An important consideration for anyone who is about to install double glazing, either in a new build or replacing windows of an older property, is the material the frames should be constructed of. One will be faced with the making a decision between aluminium windows versus uPVC windows. The main baffling question is which is better? This can be a difficult decision for anyone to reach when they know little about these materials. However, with a little guidance this decision should become easier.
Very often, an important factor in material choice is the cost. In this instance, uPVC, referring to unplasticised polyvinyl chloride, is less expensive than its aluminium rival, so this is worth taking into consideration although it is not uPVC’s main attraction. When it comes to insulation, uPVC appears to be the stronger choice. It is a very proficient insulator and provides the best energy insulation of the two materials. Aluminium is slightly behind on this, although the introduction of thermally broken aluminium windows has greatly increased its efficiency leaving it only just behind uPVC for its thermal insulation properties.
Aluminium windows are often considered to be a more aesthetically pleasing material as it can offer smaller sight lines, a wider variety of windows styles, a huge choice of colour options and wood grain colour finishes suiting any setting, using a variety of paint textures. Paint options include a textured durable scratch resistant finish boasting a 25 year guarantee. UPVC finishing options have changed over the years and no longer just come in standard white or brown. There are now a variety of finishing options so you can have your uPVC windows in a choice of wood grain finishes, particularly popular if they are how much do upvc windows cost old wooden frames, and a variety of colour options are now available. Both aluminium and uPVC frames can offer dual finish options so the windows can suit both the interior and exterior of the home.
Aluminium is a very strong and durable material, which is why it is widely used in commercial building projects and in situations where windows and doors receive heavy usage and traffic. Although uPVC is a slightly less durable material in these situations, it is a strong and durable solution for household applications and although it has a lower structural integrity. Nevertheless, this is overcome by the use of steel or aluminium reinforcements in the frames.
When it comes to maintenance, both aluminium and uPVC require little effort. All that is required is an occasional wipe down with soap and water and the rare adjustments and lubricating of moving parts. Neither materials require painting, unlike conventional wooden window frames, and will last for years with little attention from the homeowner.
It is impossible to say whether aluminium or uPVC is the better product to use. It entirely depends, not only on the budget, but also the application and desired aesthetics. While uPVC has proven to be a more popular choice for homeowners recently, when fitting windows into listed buildings or those in conservation areas, it is often the case that the local planning council will insist on either aluminium or wooden window frames being installed.