you about no fly screens in Europe - not many insects. Living on the top floor of a 7-storey building in London we did not have any problem with insects. Other than in winter, we always had our balcony doors and windows open in our rental flat - which was highly recommended by the UK government during the lockdowns. Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air. The last one was totally lacking for us while spending 14 days in prison hotel quarantine where there was no balcony and windows could not be open - of course we all read about leaks in quarantine hotels :frowning:
Back to windows here in Sydney, we will be talking to a few companies about their products - to see if there is an affordable alternative where we can get both fresh air and easy to clean without climbing the ladders.

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Sliding windows can be easy to clean. They are also simple to fit with insect screens. Our experience of a two story property. Cleaning can be achieved by lifting out the sliding section of the window. This also allows one to reach across the outside of the fixed pane of glass with a window cleaning sponge and wipe. Narrower panel widths are more practical and avoid any need to lean out the window and risk a fall. Unless one requires security panels any external insect screens can also be removable for easy cleaning.

Our current home has a mix of casements, louvres and double hung windows.

The casements can be cleaned from inside. There is a similar need to reach out with the window cleaner to get to the top outside corners as with the fixed panel of a sliding window. Insect screens can be installed. On the inside unfortunately. The various types trap insects when the window is being closed and require opening allowing insects in, or some other method of opening or closing windows that does not disturb the screens. None are perfect, as far as we have found to date.

The louvres are the most time consuming to clean, but all cleaning can be done from inside without needing to reach out. Insect screens or security screens can be permanently installed on the outside with a deep frame to allow full opening. Of course cleaning any insect screens becomes a further problem, especially in dirty dusty urban environments.

No comment on the double hung windows.

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Thank you, mark_m, for the informative explanation. More food for thought.

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