Reynaers SL 38 windows are some of the best-designed steel-look aluminium windows on the market. With excellent styling, high performance and the renowned Reynaers name, SL38 is not as well known as other brands, such as the Smart Systems Alitherm Heritage product for steel-look windows.
In this review, we take a look at what makes Reynaers SL38 windows an excellent new or replacement windows solution in the steel-look as well as an altogether better aluminium windows product for anyone looking for new aluminium windows.
Some background information on Reynaers Aluminium
Reynaers as a systems company has been in business for more than fifty years and their entire range of aluminium doors and windows are brilliantly designed, with excellent security and weather performance.
The Reynaers range is substantial offering many types of windows, doors, curtain walling and other glazing systems. Widely used in commercial developments and also the choice of discerning homeowners. Reynaers products are also chosen by upper-level glazing companies such as Express Bifolding Doors, Grabex Windows, Bloors , ODC and many others.
Many architects and developers of luxury dwellings also specify Reynaers for the quality, innovation and credentials. The company is accredited with many of the major testing houses with their products meeting many standards such as accreditations including ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001, ISO 16001, ISO 50001, Secured by Design, Achilles and BM TRADA (Q-Mark).
Therefore, choose a Reynaers product such as the Reynaers SL 38 windows and you’re getting one of the best and most reputable brands on the market.
What is the Reynaers SL 38 windows suite
The steel-inspired Reynaers SL 38 windows suite is the company’s latest product joining the popular steel-look systems currently available.
Some aluminium brands like Origin, Senior Architectural, Cortizo, Stellar and Technal/Sapa, don’t have a dedicated steel-look product. Instead, they use their standard aluminium windows range with nothing but applied aluminium glazing bars. Products by these systems companies are, of course, perfectly suitable as replacement or new windows. It’s also true many customers don’t mind buying them if the styling works for them, and still regard them as a steel-look window.
Then you have products by Smart Systems, Aluk, Schuco, Aluco Aluminium, aïrMOD and Reynaers designing a dedicated system inspired by the look of classic metal windows. The reason why these systems differ from the brands mentioned above is they’ve taken notice of how original steel window profiles are designed. Steel windows came in several styling versions and it’s these the aluminium sector is trying to match the look of. Nothing beats new steel windows. They’re the best and the most authentic. But when you want a much cheaper product, this is where aluminium comes in.
The new Reynaers SL 38 windows collection has done an excellent job of replicating the features of old steel windows. The system doesn’t claim to match Crittall® or any of the other steel windows made by companies from the 1920’s onwards. What it does to is try and give you the styling hues of old metal windows. And with this in mind, there are outer frame and vent combinations giving three gorgeous looking aluminium windows.
Three brilliant steel-look designs with Reynaers SL 38 Windows
The three variants possible are Classic, Cubic and Ferro. All come with the latest in thermal insulation and the option of double or triple glazing. There are several immediate advantages these windows bring.
First of all is how their styling takes on some similarity to the W20, S30 and SMW profiles used in steel windows. The projecting bar of the Ferro style, the putty line of the Classic or the more minimal look of the Cubic.
Next how they retain the slimline appearance regardless of whether you choose double and triple glazed. Designed as a fixed light the frame dimension is just 33.5 increasing to around 56mm when you add an opening vent. As a result they retain their thin and elegant proportions. There are slimmer windows on the market, but they don’t come with this distinctive styling.
Another nice design feature is the lack of drainage caps. All aluminium windows need machined holes designed to drain any water entering the chambers to the outside. And most using this face-drained method rely on plastic clip-on caps to mask these essential drainage holes. Reynaers SL 38 windows are designed without the need for drainage caps making the windows look altogether sleeker. Clever.
The option of an opening inwards window or tilt and turn is another benefit and not usually available with other dedicated steel-look systems and brands. Yes, most aluminium systems offer a tilt and turn, but only Reynaers, Alitherm and the aïrMOD windows offer a steel-look or heritage tilt and turn option. Of course, you can take a standard tilt and turn and add the bars if you wish. And Reynaers have gone further with their steel-look tilt and turn in offering the windows from what we can see with no visible internal hinge that you find on every other tilt and turn window.
The Classic systems is a more traditional looking window. At the bottom of each vent and outer frame is a loping section very much like a weather bar. But this does not detract from the contemporary lines and slim aluminium profiles.
The Cubic variant of the Reynaers window is a much more flatline in appearance window. This we think is the best looking of the three products.
The Ferro we think is designed to replicate the old W series Crittall Windows. At the bottom of the vent is a projecting ‘bar’ section typical of windows such as the old W20. The outer frame like the Cubic remains flat in profile.
The best applied bars on an aluminium steel-look window
Most aluminium steel-look windows come with a couple of options when it comes to creating the grid-like appearance of classic metal windows.
