If you’re considering installing new windows, you’re probably thinking about the style of window or the best type of glass to choose. However, the material used to construct the window frames is equally important, both for their performance and the way they look. Until the introduction of metal frames in the early 20th century, timber was pretty much the only material used to make frames, but these early aluminium frames were not good at stopping heat from escaping. Today’s advances in window technology mean that whether you choose timber, aluminium or a wood alternative for the frames, your new windows are guaranteed to be secure, strong and energy efficient, as well as enhancing the appearance of your home.
Types of windows to suit every property
With so many options available, it can be a little confusing so to help you make the right choice when installing new windows in your home, so we’ve taken a look at the properties of the various materials available.
With its classic good looks, long life span and low levels of thermal conductivity, timber is a favourite material for many of our customers. Timber window frames can be constructed to suit any of the range of different types of windows and are available in a wide variety of wood. Softwoods such as pine are cheaper as the trees are faster growing while hardwoods, which are very durable, take longer to grow and are therefore the more expensive option. Timber frames can be stained or painted in a range of colours to suit the style of home.
All timber window frames will require regular maintenance with stain, varnish or paint to protect them, prolong their lifespan and keep them looking their best. When you fancy a change, they can also be repainted in a different colour to give you a completely new look.
This is the most widely used material for window frames, offering excellent performance at very affordable prices. This material is a great all-rounder: uPVC frames will never rot, rust or flake. They are very low maintenance: just a quick wipe with a damp cloth will keep your frames looking like new. The sleek stylish appearance of these frames makes them a good choice for modern properties but they can also be designed to complement traditional styles of architecture. These window frames are most often seen in classic white but are now available in a range of colours and finishes that give your home a unique look.
Aluminium frames are light but also very strong so are a good choice for the large windows, conservatories and bifold doors often seen in contemporary homes. These slim, stylish frames let in the maximum amount of natural light and are perfect for giving your home that wow factor. In the past, metal frame windows had a reputation for being cold and draughty but over the past decade, advances in thermal barrier technology mean that modern aluminium frames offer almost the same thermal efficiency as PVC frames. Aluminium frames come in a range of finishes and colours to suit every taste and since aluminium does not corrode, they are very low maintenance.
Composite windows/wood alternative:
Composite windows are an increasingly popular choice. Different materials are used together to offer advantages in thermal efficiency, security, durability and appearance. Combining the traditional detailing and charm of timber window frames with the low maintenance and thermal efficiency of PVC windows, these windows complement any style of architecture. Aluminium clad timber frames are another option, giving the possibility of windows with a durable weatherproof exterior in one colour and a traditional timber interior that can be finished to match any decor.
The latest advances in window technology mean that the discrepancies between the various materials are diminishing, so deciding which is the best choice for your property comes down to a question of individual taste and budget. That being said, it’s still a good rule of thumb that traditional materials such as timber and wood alternatives are well suited to older homes while aluminium and uPVC frames are a good choice for houses built from the 1960s onwards. At Bergson & Eaton, we create bespoke windows to enhance your home in a wide range of materials, colours and finishes.
Click here to read more about the range of bespoke windows we offer and if you need more advice, call us on 03336 007 007 or pop into our showroom in Aylesbury, where the friendly team will be pleased to help.