How are aluminium windows prices worked out? Do you know what’s behind your new aluminium windows quotation or cost? Here’s what you need to know about how many professional installers work out your prices. We also explain how to potentially save money on your new windows too.
Aluminium windows cost more than PVCu. Here’s why.
First of all, it’s worth being aware that aluminium windows cost more than their PVCu counterparts. So with this in mind, let’s explain why.
Why PVCu is cheaper as a material
With a few exceptions, PVCu windows are cheaper as a raw material. The extrusion prices are cheaper and the profiles are also significantly cheaper to extrude compared with aluminium. As well as this, white PVCu windows are produced in white, straight out of the polymer used. White or any other colour aluminium window needs colouring after extruding the profile. This, of course, adds to the extrusion cost.
Aluminium windows cost more to make
Making aluminium windows costs more than PVCu. Whilst both materials today undergo similar processes, thanks to advances in machinery and technology, assembling aluminium windows is still largely by hand.
By comparison, assembling a PVCu window is mostly done by machines. The predominantly hand-crafted nature of aluminium windows is another reason why you’ll find aluminium windows prices higher and nearer the price of timber windows, also mostly hand-made. Simply put, your new aluminium windows take longer to make and need more care.
Aluminium windows are more bespoke
Whilst PVCu, aluminium, even timber or hybrid windows and doors come in similar styles and designs, PVCu lends itself better to ‘standard’ specifications and designs and therefore, cheaper prices compared with other materials.
There are PVCu manufacturers churning out several thousand windows a week. This mass availability of PVCu naturally means lower prices. There are several thousand PVCu window factories in the UK, but only several hundred making aluminium.
Who you buy from also affects the price you pay
Just like any other commercial environment, business factors also affect the price you pay. Profit margins, material costs, discounts and routine price increases. Just some of the factors also affecting the prices charged to the end user.
With thousands of window and door providers around the UK, some are expert in aluminium only. Others prefer to sell predominantly PVCu. Others sell an equal mix of both.
Tip: The less aluminium products and focus you see on a business website or a showroom, the greater the chance you’ll pay more for your aluminium windows from that company.
Understanding how your prices are worked out
Whilst it’s rare to find Recommended Retail Prices on aluminium windows, here’s an overview of how most installers work out the prices for your windows and doors. The earlier topics covered suppliers and materials. Here we help you understand what makes up your windows quotation.
Most aluminium windows installers use quite sophisticated software for your quotation and much of this is based on sizes and accurate details. So rest assured in most cases your prices are being worked out fairly and correctly.
Of course, getting the best source of aluminium windows isn’t easy for you, the homeowner, but this is where we come in. Get in touch and we’ll help put you in touch with aluminium specialists near you.
The design of your aluminium windows – less is less
The more material in your windows design, the higher the overall price of your aluminium windows. Therefore, if your window design has multiple panes, consider reducing these to larger panes and fewer overall window modules. Less material in your windows will bring the overall price down.
An excellent example is the latest trend for steel-inspired and Crittall® look glazing. These desirable and distinctive windows comprise hand-cut and applied glazing bars giving the look of period metal windows. The work involved in making and fitting these is greater than standard windows. Remember you’re getting a largely hand-made product with aluminium.
The colour you choose affects aluminium windows prices
The substantial colour choice you get with aluminium is another reason why aluminium windows prices are higher and vary substantially too.
With over 150 colours not to mention different colours inside and out, textured, metallic and specialist finishes, all these choice mean a more bespoke price.
Choose a good aluminium specialist and you’ll find a greater range of ‘standard’ colours in aluminium. A standard range of colours means lower prices for your windows as this coloured window material is held in stock already.
If you desire a special colour, such as a metallic or unique shade, expect to pay more. It’s the same for windows with a different colour inside and out. It’s impossible for any window manufacturer to second-guess customer colour choices. Therefore, consider opting for a standard or stock colour as much as possible.
The same applies to the window handles. PVCu windows come in standard window colours. Aluminium does too but some products give you colour matching options. Colour matching adds to the cost with nearly all aluminium windows and doors.
Glass and Accessories for your new aluminium windows
The good news is, most windows and doors come as standard with high specification insulated glass. Typically you get 28mm units having a soft-coat low-emissivity coating, warm edge spacer bars and argon gas fill. It’s toughened or laminated glass in doors or low-level glazing.
There are substantial options for glass today. Acoustic, enhanced security, triple glazing or the latest integral glass blinds for bifold doors. All of these add to the price you pay. Therefore do your research and weigh up the perceived benefits glass upgrades compared to the cost.
Your own property also affects the price you pay
With new extensions, loft and basement conversions, not to mention the trend for large glazed minimal patio doors.
A terraced property with little access to the garden naturally makes fitting large sliding doors harder than a detached home with side access and space. Fitting rooflights or windows at a high level is more complex than on the ground floor. Therefore your quotation also takes into account how difficult the installation is as well as the product.
Tips and Advice on buying aluminium windows at the best possible prices
Here are our top tips for getting the best aluminium windows prices and bringing down the cost of your glazing product.
Aluminium vs PVCu is not comparing like-for-like. Therefore, don’t expect similar prices for aluminium windows. Expect to pay 30%-50% more as a rough guide.
Choose your installer with care. A company with a clear aluminium message and portfolio gets you lower prices as they buy better from the supply chain. Contact us and we can help.
Ask your installer who makes their windows. Most are honest and transparent and proud of their supplier relationship. Buying from dedicated and reputable aluminium manufacturers usually means lower prices than buying from trade counters.
Any attempt to put you off buying aluminium is potentially a signal you won’t get the best prices.
Consider getting your builder to fit. You trust your builder that you walls and roof won’t fall down. So why not explore buying your windows direct?
Use our contact form to get in touch for details of aluminium windows and doors installers near you or to ask a question.