How to replace Crittall Windows with Aluminium

Does your home currently have old metal windows or are you looking to replace Crittall® Windows? There are some excellent and very experienced companies such as The Heritage Window Company specialising in steel window replacements. Crittall® is, of course, the origin provider of steel windows with some outstanding products in their current range. These modern steel windows come with the latest in security, colour choices and meet current Building Regulations for thermal performance.

However, what do you do if the budget does not stretch to steel windows? Aluminium windows will be cheaper, but there are things to consider as not all systems will be ideal.

replace crittall windows
This art deco house built from scratch features windows made by The Heritage Window Company

Using Aluminium to Replace Crittall® Windows

First of all, we always suggest using the original product.  Only by replacing a steel window with a new steel window, will you get the best result.  In aluminium, look at products designed as steel-look or steel-replacement systems. Some well-known steel windows such as the W20, W30 and W40 types come with an aluminium option in some systems, similar but not exact. The Benenden range from The Heritage Window company is currently the slimmest aluminium window designed for the replacement of old metal windows.

We’ve put together some information on the current range of aluminium systems that offer a steel replacement window range to help you understand what is available in the market. We also suggest you compare the visual, performance and other differences between aluminium and the authentic steel window.

Can new aluminium windows be fitted to existing frames?

Yes. Whether you have timber, hardwood, oak or stone surrounds, the right aluminium window system can be fitted to your existing surrounds.

However, you may need to consider the option of replacing these frames as well if they are no longer in good condition. It is often the case that the subframes the existing windows are fitted to appear in good condition but only when the old windows get removed can you spot the state of the timber frame.  An experienced window surveyor should be able to advise you on the condition of your existing window surrounds.

The advantage of retaining the existing frames of course that that internal decoration and external render won’t be disturbed minimising the work involved.

Don’t forget that modern aluminium window replacements also come with a direct fix method.

Are aluminium windows energy efficient and secure?

With front to back dimensions of over 50mm with most systems, this means Crittall replacement windows in aluminium can accept 24mm or 28mm units that are available with excellent specifications and an A rating if required.

It is important to remember that with such a slim frame, much of the improved Window Energy Rating will be down to a proper glass specification.

Some systems also have a sloping glazing bead designed to replicate the original putty line of the old metal windows. This putty line look can also extend to the glazing bars.

These modern aluminium systems also allow multi-point locking, and secure window handles to be incorporated. Specialist suppliers will also be able to customise the windows with period handles and even projecting hinges typical of the original ones used.

You can even have peg stays, butt hinges or the more recent concealed friction stays.

What about the glass on old Steel Windows?

The right window installer will also take care of the small details such as those found in the original glass. Ask about the type of lead used in the leaded lights and ensure it is the antiqued soldered lead.

If your original windows have external and internal glazing bars, ensure that these also replicate the putty lines of the old windows if possible.

How to replace Crittall Windows with curved bays or “Sunshine Bays”.

art deco steel window replacement.
An aluminium alternative to the desirable Sunshine Bay, although steel remains the best option.

In many Art Deco Homes, you will find the bay windows featuring curved glass on the sides. These are also known as sunshine bays.

These curved windows are very typical of the period. In recent years many homeowners chose to replace these with flat windows angled by a modern bay pole, but the effect is not quite the same.

If you want to replicate the curved glass and curved horizontal window frames, this will be a much more specialist job requiring the services of experienced aluminium bending specialists and a specially made curved glass unit.

The cost will be much more than a flat glazed window; however, the effect of the finished window you will find well worth the extra price.

So what can you expect with new aluminium windows?

If you choose the right window installer and one that is experienced in replacing old steel windows with the right aluminium alternative you will benefit from:

  • Modern Windows that replicate the originals
  • Retention of original features
  • High Security
  • Double Glazing
  • Retention of your existing window surrounds
  • High quality powder coated finish
  • A reduction in heat loss and condensation.
  • Reduced window maintenance costs.

Once again, we must stress that nothing is as good as, or compares to an authentic steel window.  Despite this being an aluminium website, we encourage you to look at steel windows seriously and compare.  They may be more expensive, but you get the original product with an altogether different look, construction, specification and service life.  They are better.

If you would like more information to replace Crittall® windows or other steel products, use our contact form to get in touch and ask a question.

Crittall® is a registered trademark of Crittall Windows Limited which is unconnected to the Aluminium Trade Supply Website.

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