If you’re in the market for new windows, you might be wondering which material is the best choice for your home. 

While timber and uPVC are widely-known options for double glazing windows, there’s another contender that’s been making a name for itself in recent years: aluminium.

Aluminium windows offer a compelling combination of durability, style, and performance. They look great, require little maintenance, and can last decades. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the key features and benefits of aluminium windows, dive into the many styles available, check some costs, and compare them to other popular window materials. 

What are aluminium windows?

The frames are made from a lightweight yet robust aluminium alloy that’s resistant to corrosion, weathering, and general wear and tear.

Aluminium windows are protected from warping, rotting, or pest infestations. So, if you’re looking for a strong, long-lasting, energy-efficient, and easy-to-maintain window, aluminium windows are definitely worth considering. 

For these reasons, aluminium has become one of the most popular frame materials, with increasing demand pushing their once-premium prices down.

What styles of aluminium windows come in?

Aluminium windows are available in a wide range of styles, including widely-known casement, sash and tilt-and-turn formats. 

Casement windows

Casement windows are a classic and versatile option. They feature hinges on one side that allow the window to open outwards. This style offers excellent ventilation, as the entire window can be opened to circulate fresh air. 

Casement windows also provide easy cleaning, as the opening mechanism allows access to the glass’s interior and exterior surfaces. 

Aluminium casement windows are available in various configurations, including top-hung, side-hung, and French casement styles. Side-hung is the most common style. 

Tilt and turn windows

Tilt and turn windows allow the window to open in two ways: tilting inwards from the top for ventilation or opening fully inwards from the side for maximum airflow and easy cleaning. 

The tilt function is particularly useful for providing fresh air while maintaining security, as the window can be left partially open without the risk of intrusion. 

Tilt and turn aluminium windows are ideal for ground-floor rooms and multi-story buildings where exterior access for cleaning is limited.

Sash windows

While traditionally associated with timber frames, aluminium sash windows offer a contemporary twist on this timeless design. Sash windows feature two overlapping panels, or sashes, that slide vertically to open. 

The slim profiles of aluminium frames help to maximise glass surface area, allowing more natural light to enter the room while maintaining the classic aesthetic of sash windows. 

Aluminium sash windows are available in single-hung and double-hung configurations, with the latter allowing both the upper and lower sashes to be opened for increased ventilation.

Coloured aluminium windows

Coloured aluminium windows offer a chance to get creative and truly customise the look of your home.

Aluminium windows can be painted in virtually any colour using powder coating techniques. This process involves applying a dry powder to the aluminium surface and heating it until it forms a durable, even finish. 

Powder coating is resistant to chipping, scratching, and fading, ensures a consistent colour across all your window frames, and is more eco-friendly than traditional liquid paint.

When it comes to choosing the right coloured aluminium windows for your home, look for companies that use top-notch powder coating techniques and have a wide range of colours to choose from.

  1. Do your research: Take some time to compare different manufacturers, their powder coating options, colour choices, and what customers have to say about them. This will give you a good idea of which companies have a solid reputation for quality.
  2. Get your hands on some samples: Many manufacturers are happy to provide colour samples or swatches so you can see exactly how different shades will look on your windows.
  3. Check the fine print: When you’re investing in coloured aluminium windows, you want to make sure you’re covered if anything goes wrong. Look for the best window manufacturers offering solid warranties for the aluminium frames and powder-coated finish.
  4. Warranties and guarantees: Reputable companies offer 10 to 25-year guarantees for their powder-coat finishes.

With a little research and some expert guidance, you can find high-quality, powder-coated options that will make your home stand out from the crowd while still providing all the benefits of durable, low-maintenance aluminium frames.

What are the benefits of choosing aluminium windows?

Aluminium windows offer several key benefits that make them an attractive choice for many homeowners:

Long-lasting durability

Aluminium is a strong, corrosion-resistant material that can withstand the elements and maintain its structural integrity for decades. Unlike timber windows, aluminium does not warp, rot, or rust, ensuring your windows remain in excellent condition for years to come.

Slim frames for more glass

The strength of aluminium allows for the creation of slimmer window frames compared with uPVC or timber. This means that aluminium windows can accommodate larger glass panes, allowing more natural light to enter your home.

Environmentally friendly

Aluminium is a highly recyclable material. In fact, recycled aluminium windows and doors are some 95% more efficient to create than new ones. Many manufacturers offer fully or partly recycled aluminium windows.

Energy efficiency

When combined with high-quality double or triple glazing, aluminium windows can provide superb thermal insulation, helping to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

Replacing single-glazed windows with triple-glazed windows can save £185 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

What are the disadvantages of aluminium windows?

Like any other window type, aluminium windows come with their fair share of drawbacks:

Thermal bridging and insulation

Aluminium is a good conductor of heat, which means that aluminium window frames can lead to thermal bridging without proper insulation. 

