Personal preferences – we all have them and they impact on virtually everything we do in life today and windows are no exception to the rule, even though the options available are limited when it comes to the material of manufacture of windows.
The more traditional amongst us love the warmth, the feel, the grain and texture of a typical timber window.
The more cost conscious amongst us favour the UPVC window
Those of us who can recognise the benefits of both of the above and are aware that the change and re evolution of a product can be for the good may well prefer aluminium windows and doors
We reference the re evolution because in recent years aluminium has experienced something of a renaissance with both homeowners and Architects. The grey aluminium windows of pre-1980’s when aluminium casement windows were last in vogue is long gone, powder coated aluminium windows have created a whole new world of options.
The PVCu boom of the 1980/ 1990’s when homeowners were offered a more cost-effective product that offered much better thermal properties only served to enhance the decline in the popularity of the aluminium window.
The debate UPVC v Aluminium windows was pretty much a “no contest” win for UPVC through the 90’s and the early 2000’s but the aluminium window manufacturers have been fighting back and so much has changed –
Aluminium profiles whilst retaining their strength have been slimmed down to eliminate “chunky” frames and create slimline aluminium windows which are aesthetically more pleasing to the eye
Aluminium windows have developed thermal break technology, which means they can now compete with PVC in terms of energy rating. Plus, not only have double glazed aluminium windows been accepted as standard, many profiles are pre – engineered to accept triple glazing allowing you the choice of further improving the thermal efficiency.
With the benefit of changes in technology the design and the precision of the engineering have radically changed with both hinges and aluminium window handles being integrated as design components rather than “bolt on” accessories
Aluminium by its very nature is a stronger material than timber or PVC and much less prone to seasonal warping or movement. The superior strength of aluminium allows for larger configurations which are not possible with UPVC.
The adoption of powder coating is perhaps the greatest innovations as it means if a colour exists on a RAL chart you can have that colour on your windows with the option of coating the inner and outer surfaces of your window with differing colours. In fact, if you were to ask for a black aluminium window you would now more than likely be requested to specify the shade of black and no matter which colour you choose it carries a 25-year paint guarantee.
As the aluminium industry has fought back the cost of aluminium windows has become much more competitive – some thing which is reflected in all aluminium window manufacturers price lists which are now much more comparative when considered against timber and UPVC.
With all of the benefits of –
Greater energy efficiency
Precision design and engineering
Larger configurationsThe debate may still be continuing but the tide is definitely turning in favour of aluminium windows and doors.