FAQS

Whether you’re thinking about getting new windows, doors or living space, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions about the home improvement process below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our friendly advisors are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You will find answers to some of the most common questions they receive below.

What’s the difference between PVC Windows, PVCu Windows and UPVC Windows?

There is no difference whatsoever between the three.

UPVC stands for Un-plasticised Polyvinyl Chloride. Polyvinyl Chloride, which is used in the manufacture of bags, shoes, fake leather and countless other products. It is the widespread use of this material that has made us familiar with the abbreviation of PVC and it is sometimes used interchangeably with UPVC.

Pure PVC-U is not quite suitable for use in windows and doors. Some additives are required to provide longevity, high weather and UV resistance, and also to achieve a white colour making it ideal to use for the production of windows and doors.

What’s the difference between casement and flush windows?

A casement is the moving part of a window. Standard (sometimes called ‘lipped’) windows feature casements that sit outside of the frame.

Flush casement windows have become an increasingly popular choice. These feature casements that sit level with the frame for a cleaner, understated look. Side-by-side, the difference between these two types of casement windows is clear to see. Why not visit our showroom and see for yourself?

Should I choose Double Glazed or Triple Glazed Windows?

There are pros and cons to both options. We’d recommend speaking with a Mitchell Glass advisor who’ll be able to discuss your needs and advise accordingly.

The obvious difference between the two is the number of panes within the unit – two for double glazed and three for triple. Triple glazed windows are normally better at retaining the internal heat of your home. With the correct combination of air gaps and glass, the windows can aid with noise reduction. However, if you live on a busy road, there are other solutions that we can explore.

It should be noted that there is a difference in cost between double and triple glazed windows. Speak with a member of the team to determine which window is right for you.

What colours do your windows come in?

Gone are the days when every window had to be white. Our windows are available in a huge range of colours and finishes to suit your style.

Thanks to modern manufacturing methods, we offer a variety of colours, shades and textures. If you would prefer something traditional, you could go for white or cream. If a modern look is important, you could pick any one of our ultra-stylish greys, greens and blacks. We also have a beautiful collection of wood grain finishes, ranging from the dark elegance of Rosewood to lighter Oak-look finishes.

Our windows are available in colour combinations, so you can have the inside one colour and the outside another.

I hear a lot about energy rated windows! What does ‘A’ and ‘A+’ rated windows mean?

The Window Energy Rating (WER) shows how energy efficient your windows are. All windows are assessed and rated on a scale from A+ to G. This traffic light system is easy to understand and very similar to the ratings you’ll see on household appliances and white goods.

A+ windows are the most efficient available, as defined by the BFRC Rating Scheme. This is a national system that is recognised within Building Regulations and is a method of proving compliance for your replacement window installation.
When getting new windows, always check their ratings so you can be assured they’ll keep your home warm.

What does U-Value mean?

The U-Value indicates how well your windows are at retaining internal heat. This value is measured in Watts per square metre, or W/m2K. The lower the number, the better the window is at keeping the heat in.

All new windows require a minimum U-Value of 1.6 W/m2K. To learn more about the performance of our windows, ask a member of our team – they’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

What does Secured by Design mean?

Secured by Design (SBD) is a police backed initiative that looks to improve the security of buildings and their surroundings, making them safer and better places to live.

SBD’s product-based accreditation scheme (Police Preferred Specification) provides a recognised standard that covers domestic windows, doors and their internal components, such as locks and hinges.

Our manufacturing partner, Conservatory Outlet, is a registered member of Secured by Design. Thanks to our exclusive relationship with them, many of the products we provide have been tested to meet the high Secured by Design standard.

Do you make your own windows?

Our windows are manufactured by Conservatory Outlet. Based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Conservatory Outlet is the UK’s leading manufacturer of home improvement products and we work with them on an exclusive basis.

Having such a close relationship with Conservatory Outlet allows us to carefully manage our supply chain and continue to drive innovation.

Is Mitchell Glass a member of FENSA?

Mitchell Glass is a member of FENSA (Registered No. 22655) – the leading body providing homeowner protection in the double glazing industry for windows and doors.

When replacing windows and doors, homeowners must comply with current thermal performance standards and ensure they get a certificate from FENSA or Local Authority Building Control. FENSA enables companies that install replacement windows and doors to self-certify compliance under these Building Regulations without the need for a separate assessment from Building Control.

Are all composite doors the same?

There are different types of composite doors. Our exclusive range, Frontline, is 44mm deep and features a foam infill that helps protect your home and prevents heat loss.

