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Which window framing material is right for me?

Winter is fast approaching, making it a good time to upgrade your glazing. There is a variety of glazing options available but window style and design aside, your choice of framing material can make a huge difference. As specialists in double glazing, we offer a vast range of windows so our customers can harness the benefits of a high security; high quality; energy efficient window product. In addition to offering our windows in a selection of designs, including tilt and turn; casement and flush sash, we deliver our designs in several window framing materials. The question is, which window framing material is right for you? Here we discuss the pros and cons of the most popular framing materials around.


As one of the most popular and cost effective window framing materials, PVC-U is a great choice for homes of all sizes and eras, as well as homeowners with varying tastes and budgets. PVC-U is no longer the cheap; plastic; uninspiring choice that it was. Thanks to years of development, PVC-U is the best quality it has ever been, providing people with a durable; secure and environmentally friendly glazing option. There is now a variety of PVC-U window designs available, making them the perfect choice for both contemporary and period homes.

In regards to preparing your windows for winter, owners of PVC-U glazing have very little to do, with only a minimal level of maintenance required. The lifespan of PVC-U windows is also particularly impressive. PVC-U windows and doors are expected to last between 25 and 35 years with the right care, according to a report by the British Plastics Federation (BPF) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE).


Aluminium window frames are another great choice for those looking to harness the very best window upgrade for their property. The durability of aluminium frames is extremely high, with aluminium windows expected to last up to 35 years with the right maintenance. Both thermal and sound insulation are excellent with aluminium, which easily outperforms timber frames in these areas. Aluminium windows provide great thermal performance and look great too as Neil Ginger, CEO of Origin Global, detailed in this recent Homebuilding and Renovating blog post:

“Good quality aluminium should have a perfectly smooth and consistent finish, while poor quality may have pitting from when the profile has been heated during powder coating. A smooth finish is achieved by polishing the die after each extrusion run, to reduce corrosion and avoid contamination on the surface, giving a high-quality finish ready for the powder coating process.”


Timber framed windows offer a number of advantages, particularly if your home is a period property. Although the advancements in aluminium and PVC-U window design are providing more choice for those looking to upgrade their timber windows, people living in listed buildings or conservation areas may need to opt for a like-for-like timber replacement. Timber frames do require more maintenance than PVC-U and aluminium windows but with a lifespan of 60 years, timber trumps many other window frame materials. Timber is also a good insulator, and if sourced from certified providers can be eco-friendlier than other framing materials.

Without the right level of maintenance timber windows can quickly fall into disrepair, especially sash window designs. Read our recent blog post on how to make your sash windows open and close more easily for advice on rectifying this common problem.