UPVC Windows and Doors – The Choice is yours
Trends in window and door styles are moving towards options that are high on quality and low on maintenance. Fortunately, South Africans have the choice of wood, aluminium and uPVC products to suit their personal taste and budget. Here’s some help to make your choice:
Wood is warm and natural
Wooden windows and doors are still popular for their warmth and aesthetic beauty. They’re the ideal choice for a homeowner wanting a more natural look. Wood will last many years but it requires a great deal of attention and care. It needs to be sealed with the correct product before installation and retreated each year thereafter.
The beauty of wooden windows and doors is they can be customised. The choice of creative styles and sizes is not limited if you employ the services of a manufacture that custom-makes windows and doors to suit your personal needs. You also have the choice of a wider variety of finishes so you can go white, light or dark.
On the negative side, wood tends to be more expensive than aluminium, particularly if you take in the cost of labour and varnish over the years. Wood is not the best choice if you have a home at the sea or in a province that typically experiences extreme weather changes. You’ll find that wood needs constant attention to stay looking beautiful and attractive.
Aluminium is stylish and low-maintenance
With our extreme weather conditions, aluminium windows are ideal for South African homes. They are durable and weather resistant which means they are virtually maintenance-free and therefore much cheaper than wood in the long run. They do not rot or perish so you don’t have to spend time and money sanding and re-sealing them, or eventually replacing them.
These days aluminium products come in all colours and sizes so there is some flexibility when you are planning the design of your home. There are a few ingenious designs with unusual ways of opening which puts them into the style category. Compared to wood, aluminium is a better choice if you have budget constraints.
The trick is to make use of a reputable installer so they are fitted correctly to meet environmental regulations. With correct glazing, aluminium is energy efficient as it limits heat loss. The benefits of the insulation that aluminium windows and doors provide are entirely dependent on which glazing is used.
uPVC windows and doors is the new rage
Unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) windows and doors have only recently started trending on the South African market although they have been used for many years in Europe. They’re extremely popular because they are excellent for insulation. We are talking about keeping the cold out and the warmth in, as well as muffling the sounds of music and loud noise.
The main point of difference is that the products are fusion welded, lock at multiple points and are double sealed which is why they are excellent for temperature and sound insulation.
The choice of design styles is quite extensive with lots of different tilt and turn options. Another key benefit is that the products are steel reinforced so they are structurally strong. This means that you have a choice of larger windows and doors than in the aluminium range.
You don’t have the flexibility of wood which can be customised to your design needs but there is a wide enough selection of sizes and styles to make that less of a problem. There are uPVC options not available in aluminium so shop around.
Painted uPVC is expensive in South Africa at the moment so if you’re on a tight budget, you will have to stick to white windows and doors. The latter are competitively priced relative to wood and aluminium but you need to shop around for cost-effective ranges.
Much like aluminium, uPVC windows and doors are virtually maintenance-free. Over a long period of time, aluminium can start fading and will need to be painted. uPVC has a UV resistant blend so it doesn’t fade over time. All it needs is routine cleaning. For these reasons, uPVC windows and doors usually come with long warranties.
Not only will you save money in the short term – as it is an energy-efficient choice, you’ll save money in the long term because they are maintenance free. Oh, and the best thing… termites don’t munch on them. If you are environmentally conscious, you’ll be happy to know that the production process uses less energy than aluminium.
For more info on the benefits of upvc windows and doors – click here.