Types of Aluminium Windows – Understanding the Choices

Aluminium Windows are today better than ever with all types of brands, designs and functionality available. In this article we explain just some of the types of aluminium windows available, with other useful information on how they work.

types of aluminium windows

Different types of aluminium windows

There are types of aluminium windows for residential property and commercial buildings. You’ll also find special use aluminium windows for high-security units, fire and bomb-blast systems and automatic window models.

While many providers of aluminium windows may concentrate on either the residential or commercial market, others like Schuco, Technal and Kawneer offer specialist products to meet some of the most demanding briefs for security, protection or functionality.

Products also vary depending on their location, how they open and close, aesthetics and sizes.

Aluminium Systems Companies

In understanding the types of aluminium windows and where they come from, explaining the role of aluminium systems companies helps solve some confusion around where your new windows come from.

Aluminium systems companies are the businesses that design, test and bring windows to market. With most systems companies, they do not make their products. Instead, they supply the raw materials and components to a network of approved manufacturers. Systems companies invest substantial sums in training, support and ongoing development of their products. You can find out more about the role of the Aluminium Systems Company.

Window Styles

For aluminium window styles, every possible solution is catered for. Aside from fixed and opening windows, you have a choice of several styles. These range from single or multiple panel windows, curved on plan, curved frames, gable, apex and corner windows.

Opening options giving even more styles include opening inwards, sliding, pivoting, reversible for easy cleaning, tilt and turn and parallel opening.

More recently, window styles have evolved, offering box windows, frameless glass products and bifolding windows too. Another area previously dominated by PVCu is flush casement windows. Origin, Aluk, Smart Systems and new products by Stellar and Sheerline all come with seamless flush sashes. And remember, being aluminium flush windows remains substantially thinner than any similar PVCu or timber window.

It is difficult to explain every window style available, but generally speaking, a window is limited only by the capabilities of its frame, opening elements and the size of the glass.

types of aluminium windows
Comar Architectural Systems windows outperform many others in weather resistance and security.

Frame Options

 Many assume that aluminium windows work only with contemporary designs and new buildings. In fact, aluminium windows also offer multiple solutions in older buildings too.

From the latest steel-look and steel replacement windows, through to slimline windows for cottages and conservation area buildings. There are even aluminium windows designed to look like wood.

The frame option you choose determines the overall look of the product. With popular brands like Smart Systems, Aluk, Senior Systems and others, you’ll find,  flat, profiled, ovolo, chamfered, flush, deep or slim outer frames. All of these replace old windows or provide excellent solutions for new projects.

Similarly, the vent or opening element of windows also comes in several designs and styles. Square, flat, ovolo, chamfered, slim Crittall look, heavy-duty. All of these and more create diverse windows to meet most design needs. You can even match PVCu when choosing sculptured aluminium windows and doors.

Some specialist providers go even further, customising aluminium windows to meet specific needs, such as replacing the old Scola windows widely used in pre-fabricated school buildings and houses in the 1950s and 1960s.

Externally beaded vs Internally Beaded Windows.

There is some confusion and lots of debate as to what is the more secure – internally or externally beaded windows.

The bead goes around every window pane and holds the glass in place. Today, most windows come internally beaded. There is a valid argument and perception that an internal bead makes access to it harder, therefore a window more secure.

What is true is that both externally and internally beaded windows undergo the same security tests. We also know of windows by British brands such as Comar Architectural Aluminium where their tested externally beaded windows, in testing reach incredible performance figures.

Reduced security is untrue. PVCu, aluminium and other materials all undergo similar security tests and you’ll see the same Secured by Design, PAS 24 or Document Q credentials with all window materials.

There are also added design features within windows preventing the removal of beads generally, as well as practical reasons beads need to be external in some buildings.   Click here for further information about internally beaded vs externally beaded aluminium windows.   Further information can also be found here.

Myths about aluminium windows

It’s important to dispel some myths you may hear about aluminium windows. Our section on aluminium vs upvc gives more information too.

Today’s PVCu, timber and steel products are all excellent. Your choice of material depends on your budget, the aesthetics you want and how the product looks in your home.

You will hear that aluminium windows are not as energy efficient as PVCu. This is true, but it depends on the overall product type and specification. What is true is that aluminium windows do come with low U-Values and good energy efficiency. What performance you get depends on several factors.

Another ‘myth’ you’ll hear is about condensation. No window is immune from condensation and no new window eliminates it entirely. You can find out more about the causes of condensation we’ve covered elsewhere on our website.

Let us help you with your aluminium windows

For over ten years we’ve helped homeowners and the trade understand aluminium better. You can also read about how styles of windows and doors have changed over the last decade. Use our contact form to get in touch for more information about the different types of aluminium windows.

Reader Interactions


  1. Karen Waring says

    For a 3 pane aluminum casement window approx 1530×1200 would the mullion profiles be roughly the same or do different suppliers offer different options?

    • Nick Dardalis says

      Hi Karen, the mullions and transoms used on windows vary in width and as well as for aesthetics they’re also design to resist wind loadings and flexing on the overall window. So the taller the window, when it exceeds the limits of one mullion, a larger/wide one is used.

      You can get in touch via our contact form for more specific information.

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