Modern aluminium windows come with the best in sightlines, excellent weather performance, security and colour options. With significant improvements over early generations of windows, the products you buy today no longer suffer from poor energy efficiency, limited colour choices or high maintenance subframes. Advances in profile technology, construction, hardware and glass now mean today’s products provide a solution for virtually any kind of customer requirement.
Information about aluminium windows.
The construction of the best aluminium windows starts with aluminium extrusions and profiles meeting specific industry standards for quality, conformity and type. Added to these are a selection of thermal break and added insulation making the frames insulated and preventing cold bridging.
Making aluminium windows remains largely a hand-assembled process. Machines only carry out cutting and the preparation of machined holes, slots and drainage. As a result, aluminium frames are largely hand-assembled and a made-to-order product. You’ll rarely find stock size and designs.
Glass available with aluminium windows
The glass used in aluminium windows also comes in different thicknesses such as double or triple glazing. Choosing the right glass in the window ensures the best U-Values and energy-saving properties. Furthermore, windows come with extensive options for enhanced security, improved acoustics, privacy or shade.
Energy efficiency in aluminium windows works best with the thermally insulated frame combined with a good specification glass unit. As a minimum, most products come with double glazed units having a soft-coat low-emissivity coating, warm edge spacer bars and an argon gas fill.
Energy efficiency of aluminium windows.
Very energy-efficient windows in aluminium include triple glazed Passivhaus products, and those with enhanced insulation. Senior Architectural, for instance, offers the PURE suite of windows with a polyurethane thermal break with excellent performance. Origin OW-80 casement windows come with the option of better energy-efficiency when specified with Aerogel.
Finally some of the best performing windows for U-Values or Window Energy Ratings are hybrid windows. These use a combination of wood on the inside and aluminium inside. The solid wood internally creates an excellent thermal barrier and helps lower energy bills.
Powder coated colours and finishes.
The surface of aluminium windows inside and out, comes with a durable powder-coated finish, in over 150 different colours. Also available with aluminium windows are woodgrain finishes, dual colours, metallics and even textured surfaces.
Anodised windows create a contemporary metallic appearance and provide even more durability compared to powder coating, but at an additional cost.
What finishes you get with aluminium windows depend on a number of factors. These include available stock, the colour range specified, whether satin, matt or gloss and what the company chooses to offer outside of a special order colour.
Security of windows for the home.
The security of fixed or opening windows is also excellent. As well as multi-point locking systems, there are top brand locks such as Yale used with Origin aluminium windows and other brands offering significant protection. These combine with high quality handles or methods for conveniently opening windows at a high level.
Whether your windows come internally or externally beaded, most good brands are tested to the same stringent security standards such as Secured by Design, PAS24 or Document Q for new build homes.
Designs and styles of windows.
There is no PVCu or timber product on the market offering the slimline proportions of aluminium. With these slim sightlines comes inherent profile strength, without needing the additional multiple chambers, aluminium or steel reinforcing of PVCu. As a result, fixed or opening windows come at wider and taller sizes, larger opening elements and offer scope for apex windows, picture windows above doors or floor-to-ceiling glazing such as the type used in architectural glazing. The designs and styles also offer a number of window types and styles.
When it comes to opening methods, there are many choices. Fixed, outward or inward opening, tilting, reversible and even parallel opening are just some of the options. There’s even more information about the different types of aluminium windows.
Windows for new or existing openings.
Available with direct fix frames, most products fit easily where they’re replacing existing windows. 70mm or 75mm frames make replacing old timber or plastic windows easy with only routine trims and architraves required internally.
For new openings, there are several types of frames available ensuring some of the thinnest sightlines. Finally, you’ll find frame options for fitting to existing stone, hardwood frames and other building features.
Contemporary and traditional aluminium frames.
Many perceive aluminium only suitable for contemporary houses and new extensions. In fact, most good brands offer a choice of frame, opening lights and even different cills such as timber look.
Therefore, choose profiles in a chamfered style working well in more traditional houses, with a rounded look to the outer frame, vent and even the mullions and transoms.
Cottages, properties with stone or wood surrounds also work well with aluminium. Here, there are solutions for slim flat or profiled frames including glazing beads offering a putty-look, similar to the original. These types of windows are also perfect for steel-look windows with matching doors.
Whether you need a contemporary or traditionally-styled appearance in the home, Origin, Aluk, Smart Systems and the brand new Stellar Aluminium System all offer flush casement designs – another innovation in aluminium, previously only available with PVCu or timber windows. Coming in 2020 is the new Sheerline system offering similar specifications to other window brands on the market.
Windows for conservation areas and listed buildings.
Homeowners with a Listed property or those with a home in a Conservation Area and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty may find the current range of slimline and heritage windows suitable to their local Planning Authority or Conservation Officer. However, every installation is different and our advice is always to consult with your local authority at the outset.
Depending on the level of work you are intending to undertake, we would usually recommend also taking a look a the Historic England website to check the status of your building. The site also has information about what grants may be available. Then, working with a professional installer and if necessary a planning professional you should be able to find the right system.
Window Brands and Systems.
Shuco, Reynaers, Kawneer are generally regarded as upper-tier aluminium windows. Mid-range brands include Comar, Origin, Senior Systems, Stellar, Sheerline Windows, Aluk and Smart Systems. There are also other reasonably priced brands from other systems companies.
The range of aluminium systems and brands is extensive. There are established systems, new window products emerging and specialist products from expert manufacturers. We list some of the best-known brands.
- aïr MOD aluminium windows
- AluK Windows Product Information
- Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems
- Kawneer AA720 aluminium windows
- Origin OW-80 Windows
- Reynaers SL38 Suite of slimline aluminium windows
- Schuco Aluminium Windows
- Senior Architectural Launch new PURe aluminium window
- Sheerline Aluminium Windows and Doors
- Stellar Aluminium Windows
- Warmcore Aluminium Windows
In addition to framed products, options exist for having frameless windows in the home.