Whether you’re looking to let in more natural light for a brighter living space, reduce the cost of your energy bills, add to the resale value of your home, or simply increase its aesthetic appeal, installing new windows is an economic, environmentally friendly, energy efficient and ultimately worthwhile investment.

Beforehand, it is important to consider several key factors to ensure you’re getting the right kind of windows for your property. One of the most important of these will be whether to opt for un-plasticized Poly Vinyl Chloride (uPVC) windows, or aluminium windows. Assessing and understanding which windows to install can unlock your homes true potential, whatever your objectives may be.

The type of your property

It is important to first consider the type of property you are intending to install new windows into. This decision should not be based solely on aesthetics, but on the fact that some listed buildings, or those in areas of conservation, require planning permission to be altered in any way. This will only be granted by the relevant authorities if the windows are of a similar style to the properties existing windows. Additionally, listed property owners need to demonstrate the existing windows are beyond repair and a new installation is completely necessary.

With this in mind, uPVC windows are generally considered to be much more in keeping with the character of older homes and cottages, since they have an un-intrusive, traditional look to them. These homes are usually built and finished out of stone or brick and are most likely the types of property to be listed or found in a conservation area.

Aluminium windows, on the other hand, can enhance the finesse of a modern home with their sleek, sharp, and contemporary appearance. A combination of minimal frame size and larger glass panels allow for lots of extra natural light and are widely credited to improve homeowners’ health and happiness. They can come in subtle, dark colours or be used to make a statement with a range of tones to contrast those of your home exterior. Because of their modernity, it is very unlikely they would be approved for installation in an older or listed building.

 

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Additional value to your home

Recent research has shown that newly installed windows can instantly add around 10% to the resale value of your property and recoup around 70% of the cost of your initial outlay. Most potential buyers are more likely to buy a home with newer windows since they will last longer, and the prospective owners will not have to carry out an installation themselves. You will also save money in the long run off your energy bills (more on this a little further down). For these reasons, a window replacement should be seen as an investment opportunity.

 

Thermal efficiency

Both uPVC and aluminium windows are made to offer excellent levels of insulation, meaning you can save money off your bills by using your heating less frequently and on a lower setting. Since glass is an excellent conductor of heat, older single glazed windows will do little to stop heat transfer, leading to a colder living space and higher heating costs. Double glazed uPVC and aluminium windows already do more to retain heat inside your home by using a cavity of air between the two sheets of glass. Since air has a low thermal conductivity, heat transfer is reduced and your home will stay warmer, for longer.

Thermally broken aluminium windows can save you even more money off your energy bills in the long run. Don’t be fooled by the name- aluminium windows fitted with a thermal break use the latest modern technology to further reduce heat loss by adding a polyamide plastic into the frames during the manufacturing process. This material creates a barrier between inside and outside air, ensuring aluminium windows will avoid becoming hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.

Lifespan and Maintenance

uPVC and aluminium windows both benefit from requiring little maintenance over the course of their lifespan. A simple wipe with a cloth every so often will keep your windows clear and sparkling, and a yearly check for cracks is advised as part of a good home maintenance plan. In contrast with old-fashioned timber frames, both will avoid rot and decay.

uPVC windows can be expected to have a lifespan of around 25 years, since larger frames can be subject to some warping, but can provide a sound solution if you are working to a tighter budget. Aluminium windows are extremely durable and last much longer, in most cases around 40-45 years, making the extra initial outlay a very prudent investment.

 

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Security

Safe and secure windows, just like secure doors, are a must to provide protection against home intrusion and allow you to sleep with complete peace of mind. uPVC windows and aluminium windows are both less vulnerable to forced entry than older timber frames which can rot and degrade over time. Their durability makes them less likely to shatter should a would-be intruder attempt to break in. Both are also fireproof, adding an extra level of safety to your property.

In terms of locking, uPVC windows usually come pre-fitted with good quality locks such as espagnolette locks or deadlock shoot bolts. Aluminium windows can be installed with thumb-screw locks, which over excellent security and there is no need for a key.

Summary

Taking everything into consideration, both uPVC windows and aluminium windows offer secure, energy efficient solutions and can be tailored to be the finishing touch on your home. Your older, or listed, home can benefit from the traditional look of uPVC windows, whilst a modern home can be enhanced with the contemporary finesse of aluminium windows. Whichever is best for you, it is easy to see why installing uPVC or aluminium windows should be the next investment you make to improve your property!

If you require any help choosing between uPVC and Aluminium windows, get in touch and we will have our experienced team assist you. You may also browse our top Schuco window selection to see the variety of products we offer and find inspiration for your new home.

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