A short buyers guide to the key features of Aluminium or UPVC Windows.
Modern residential aluminium double glazed windows are not yet as popular as their UPVC counterparts. However, they are gaining popularity due to the major improvements in performance and appearance over the last few years.
If you are at the point of replacing the windows & doors in your home, just to give you a little insight, here is our summary comparison of the top 3 key features of Aluminium Vs UPVC double glazed Windows.
#1 – Price
One of the major factors influencing buyers has surely got to be the cost of buying & installing the windows. Whilst the cost of install is broadly going to be equal, the same cannot be said about the cost of the windows themselves.
Aluminium windows are costlier to buy than the equivalent UPVC product. The rough price guide below will give you some indication of the difference for the same size of unit.
This difference, on its’ own, can be enough to put off some people with a tight budget from even considering them in the first place.
If price alone is not your sole criteria for deciding, then there are other things to consider.
#2 – Appearance
Aluminium is structurally strong. This allows for very slim profiles to be used in the construction of the frames. Whereas UPVC needs internal metal reinforcing to give it the structural integrity necessary.
Having to include reinforcing bars within the frames leads to them being thicker to accommodate the internal bars. In some cases, it makes UPVC windows look quite “chunky”.
With aluminium windows you get “more glass, less frame”. Which, in our opinion, looks much more appealing and attractive.
This structural strength benefit is even more apparent for larger windows. Aluminium can span widths where UPVC just can’t do it without a support of some kind.
Something else you may not have considered are the fixing screws. On an aluminium frame they are screwed into metal, with uPVC the screws are driven into “plastic”. Metal to metal screw fixing is surely a stronger and longer lasting combination (less handles or hinges working loose over time).
Both aluminium and UPVC windows have coloured options. UPVC has about a dozen or so colours that most suppliers will have in stock. On the other hand, aluminium has a virtually unlimited range of colors available, with some suppliers claiming you can have almost any colour you want.
This is down to the process used for each. Coloured UPVC has a foil skin applied under heat to produce colours, aluminum frames use powder coat paints.
Both materials have the option for wood grain effect surfaces.
#3 – Lifespan & Maintenance.
In terms of how long your windows will last (and look good), Aluminium windows are reckoned to last easily for 40 to 45 years, but even the best UPVC windows are estimated to last around 25 years.
However, there have been a lot of “cheap UPVC windows” on the market that have barely lasted 10 years. Discoloration, warped frames, fittings becoming loose being just some of the regular culprits.
All things being equal on terms of the product & installation quality, you should get at least an extra 15 years of use from Aluminium windows.
In terms of maintenance, both need a minimum. Unlike timber, neither of these material rust or rot like wood, and are impervious to insect attack (woodworm / woodlice etc). Just keep them clean and lightly oil the moving parts here & there.
Our conclusions about Aluminium or UPVC Windows
If low prices are your priorities, then go for UPVC windows, even the highest quality products should less expensive than aluminium.
If you have a wider set of criteria, such as longevity, appearance and value for money. Then aluminium windows must be a serious consideration for you.Get Free Quotes