Each door is finished with a GRP colour skin (commonly referred to as fibreglass) and is relatively lightweight. To find out more about our Frontline composite doors and what sets them apart, please speak with a member of the Mitchell Glass team.

Can I have a different colour on the inside to the outside?

Yes, you can. Most of our doors can be manufactured with different colours inside and out. For example, you could have red on the exterior and white internally to match your décor. To see the different colour combinations we can offer, look through our brochure.

How many keys do I get?

You’ll get three keys with your door but you can request additional sets if needed. Just let us know when you’re placing your order.

Can I have the keys so they’re same key for both doors? (Suited)

Yes. If you’d like your keys to be suited, please let us know when you place your order and we’ll ensure your keys work in both doors.

What does Secured by Design mean?

Secured by Design (SBD) is a police backed initiative that looks to improve the security of buildings and their surroundings, making them safer and better places to live.

SBD’s product-based accreditation scheme (Police Preferred Specification) provides a recognised standard that covers domestic windows, doors and their internal components, such as locks and hinges.

Our manufacturing partner, Conservatory Outlet, is a registered member of Secured by Design. Thanks to our exclusive relationship with them, many of the products we provide have been tested to meet the high Secured by Design standard.

What does a three-star-rated door barrel mean?

Door barrels (also called cylinders) carry a rating, with three stars being the highest. To achieve this, the barrels need to pass a series of standardised tests, including an anti-lock snapping test that stops the cylinder and lock from being compromised.

Can French doors fold back?

Yes, they can. You can specify your French doors to come with an egress hinge which allows you to fold back your doors for an even better view of your garden.

Should I choose a patio or bi-folding doors?

If you have – or want to have – a large opening at the rear of your property, then either patio or bi-folding doors would be a great choice.

In our experience, the main difference between the two is the view that they offer. Bi-folds allow for a full opening that allows you to maximise that outdoor view. Sliding patio doors have slimmer frames which, when close, give you a beautiful and uninterrupted view of the outside world.

Of course, the right type of door for your property will likely be depending on several factors. Speak with a member of the Mitchell Glass team who’ll help choose the right option for your home.

What is the difference between a conservatory, an orangery, a sunroom and an extension?

The big question!

These days, the lines that separate these different types of new living spaces are blurred.

Traditionally, conservatories are predominantly glass structures. The combination of a glass roof and glass walls create a perfect place for you to relax and enjoy the stunning views of your garden and the sky. These days, you can opt for a tiled roof conservatory and even add is some dwarf walls to insulate the space.

Similar to a conservatory, an orangery is more defined by its pillars and use of either brick or aluminium. These columns add a little extra privacy and warmth to your living space. An orangery normally features a pelmet around the roof. This also adds a little extra insulation and prevent convection currents. As for the roof? Anything goes. You could opt for a glass lantern, a solid roof or anything in between – the choice is yours!

A sunroom is a hybrid between a conservatory and a full extension. It’s airy and has large glass windows and panels to allow plenty of natural sunlight in. It also has a solid tiled roof for privacy and heat retention.

Extensions are exactly that: a natural-looking and feeling extension of your existing property. Many incorporate solid brickwork and often feature a solid tiled roof of some kind. These days though, you can effectively design a hybrid roof by including full-length glass panels and/or Velux windows.

But who needs labels? Your new living space is yours! Speak to an advisor to discuss the best solution to your needs.

Should I choose a tiled roof or a glass roof?

All our living spaces are designed and manufactured with year-round comfort in mind. Thankfully, we’re far removed from the days when polycarbonate roofs were the norm.

Solar control glazing makes a real difference to any new living space and helps to regulate internal temperatures. But if you’re concerned about achieving a year-round extension, then a tiled roof will probably be the best option for you.

Will the room be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter?

All our living spaces are designed and manufactured with year-round comfort in mind. Thankfully, we’re far removed from the days when polycarbonate roofs were the norm.

Solar control glazing makes a real difference to any new living space and helps to regulate internal temperatures. But if you’re concerned about achieving a year-round extension, then a tiled roof will probably be the best option for you.

Do you manufacture your roofs?

Our roofs come from our manufacturing partner, Conservatory Outlet. All items are fabricated at their state-of-the-art facility in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Thanks to our long and successful relationship with our key manufacturer mean that we can have complete control over our supply chain – ensuring that everything is of the quality your home deserves.

Can I choose different roof tiles to match my home?

Absolutely! We have a range of different shingle and slate tile options available and we can match your existing roof tiles if required.
Speak with a Mitchell Glass representative to find out more.

