One of the things you may be thinking about for your home improvement project is choosing between aluminium or PVCu for your windows and doors.
We’re frequently asked about aluminium or PVCu and what’s the best material. As well as this, steel and timber are two materials very popular today. The latest steel and steel look glazing especially has greater awareness as a result of the current trend for steel-replacement windows and doors in the home. In this article, we help you understand the various materials and what is best for your home.
What is best? Aluminium or PVCu?
Your choice of window material also depends on the type of glazing you’re looking for. The good news is, aluminium or PVCu, timber as well as steel all provide what customers generally require from their new glazing.
- A choice of styles, colours and accessories
- Excellent security with weather protection
- U-Values or Window energy ratings meeting or exceeding Building Regulations
- A quality guarantee
Aluminium or PVCu. a question of sightlines
Aluminium or PVCu windows, come in either modern or traditional frame styles to work with your home. The significant different between these two materials is sightlines.
Every type of aluminium window and door is slimmer than PVCu and timber. The only material that’s thinner than aluminium is steel. However, this costs a lot more. Compare any casement window side by side and aluminium is substantially slimmer.
These slim sightlines are even more noticeable with doors. Aluminium doors again come slimmer. At the same time, they come in smaller and larger widths and heights compared to PVCu.
Therefore, if slim windows are important to you, it has to be aluminium.
The best material for patio doors
Aluminium is best for larger patio doors such as sliding doors or bifolding doors. Don’t just take our word for it. Most door professionals in the UK rely on aluminium for patio door products over PVCu. This doesn’t mean PVCu is inferior. However, there are several areas where PVCu, by nature of the material cannot work like aluminium.
Aluminium doors are always better in aluminium because they’re slimmer. Therefore, only aluminium provides the minimal, slimline or near-frameless look that’s popular today with doors.
Importantly, while PVCu doors do come as sliding or folding doors, they’re not available at the typical 3 metre sizes for the door panels you get with aluminium. As well as this, the thicker PVCu profiles also result in thicker and more visible hinges and other components. Aluminium provides slimmer hardware that looks better too.
Finally, is thermal expansion. Aluminium expands around two and a half-times less than PVCu or timber. It’s often the case on South facing elevations to find PVCu and timber doors sticking or juddering as they slide or fold. While aluminium also expands in the heat, the effect is substantially less and without any performance issues. You benefit from more reliable doors with hardly any service or operation issues in your home.
Again, don’t just take our word for it. Look around and you’ll see pictures of gorgeous new extensions with beautiful new doors, great views and masses of light. These are more often than not, in aluminium or steel.
U-Values when choosing between aluminium or PVCu
Both aluminium and PVCu meet or exceed the requirements of current Building Regulations. PVCu windows usually have lower U-Values and slightly better window energy ratings such as A or A+. Aluminium windows also come with good energy ratings and typically these are B or C, still meeting the requirements of Building Regulations.
Glass is the substantial component in any window and door. Consequently, the better the glass the better the performance of the entire door or window. As you do your research, make sure the U-Values stated are for the entire product including its frame. Don’t rely on just ‘centre-pane’ U-Values that relate to the glass only.
Talk to us about how we can help give you even better energy efficiency, security or acoustics for your new doors and windows in aluminium or PVCu.
Security and weather performance on PVCu and aluminium
Today’s strict product and performance standards mean excellent security, weather protection and product quality.
New windows and doors regardless of material all meet set standards for components, the profiles, glass, locks and even the rubber seals and gaskets. Then there are British and European standards setting out all manner of requirements, making your new windows and doors fit for purpose.
As well as this, independent testing institutes certify the security, weather protection, air, wind and water protection. You’ll find all quality PVCu, aluminium, timber and steel windows come tested to these standards. Ask us for more information about these and the benefits in your home.
Where PVCu is better than aluminium and steel
There are two product groups were PVCu is better than aluminium. These are for sliding sash windows and timber look windows and doors. Our Residence collection of windows is the very best on the market for authenticity in windows that look exactly like 19th Century timber.
Similarly our range of sliding sash windows provide all the authenticity associated with classic sliding windows in heritage, Victorian or Edwardian East Midlands homes.
The incredible design of these two PVCu products makes them perfect for replacing classically styled windows with a low maintenance solution to timber windows.
Are windows and doors low-maintenance?
The low-maintenance message is widely marketed today for home improvements. Timber windows are one products where the perception is one of routine painting or staining. This is not altogether true.
The most low maintenance window is PVCu. As this window material is often virgin white as a raw material, white windows obviously are natural and need no maintenance.
Foiled PVCu windows, painted timber, powder-coated aluminium or steel are low-maintenance but need a little extra care, just like you take care of other products around your home with a painted surface.
Aluminium, steel and timber windows and doors all come with the very latest in coating technology. You benefit from 10 years or more warranty on the colours. And to keep your windows and doors looking their best, all they need is routine cleaning with a mild soapy solution and a soft sponge.
Aluminium or PVCu. Timber or Steel-look. The very best products from aluhome
At alühome we work with the best manufacturers, systems and brands giving you luxury, inspired, refined and bespoke new windows for your property project. Every one of these promises the best in looks and performance. Visit our Aluminium Studio in Stamford or get in touch and discuss your requirements.