This occurs when heat escapes through the frame, reducing the window’s overall energy efficiency. However, to minimise this issue, modern aluminium windows often feature thermal breaks – insulating barriers between the inner and outer sections of the frame. 

Modern aluminium windows feature insulation performance on par with other materials. 

Sound insulation

Compared to thicker uPVC or timber frames, aluminium windows may not provide the same level of sound insulation. 

However, this can be mitigated by choosing high-quality glazing options, such as laminated or acoustic glass, which can help reduce noise transmission.

Not always suitable for coastal areas

In coastal regions with high salt levels in the air, aluminium windows may be more susceptible to corrosion. 

For those living in coastal areas, choose aluminium windows with a high-quality, marine-grade powder coating that provides extra protection against the elements.

How much do aluminium windows cost?

The cost of windows with aluminium frames varies widely depending on factors such as the size, style, glazing options and finishes. These include:

  • finish: dual colour options, where the interior and exterior of the frame are different colours, can add to the cost;
  • size: larger windows will generally cost more than smaller ones;
  • style: more complex styles, such as tilt and turn or bifold windows, are more expensive than standard casement windows; and
  • glazing type: upgrading to triple glazing or acoustic glass will increase the overall cost.

Below is a table indicating the costs of different aluminium windows by type, size and glazing. 

Style of windowSize (WxH)Glazing typeAverage cost
Standard casementSmall (up to 600x900mm)Double glazing£400 - £600
Standard casementMedium (up to 1200x1200mm)Double glazing£600 - £800
Standard casementLarge (up to 1500x1500mm)Double glazing£700 - £900
Standard casementMedium (up to 1200x1200mm)Triple glazing£700 - £900
Standard casementLarge (up to 1500x1500mm)Triple glazing£800 - £1,000
Sash windowSmall (up to 600x900mm)Double glazing£500 - £700
Sash windowMedium (up to 1200x1200mm)Double glazing£800 - £1,000
Sash windowLarge (up to 1500x1500mm)Triple glazing£1,000 - £1,200
Bay window3-panel (up to 2400x1500mm)Double glazing£1,200 - £1,500
Bay window3-panel (up to 2400x1500mm)Triple glazing£1,500 - £1,800
Bay window5-panel (up to 4000x1500mm)Double glazing£1,800 - £2,200
Bay Window5-panel (up to 4000x1500mm)Triple glazing£2,200 - £2,600

Are aluminium windows better than uPVC or timber?

Aluminium, uPVC, and timber windows are the three most popular window materials on the market – but are aluminium windows comprehensively better than other options? 

Of course, it all comes down to your specific requirements, budget, and finish preferences. 

  • uPVC windows are the most affordable option and offer good energy efficiency, but they may not have the same aesthetic appeal as aluminium or timber.
  • Timber windows provide a traditional, warm appearance and good insulation properties, but they require more maintenance than aluminium or uPVC and can be prone to warping or rotting if not properly cared for.
  • Aluminium windows are sleek and modern, with excellent durability and low maintenance requirements. The obvious downside is that they’re nearly always more expensive than uPVC frames, rating as a pricier option alongside timber and composite. 

Ultimately, the best choice for your home will depend on your specific needs, the style of your property, and your personal preferences. 

Remember that aluminium windows have a modern appearance, so they tend to suit modern properties best – though aluminium sash windows rate as a modern alternative to traditional timber sashes. 

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Did you know there’s another option?

Some window companies offer composite windows, which combine the best qualities of timber and aluminium, or uPVC and aluminium together. Composite windows can be more expensive, but are a good option if you’re torn between the choices.

Are aluminium windows worth it?

So, are aluminium windows worth it in the end?

All things considered, while the initial cost of aluminium windows may be higher than that of uPVC, their long-term value can justify the investment. The long-term benefits of low maintenance, energy efficiency, and reliable performance make aluminium windows a smart choice. 

Aluminium’s durability and low maintenance requirements mean that these windows can provide reliable performance for decades, potentially saving you money on repairs and replacements in the long run. 

With their sleek profiles, customisable colours, and impressive durability, aluminium windows deliver an elusive mix of style and longevity. 

Ultimately, investing in high-quality aluminium windows can provide you with beautiful, functional, and long-lasting solutions that enhance your home’s comfort and value for years to come.

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Aluminium windows maintenance

  1. Regular cleaning: Clean your aluminium windows regularly with a soft cloth, warm water, and mild detergent to remove dirt and grime. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or materials that could scratch the frames.
  2. Lubricate moving parts: Apply a small amount of silicone lubricant to the hinges, locks, and other moving parts of your aluminium windows to ensure smooth operation and prevent wear and tear.
  3. Check for damage: Periodically inspect your aluminium windows for signs of damage, such as cracks, dents, or corrosion. Address any issues promptly to prevent further deterioration.
  4. Repainting: While powder-coated aluminium windows are highly durable, the colour may fade over time due to exposure to sunlight and the elements. If necessary, aluminium windows can be repainted by a professional to restore their appearance.

Frequently asked questions about aluminium windows