Choosing between wood, aluminium and uPVC windows and doors:
Deciding which medium to use when it comes to windows and doors needn’t be confusing. In South Africa, we currently have the choice of wood, aluminium and uPVC. All three of these have benefits that one needs to consider but, ultimately, it comes down to personal taste, fenestration and budget. If you are having trouble deciding, have a look at the pros and cons of wood, aluminium and uPVC below to help you make an informed choice.
Wooden windows and doors
Wooden windows and doors offer warmth and beauty. As with most natural elements used in building our homes, wood requires attention and care. If treated correctly, wood will last for many years. It is very important to ensure that your wooden windows and doors are sealed with the correct product, in the correct manner, BEFORE installation. Paying attention to this detail will ensure that your wooden windows and doors last and last. Windows made from quality timbers by specialist joineries are hard to beat on most levels.
Advantages of wood:
● Wood is aesthetically pleasing
● Wooden doors and windows can be customised
● Wood has good natural insulation properties
● Wooden doors and windows are energy efficient
● Wooden doors and windows come in a variety of finishes
● Wood is stylish
Disadvantages of wood:
● Wooden doors and windows require regular maintenance
● Wood is more expensive than aluminium after glazing and painting or varnishing
See Windoor’s gallery of wooden windows and wooden doors.
Aluminium windows and doors:
Aluminium is the ideal medium for windows and doors in South African homes. Aluminium is available in an unlimited range of colours and sizes and won’t break the bank either! Aluminium windows and doors are durable and weather resistant and require very little maintenance. When installed correctly, aluminium windows and doors will meet all your environmental regulations. Heat loss can be kept to a minimum with the correct glazing choice for your aluminium windows and doors.
Advantages of aluminium:
● Aluminium is currently the most cost-effective option on the SA market
● Aluminium doors and windows are customisable – particularly for unusual openings
● Aluminium comes in 4 standard colour options and an endless variety of custom colours
● Aluminium windows and doors are easy to install
● Aluminium is virtually maintenance free
● Aluminium windows and doors have a modern, streamlined design
● Aluminium will not rot or perish
Disadvantages of aluminium:
● Aluminium insulation properties are dependent on glazing selected
See Windoor’s gallery of aluminium windows and aluminium doors.
uPVC windows and doors
uPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) is relatively new to the South African building industry as a material for windows and doors, but has been used in Europe for many years. The energy rating when using uPVC is very advantageous and it has excellent insulating qualities – particularly in acoustic environments. At the moment, painted uPVC windows and doors are expensive in SA but, if you are choosing white for your windows and doors, this will be very competitive if comparing like with like (same sections, hardware choice and quality) to wood and aluminium.
Advantages of uPVC:
● uPVC has excellent insulation properties resulting in high energy efficiency.
● uPVC windows and doors come in many attractive designs.
● uPVC windows and doors carry long warranties
● uPVC windows and doors offer a tilt and turn option
● uPVC is maintenance free
● uPVC extrusions can be recycled
Disadvantages of uPVC:
● At the moment, uPVC windows and doors are seen to be more expensive than wood and aluminium in South Africa, since the way these products are compared by the layman is usually flawed. There are more cost effective ranges available, and these offer a reasonable alternative.
● Painting of uPVC window and door frames pushes the price up considerably. For this reason, customers are limited to white if they choose uPVC.
● There are size limitations to uPVC windows and doors. They are less customisable than wood and aluminium windows and doors, but offer options not available in aluminium, such as french windows with no vertical mullions to break the view once open.
See Windoor’s gallery of uPVC windows and doors.
Learn more about window treatments and shutters:
- Different types of shutters for your windows
- Dress up your windows without using traditional curtains
- Let the sun in with skylights