What is solar control glazing?

Solar control glazing (or glass) is a development by the glass industry that allows natural sunlight through a pane of glass whilst blocking and reflecting away a large portion of the sun’s heat. It’s fantastic for use in conservatories as it helps ensure the room doesn’t become overbearing, which was an issue with old polycarbonate panelling.

We have different options of solar control glazing available, speak with an advisor to learn more and find the right glass for your project.

Can I match my existing brickwork?

Some classes of extension don’t require approval under Building Regulations, but the majority do. Don’t worry as our experienced team will advise you of the options and requirements needed to get your project the green light and speak with the local authority on your behalf.

Do I need Building Regulations Approval?

Most extensions of properties require approval under Building Regulations.  There are a number of classes of extensions that don’t – but fear not.  Mitchell Glass will send a surveyor experienced in planning and building regulations to advise you of the options and requirements needed for your extension.  Mitchell Glass will also arrange Building Regulations for you by approaching the relevant local authority.

Do I need planning permission?

An extension or an addition to your house is typically considered to be a permitted development. This means it does not require an application for planning permission if specific criteria are met.

Generally, these are:

  • The ground area covered by the extension and any other buildings within the boundary of the property, excluding the original house, is not more than half the total area of the property.
  • The extension is not higher than the existing highest point of the house.
  • The eaves of the extension are not higher than the eaves of the existing house.
  • The extension does not extend buoying any road-facing wall if it forms the main or side elevation of the existing property.
  • The eaves do not exceed 3 metres in height if the extension is within 2 metres of the property’s boundary.
  • The materials used in the work, except in the case of a conservatory, are of similar appearance to the existing house
  • An upper floor window on a side elevation within 15 metres of a boundary with another house is obscured glazed and is non-opening unless the parts of the window which can be opened are more than 1.7 metres above the floor of the room in which the window is installed.
  • A side extension does not exceed 4 metres in height or be wider than half the width of the house.

In a single-storey extension:

  • The extension does not extend past the rear wall of the original house by:
    • 4 metres for a detached house
    • 3 metres for any other type of house
  • The height of the extension is not greater than 4 metres
  • No part of the extension is within 3.5 metres of a property boundary with a road opposite the rear wall of the house.

In an extension with more than one storey:

  • The extension does not extend past the rear wall of the original house by more than 3 metres
  • No part of the extension is within 7 metres of the property boundary opposite the rear wall of the house
  • The roof pitch of the enlargement is as far as is practicable the same as that of the original house

If you live in a house within a conservation area, World Heritage Site, Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB) or National Park:

  • No part of the exterior of the house is clad with stone, artificial stone, pebbledash, render, timber, plastic or tiles
  • The extension is not more than 1 storey or 4 metres in height
  • No part of the extension extends beyond a principal or side elevation of the original house.

How long will it take to build a new living space?

It is difficult to estimate how long each build will take. Each house and design is unique and as such, the timeframe to get the necessary planning requirements and the construction itself will vary.

Our team of advisors will be able to help and will talk through any expected timescales.

What is a test dig?

A test dig is a small excavation of ground used to determine what conditions are on site. This can be done to see what form of foundation would be best for the property, either a traditional concrete foundation, a specialist pile foundation or a concrete raft.

What is a cavity tray?

A cavity tray crosses the inner cavity of a wall and dispels moisture away from the inner wall and out through weep vents in the external wall.

Should I choose a tiled roof or a glass roof?

This depends on you want to use your room, which direction it faces and your budget.

If you want to maximise the amount of natural light within your space, then a glass roof is the obvious way to go. With the advancements made in glazing in recent years, there are plenty of options that can help regulate the amount of UV and external heat that enters your property.

For more of a homely feel, then a solid tiled roof is a strong contender. This could even be personalised with the addition of some full-length glass panels or Velux windows.

Should I replace my frames too?

If you’re going to the trouble and expense of upgrading your old conservatory roof for a new and better performing one, it makes sense to replace your frames too. Modern roofs are far more thermally efficient and securer and failing to change your frames could compromise the warmth and comfort of your living space.

Speak to a Mitchell Glass advisor and we’ll work out an excellent deal for you incorporating more energy-efficient and safer frames, paired with glazing options that will make a difference to your home.

What are replacement tiled roofs made of?

For a quick and efficient installation, replacement solid roof systems tend to be prefabricated. This means that there’s a minimum amount of disruption to your home as your project is completed. Each roof is made to the exact measurements of your existing conservatory.

