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Tilt and turn windows guide

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Tilt and turn windows are a popular choice for any style of home. With variable opening options and often large sashes for better views, this type of window can be specified in most frame materials. 

We delve into the ins and out of tilt and turn windows, explaining the pros, cons and everything in between. 

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What is a tilt and turn window?

Tilt and turn windows are a style of window with two versatile opening options: opening the window inwardly, similar to a casement window, or opening it inwardly at an angle like a hopper window. Tilt and turn windows offer homeowners a practical option for optimal ventilation, ease of cleaning and improved security.

How do tilt and turn windows work?

Tilt and turn windows operate in two ways: as an inward door-style opening window on a left- or right-hand side hinge or as an inward tilt-opening window, engaging a hinge at the bottom.

The turning function works by opening the window fully inward on its side hinges, enabling the window to open like a door. This practical functionality provides easy access for cleaning the exterior of the windows, as both sides of the window can be accessed from inside the home. It also allows for maximum ventilation and uninterrupted views out of the window.

The tilting function works by opening the window inwardly on a tilt using the hinges at the bottom of the window, allowing for a smaller opening at the top of the window. This inward tilt opening allows fresh air into the home while controlling ventilation, maintaining privacy, enhancing home security and offering protection from bad weather.

The opening functions of tilt and turn windows are operated on two axes; typically, turning the window handle 90 degrees will engage the first axis, allowing the side hinge to open the window inwardly. When the handle is turned 180 degrees, this will typically engage the second axis, allowing the inward tilt opening to engage. These different opening options are enabled by the hardware mechanisms within the window frame, which ensure the controlled, smooth and easy-to-operate opening, tilting and closing of the tilt and turn window. 

It should be noted that tilt and turn windows typically only open inwardly when using either the turn or tilt function, and there is no option to open the window outwardly.

Different tilt and turn window manufacturers may have different instructions for operating the windows they manufacture, so it is advisable to refer to these instructions to ensure correct operation.

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Tilt and turn window materials

There are a range of materials to choose from when considering tilt and turn windows for your home. Here, we provide some insight into the most popular material options for tilt and turn window frames and their benefits. 

The most popular window materials for tilt and turn window frames include:

  • Unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC)
  • Wood
  • Aluminium
  • Composites

uPVC window frames for tilt and turn windows are usually the most cost-effective option and they come with a range of colour, design and hardware options. uPVC tilt and turn window frames are made from a durable plastic and, as such, are renowned for their low maintenance, durability and longevity. However, if you are looking for a very hard-wearing option or you’d like your tilt and turn windows to have greater aesthetic or architectural appeal, uPVC may not be the best option.

Tilt and turn windows with wooden frames offer a good amount of design versatility, allowing you to complement your home with style and design preferences that may not be achievable with other material options. Wooden tilt and turn window frames are not typically the most cost-effective option and they require a greater level of maintenance, when compared with aluminium, uPVC and composite options. Overall, wooden windows can offer a more charming appearance to both modern and traditional properties, enhancing character and aesthetics. With continued maintenance, they can last for decades. 

Aluminium window frames are a popular choice for homeowners wanting increased durability from their tilt and turn windows. This is because they are incredibly durable and resistant to rot and rust. In addition, aluminium tilt and turn windows offer architectural style due to their slim profile. What’s more, they can be powder coated in virtually any colour. The higher upfront cost of aluminium tilt and turn window frames is a consideration for many, but they offer many security benefits and are a lower maintenance option.

The popularity of composite tilt and turn window frames has grown in recent years. These window frames look like wood but are actually a combination of wood, vinyl and fibreglass. This combination of materials makes composite window frames a modern option that allows for the appearance of wood but is more durable and requires less maintenance than wooden window frames.

Maintenance requirements, design, aesthetics and budget are all key factors when considering materials for tilt and turn windows. With each material having benefits and unique design features, the best material comes down to your personal preference.

How much do tilt and turn windows cost?

Tilt and turn windows can be specified in a range of materials and colours to suit your home. (Adobe)

Tilt and turn windows prices will vary based on several factors, including the number of windows you require, the materials, the glazing options and any other design or security requirements.

The average cost of installing uPVC tilt and turn windows for a three-bedroom house in the UK typically ranges from £4,600 to £10,000 for a full replacement of all windows, including installation. The average cost for a four-bedroom property, which will likely have more windows, is between £5,500 and £12,500. The average cost per tilt and turn window installed is between £460 and £1,020.

The number of windows requiring replacement will be a key factor when it comes to the costs involved, as will the property type. For example, the cost of adding tilt and turn windows to a three-bed terrace house may differ from the cost of adding tilt and turn windows to a four-bed semi or a five-bed detached house, as these different property types may have varying numbers of windows.

