As a homeowner looking to replace the joinery in your home, you are presented with a number of options in the market, from steel to timber and uPVC and aluminium. The mere mention of aluminium for home improvement might bring you back to the 1980s—clunky, easily damaged door and window frames notorious for causing condensation issues. Fortunately, aluminium has come a long way since the 1980s, and so has the art of joinery, that is, the construction and joining of the lighter features of a house like window frames.
More and more home owners are opting for aluminium for the many benefits it offers over other materials. Before you invest in new window or door frames, here are 7 things you should know about aluminium joinery:
1. More Window, Less Frame
We all know the dangers of living in a glass house. But stones aside, nothing trumps the look of wide glass windows and doors. There are many benefits to having glass doors and large windows installed, but oftentimes clunky, frames can detract from what would otherwise be a classic façade. Aluminium, however, is strong enough to support large frames of glass with relatively little frame. This means more room for views of your garden. Glass is also an excellent insulator, so this style of window should both lower your energy bill and increase your curb appeal.
2. Design Versatility
Aluminium does not just come in one look anymore. The strength and lightweight nature of the metal means that it can be moulded to fit any style of windows or doors. Most suppliers will have various colours to choose from, and high-quality suppliers such as Window Factory offer a wide range of frame designs to suit any house.
Apart from maximizing energy-efficient glass surface areas, aluminium joinery offers other insulation benefits over timber or uPVC. Nowadays aluminium joinery comes with thermal breaks, which makes them better at insulating than wood or steel, both of which are notoriously bad at conserving heat. It’s also much better at limiting outside noise than uPVC. Similarly, aluminium is quite stable in comparison to either wood or plastics, and will not significantly expand or contract due to changes in temperature.
4. Durability And Weather Resistance
Speaking of heat resistance, aluminium makes a great choice for weatherproofing your windows. As a material typically used for spacecraft and airplane construction, it’s easy to see the advantages this metal offers. When properly finished, aluminium resists corrosion and can last even in seaside areas with harsh winds and high humidity. Timber, in contrast, tends to warp, and uPVC is not as strong as aluminium even if it’s reinforced with steel. This makes aluminium the strongest, most secure option on the market. To top it off, aluminium frames are laughably low maintenance. A quick wipe down with a wet cloth once and a while can keep your frames in tip-top shape for many years.
5. Sleek Is Chic
While you might not opt for aluminium joinery when renovating a period house or country style home (indeed, even some historical or conservation areas may have restrictions as to the materials you can choose from), nothing quite beats its sleek style in modern homes. Chic, understated colours and thin frames make aluminium frames the effortlessly cool choice for a contemporary house. That being said, the inconspicuous nature of aluminium frames means that they can fit into a number of different home designs without drawing too much attention.
In addition to all of its intrinsic benefits, aluminium is a preferred choice for joinery because of the price tag. While uPVC is generally cheaper, aluminium’s increased lifespan makes it a better value in the long run. Similarly, timber is unbeatable with some styles of house when it comes to aesthetics, but the cost can be discouraging. Aluminium balances aesthetic concerns with durability and low price, making it one of the most cost-effective materials available.
7. And It’s Good For The Earth, Too!
One last benefit of aluminium has to do with is environmental impact. By maximizing glass-to-frame ratio, aluminium joinery can make your house more energy-efficient, ultimately reducing your carbon footprint along with your energy bill. But the environmental advantages don’t stop there. Aluminium is a widely recycled material, as opposed to PVC or other plastics, and can be reused rather than ultimately adding to waste levels.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, aluminium offers a number of benefits as a material for joinery. No longer the clunky, monochrome option of previous decades, aluminium is a viable option for homeowners looking to balance affordability, durability and aesthetics in a single material.