The roof system itself comprises a pre-engineered and lightweight frame, insulating panels, insulated fire-grade plasterboard, exterior grade plywood and impenetrable membrane. The roof is finished with your choice of tiles or solid panels.

What is a Clad over roof?

A clad over roof can take many forms. Their installation never involves removing the old structure. Instead, it is ‘clad over’. This is not good practice and can cause homeowners numerous problems as and when things go wrong with the installation.

  • Clad over roofs can be too heavy for the existing conservatory frames as they use heavy timber, insulation and tiles. Any old conservatory needs to have a roof that is lightweight – the lightest solid roof systems weight around 31KG/M2

Tip: Always ask your installer for the total weight of the new roof in Sq.M

  • Clad over roofs do not meet current fire safety regulations. The systems are never effectively fire tested as a complete structure – only individual components can be as existing structures vary from job to job. Per BS476-3, solid roofs must be AC, AB or AA rated.

Tip: Always ask to see the fire certificate of your entire roof system before committing to the project.

  • Clad over systems tend to be denied Building Regulations approval due to their low thermal rating and weak structural integrity. This isn’t the same as planning permission which often isn’t required when undertaking this type of work. You must notify Building Control if you are making any change to a structure, including replacing a glass or polycarbonate conservatory roof. The approval ensures that your new roof is structurally sound.

Tip: Check that local Building Control has been informed before the conversion starts. Obtain a Building Regulations ‘Final’ Certificate and file it in a safe place.

Will my new conservatory or orangery roof still be too hot in the summer and too cool in the winter?

Our roofs are designed and manufactured with year-round comfort in mind. Thankfully, we’re far removed from the days when polycarbonate roofs were the norm.
Solar control glazing makes a real difference to any new living space and helps to regulate internal temperatures. But if you’re concerned about achieving a year-round extension, then a tiled roof will probably be the best option for you.

How much will it cost to replace my existing roof?

Prices vary on a project-by-project basis. As a guideline, you should expect to spend anything upwards of £5,000 for a small conservatory roof and £12,000 for a larger one. There are plenty of different ways to spread the cost of your new roof. We have a simple finance calculator that can help you work out an easy payment plan that suits your budget.

How long will it take to replace my existing conservatory roof?

A tiled solid roof replacement can be installed within a few days with minimum disruption to your home.

Do I need planning permission to replace an existing roof?

You don’t need planning permission to change the roof on an existing structure but Buildings Regulation Control is. A property sale cannot be completed without this.

Do I need Building Regulations Approval?

Getting Building Regulations approval from your local authority ensures that your new roof has been rigorously checked by a government-approved inspector. The inspector will check that the system has been installed correctly, is structurally safe and is thermally efficient.

With Building Regulations approval, you can show that your roof was fitted properly. This is crucial if you come to sell the property as it removes any doubt over any authorised work potentially being carried out.

Do you offer finance to help me pay for home improvement?

We want people to realise and live in their dream homes. To help, we’re able to arrange different easy payment finance options (subject to application and status) for our customers.

Applying for finance is simple and we promise a speedy decision.

What do we need to do when our finance is approved?

If you have arranged finance independently of Mitchell Glass, just let us know as soon as you’ve got the go-ahead. If you’re taking up one of our offers, then the company will inform us both directly.

What happens if finance is refused?

Finance companies reject people’s applications for varying reasons. It could be something as simple as you’ve moved to a new house recently. In these circumstances, we do our best to help. It’s always worth trying a different provider, especially if you have a history with them – e.g., your mortgage provider.

I’ve applied for finance with Mitchell Glass. How long will approval take?

Sometimes our finance company will say yes almost immediately. At other times, it might take a couple of days for them to come to a decision. This can be for any number of reasons and you shouldn’t be unduly concerned.

If you have any other questions about financing your home improvements project through Mitchell Glass, please speak with one of our advisors.

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Established in 1875

Mitchell Glass have an unrivalled history in serving the home improvement needs of our customers. We use all the experience gained in over 140 years of business to deliver the product of your dreams. We will spend time with you when making those important decisions.

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Giving our customers complete confidence in the price that they pay is very important to us. Find the same quality product and service commitment for less (within our service area) before you place an order with us and we will price match it.

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Mitchell Glass is proud to be a member of FENSA (Registered No. 22655) - the leading body providing homeowner protection in the double glazing industry for windows and doors.

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Our range of services includes development of bespoke design ideas, building plans, planning permission and building regulation applications, for your home improvement project.

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