The material chosen for tilt and turn windows can significantly impact the cost. Typically, uPVC windows are the most cost-effective option. Composite windows are slightly more expensive, and aluminium and wooden window frames, while offering enhanced aesthetics and durability, will require higher budgets. As an example, the average cost of a tilt and turn window with an aluminium frame is between £720 and £1,020, compared with an average cost of between £460 and £655 for a uPVC window.

Other factors that can impact the cost of adding tilt and turn windows to a home are glazing options, additional features and the style of the house. Double glazing is the most common glazing option for tilt and turn windows. Upgrading this to triple glazing or other premium glazing types will likely result in increased costs. Additional security features or upgraded window hardware, such as handles, will add to the cost of tilt and turn windows. The design features required for tilt and turn windows may be influenced by the style of the house they are being added to; upgrading design features will typically cost more money. There are certain government window schemes available in the UK that can reduce the cost of new windows. You can check if you are available for any of these schemes via this guide to double glazed grants.

The cost of adding tilt and turn windows will vary depending on the manufacturer and the window fitters used to supply and install the windows. It is advisable to get multiple quotes from local window companies to get the best price while ensuring that you are using a reputable fitter with good customer reviews.

Tilt and turn windows pros and cons

There are several advantages and disadvantages to tilt and turn windows. It is advisable to consider the pros and cons of tilt and turn windows when selecting a style.

Advantages of tilt and turn windows include:

  • Versatile options for ventilation in the home. For instance, when bad weather conditions would normally restrict the opening of other window types, such as sash windows. This makes tilt and turn windows a good solution on cooler or rainy days.
  • Improved home security. When the tilt function is used, the window can be opened a small amount, allowing for ventilation without leaving an opening large enough for an intruder to enter the property.
  • Easy-to-clean design. The inward turn feature of a tilt and turn window allows accessibility to both sides of the window for cleaning from inside the property.
  • Reduced noise pollution. When the tilt feature is engaged, it allows the window to be opened a small amount, meaning that exterior noise is reduced more than with other window styles, such as casement windows.

Disadvantages of tilt and turn windows include:

  • Higher costs compared with alternative options. Because of their complex mechanisms, these windows result in higher manufacturing costs to allow for the unique features offered. The overall cost will vary based on factors such as the materials used, any design features required, the hardware options and the number of windows required.
  • More complex maintenance requirements. The mechanisms used in tilt and turn windows are more complex than those used in some other window styles, and the dual opening feature means there are twice as many hinge mechanisms to maintain. The increased complexity and amount of window hardware will typically result in more maintenance being required over time. 
  • Size and shape restrictions. The mechanisms used in tilt and turn windows are more complex than those used in some other window styles, and the dual opening feature means there are twice as many hinge mechanisms to maintain. The increased complexity and amount of window hardware will typically result in more maintenance being required over time. 
  • Design restriction. Typically, tilt and turn windows are only available in standard window sizes, and it may not be possible to install this window style if the window has larger dimensions or is particularly tall or wide. This is due to the complex mechanisms used and the weight distribution of the window when in the tilt position.

When deciding on a window style, it is important to consider factors such as your individual requirements and preferences, budget and the cost of different window styles.

What to look for in a tilt and turn window quote

It is generally advisable to gather three quotes from different suppliers and manufacturers. The cheapest option might now provide the best value for money, so weigh up the company, material type and other variables that might impact the quality. (Adobe)

When getting a quote for tilt and turn windows, it is important to look at the cost, the reputability of the window fitter, manufacturer reviews and guarantees offered by the supplier or fitter.

When looking at the cost of the windows, it is important to consider the number of windows required, the frame material and any additional features you wish to add, such as upgraded glazing and design or security features. The number of windows required and the size of the windows can cause the overall cost of adding tilt and turn windows to vary. On average, a double-glazed uPVC tilt and turn window will cost between £400 and £800. 

While cost is an important factor when choosing a supplier for tilt and turn windows, it is important to keep in mind that quality manufacturers and reputable companies will ensure that your new windows are of good quality and installed properly.

It is advisable to understand what manufacturer and installation guarantees are offered by the different window fitters you obtain quotes from; guarantees can help if the window standard or fitting quality falls short of expectations and can maximise the lifespan of your new windows. 

When considering adding tilt and turn windows to your home, it is advisable to obtain multiple quotes from local window installers to find the best value and get a more accurate idea of the cost of tilt and turn windows that meet your specifications. 

