What’s the difference between PVCu windows and aluminium windows?
When you’re looking to fit new windows for your home, there is always a wide range of factors to consider. It can be enough to make your head spin!
This article is intended as a guide to the differences between PVCu and aluminium windows, which will hopefully offer some clarity for the potential buyer. If you are looking for new windows, why not contact us at Atlantic Windows? We’d be happy to explain our products with you
An increasingly popular option for our customers, aluminium windows are made out of a metal now so ubiquitous that it’s hard to believe it’s relatively new. In fact, the process to extract aluminium at industrial scale from its ore, bauxite, wasn’t completely ironed out until the end of the 19th century!
A hundred years earlier, Napoleon was so taken aback by the strength, resilience and protection offered by arms and armour fashioned from pure aluminium that he sought to equip La Grande Armée entière with the then-cutting-edge material. Fortunately for the rest of Europe, the cost was prohibitively high at the time.
Nowadays, we can fit windows made of the very same material for a far more reasonable price, with all the associated benefits — superior security, tensile strength, resistance to corrosion and sleek beauty.
How long will aluminium windows last?
Aluminium is used to make windows for the same reason it’s used to make tin cans, sports cars and firearms: it’s hard-wearing, light, and lasts a really, really long time. What’s more, of all of the materials used to make windows today, aluminium might require the least maintenance. We particularly recommend them to clients who live on or near the seaside, where salt spray, high winds and driving rain can prematurely age less-tough frames.
As ever, how long a set of windows will last depends on their proper maintenance, care and the avoidance of stray footballs. However, we always set out to manufacture and fit every set of our aluminium windows to last as long as possible. It isn’t unusual to come across a set of aluminium windows that has lasted in good working order and appearance for decades — sometimes longer than 50 years.
In the greener England we inhabit, another advantage of aluminium windows is the relative ease with which they can be recycled. This means that even after they’ve been removed from a house, aluminium frames can be repurposed and live on in a series of new forms.
In this sense, a set of aluminium windows can last a very long time indeed!
Are aluminium windows more expensive than PVCu?
In short, yes. The per-unit cost of a set of aluminium windows is higher than that of PVCu windows. Here, however, it gets a little more complicated.
Just as you might prefer a pair of expensive Levi’s over a pair of cheaper jeans for their longevity, the cost-per-year of aluminium windows can be lower than that of PVCu windows in certain conditions. We’d advise you to speak to an expert!
Another element to note is aluminium frames’ unique appearance. Because of its strength, aluminium can be wrought into whip-thin, very light frames that admit more sunlight than wooden or PVCu ones. For some, the increased light and elegant appearance is worth the additional cost, while others find the frames’ sleek appearance unusual and not quite to their taste.
Most of the windows we fit in England today are made of PVCu, a hard-wearing, resilient and versatile plastic. PVCu frames look clean and bright, have superior insulative properties and can come in a broad variety of finishes. They’re also easy to care for and weather-resistant, especially in comparison to high-maintenance wooden frames — nearly every stain or blemish can be removed with a dishcloth and washing-up liquid.
All of this comes at a very reasonable price point, and a high degree of customisability.
Are PVCu windows secure?
Modern PVCu windows are highly secure — gone are the bad old days of peeling, brittle plastic. All of our windows come with the seal of approval of the Secured By Design scheme, the official police security initiative to improve the security of the UK’s buildings.
If your window is manufactured from top-grade material, utilises a three-point locking system, is fitted with high-security hidden hinges and thermally toughened glass ‒ like those we install ‒ you’re doing everything you can to reduce your risk of break-ins and burglaries, window-wise.
How long do PVCu windows last?
Again, modern PVCu frames are radically different to those fitted just a few decades ago. A premium-quality PVCu frame is in it for the long-haul, with impressive resistance to adverse weather conditions, high and low temperatures and warping with age.
We always set out to fit windows that’ll comfortably see you into the next decade (or four), and back our products with our industry-leading insurance-backed 10-year guarantee.
What’s more, technological advances mean modern PVCu frames are often 100% recyclable, with previously-used harmful or toxic additives no longer present. Again, your windows should enjoy a long and fruitful afterlife.
PVCu vs Aluminium: the verdict
Choosing between the two materials for your set of window frames is bound to be tricky, but insight into the differences ‒ small and large ‒ between the two materials in terms of cost, longevity and appearance may help to clarify matters.PVCu and Aluminium windows by Atlantic Windows
Fortunately for those still struggling to make the decision, our team of experts are always happy to guide our customers through the process. Feel free to call us today to scope out your options, to organise a home visit or get a free quote. If you’d like to see the difference between the two materials for yourself, then pop into our showroom and we’ll be happy to show you around.
We fit premium-grade glazing across Cornwall and Devon, manufactured to-order in a range of designs at our dedicated factory in Clevedon — so whether you choose PVCu or aluminium frames, you can be sure of quality, professionalism and a local touch.