How long do you expect UPVC windows to last

  carver 09:50 10 Jun 2014

How long do you expect UPVC windows to last, up till this morning I believed they would last 20-25 maybe 30 years before replacing.

We had new windows fitted 15 years ago at the back of the house because that is the side that gets all the bad weather and sun all year.

Mistakenly I believed that UPVC windows may age and yellow over time but not wear out but today I find that I am wrong.

The mechanism that operates the locking action on the window is called a "gearbox" simply because it has moving gears and they wear, now I would have thought that something as important as that you would be able to replace.

How wrong can you get, they do not make that part any more and you now need a new "gearbox" only problem the new one doesn't fit my window, so I asked what do I do to fix the window?

"How about you replace the windows with new ones, well they are 15 years old."

That is the reply I got from the window company who fitted the windows.

So I have windows that are perfectly good apart from a supposedly replaceable part and I am now faced with the prospect of throwing them out.

5 windows all with the same mechanism all now in danger of being scrap.

I wish some one had told me this before I replaced the 80 year old wooden windows in the front of the house with "energy and money saving" units.

Moral of the story, buy new gearboxes before they stop making them, or do not believe the first thing you are told by a company, contacted 2 firms who have correct gearbox for £9 each.

Cost with postage £50 for 5 windows, cost for 5 new windows nearly £2000.

Now I wonder which one to go for.

Rant over, feel better , tablets taking effect, pocket feeling better, debit card no longer hyperventilating.

  spuds 10:19 10 Jun 2014

"How long do you expect UPVC windows to last". Well that's a very difficult question, because it seems by the cold caller's we get, its about every two weeks :O)

But going back on the subject of the 'gearbox', I have changed the one on the rear door. Checking the main dealer network, I found the replacements far easier and cheaper on eBay. The same applied to the window handle and lock devices. Change of door locks from Toolstation.

The best part of the above was the ease of fitting, usually by screwdriver.But watch out for door locking fitting, the old holes might require attention, because of previous 'slipshod' work on original assembly.

  spuds 10:35 10 Jun 2014

20 years old, what about all the modern technology of triple glazing, different 'air' between the glass panels,and all the rest. Its a whole different ball games nowadays, from those 'mediaeval' days :O)

  wee eddie 11:47 10 Jun 2014

Carver: has it occurred to you that the Company you are dealing with, that also sells Replacement Windows, might have an ulterior motive in telling you that your windows are un-repairable?

  iscanut 13:05 10 Jun 2014

We had Upvc windows installed in 1991 with the gap between panes filled with argon gas. They are still fine, with no breakdown of the seals. The gas warms the glass with even the slightest hint of sun, so they keep warm even on winter. Used a local installer who is still in business, so a very good buy.

  bumpkin 17:23 10 Jun 2014

canarieslover, I did the same but only about 10yrs back, much better looking and generally better product. Well worth the extra initial cost.

  woodchip 17:51 10 Jun 2014

My UPVC are 20 years still going strong

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:19 10 Jun 2014

Frames etc. OK but most of the panes are now misting so quite disappointed.

Thinking about full replacement rather than just glass as they should then see me out

  bumpkin 20:13 10 Jun 2014

Fruit Bat, to give you an example I had a 20yr old set of patio doors, poor locking and difficult to open and shut and misted up glass units. Cost of repairs £760. Cost of complete replacement with the multipoint locking by a reliable local company £1000. Only one sensible choice in my opinion.

  SparkyJack 23:02 10 Jun 2014

Nail or glue them shut- then draw the curtain.

Really not being synical- how often have you opened windows during the period of installation ?

  Forum Editor 22:45 11 Jun 2014

"most of the panes are now misting so quite disappointed."

A lot of people think that double-glazed units will last more or less forever, but that's not the case. More expensive panels may go for 30 years or so before misting up, but they will certainly fail in the end. Cheaper ones fail much sooner - 20 years on average - and poorly made and/or installed units will mist up after only a few years.

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