If you’re in the market for new windows, you may be exploring alternative window frame materials to the commonly used uPVC. Each material comes with its unique properties, impacting your house’s appearance, cost, and insulation, both in terms of heat and noise.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various styles of aluminum windows, available glazing options, the pros and cons, and, importantly, the associated costs. Let’s get started.
What Are Aluminum Windows?
Aluminum window frames stand out as a lightweight and exceptionally durable alternative to other popular frame materials like uPVC, wood, or composite. They offer numerous advantages that make them a preferred choice for homeowners. Aluminum frames are not only low-maintenance, strong, and long-lasting but also contribute to a modern and stylish aesthetic.
Thanks to the strength-to-weight ratio of aluminum, these frames allow for thinner window profiles without compromising structural integrity. They also resist rot and rust, making them ideal for properties near the sea or those exposed to harsh weather conditions.
Aluminum windows are known for their aesthetic appeal, lending a modern look that complements contemporary property designs. They offer design versatility, as they can be powder-coated in a wide range of colors and feature various finishes to suit most property styles. Let’s explore the different styles of aluminum windows available:
Styles of Aluminum Windows
- Casement Windows: Casement aluminum windows are a popular minimalist choice. These windows open outward, much like a door, on hinges located on either the left or right side. They provide uninterrupted views and excellent ventilation when open.
- Sash Windows: Sash aluminum windows blend seamlessly with both modern and traditional properties. They offer multiple opening options, featuring two vertically sliding panes that can be configured in various ways for ventilation.
- Sliding Windows: Sliding aluminum windows are commonly found in modern properties. They enable horizontal sliding of window panes along a track, making them a space-saving option with adjustable ventilation.
- Bay Windows: Bay aluminum windows project outward from the main property wall, typically with three panes – a larger central pane and two smaller side windows set at angles of 30, 45, or 90 degrees. Bay windows add space, character, and panoramic views to a property.
- Bow Windows: Similar to bay windows, bow aluminum windows also project from the main wall. They typically feature four to six panes arranged at smaller angles, creating a continuous curved shape. Bow windows offer panoramic views and additional interior space.
- Tilt-and-Turn Windows: Aluminum tilt-and-turn windows offer a unique combination of two inward-opening options. They can open inward like a door, providing excellent ventilation and the ability to clean both sides from inside. The second option allows for tilting the window inwards from the bottom, providing security benefits and versatile ventilation.
- Fixed Windows: Also known as picture windows, aluminum fixed windows have no openings. They are often used in combination with other window styles to allow for ventilation while providing unobstructed views and maximum natural light.
- Awning Windows: Awning aluminum windows feature a hinge at the top, allowing them to open outward from the bottom. They offer effective ventilation on rainy days without letting rain into the property.
When selecting the right style of aluminum window for your home, consider factors such as opening options, ventilation, views, and specific design requirements.
Glass Options for Aluminum Windows
The most popular glass options for aluminum windows include:
- Double Glazing: Double-glazed windows consist of two glass panes separated by an air-sealed space. They are favored for their energy efficiency, noise reduction, and improved indoor temperature control compared to single glazing.
- Triple Glazing: Triple-glazed windows feature an extra glass pane and air-sealed space, providing even higher energy efficiency and enhanced noise reduction. However, they come at a higher cost and may reduce natural light.
- Decorative and Frosted Glass: Decorative glass can be customized to meet various design preferences, adding aesthetic appeal to the home. Frosted glass, commonly used in bathrooms or rooms requiring privacy, allows natural light while obscuring views.
- Tinted Glass: Tinted glass reduces the amount of light and heat transmitted through the window. It’s suitable for windows exposed to strong sunlight, helping to minimize UV rays and glare.
- Low Emission Glass: Low-emission glass features a thin film within the glass that reflects heat back into the property, enhancing thermal efficiency and reducing UV rays. It’s an energy-efficient choice.
Select the glass type based on your preferences regarding privacy, design, energy efficiency, noise reduction, and UV ray reduction.
Cost of Aluminum Windows Several factors influence the cost of aluminum windows, including window type, glass choice, window manufacturer, property location, additional design or security features, and the quantity and size of windows needed.
The window style significantly impacts the cost. For instance, in the UK, the average cost of an aluminum casement window ranges from £450 to £650, while an aluminum bay window averages between £1,500 and £1,700. Similarly, the choice of glass matters, with an average double-glazed aluminum window in the UK costing between £400 and £700, and an aluminum low-emission glass window costing between £800 and £950.
Prices for aluminum windows can vary by region due to differences in labor and business costs. Additionally, suppliers have varying pricing structures for supplying and installing aluminum windows. It’s advisable to obtain multiple quotes from reputable local suppliers to ensure you receive the best value for your home.
Consider any additional design or security requirements before requesting a quote for aluminum windows, as these factors will add to the overall cost. The number and size of windows needed also play a significant role, with the average cost of an individual aluminum window in the UK being £500.
Pros and Cons of Aluminum Windows Aluminum windows come with various advantages and disadvantages:
- Durability and Strength: Aluminum offers both strength and lightweight properties, allowing for slim yet structurally sound window frames. It resists rust and rot, making it suitable for coastal and extreme weather areas.
- Design Options: Aluminum windows offer a wide range of design choices, including various styles, colors, and finishes, making them adaptable to most home styles.
- Low Maintenance: Requiring minimal upkeep, aluminum windows can last 20 to 40 years, offering a long-lasting and low-maintenance option.
- Recyclability: Aluminum is an eco-friendly choice as it is widely recyclable, even when replacement is necessary.
- Upfront Cost: Aluminum windows tend to have a higher initial cost compared to some other frame materials, although they offer long-term cost savings.
- Thermal Efficiency: Aluminum is not the most thermally efficient material, potentially leading to thermal loss and gain through the frames. This can be mitigated with insulation and thermal breaks.
- Noise Transmission: Aluminum windows may not be ideal for noisy urban areas, as they can transmit external noise into the property.
- Condensation: They are more prone to condensation during colder weather, which may require proper maintenance.
Consider your individual window requirements and weigh the pros and cons of aluminum windows when deciding whether they are the right choice for your home.