When choosing materials for the home, aesthetics should not be taken for granted but it’s not all there is, either. When it comes to windows and doors, the material should also be able to offer practical features. These parts of the home protect you and your family from unpredictable weather, noise, and harm.
Modern houses typically feature aluminium windows and doors. It’s stylish, durable, but it can be expensive because of the low demand and high production cost. Meanwhile, UPVC has been popular since its production in the early ‘70s and has remained so in the UK. But can it stand up to aluminium? Let’s look at several factors to find out:\
Aluminium has been the favourite among architects and interior designers because its sleek black or grey colour adds character to the house, but it can be painted with other colours, too. Its strong chemical composition makes it possible to achieve a thinner profile and still able to carry heavy glass. UPVC’s plastic white colour looks plain and aesthetically inflexible, making it an unlikely choice for people who consider style to be top priority.
Although double-glazed UPVC has a long lifespan and an impressive 10-year guarantee, the frames can degrade after so many years. Aluminium is the better material for window frames as the recent improvements in this robust compound has made it rust-proof.
In terms of security, both aluminium and UPVC are burglar-proof. They can withstand the harshest assaults as UPVC has been constructed to its utmost hardness while aluminium possesses impressive strength despite its thinness.
Although all windows are required to achieve a ‘C’ rating in Window Energy Ratings, contemporary UPVC takes the cake for its excellent thermal retention thanks to its complex internal profile. Aluminium doesn’t fall far behind though, as a technology called polyamide thermal break makes it thermal retentive.
The ability to block sound from the outside is arguably the best quality of UPVC windows. It is especially useful if you live in a crowded area. Although windows can be double- or triple-glazed, UPVC’s effective sound-proofing definitely beats aluminium.
UPVC plasticised surface makes it easy to maintain, only requiring some light wiping for it to look new again. Aluminium’s robust material makes it weatherproof and corrosion-resistant, you can only observe very minor oxidation for many years.
The consistent high demand and cheaper raw materials makes UPVC a very affordable product. On the other hand, world prices and production costs of aluminium results to a notable price difference that can go from hundreds to thousands of pounds for a typical home. For this factor, UPVC is a total value for money for windows and doors, even fascias and soffits.
As with any investment, when it comes to renovating major areas in your home, weighing factors can be tricky. But it’s a necessary step in getting a service or product that meets your needs. If you are looking for a simple, cost-effective sound-proofing and insulation solution for your home, you can never go wrong with UPVC. But if you want a material that can withstand the test of time and bring in some character into your home, aluminium would be the better choice, although you have to shell out thousands more.