You’ll find flat bars, cut to size and professionally applied with any steel-look window. Depending on the design, the bar appearance may also come from using slim mullions and transoms.
These windows also come with a fully extruded bar profile for both sides of the glass. The inside of the window comprises a proper aluminium section with raised edges. It’s more prominent yet altogether better-engineered than the simple stick-on flat bar design.
For outside the glass and matching the styling of the three window versions are two separate aluminium extrusions for the grid pattern. One replicates the Ferro design, the other intended for the Classic. They look absolutely on-point compared to the flat bar offering of other systems with pleasing 30mm sightlines.
Matching the framing system are two transom options. One is a flat profile and another matches the sightlines of the Classic. It’s very well thought out and typical of the design excellence you get with Reynaers. So your bars will look like the frame styling options shown above.
Specifications of the Reynaers SL 38 Windows.
Reynaers SL 38 Windows come with the typical high insulation, weather performance and security credentials many Reynaers products have as standard.
Advanced thermal breaks combine with high quality aluminium extrusions and the glass units. Using glass having a soft-coat low-emissivity coating, warm edge spacer bars and argon gas fill, these windows easily surpass the requirements of Building Regulations for insulation and U-Values get as low as 1.4Wm2K. Triple glazing goes up to 55mm thick.
All feature a highly insulated three-chamber system. You can choose from an outward opening casement with the classic variant as well as tilt and turn or turn and tilt options with Ferro and Cubic.
Operating opening elements are high-quality European locking systems and the windows have PAS24 and Secured by Design certification.
The handle choices Reynaers offers are some of the most luxurious amongst aluminium windows with locking handles in a choice of finishes.
Weather performance as you would expect from a modern aluminium window is on a par with other good systems. The windows will achieve airtightness of Class 4 (600Pa) and water tightness Class 9A (600Pa).
Other products to consider with Reynaers SL 38 windows
Alitherm Heritage Windows
Obviously the Alitherm Heritage product is the best known and most widely used. It comes in several alternative brands such as Sunflex Heritage, REAL Aluminium, Aluco Aluminium use it for their exterior range and some manufacturers such as Duration use modified versions of it.
Alitherm windows are widely available, tried and tested and the door range is equally good.
Everglade Windows have a great windows collection with the aïrMOD range and it comes in some great steel-look designs. You won’t get the exact styling of the Reynaers SL 38 but it’s certainly a product worth seeing for it’s slim lines and styling. The heritage flush sash and tilt and turn models are especially pleasing on sightlines.
Schuco AWS 70 ST Windows
With Reynaers, Schuco is one of the best aluminium brands and they too offer a steel-styled version of their very well priced AWS70 ST model.
These too come with the projecting bar of W20 steel profiles as well as other versions and you of course, get a premium brand of windows.
Decalu aluminium by Deceuninck
The Decalu aluminium windows from Deceuninck is quite recent with this PVCu systems company now branching out with Aluminium in the UK. As usual, systems companies designing new windows are more interested in finding manufacturers to make windows and sell profile to. Then they want installers to buy them marketing how easy their windows and doors are to fit. They also appear to forget that it’s homeonwers that choose the windows based on styling and how much they cost.
Decalu are good windows with genuine installer and manufacturer benefits – two things of little or no interest to the end-user customer. That said, Decalu windows come in a similar style to Reynaers SL 38 with their Decalu 94 Retro and Decalu 110 Steel as well as the Decalu 88 New Steel versions. So on a styling comparison, these are also worth checking out but you might struggle to find these in showrooms right now.
Sheerline Classic aluminium windows
Sheerline is another new brand on the market and their range offers a stepped and flush stepped model that you could consider with the other brands we mention here.
The issue we have with Sheerline, as great as they are, is what in our view will be a huge headache for existing or future homeonwers once the windows are out of warranty or the property changes hands.
The beadless design we see as something few double glazing maintenance and repair companies are going to want to get involved with. No professional wants to take an aluminium window apart!
Any competent glazier knows how to change the glass unit on any other window because they come with glazing beads. We are not sure when the glass scratches, breaks or fails on a window like Sheerline, your average local repair firm will want to work with it.
Reynaers SL 38 Windows Review – summary and conclusion
Reynaers design some of the best windows. Engineering, styling, quality, brand reputation. Well-made and fitted, this is an excellent choice for homeowners, building conversions into dwellings and an altogether different proposition from the best selling Alitherm range.
Reynaers SL 38 Windows meet the Art-Deco, industrial, steel-look, Scandi or Hygge look very well and we see these as especially suitable for general as well as old metal window replacements and equally good in a new build extension with matching doors. They’re great as a contemporary window as well as a classically-styled one.
The frame options and especially the better designed and thoughtful applied steel-look bars really make these windows stand out and they come highly recommended as a steel-inspired window in aluminium.