Steel replacement windows are the aluminium alternative for the replacement of old metal casements or Crittall® windows. At the same time, 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.
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.
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 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.
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. Vision Glazing in London also offers a very credible steel look interior system. Aluco is another business with fixed, opening, pivoting and sliding interior screens using a non-thermal system.
Here are just 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.
aïr MOD steel look and heritage windows
Award-winning London based Everglade Windows is one of the UK’s biggest and longest established trade and retail window and door manufacturers. Supplying the trade, 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, heritage steel look and heritage flush sash models.
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. A professional retail installation business, Aspire offers an excellent range of aluminium products in this desirable style. The end-user service and experience is also and also focuses heavily on customer service. With excellent reviews and an outstanding showroom, Aspire provides authentic steel-replacement doors, windows, bifolds and screens. Specifically, their French doors and sidelight designs are some of the best we’ve seen. The hardware choices are also varied and add to the appeal of the product.
Based in Cambridgeshire Aluco Aluminium Ltd, makes and supplies steel-look systems nationwide through a network of approved dealers and installers. 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. More recently Aluco has an interior range of steel look systems. These also come as a fire-rated version in aluminium. Their internal door range is one of the best we’ve seen.
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 using Cortizo systems. Architectural Vision has cleverly recreated the steel-look using one of the most modern sliding door products on the market.
Compass Glass and Sunvista Sliding Doors
Established over thirty years, Compass Glass provides the Sunvista ultra-slim sliding door product. They’ve also designed this as a slimline steel-look sliding door. You get a minimal look, excellent flush thresholds and 19mm mullion. Another outstanding slimline sliding door, expertly customised in the steel look. There’s even an open corner version.
Frameless Glass Curtains.
The steel-look single glazed screens from Frameless Glass Curtains provide an interior steel-look screen with a minimal amount of aluminium frame. Clever engineering, as well as the great design, makes this product aesthetically excellent. It’s ideal for steel-replacement and steel-look screens inside the home.
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.
An established and expert trade supplier, Duration Windows in Canvey Island offer the Heritage Window Range. Created by Duration and ideal for replacing existing steel windows and new steel-look slimline windows. The company markets 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. You’ll find the Royale window the slimmest on the market as a steel look product.
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.
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. This company is one expert in providing solutions for replacing existing steel windows.
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
Despite not being a dedicated steel look system, the OB-49 bifolding door is one of the thinnest on the market. All you get is applied bars on the glass.
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.
SAPA Building Systems
Now rebranded as Technal Systems, SAPA Buildings Systems offer the Crown 50mm casement window. While not a specific steel replacement window, it’s widely for old steel window replacements.
Schuco Aluminium Systems
Schuco Aluminium Systems provide their Schuco AWS 70 SC Window. It comes with a choice of vent and frame profiles. Schuco windows provide a premium solution for steel-look windows in aluminium.
Sheerline Classic Windows
One of the newest product on the market is the new aluminium window by Garnalex systems under the Sheerline brand. With a more simplistic design as a steel look system compared to the better-known and more authentically styled products, Sheerline hopes to make inroads into this popular market segment.
The Heritage Window Company
The Heritage Window Company in Lewisham, London specialises in steel replacement windows, installing them to houses all over the UK. They’ve also 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. 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.