Aluminium or PVCu for windows and doors

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.

residence-7-windows in PVCu

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.

aluminium steel look screen in a lounge

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.

Some of the images on our website illustrate how products may look and are indicative. Please contact us for current product details and specifications.

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Monday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
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Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
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Based on 27 reviews
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Charles Twort
Charles Twort
17:28 15 Oct 21
What a fantastic company! I had been searching for a specific configuration of interior and exterior doors and windows... and was struggling to find them. Then, by accident I came across Tim's company. From the moment we started to communicated I knew who I wanted to work with. Tim's techncial advice from choosing the right solutions, through to how to manage the site build requirements was second to none. The professionalism of his surveying and installers teams, didn't let me down in any department. Always professional, courteous, and tidy, while at the same time a pleasure to work more
Carl Amess
Carl Amess
14:05 07 Oct 21
Exceptional company to purchase from, small enough to care but large enough to supply the sliding doors in a... configuration we couldn't find anywhere else. Frame rebate was one of the smallest we could find with 3 extremely large doors that did not need to be fixed in any specific position when open. We can know look out on our back garden and barely notice the doors. Tim and Anita are both Amazing and so are the guys that fit the Doors. Very happy to recommend!!read more
09:03 06 Oct 21
A completely: professional, knowledgeable, courteous team at Aluhome that we would wholeheartedly recommend.Customer... service from start to finish has been exemplary.We would strongly recommend anyone who is in the market for new bi-folds to visit the showroom. As with other reviewers, it would have saved us an enormous amount of time.We would emphasis the whole team, as from start to finish we have had a seamless experience.Our install was not without it’s technical challenges. Solutions offered up by other suppliers did not match our desires. Tim listened and took the time to understand what we ultimately were looking for. Combined with Aaron, they have provided a superb solution that matches our brief perfectly.Manufacturing timescales were explained and the forecasted install date was achieved as smooth as could be wished for.The install was also seamless. Aaron and the install team were again: professional, polite and took great pride in their work.We are now the proud owners of two sets of high-end, beautiful bi-folds, provided at a competitive price. We have worked with a truly professional company and are thankful we placed our trust in Aluhome as it has been completely repaid.Mike and Debbieread more
Anthony Holmes
Anthony Holmes
22:18 19 Aug 21
Thanks to ‘Aluhome’ for first class (well Informed) advice with regard to the suitability of replacing our existing ... French doors with a Less obtrusive Aluminium framed Sliding Door system.What a difference! - the views into our garden now they are clear of window frame obstructions is delightful. This coupled with more natural light to the interior, is another bonus.The installation was carried out by fitters who clearly knew their trade and with the minimum of inconvenience to us.We are happy to report that the finished job from appearance, practicality and quality, exceeded our more
Beth Loder
Beth Loder
08:39 28 Jul 21
Tim and his amazing team have been a godsend during our extension project. His advice and friendly chats together with... his highly experienced team of surveyors and fitters made the whole experience simple and hassle free. What he doesn’t know about his products isn’t worth knowing and we came away from the showroom feeling knowledgeable and that we’d made a great informed product choice. A big thank you to the whole team, and I promise once the garden's done and the kitchen's in we will update our photos which currently I’m almost embarrassed to upload as they don’t do the bifolds justice at all! We love them, the light is amazing, thanks again Tim & Team!read more
rick davies
rick davies
13:07 24 Jul 21
Based on our recent experiences, we are happy to recommend aluhome. During a visit to their office and display room Tim... was able to give a comprehensive description and assessment of all aspects of the door and windows we were thinking of installing (replacing 25 year old wood framed patio doors and windows). The timing of delivery and installation was as predicted. The cost was more competitive than similar offers. The installation team were on time, friendly, competent and efficient. And they left the patio area as clean as it was beforehand. And we are now very pleased with our new patio door&window. Best wishes, Rick and Moread more
Lorna Kavanagh
Lorna Kavanagh
18:25 23 Jul 21
