Double Glazing & Retrofit
What is the difference between double glazing and retrofitting?
There's no doubt double glazing will make a difference to the comfort of your home and your energy bills, but deciding to get retrofit or new joinery can be daunting. Retrofit double glazing in most cases can be more affordable or cost-effective compared to new joinery, due to new framing or extra materials needed. However you may not have a choice; for example, if you have timber joinery and there is rot beyond repairable, it may be more cost-effective to get new - sometimes you may not have a choice. Our RetroFit consultants or professional glaziers will advise to the best of their knowledge what your best options are.
Windows are a key design feature of your home, but they also play a huge role in determining your comfort levels. They can help insulate against temperature extremes and reduce your power bills. They can fill your home with natural light while reducing glare, and they can reduce noise levels inside.
Double glazing provides all these benefits, and more. Crucially, double glazed windows help reduce the likelihood of condensation, which keeps your home drier and healthier, all year round. But it’s also what you can’t see that makes the difference – the componentry engineered into every window ensures there is a high-performance product for every situation.
Retrofit double glazing is the process of replacing your existing single glazing with double glazed units using your existing joinery. The process is quick and unobtrusive. The only difference you will notice is a more comfortable temperature all year round.
Double glazing from Metro Performance Glass is an Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) that is assembled and sealed in a controlled factory environment. Having two pieces of glass in the double glazed unit allows each pane to be different to meet varied performance requirements. Combining these two different pieces of glass with gas in between and a Warm Edge 3 spacer bar will give you an even greater level of performance. Metro Performance Glass double glazing units are also regularly tested by BRANZ, compliant to EN1279. Wherever you are located from the bottom of New Zealand (Southland region), to the west or east coast all the way up to the top of New Zealand (Northland region) and whether it is a busy or noisy city, Metro Performance Glass has a range of double glazing options to suit your home.
Double glazing components:
Double glazing comprises two panes of glass, one exterior, with surface 1, and one interior pane with surfaces 3 and 4 effectively counted from the outside in. For added insulation Metro Low E (low emissivity) protective coating is applied to surface 2.
For standard or classic double glazing, the gas inside the unit is air. Argon, a denser gas than air, is also available to further improve thermal insulation performance. Krypton gas, only available in Low E Xtreme, provides the best thermal insulation performance, being a denser gas than Argon.
A double glazed unit can vary in thickness depending on the spacer used between the glass and also the thickness of the glass used. Thicker glass, and/or laminates, are used for high wind zones, safety and sound reduction.
Another way to further insulate your double glazed unit is to use Metro's warm edge 3 technology spacer, this combined with the right glass type can ensure the maximum performance of your unit.
Retrofit double glazing:
Retrofit double glazing is the process of replacing your existing single glazing with new double glazed units using your existing joinery. The process is quick and unobtrusive. The only difference you will notice is a more comfortable temperature all year round. The diagrams below illustrate what your single glazing looks like compared to when we have converted it to new double gazing. You will notice a slightly different look from the angled to flat aesthetics on the outside profile.
A diagram to show the difference between single glazing vs retrofitted new double glazing on aluminium windows
Our retrofit double glazing service is not low quality, clip-on solution. Our double glazing solutions are purpose-built and tailored for each home. The factory-sealed double glazed unit also meets the highest construction standards in the industry. We can colour match most of your materials to suit your existing window frames, however, due to the effects of UV and/or weather fading and/or the anodising process, an exact colour match is not always possible.
A significant amount of heat is lost through the windows in a house, however, this does also depend on the design and insulation levels of the house. Modern houses with insulation that meets the 2009 building code will lose up to 45% of their internal heat through single glazing. You can reduce the heat loss to approximately 33% with classic double glazing, and to 28% or less with the Low E double glazed units that RetroFit installs.
Why chose to retrofit double glaze your existing home?
Now you can enjoy the comfort and lower heating bills that come with double glazing. RetroFit double glazed windows are individually crafted to fit your existing joinery, so you will keep the look of your home but upgrade its comfort. You will save money on heating, reduce condensation, and reduce external noise.
By choosing the RetroFit service, you gain the confidence of dealing with New Zealand's largest glass and glazing company Metro Performance Glass.
At RetroFit, we use the latest Low E glass technology in our double glazed window units. Low E stands for ‘low emissivity’, which means the glass reflects more heat and solar rays than plain glass does. Therefore, when you are heating your home during winter, less of the warmth will be lost through the glass. Conversely, when the sun is beating down in summer, less heat and solar radiation will enter your home.
With single glazing, you can lose up to double the heat loss of double glazing - but with Low E double glazing, it can help you keep your home warmer in winter.
Similarly, Low E double glazing works in reverse in summer by reflecting the heat out and keeping your home cooler inside.
