Steel replacement windows are the aluminium alternative for the replacement of old metal casements or Crittall® windows. However, these windows, doors and screens are also popular as contemporary or heritage glazing in new extensions and elsewhere in the home.
Importantly, while the aluminium versions of steel-look windows offer credible alternatives to steel, only the genuine steel windows products give you the best in sightlines and aesthetics. However, the incredible quality and craftsmanship of steel windows also come at a higher price. For homeowners looking to replace their steel windows with a similar alternative, aluminium now provides a variety of windows and doors designed to replace old metal windows.
For the trade, there are many knowledgeable fabricators of steel-look aluminium windows and doors. Home improvement companies specialising in these products benefit from selling one of the most desirable and on-trend systems on the market today
Over the last thirty years, many old steel windows have been replaced with standard PVCu or aluminium windows. These addressed the draughts, poor weather performance and energy inefficiency of old metal windows. However, they’ve done nothing to retain 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.
Information about steel-look and steel-replacement windows
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 are put 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, Aluk and the new Decalu aluminium system, come specifically designed as a steel-look product.
Another consideration is the profiles used for the glazing bars. Not only must these products use the right size of glazing bar, but it’s crucial the 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 to the homeowner and the trade.
Steel-Look Windows Systems and Providers
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 the most recent being the IDA Internal Screening System by Smart Systems. This offers fixed, opening, pivoting and sliding interior screens using a non-thermal system and it’s outstanding in appearance, design and functionality.
Aspire Bifolds of Epsom
Serving London, Surrey and the surrounding areas, Aspire Bifolds are firmly established as specialists in steel-look and steel-replacement windows. The company offers an excellent range of aluminium products in this desirable style and also focuses heavily on their customer service. With excellent reviews and an outstanding showroom, Aspire provides authentic steel-replacement doors, windows, bifolds and screens. Their French doors and sidelight designs are some of the best we’ve seen with consistent sightlines and excellent period or contemporary hardware.
Based in Cambridgeshire Aluco Aluminium Ltd, makes and supplies their steel-look systems nationwide through a network of approved dealers and installers. While they use the same Smart Systems Alitherm and Heritage range of other fabricators, the company has cleverly customised this system. As a result, homeowners and the trade benefits from expertly made steel-replacement and steel look windows, doors and screens with their own distinctive style and features. Of particular note is their internal door range using traditional glass.
The new range of aluminium windows from Aluk Systems is ideal for steel window replacements. In the range is the AluK Optio 58BW ST steel replacement with minimal sightlines and impressive thermal and acoustic performance.
Architectural Vision Systems.
Kent-based Architectural Vision Systems manufactures contemporary slimline sliding doors and architectural glazing. Their steel-look sliding patio door is one of the best-looking and designed doors in this old metal style in our view using Cortizo systems. Architectural Vision has cleverly recreated the steel-look using one of the most modern sliding door products on the market.
Frameless Glass Curtains.
Designed for internal use, the steel-look screens from Frameless Glass Curtains provide a steel-look screen with a minimal amount of aluminium frame. Clever engineering, as well as the great design, makes this product one of the very best on the market for steel-replacement and steel-look screens inside the home. There is no better product like it on the market for virtually all glass internal screens.
Decalu 88 and Decalu 110 Steel-look windows
The new Decalu system offers two types of steel-look products with excellent design features and European influence. The Decalu 110 version is a more industrial-looking system while the Decalu 88 recreates steel-windows of old and provides a neat, thin and appealing metal-styled window.
Duration Windows in Canvey Island offer the Heritage Window Range designed by Duration for replacing existing steel windows. Duration market Heritage as a steel look-a-like window and also provide steel look-a-like doors. Duration has done excellent work with the Smart System in creating some authentic-looking windows and doors with great features.
ID Systems and Sunflex
ID Systems also making the Smart Systems Heritage range are one of the best known installers of contemporary glazing systems for new extensions and refurbishment products. The company provides their Heritage range, offering Art Deco-inspired French doors, single doors, bifold doors and sliding doors with narrow frames and slender mid-rail.
Everglade Windows are one of the UK’s biggest and longest established trade and retail window and door manufacturers. Everglade provides the Smarts Alitherm Heritage 47 suite of steel replacement windows, professionally made and supplied to their trade and dealer network customers. Also available from Everglade is their very own MOD-Series of aluminium windows also available in a steel look.
Smart Systems is the UK’s biggest aluminium systems company and can be credited for creating the Smarts Alitherm Heritage 47 window system. It is one of the most credible steel replacement systems on the market.
Jennyfields Steel Window Replacements
Jennyfields Windows, based in Farnham, Surrey are a specialist steel window replacement company with a very impressive portfolio of residential installations featuring their custom-designed aluminium window and door.
Kawneer is an international systems company and offers the GT70 Renovation window, designed for Heritage buildings and steel window replacements. It’s suitable for new build installations as well.
Origin Frames Ltd
While Origin doesn’t have a dedicated steel look system, their new OB-49 bifolding door provides one of the thinnest folding sliding doors on the market also very credible as a steel-look product when customised correctly. If you’re looking for a bifolding door in this style, this is one product now offering a very credible solution with only minor constraints.
Reynaers Aluminium Systems
Reynaers has recently introduced its new aluminium window system that offers 8 possible combinations suitable for steel window replacements. This includes the Classic, Ferro, Cubic, Slimline, Renaissance and Hidden Vent.
Schuco Aluminium Systems
Schuco Aluminium Systems provide their Schuco AWS 70 SC Window with a choice of vent and frame profiles that can be used for the replacement of old metal windows.
SAPA Building Systems
SAPA Buildings Systems offer the Crown 50mm casement window that, while not a specific steel replacement window is widely used to replace old metal windows. SAPA has now rebranded in the UK as Technal Systems.
The Heritage Window Company
The Heritage Window Company in Lewisham, London specialises in steel replacement windows, installing them to houses all over the UK as well as being featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.
Other options to achieve the steel-look
Many aluminium systems companies offer slimline aluminium windows that are not specifically intended as Steel Replacement Windows, yet are widely used for this purpose. You can obtain odd leg or equal leg windows with minimal sightlines that can achieve a similar aesthetic to traditional steel windows.
Steel replacement windows in aluminium still offer the slim lines, strength and extensive colour choices associated with the broader ranges of aluminium windows and doors.
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.