Aluminium Sliding Sash Windows Explained

When it comes to buying aluminium sliding sash windows, there are substantially fewer choices compared with general casement windows. Here we provide some general information about buying aluminium sliding sash windows and the product choices available.

aluminium sliding sash windows in a new build house

Understanding aluminium sliding sash windows

With the demise of the Alumatherm product by Clearview, the aluminium sliding sash windows choices are somewhat limited. There are products available, however, they tend to be more modern in their styling and less so with the period features of classic timber sash windows.

Slim in aesthetics, with high thermal insulation, quality glass and the substantial choice of colours. You get the same features of all aluminium product today, in a sliding window design. There are also horizontal sliding windows available with some products.

All aluminium sliding sash windows work on the same sash balance operation of their PVCu and modern timber window counterparts. These balances keep the window sashes securely in place. At the same time, they provide the necessary friction, allowing partial or full opening with no risk of the sashes falling from their weight.

As well as this, they come with good security. Whilst not many sash windows come with the high security features of casement windows, the position of the locks deep inside the room is actually a worthwhile security feature. Good design and engineering also makes these window types well sealed and airtight.

Finally, well-designed with a professional installer, there’s no reason why aluminium sliding sash windows can’t integrate with doors, such as a French doors and sidelight arrangement.

What to consider when buying aluminium sliding sash windows

For installers or the trade, looking for a more traditionally-styled sash window, the aluminium choices are limited. In fact, the PVCu offering probably provides an aesthetically better solution. For example, PVCu windows do a better job on several key features of classic wood sash windows.

  • More realistic sizes on top, middle and bottom rails
  • Aesthetics better replicating original windows
  • A better choice of period hardware
  • Better detailing such as mechanical joints and sash horns

Whilst a limited number of aluminium sash windows do come with some features found in classic windows, PVCu products are also worth considering in this product group. Masterframe Windows, Roseview Windows, Synseal and other PVCu brands all provide credible alternatives. The foiled finish also available is another feature hard to replicate with aluminium.

Therefore as a website dedicated to informing and promoting aluminium, our view is the PVCu products in the traditional look are better from a design perspective.

Understanding aluminium sliding sash windows products available

Several aluminium systems companies provide a sliding window product. However, do bear in mind these are mostly intended as regular sliders not ‘period’ sliders.

There are presently only two viable sliding windows available.

  • VS600 by Smart Systems
  • Dualside by Technal (previously SAPA Building Systems)
  • Royale and VS Plus by Duration Windows

The Dualside sash window has more basic styling and comes with no traditional features. It’s therefore quite suitable for older buildings originally fitted with aluminium sash sliders.

The VS600 by Smart Systems is more residentially orientated and would be our recommendation as well as the Royale and VS Plus made by Duration Windows for the trade.

Whilst more expensive, we also suggest hybrid sash windows, aluminium outside and wood inside. Of course the original timber product is also the most authentic with long product guarantees and impressive service life.

There are of course, other manufacturers of sliding sash windows and these predominantly use either the Smart Systems or SAPA product under these or other brand names.

Design details of sash windows

Using the Royale and the VS Plus by made by Duration as an example, we highlight some of the design features of these sliding windows.