One of the key benefits to Low E double glazing is to reduce condensation, it will not eliminate it, as condensation forms from moisture and there are many contributing factors. Window and glass association of NZ have put together handy tips and tricks to understand and help you reduce the moisture within your home - click here to view. It is also important to note that ventilation is also paramount. If you do see dew on the outside of your window after your retrofit job, that means the Low E technology is working extremely well as it acts as a barrier to keep the cold out.
What are the key benefits of retrofit double glazing?
Achieve a warmer house in winter by using Low E double glazing which helps to keep the heat in your home, meaning less need for heating, so you’ll be reducing energy consumption, saving on your power bills.
Reduced condensation. Condensation is that “crying look” that single glazed windows get. In humid New Zealand conditions, at lower internal temperatures there is a greater chance of condensation forming on the inside of the windows. This can be a serious problem, as it causes mould, mildew, and, in some cases, can also rot timber window frames and can cause potential health issues in the future. With a warmer home, the chance of condensation forming on the windows reduces. If condensation is an issue within your home, check out The Window and Glass Association's handy tips and tricks to help you reduce condensation - Click here
A cooler house in summer. By reducing solar heat gain with Low E or tints you get a cooler house in summer. It also helps to reduce the number of UV rays coming through, thereby protecting your furnishings too.
Reduced noise for a calmer, quieter home. The addition of laminate in the double glazing can help reduce outside noise, making it a great investment if you live by a busy road. Talk to us about your needs.
A safer and more secure home. With double glazing, it is more difficult for intruders to break in, particularly if you include laminate. The use of safety glass will also upgrade your existing single glazed windows to comply with the new NZ standard changes.
The better resale value of your home. Now an older home can be just as desirable to the purchaser who wants to ensure that the house they buy is efficiently insulated. With RetroFit double glazing, any home can get these benefits!
We all love the privacy and, depending on the level of privacy you require, we have various options of patterned, obscured/frosted, tinted and reflective glass to suit your style.
Why chose to do your retrofit double glazing with us?
Retrofit Double Glazing is part of New Zealand’s largest glass company Metro Performance Glass, with a nationwide network of factories, retail outlets, and installation teams. We are the market leaders with over 30 years’ experience installing double glazing.
Metro's double glazed units are manufactured on our state-of-the-art production lines to established quality standards subject to regular and independent testing by BRANZ for durability based on EN1279. Our team of highly trained and skillful glaziers ensure a smooth and timely installation and a quality finished product.
RetroFit double glazed units are manufactured to the highest international standards by Metro Performance Glass on state-of-the-art production lines.
What are the different types of options available in our retrofit double glazing range?
We have created the below table to help you select the right glass type for your joinery, this will give you a comparison with classic double glazing, and good, better, best Low E options.
HEAT RETENTION - keeping the warmth in and the cold out
CONDENSATION AVOIDANCE - reducing the chance of internal condensation and crying windows
REDUCTION IN SOLAR GAIN - keeping your home cool and comfortable in hot weather
VISIBLE LIGHT TRANSMISSION - maintaining natural light levels inside your home
Some frequently asked questions
- Do you put another piece of glass in front of the existing glass?
No, RetroFit will always remove your existing glass and recycle it. New insulating glass units will be made to measure and installed into your existing frames.
- How long does the retrofit installation process take?
A typical aluminium house will require approximately three full days on-site. We will only remove the glass we are about to replace so your home will always be left safe and secure at the end of each day.
- How long can I expect to wait from acceptance of a quote until installation date?
Our installation lead times vary with season and demand. Typically we will be on-site within four weeks.
- Do you have to replace the whole frame?
No, the majority of the time we will be able to fit double glazing into your existing frames.
- How much does retrofit double glazing cost?
It is a very difficult process to offer an approximate price before assessing the home. When we assess the home, we are looking for several different variables that will achieve the desired results in your home and, in turn, contribute to the cost of the double glazed units.
These variables include:
- The age and condition of your existing joinery
- Compatibility of your existing joinery with new double glazed units.
- Volume of glass in the home.
- Double glazing make-up required to both comply with current building code and achieve the desired results.
- Access to your current windows for installation.
- What are the hardware requirements for my retrofit job?
Aluminium retrofit jobs - With your aluminium retrofit jobs, your new sashes will come with new handles. These handles are black double tongue or wedgeless handles, unless otherwise specified and agreed upon. If you would like colour matched handles and in other styles this will be an additional cost to you.
Stays: There are two options a restrictor/safety stay or a security stay. Please make sure you discuss your requirements with your RetroFit consultant as stays do not secure or protect your house against theft or break-ins. The purpose of a stay within your home is, but not limited to; prevent a child from opening or falling out of a window from the second story. If you are wanting to prevent theft or break-ins the best form of defence is to ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked when you are not home.