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Aluminium versus UVPC windows – pros and cons?

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Chris Post

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4-Nov-13 10:16

Can anyone give me advice what the pros and cons are between aluminium and UVPC windows. I understand aluminium is likely to cost more but is it better than UVPC? I'm looking to replace the windows and doors (including patio doors) of my home.

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W?Arnie

Walthamstow, London

  • Which? Staff

4-Nov-13 14:29

Hi Chris

All things double glazing & windows have been discussed in great length previously on these forums. Please do take a look through the existing threads as I'm sure there will be relevant comments for you to consider.

We also have excellent advice content relating to the industry.

Arnie

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thedragon

HP22

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9-Nov-13 11:44

Just as a matter of comment, a few years back we bought a bought a new build flat on a development that was uniformly fitted with Swedish made aluminium windows and sliding doors. They looked good and the glazing performed well, the only problem we noticed was condensation on the inside of the aluminium in cold weather, caused by the bridging effect of the aluminium frames. I don't know if this has been cured nowadays, what is needed is some form of thermal break between the aluminium sections. However, my main reason for comment is that the units were of course all nicely spray painted and I presume 'baked' in the same way as a car body before the glass was fitted. We left after a few years and they were still in good condition but they will need attention and I cannot see how they could ever be hand painted in the future to as good a finish as the original.

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Foxtrot One, Devon

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10-Nov-13 17:59

Originally posted by: Chris Post : View

Can anyone give me advice what the pros and cons are between aluminium and UVPC windows. I understand aluminium is likely to cost more but is it better than UVPC? I'm looking to replace the windows and doors (including patio doors) of my home.

I am a aluminium advocate. I was recommended to it by a tradesman many years ago who had been in the trade installing both. He claimed it was far superior to UPVC especially in coping with heat variation thereby giving it a much longer maintenance free life. Since then I have had aluminium in three houses -in one of them it was installed at the same time as adjoining town houses had UPVC. Our houses faced the sea AND south which meant they had to cope with high and low temperatures and gales. The town houses UPVC windows and gutters had problems within 12 months; the gaskets that kept the glass in their frames kept popping out; there was daily creaking like rifle shots as the plastics expanded and contracted. Our aluminium coped magnificently. Aluminium windows were installed in my present house 23 years ago and they are as good as new- They have not suffered condensation on any of the frames nor leakages/mist between the glass. The only challenge is that they are set in hardwood frames. Keeping them freshly stained is achieved using a thick paint box brush. The gaskets are cleaned once a year with a toothbrush.

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Tewkesbury_Lad

12-Nov-13 19:31

Having been in the industry for near on 20 years, i would suggest both have their place. Aluminium suits a modern look with large spans, especially in some RAL colours, but uPVC will always outperform the aluminium in the thermal efficiency stakes & avoid condensation as the plastic will warm to the room temperature a lot easier, as well as having a much more desirable look in certain properties. there are even now wood looking frame systems with square joints that appear to untrained eye to be mortice & tenoned wood.

By all means do your own research, but that is an honest assessment. Good luck with your decisions.

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E Ken Davies

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11-Mar-14 14:09

My patio window faces SW and has aluminium frame-- all other windows are UPVC; all are of course double-glazed. The aluminium window unlike all others

does suffer extreme condensation . Despite much experimentation with

temperature control I fail to cure the problem .

I am in the process of using a paint additive such as "Thermamix " on the aluminium frame -- which is meant to be used on walls prone to condensation . However, further treatment and time is needed to convince me of success or failure .

time is needed to convince me of success or failure .

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DIY lass

17-Dec-14 10:18

I recently had aluminium windows fitted in a dormer loft. I have had lots of problems with them. Does anyone know whether the actual window frame is supposed to leak (take on board water)? I was told they are supposed to and fitters returned to drill drainage holes which seems bizarre.

Also had condensation problems in cold weather and windows not straight in frames so gales blowing in on one side. Frames get very cold and room difficult to heat. After 4 visits to repair the gap has now been closed but the window will not open. I chose aluminium due to small frames increasing view but now wish I had chosen UPVC and maybe then I would be warm and dry.

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burfootj

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27-Oct-15 16:49

Originally posted by: DIY lass : View

I recently had aluminium windows fitted in a dormer loft. I have had lots of problems with them. Does anyone know whether the actual window frame is supposed to leak (take on board water)? I was told they are supposed to and fitters returned to drill drainage holes which seems bizarre.

Also had condensation problems in cold weather and windows not straight in frames so gales blowing in on one side. Frames get very cold and room difficult to heat. After 4 visits to repair the gap has now been closed but the window will not open. I chose aluminium due to small frames increasing view but now wish I had chosen UPVC and maybe then I would be warm and dry.

I've had aluminium windows for 25 years and have had no problems whatsoever. It sounds to me as though they were badly fitted. I expect you would've had the same problems had you chosen UPVC. I've certainly never heard of having drainage holes.

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woodandhome

14-Mar-16 07:09

Aluminum windows or pvc at the moment cannot compete with timber windowsexcept the cost which may be crucial to most of us. They do not offer as good natural thermal resistance and most of all do have carbon storage capacity which can improve on our natural living condition . AS a manufacturing process PVC and aluminum cannot be free of thermal bridges but manufacturing industry still searching for best timber equivalent . At the end nothing can repalce what has been given to us by nature - woodandhome

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Martin William

20-Apr-16 13:51

Originally posted by: W?Arnie : View

Hi Chris

All things double glazing & windows have been discussed in great length previously on these forums. Please do take a look through the existing threads as I'm sure there will be relevant comments for you to consider.

We also have excellent advice content relating to the industry.

Arnie

Both are useful for different purposes. It depends on your home design as well as the area in which your home is located. So, ask the experts for it which one is better for you. Timbermaster company will help you.

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