The Best Window Frame Material for Your Home
The window frame material you choose for your home is an important decision. You need to think about the benefits and drawbacks of each window frame material before deciding which one to go with. This article will compare uPVC, aluminium, timber, and steel window frames in detail so that you can make a more informed choice when it comes time to replace your windows.
What to consider when choosing a window frame material
When choosing the type of windows to install in your home, there are some important questions to ask yourself, which will help you decide what material is right for you.
These questions include:
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of each window frame material?
- Do I live in a cold climate that could require more external insulation?
- Do I want windows that will last a long time or ones that will be cheaper to replace if something goes wrong?
- Will my home’s exterior look better with this type of window frame material?
- Will the material provide the flexibility of colour and style that I’m looking for?
All of these are important considerations. Let’s take a look at each window frame material.
Window frame materials
uPVC Window Frames
uPVC or Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride, is a synthetic plastic material. It is used in a variety of windows. It can come in various different colours and can be shaped into any contour required to fit the space it is being used for.
uPVC windows are one of the most common in the UK and are found on most homes, often in a traditional white colour, however, they can be customised to a large range of colours.
- uPVC windows are cheaper and easier to install
- They don’t require the same level of maintenance as timber windows – cleaning uPVC windows is a straightforward task
- The material is more fire resistant than other window frames
- It provides better security with its shatterproof properties.
Aluminium Window Frames
Aluminium window frames are very popular because they are lightweight. They are also strong and offer excellent insulation, especially when they have double glazing. The aluminium will darken over time depending on your geographic location and the climate you live in. Aluminium window frames are normally available with either aluminium or timber sashes. The wood may need to be replaced after around 10 years if there is no maintenance done to it.
- Aluminium windows are lightweight, efficient and durable
- Aluminium window frames come in a variety of styles to complement your home
- They offer excellent insulation, especially when double glazed
- The material can darken over time depending on your geographic location and the climate you live in
- They are often considerably more expensive than uPVC windows
Timber Window Frames
When choosing timber as the type of wood for your window frame material, it is important to note that there are several variations available including hardwoods like oak or softwoods like pine.
These types of woods are also sometimes finished with a kind of preservative that can help keep them from rotting or warping. One downside to this type of window frame would be susceptibility to fire damage because of the material.
They also demand more maintenance than other window frame materials to help increase their longevity, and are not always as straightforward to clean.
Timber window frames are best suited to those homes that want an authentic look and feel but don’t mind the extra maintenance required for this type of window.
Steel Window Frames
Steel windows are typically made from a variety of materials like aluminum, galvanized steel, or PVC-coated steel and can be found on both new and existing homes. Steel is often used in commercial buildings for durability.
- Steel windows are airtight and come with better noise reduction than other materials
- Steel windows provide added security as they are more difficult to break through than other materials.
- Steel is durable and long lasting, often requiring little maintenance.
- Steel frames are less flexible in their design and can be more expensive than other window frame materials
- Steel is also a heavier material and may require stronger structural supports.
Comparing to aluminium, steel is around 250% denser than aluminium, making it much heavier and in a lot of cases, more expensive. It is usually not an ideal choice for the average home.
Looking for a window installer?
Use our online tool to find a local window company near you who will be able to provide further advice on the best window frame material for your home.