By Fenster 5 January 2021

Different Types Of Window Frame Materials

Different Types Of Window Frame Materials

This article looks at the different types of materials used for window frames and each material’s advantages and disadvantages.

Wooden Timber Window Frames  

While this is the most classic look, it is also going to be the most expensive. Also, it provides a low thermal conductivity, which means heat doesn’t easily pass through the window frame. 

Wooden Timber is one of the best forms of material when considering energy efficiency. Wooden Timber is a natural insulator and helps to absorb and retain heat. 

Wooden Timber also tends to be the most attractive. However, this material will require more maintenance due to it being a natural material. 

Wooden frames can be constructed from both Hardwood and softwood. 

Softwood grows much faster and plentiful, making this less of an expensive option. In comparison, Hardwood grows much slower and is quite durable, leading to a higher price. 

Modern wood frames are designed to be strong, meaning they will not bow or warp and have been treated to withstand fungus and rot. 

In addition to the natural beauty of wood, it can also be painted or stained. Wood is the only frame material on this list that can be painted numerous times, allowing you to customise your home’s look. 

Advantages Of Wooden Window Frames: 

  • Wood tends to fit perfectly on a period property while being a stipulation through building regulations. 
  • Wood adds a sense of style and grace to your home. 
  • If the wood is treated correctly and maintained, it can last considerably longer than PVC. 

Disadvantages Of Wooden Window Frames: 

  • Wood is considerably more expensive than cheaper PVC windows. 
  • Your Windows will need a fair amount of work and regular maintenance to ensure they stay in good condition. 
  • Wood is prone to rotting and warping, causing gaps in the window seal. This can increase draft and noise into the home, increase your home’s heating costs, cause difficulties opening and closing the windows and reduce the security of your home.

UPVC Window Frames 

Affordably priced and long-lasting, these low maintenance window frames are a good option. 

UPVC has been regarded as an almost miracle material that has made it a go-to source for many projects. The truth is UPVC is an excellent material that is not going to rust, flake or rot. Additionally, UPVC is one of the best for energy efficiency that offers double glazing and can achieve an A+12 Window Energy Rating. 

UPVC is a highly popular option for windows because it offers such good value for the money. However, it does not hold the same style and charm as other materials. 

It is possible to purchase UPVC that resembles a traditional timber frame. In fact, it is rather difficult to tell the difference. 

In the past, if you had windows, they were white. However, UPVC has changed all of that, offering a rainbow of colours that will last a lifetime without the need to repaint. 

In addition, a significant number of windows now contain lead-free UPVC, which was a health issue. 

Advantages Of UPVC Window Frames 

  • Typically, one of the cheapest options available. 
  • There is very little maintenance associated with UPVC. 
  • Even though it is one of the cheapest materials, it still offers good thermal performance. 

Disadvantages Of UPVC Window Frames  

  • Can be rather difficult to repair. 
  • UPVC, especially white UPVC, can discolour with time due to exposure to the sun. However, discolouring is minimal these days using a high-quality UPVC window frame.
  • UPVC has been difficult to recycle and not environmentally friendly.  However, using high-quality UPVC is recyclable and is environmentally sustainable, therefore it’s important to find a Glazing company that supplies high-quality recyclable UPVC window frames.
  • UPVC has a shorter lifespan as opposed to other window frames. 

Aluminium & Steel Window Frames 

Aluminium and Steel Windows are slimmer frames that allow the most amount of sunlight into the home. They are highly stylish, making them perfect for the contemporary building. 

Aluminium frames are typically used in structural glazing in a variety of commercial projects due to their strength. The strength allows the window frame to be much thinner with a larger glass surface, enabling increased light levels into a room. 

Aluminium is known as a natural conductor of heat, which allows heat to pass through easily. 

Aluminium window frames contain a thermal barrier that helps in the reduction of heat loss. Over the past ten years, thermal barrier technology has dramatically improved, and an aluminium window has the same performance as a UPVC window. 

Aluminium frames also require very little maintenance and are highly weatherproof. Unlike some other metals, aluminium will not corrode, meaning your windows are not going to rust or flake. 

In the past, if you wanted aluminium window frames, you had to settle for silver as your colour of choice. That has changed as now you have a wide range of colours available to match your home. 

Advantages Of Metal Window Frames: 

  • Durable and long-lasting frames. 
  • Easy to recycle and reuse in many instances. 

Disadvantages Of Metal Window Frames: 

While metal frames can be recycled, there is considerable CO2 produced in making these types of frames, in addition to a much longer form of embodied energy. 

  • Metal frames do require regular maintenance to protect them from corrosion. 
  • Lower thermal performance as opposed to UPVC. 

Composite Window Frames 

Composite window frames take two elements and offer the benefits of many different materials: increasing energy efficiency, security, lifespan and better aesthetics. 

There are some composites which make use of an aluminium-clad timber, which offers incredible insulation and weatherproofing. There are some composite windows which feature a UPVC core. 

Advantages Of Composite Window Frames: 

  • Longer lasting. 
  • Offers premium insulation. 
  • Save on energy. 
  • Reliable and robust. 
  • Very low maintenance. 

Disadvantages Of Composite Window Frames: 

  • One of the only downsides to a composite material window is the cost. They are at the top of the price ladder, making them not as affordable as a uPVC window.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of the materials used in window frames, each working for your needs and requirements.

For help choosing the best windows for you, contact us at Fenster Milton Keynes.

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