A quick and professional job, from an experienced team who care. Tim took the time to understand the project and... budget, you just can't beat face to face customer service. Aaron and Terry were reassuring and informative at every step and the install went very smooth. I always felt like I was in good hands and nothing would be a problem. Thank you guys, I'll raise a glass as I enjoy my new view!read more
Emma Price
Emma Price
11:27 19 Jul 21
We used AluHome to design and fit steel-look replacement french doors and windows at the back of our house in central... Stamford. Tim and the team at AluHome have been outstanding all the way through the process. They took time to understand our requirements and communication has been exceptional throughout. There were no delays, the doors look wonderful and the installation team were prompt, knowledgeable and paid a high level of attention of detail. There is no need to look elsewhere, we strongly recommend Tim and the more
Claire Gaunt
Claire Gaunt
21:27 12 Jun 21
Highly recommend.After searching the internet high and low for information about sliding doors, Aluhome were able to... provide all the information I needed. From my first phone call I felt confident that they were the company I wanted to use.From start to finish the service has been second to more
Mike Farrah
Mike Farrah
17:10 29 May 21
Great experience from start to finish. Tim was extremely helpful in assisting us with the initial enquiry for French... doors and windows that needed a specific “U” grade for building regs. He invited us to the the showroom and gave us a thorough walk through of the products. The quality of the product is second to none. Aaron - in charge of fitting- worked closely with our builder in terms of planning and measuring as well as giving some on site advice and recommendations.The provision and installation was on time with no issues and very professional.The French Doors now form the focal point of our kitchen extension and have really made the project.We highly recommend Tim and Aluhome!read more
michael dunford
michael dunford
09:13 22 May 21
We are delighted with our new front door from Aluhome. Tim and his team were a pleasure to deal with throughout.
Kevin Riley
Kevin Riley
19:56 10 May 21
A big thank you to Aluhome and all their team. Fantastic service from the moment we contacted on a Sunday. From the... solving of an issue we had (large opening and our wish to have 3 leaf), with doors new to the market and the overall quality of service and product. The 2 x bifolds and back door are excellent and we are delighted. The attention to detail throughout is amazing. Thank you!read more
Jill Dent
Jill Dent
08:51 04 May 21
We visited Auhome to help choose doors for our new extension. We met Tim who was very helpful and extremely... knowledgeable and offered useful information to help me decide between sliders or bi folds. The showroom has a good choice of doors which again helped with our decision. I am delighted with the Sunflex sliders we chose, they completely make our room, great quality and fitted expertly by the team. Thank you Tim and all at Aluhome in Stamford. I would thoroughly recommend more
Carrie Armitage
Carrie Armitage
09:54 21 Apr 21
Extraordinarily good looking aluminium windows; excellent service; fantastic fitters who were punctual, tidy and did a... great job. Highly recommended and a great personal service from more
Stuart Bailey
Stuart Bailey
10:49 10 Apr 21
We had decided to replace our old UPVC french doors with aluminium doors and had already researched different brands.... Having decided that Origin was the right product for our house, we approached Aluhome for a quotation. From that point onwards the whole process was quick and efficient. We met Tim at the showroom in Stamford who gave us excellent advice on options for glazing bars, handles etc.etc.We were happy with the price and delivery was much quicker than we had expected with good communication throughout.Fitters Aaron and Terry were a pleasure to deal with where nothing was too much trouble. They were careful and tidy at each stage and had all of the right tools and equipment to do a good job.Any issues during the installation were dealt with professionally and quickly to our satisfaction.Overall a really good experience and well pleased with the more
Simone Lynch
Simone Lynch
13:56 25 Mar 21
A warm welcome at the showroom in Stamford which has a range of products on show. We were shown the options available... to us as we were looking to buy bifold doors. We were advised on what would suit us best and the various options available as regards colour, handle options etc. They were fitted very quickly and although we had a couple of issues they were dealt with quickly and efficiently by Tim. Very pleased with our doors and the service from Tim and his fitters. Would more
Joy Bates
Joy Bates
10:08 23 Mar 21
AluHome fitted all new windows, including two sliding doors to our unusual 1960's house.Response to our initial... contact was very prompt and we decided to visit their fabulous showroom in Stamford where we were made very welcome and received excellent technical advice, helping us to make our final decision.Communication has been brilliant throughout with Tim the owner. The fitters Aaron and Terry were a pleasure to deal with - nothing was too much trouble. We had some issues due to the quirky nature of our house but these were dealt with efficiently and without fuss.We are very happy with our windows - the transformation is amazing.Thank you team AluHome!read more
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Published on October 19, 2020