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Frequently asked questions

Typically, tilt and turn windows will be more expensive than other styles, such as standard casement windows. However, their unique design and hardware mechanisms offer increased versatility and security. While the upfront cost of tilt and turn windows may be higher, they do offer features and functions that are not available with other window styles.

Tilt and turn windows have enhanced features, which can contribute to a greater overall cost. The specialised hardware and mechanisms the window frame requires to facilitate two opening options, multipoint locking, weatherproofing and improved insulation equate to higher manufacturing and installation costs.

The expense of tilt and turn windows will vary based on the window frame material selected, the number and size of the windows required, any additional features and the fitter and supplier used. More windows, larger window sizes and non-standard sized windows will all cause quotations to fluctuate.

The selected material for tilt and turn windows will impact the price. uPVC is typically the most cost-effective option, while wooden frames are more expensive but offer greater design flexibility and a traditional aesthetic. Aluminium options are, again, more expensive, offering a slim profile design and superior durability. Composite frames allow for the look of wood while offering enhanced durability and a lower price point.

The glazing required in tilt and turn windows and any additional design or security features requested will influence quotations for tilt and turn windows. Choosing triple glazing over double glazing, requesting bespoke design elements and upgrading window security will all result in higher prices.

Different suppliers and installers will provide varying quotations for tilt and turn windows. Using a reputable company that offers guarantees for the windows and their installation may not be the cheapest option, but it should ensure that best practices are followed. Seal failure and air and water leaks can be a result of poor installation and these issues can significantly reduce the lifespan of double-glazed windows.

Tilt and turn windows do not typically open outwards. Tilt and turn windows have two inward opening options. The first is to have the window in the tilt position, allowing it to open at the top of the window via an opening mechanism at the base. The second is the turn position, allowing the window to open fully inside the property by a hinge on either the right- or left-hand side of the window.

The inability to open outwardly is due to the design features and benefits of tilt and turn windows, which include enhanced security, versatile options for ventilation, protection from poor weather and easy access for cleaning from inside the property.

Instructions for fixing tilt and turn windows will depend on the issue. 

Here are some common issues that may occur with tilt and turn windows:

  • Difficulties with operation when opening and closing the window
  • Windows not closing or locking correctly
  • Drafts or air leaks
  • Damaged glass

Below is guidance on how to fix each of these tilt and turn window issues.

Trouble opening and closing the window
If you have trouble opening and closing the window using the tilt or turn function, it is advisable to first look at the bottom and side hinges on the window to see if there are any obstructions that need to be removed, such as leaves that may have blown in or debris that could be causing the window to not open as smoothly as it should. After checking for obstructions, applying a lubricant to the hinges and window locks could facilitate smoother opening of the window. It is important to check that the lubricant is suitable for use on metal hinges to avoid damaging them. Another common problem that can be experienced when opening and closing tilt and turn windows is window misalignment. Typically, steps for adjusting the hinges to realign them can be found by referring to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Window won’t close or lock
If a tilt and turn window is not closing or locking as it should, it is advisable to first be sure that the inside of the window frame is clean and free from obstruction. This includes checking the window seals are intact and provide a proper seal. After cleaning the window frame and removing any debris, check the window handles and locks to be sure that they are operating correctly. It may be that the locking mechanism is damaged and a replacement is needed or the window handles are not working as they should and will require detaching, tightening or reattaching.

Draughty windows
If there are issues with draughts or air leaks from tilt and turn windows, it is advisable to first look at the window seals to check if they are damaged or worn. If this is the case, you can remove and replace the seals yourself or hire a professional window fitter. If the seals appear to be intact, check for any cracks or gaps in the window glass or frame. Damaged frames can typically be repaired, though the complexity of the repair work depends on the window frame material. Glass can be repaired or replaced by a professional glazier.

Broken glass
If the glass in a tilt and turn window is cracked or broken, it will normally need to be replaced. This repair work can typically be completed without replacing the window frame.

If you are unsure of the cause of the issue or are not confident in repairing it yourself, it is advisable to refer to a window fitter or manufacturer for assistance, especially when experiencing hardware issues or requiring glass replacement.

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Liz is a distinguished author and a leading voice in the realm of home improvements. With an unwavering dedication to sustainable living, she brings a wealth of expertise as a home improvements connoisseur, specialising in energy-efficient enhancements.

With a particular emphasis on reducing energy consumption, Liz’s passion shines through in her advocacy for upgrades like double glazing windows. 

Through her insightful writing, Liz empowers homeowners to embrace greener lifestyles without compromising on comfort or style. Her articles, guides, and expert opinions provide practical, step-by-step advice for those eager to make a positive environmental impact. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a homeowner seeking to curate a more sustainable space, Liz offers a wealth of knowledge to inspire and guide your home improvement journey.

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.