What are the differences between Aluminium and PVCU Windows?

Choosing new windows for your home is something you should normally only have to look at doing every couple of decades or more, so, if and when window replacements are required it is important that you make the right decision for your property.

Some of that decision-making will include having to choose between double glazing and triple glazing, what handle colours you want, and figuring out what your favourite window style is e.g. casement, Georgian, sash, tilt & turn etc. as you’ve the opportunity to change the designs as long as the new designs don’t lessen ventilation and comply with the current England and Wales Building Regulations both thermally and to ensure the fire safety aspects are all adhered to.  

Lastly, you will need to figure out whether you opt for windows manufactured from PVCU or aluminium.

PVCU vs Aluminium – which comes out on top?

We’ve set out key features you should expect when considering new contemporary windows to give you a clearer insight into how PVCU windows and aluminium windows fare:

Their Cost

The budget you have available will no doubt influence your decision and PVCU (Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride) windows tend to be more affordable than aluminium windows, particularly if it is white gloss windows you are after. Even if you have decided to have the windows externally in a different colour, it is less expensive if your replacement aluminium or PVCU windows are white internally, as both a single colour non-white finish and/or a dual colour finish (where one of the colours is not white) will cost you more. 

PVCU and aluminium both offer superb thermal insulation and will save you a considerable amount of money on household energy bills, so remember to factor this in when pricing up what it’s going to cost.

Their Maintenance

They’re pretty much on a par in terms of how much maintenance they demand as the answer is “very little”.

Like most materials, PVCU and aluminium need a clean every now and again with a wet cloth to remove any dirt, but that’s about it. You never need to repaint or treat them.

Their Toughness

PVCU is very tough, but aluminium is even stronger. Both are resilient enough to withstand weathering and lose none of their strength.

You get a lengthy guarantee with PVCU and aluminium windows which highlights how their durability will remain intact for years to come. They also both come fitted with the latest secure multi-locking mechanisms.

Their Aesthetics

Traditional white is the most widely produced PVCU colour, but there are other finishes available for those wanting something a little different.

However, aluminium windows do tend to be supplied in a more diverse number of RAL colours, so if you’re really keen to buck the trend, aluminium is probably your best option.

Their Construction

The better quality PVCU windows that can achieve and A+ or even an A++ Energy Rating, achieve this by having extra chambers within both the outer frame and the opening sash. This gives these higher quality PVCU windows real inherent strength and durability.

Nowadays non-thermally broken aluminium windows should not be on the market as they cannot achieve the energy ratings required ever since the Building Regulations changed on 1st October 2010. Aluminium windows are obviously stronger being a metal but achieve a “thermal break” by having a polyamide thermal strip that separates the inner and outer frame, enabling these products to achieve a C, B or even A Energy Rating (it all depends on the thickness of the frames and the specification of the sealed unit). 

The final result

Well even though the products are totalling different, let’s call it a draw as you really can’t go wrong when choosing between PVCU and aluminium windows – they’re both exceptionally good window solutions.

Find out just how good quality Hazlemere Windows windows are by viewing lots of different examples at either of their sophisticated showrooms.


Our showrooms are our shop windows and we have invested heavily to create extensive displays that best showcase our large range of windows, doors and living spaces. You will receive a warm welcome, plus a proper coffee, and the choice to browse at your leisure without interruption.


Want to speak with an Advisor? Give us a call on 08000 825 825

Our friendly team will be pleased to help with any questions you may have.

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