Why is aluminium a better choice over uPVC and timber?
Aluminium windows and doors are at a higher price point than conventional uPVC, which can sometimes sway the choice of homeowners looking to save a few pennies in the short term. Timber frame windows and doors are also a popular choice to achieve a traditional aesthetic in residential architecture. However, uPVC and timber windows do come with the demand for regular maintenance to keep them in excellent condition and prevent excessive wear.
Timber and uPVC windows and doors are vulnerable to warp and damaged by the wet weather climate we have in the UK. Once these glazing systems become slightly worn, they can deteriorate very quickly; therefore, it’s required that they are maintained on a regular basis. The maintenance of timber-framed glazing includes repainting the frames on a yearly or bi-yearly basis to prevent rot and damage from excessive heat and sunlight.
On the other hand, aluminium is a very strong and durable material that has many benefits when used in glazing systems. Due to the strength of aluminium, the frames for aluminium windows and doors can be manufactured to beautifully slim designs, meaning the occupants can benefit from a greater area of glass for improved light ingress.
The powder-coated finish (PPC) on aluminium provides a highly durable finish to the surface of the window or door which enables aluminium to maintain a sophisticated aesthetic for decades. The only maintenance required is an occasional clean to remove any debris that may have built up on the surface during wet and windy conditions.
Why are aluminium windows and doors so strong?
The chemical composition of aluminium and how it is manufactured gives aluminium its integral strength. During the manufacturing process, aluminium is combined with various alloys and atoms to strengthen the original material even more.
The strength of aluminium means that window frames can be manufactured to a broad range of configurations and bespoke shapes. If your architectural design has non-conventional window shapes, aluminium frames are the perfect choice to fill these openings as they will provide the same thermal performance as traditional shape windows.
The stronger the frame material, the more glass is possible for the opening. uPVC and timber-framed windows have relatively thick frames and therefore have less glass which means the light ingress and views outdoors aren’t as great as aluminium windows. The strength of aluminium also means that the windows can be manufactured to large sizes to accommodate larger glass panes and therefore less framing material is required overall.
Timber framed glazing systems can be highly desirable due to the natural aesthetic they provide; however, it is possible to finish aluminium frames with a timber look polyester powder coat. Aluminium window frames can be finished in a selection of realistic wood-grain effects ranging from natural oak tones through to dark walnut and mahogany aesthetics. This is a great alternative to real timber windows as the same look can be achieved but will all the benefits of aluminium’s high performance and low maintenance requirements.
Aluminium window frames come in an extensive range of finishes and colours; therefore, if the new aluminium glazing systems need to match existing window frames (for example if a new extension is being built and the glazing is desired to match existing systems) there will be a finish that matches the existing glazing even if the existing frames are timber or uPVC.
The maintenance of window systems varies depending on the material they are manufactured from. Although solid hardwood windows can look incredibly elegant and beautiful, they require a high level of maintenance to remain in good condition both aesthetically and operationally. Even though uPVC frames often come with a lengthy guarantee and at a low price point, they a likely to look tired after a few years of exposure to the UK climate. Even though aluminium is more costly than uPVC, it is definitely worth it based on the longevity and thermal performance properties of this frame material.
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