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Aluminium v uPVC. Which Is Best?

uPVC v Aluminium  windows – it's often a question that is asked which is better.  For customers it can be a very difficult decision to make when choosing new windows or doors. 

uPVC vs aluminium…..Durability

uPVC  has been probably the most common choice for window frames since the eighties. It’s a very durable material and is very resistant to rot, which means it has a long lifespan and usually requires very little maintenance other than cleaning with the correct chemicals. However, frames can degrade over the years, sometimes becoming brittle and discoloured. Still at a much slower rate than timber windows, and tend to require replacement after 20 to 30 years.

Aluminium is also a highly durable material, but high quality aluminium windows can last up to 45 years because they don’t degrade in the same way that uPVC windows can. Unlike other metals, aluminium will not rust, so you don’t have to worry about your window frames sustaining unsightly patches of rust in the future.

One reason why aluminium has been deemed less favourable than uPVC in the past is due to its low thermal efficiency. Aluminium is a highly conductive material, which means heat can pass through it very easily. For a while, aluminium was therefore seen as a thermally inefficient choice for windows compared to uPVC windows.

However, technology has come a long way over the past couple of decades, and these days aluminium windows and doors feature innovative thermal breaks within the frames, which helps to prevent cold being transferred from external to internal.

Ultimately, the level of thermal efficiency offered by both aluminium windows and uPVC windows is variable and comes down to the quality of materials and manufacturing processes used.

Aluminium double glazed windows can be just as energy efficient as uPVC windows. You should be sure to check the WER (Window Energy Rating) on the brands you’re considering. Any newly installed windows by law must be at least C rated, but both aluminium and uPVC are capable of offering up to A++ ratings.

Security of uPVC and aluminium windows

Thanks to their durable nature, both aluminium and uPVC windows are pretty secure, and significantly more so than timber windows which can be vulnerable to forced entry if they degrade. The level of security a window provides tends to be based on the quality of the hardware such as locking mechanisms installed with it.

No matter if you opt for aluminium or uPVC, provided that you have durable, modern, multipoint locks, you can rest assured that your windows will be secure.

Soundproofing differences between uPVC and aluminium

One of the advantages of uPVC windows over aluminium is that they tend to offer slightly better soundproofing. This doesn’t mean to say that aluminium windows are bad at soundproofing, but uPVC does slightly win out when it comes to blocking out exterior noise.

However, it’s worth noting that a great deal of soundproofing comes from the glazing itself, rather than just the frame. If you opt for high quality double glazing, your home should remain relatively quiet. Triple glazing even further improves the window’s ability to block sound.

Aesthetic differences between aluminium and uPVC windows

One of the reasons for the surge in popularity of aluminium windows in recent years is the sleek style that they offer. 

Aluminium window frames can be much slimmer than uPVC, which gives them a clean, minimal look that is very popular in modern homes. The other benefit of slim window frames is that they improve sightlines, (the width of the frame) from the window.

It’s also worth noting that despite their slim frames, aluminium is robust enough to house large panes of glass. This means that if you have a large opening, you may not be required to divide it into multiple panes, which means better views and more natural light being able to enter your home.

Aluminium windows attributes:

         Sleek style

  • Minimalist
  • Improved sightlines
  • More natural light
  • Wider choice of colours

  • uPVC windows have a bit of a reputation for being bulky and unsightly, and the plastic look is not particularly appealing for homeowners who want something a little more unique for their property.

    White uPVC tends to be relatively cheap which is why it is the most common colour seen in UK properties, but there are other colours available if you do want to opt for something more out of the ordinary. You can also get wood effect uPVC window frames such as mahogany, Irish Oak, Rosewood.

    uPVC windows attributes:

  • Various colours and finishes
  • Plastic appearance
  • Good value

  • Aluminium also offers lots of variety in finishes. Most aluminium windows are finished with a powder coating, which enhances their durability and their stylish appearance.

    Powder coating is available in a huge range of colours. We offer Any RAL colours as well as any British standard colour.

    Highly realistic wood effect coatings can also be achieved with aluminium windows, and this is perfect for those who love the classic, traditional appearance of real wood but prefer the durability of aluminium over timber.

    Many aluminium windows can also feature different finishes on the inside and outside of the frame, which allows you to customise the look of the windows to complement your home’s exterior while coordinating with the individual décor of each room.

    uPVC windows vs aluminium windows pricing

    Aluminium windows do generally tend to be more expensive than uPVC windows due to a higher cost of materials and manufacturing. However, when you consider that aluminium is less likely to degrade than uPVC, it can be a more cost-effective solution in the long run.

    We hope that this has helped answer some of the questions you may have had about the differences between Aluminium & uPVC windows.

    Contact us if you require any more information or take a look on our website by clicking here