When talking about steel look windows and doors we are referring to the aluminium alternative for the replacement of old metal casements or Crittall® products.
This window style is sought-after, desirable, on-trend and creates picture-perfect windows in most house styles. Other terms for steel replacement windows include steel-look, heritage, Art-Deco, industrial and even contemporary.
In this article we are going to give an overview of the options and suppliers currently available.
Information about steel-replacement windows
Importantly, while aluminium versions of steel-look windows offer credible alternatives to steel, only the genuine steel windows products are best. Nothing beats the authenticity, quality and longevity of a genuine steel window. Steel windows are the real deal, offer even slimmer sightlines and arguably the finest aesthetics for this style of glazing. However, the incredible quality and craftsmanship of steel windows also come at a higher price.
For homeowners replacing old steel windows with a similar alternative, aluminium systems provide an alternative solution. There’s now a diverse range of products and suppliers.
For the trade, there are many knowledgeable fabricators of steel-look aluminium windows and doors.
Over the last thirty years, PVCu windows replaced many old steel windows. These addressed the draughts, poor weather performance and energy inefficiency of old metal windows.
However, they’ve not retained the character and appeal of older houses where the metal windows are a feature. Today this trend has shifted to dedicated systems designed to offer 21st-century window technology while retaining traditional looks.
Windows, screens, residential doors, single and double doors with sidelights. These are the best-designed steel-look products. Bifolding doors from some systems also offer a very credible look. Sliding doors less so, although there are products, well-customised and giving a great look. The trade can contact us for details of some of the best fabricators and suppliers of steel-replacement systems. Homeowners can also get in touch with us for further information and where to buy.
How these products come together and the types of profiles used are key to getting the best in appearance and a credible steel look.
Some providers simply put glazing bars over the glass for the multiple panel effect. This is the most basic type of steel look windows. More credible products from systems such as Reynaers, Smart Systems and Aluk are best known. Then there are others such as Decalu aluminium system, come specifically designed as a steel-look product. Air MOD Series offers more versions than other systems.
Another consideration is are the glazing bar profiles. Not only must these products use the right size of the glazing bar. It’s crucial that sightlines run consistently across the entire product and especially when choosing doors with sidelights.
Deep bottom rails, putty line sightlines, the right window and door handles and the backplate feature on residential doors. These are the key features that a good supplier of steel-replacement windows should address in the products they supply.
Steel look vs steel-replacement. What’s the difference?
Doing research for this style of glazing often brings up different terminology. Examples, as well as steel-look or steel replacement, are:
- Crittall® style or Crittall® look,
- Heritage Glazing
- Industrial style
- Steel replica glazing
There are two distinct differences in the intent for this type of window. First of all is those seeking new or replacement windows in this style. The second are those looking for replacements for their existing steel or old Crittall® window.
As a result, you’ll find specialist companies offering windows specifically designed for replacing old steel windows and the latest generation of new windows, doors or screens in this style. The specialist providers for replacing existing steel windows do a lot of work in ensuring a credible and like-for-like alternative and are arguably in a different market segment.
There is today an extensive choice for homeowners and the trade when it comes to buying steel-replacement windows. Other companies have taken excellent systems like Smarts and rebranded them as their own. Some have gone further, working with systems companies to create a more specialist product to suit their local market.
We’ve also seen examples of steel-replacement products done badly leaving both installers and homeowners disappointed with the end result. Choosing the right product and installer is crucial. Contact us for advice and further information.
Additionally, there are now expert providers of internal screens and doors in aluminium, the most recent being the IDA Internal Screening System by Smart Systems. Aluco aluminium provides a great range too. As always, the genuine steel product gives the best end result. Aluminium profiles a style that’s similar but not the same. Check out products by Vision Glazing in London, Bespoke Glazing Designs, YES Glazing, and product by Aluco Aluminium.
There’s additional information when buying bifolding doors in a steel-look.
There’s also more information about buying replacement or new aluminium windows in the steel style.
We’ve also put together information for interior doors or screens needing a fire-rating.
Steel-Look Windows Systems and Providers
On each of the specific steel look pages we have listed some of the popular brands or providers. Some of the products arguably aren’t dedicated steel-systems, instead using basic aluminium windows. That said, they’re marketed as steel look and customers remain happy with the end result.
Other options to achieve the steel-look
Many aluminium systems companies offer slimline aluminium windows that are not specifically intended as Steel Replacement Windows. Despite this, they’re widely used for this purpose. You can obtain odd leg or equal leg windows with minimal sightlines. At the same time, you get a similar aesthetic to traditional steel windows.
Steel replacement windows in aluminium still offer the slim lines, strength and extensive colour choices.
However, if you are looking for a more authentic appearance, we suggest you look at the window systems designed from the outset as a replacement for steel in terms of aesthetics and hardware choices. This is where our website can help. Contact us if you are looking for steel replacement windows, door or screens.
There is also some useful information about the cost of steel replacement windows and factors affecting the price.
Windows images are steel replacement windows manufactured by Everglade Windows of Middlesex.
Crittall® is a registered trademark of Crittall Windows Limited which is unconnected to the Aluminium Trade Supply Website.