For many British homeowners, this is a choice that is not easily made, and aside from hardwood, there are no other contenders for the best frame materials for replacement windows and doors. Obviously, you expect durability, and both aluminium and UPVC will give you equally good protection that is non-corrosive. If we examine both materials a little closer, there are some differences, and if you are aware, then you can make an informed decision, and with that in mind, here are some important points to bear in mind.
- Condensation – The arch enemy of the British homeowner, condensation occurs when two extreme temperatures meet on a single surface, and much the same as a cold glass of beer will begin to develop moisture on the outside, your interior aluminium surface is likely to condensate. Of course, the hermetically sealed double glazed units eliminate condensation on the glass, but even so, it can damage the interior if there is constant condensation on the window frames. This is one area where UPVC comes out on top, and if your home is plagued with winter condensation, UPVC is definitely for you.
- Appearance – Both have a range of colours, and with anodised aluminium, you have a maintenance free surface that can withstand the British climate, and a choice of matt or sheen finishes, you can add a touch of style and elegance to any property. UPVC has similar colour and finish options, and with a faux woodgrain finish, you can blend with a rustic setting. Both are guaranteed not to fade, chip, or peel, and perhaps UPVC has a warmer feel to it.
- Performance – Both UPVC and aluminium are excellent materials to handle the harsh British climate, and with a thermal break, frame condensation can be eliminated. There is little to choose, and the supplier would be able to advise on every aspect of both materials, and one might be slightly cheaper than the other, which could be the deciding factor.
- Cost – Both UPVC and aluminium are reasonably priced, and cost would very much depend on the manufacturer. They might, for example, be in the middle of a large commercial contract, and therefore could make your units at a lower cost due to bulk material buying, or they might have old stock that they wish to move to acquire the storage space. With major home improvements, it is never a good idea to be price focused, as you want the very best quality for maximum long-term benefits.
At the end of the day, it is personal preference that impacts the homeowner when deciding on double glazed windows in Essex and door replacements, and by calling in an established supplier with a good local reputation, you will be able to make an informed decision. If you would like to know more about the different properties of these composite materials, an online search will lead you to further reading on the topic.