Are PVCu or Aluminium windows right for your home?

Both PVCu and aluminium windows have a host of features and benefits that, whilst it’s a nice problem to have, can make choosing between them a challenge!

Here we break down the aspects you’ll need to consider for your home, along with the specific characteristics of each type of window to help you choose which is right for your particular needs.

Architecture and aesthetics

Perhaps the biggest and best steer on which windows will be right for your property is its architectural style.

There are a number of factors that influence how you approach replacement windows to ensure you choose the right style and materials to enhance your home for the long-term. The age or your property may be one factor, whether it is has a character or more contemporary aesthetic, the area in which you live (perhaps it’s a conservation area) and whether the property is listed – all these aspects will help inform your decision making.

Aluminium windows

If your home is more contemporary in design, you might be drawn to the subtle, slimline profile of aluminium windows. ‘Direct fix’ aluminium window frames give a slim sightline which can heighten a contemporary aesthetic.

For a more traditional style, aluminium frames can be set within a hardwood subframe, so they can be designed to suit period homes.

Aluminium windows can also be the perfect solution when replacing steel or crittall windows, replicating the slim appearance with all the modern benefits of energy efficiency and security.

PVCu windows

If your home is a period property, listed or situated in a conservation area, you may find that PVCu windows offer the best approach.

If maintaining the original style of windows is important to you, PVCu windows can be a great option, with a wealth of options to choose from.

PVCu windows

A choice of frame colour gives you the flexibility to achieve the exact aesthetic you’re looking for.

PVCu sliding sash windows are designed with an authentic timber effect that means it’s very difficult to tell them apart from timber windows. They provide a secure, noise and draught-free alternative to period sash windows.

The style, location and surroundings of your property will all influence your decision as to whether aluminium or PVCu windows are right for your home. The importance of natural light is also something to think about in terms of the profile of your window frames, as well as understanding what your windows look like both from the outside and inside.

To understand more about the specific features and benefits of PVCu and aluminium windows, we’ve broken down some important considerations for you.


Establishing a realistic budget from the outset is always the best starting point when approaching replacement windows – this will help inform your decision making.

In terms of cost, aluminium windows tend to be more expensive than PVCu windows – this is due to the manufacturing process. However, the cost can be offset by the robust nature of the material and therefore its durability – these factors inevitably influence the longevity of aluminium windows.

Whilst less expensive than aluminium windows, PVCu windows certainly do not fall short in performance and design. With an almost limitless range of styles and finishes, it’s no surprise that they continue to be the most popular choice.


Part of the joy of replacement windows in the significant reduction in maintenance – this is equally true of aluminium and PVCu windows.

Both materials are durable and robust and require minimal maintenance. Washing twice a year with soapy water is usually the only maintenance required to ensure your new windows continue to look impressive.

Energy efficiency

An important part of the long-term investment in replacement windows is the cost-efficiency and comfort that comes from their energy-saving features.

PVCu windows

For many years, PVCu has been known for its high level of thermal efficiency.

The new generation PlatinumNRG window system that we install is recognised as one of the highest performing available.

The multi-chamber profile and ‘Planitherm Total+’ energy efficient glass enable these windows to achieve an energy efficient ‘A’ rating wherever possible, saving money for the homeowner and helping to conserve energy. PlatinumNRG3 gives the option for a tripled glazed PVCu system.

Aluminium windows

Our Sheerline aluminium windows are constructed using patented Thermavic® technology. This system incorporates multiple, sealed chambers into the frame design – each chamber insulates so that warmth is kept in and the cold, out.

High performance double glazing further enhances the energy efficiency of these aluminium windows and there is the option to triple glaze where required.


Whilst both are equally strong and weather-resistant, there are some inherent differences with PVCu and aluminium, which affect their lifespan.


For more than four decades, PVCu has been an effective and popular material for replacement window frames – it is strong and durable and, as already mentioned, it requires very little maintenance to keep it looking good.

As a material, after a long time, usually as long as 30 years, PVCu windows can start to degrade and may need replacing.


By its nature, aluminium is not only robust, it is not susceptible to rust. As a result, high-quality aluminium fames have excellent longevity and can last up to 50 years if properly maintained.


Knowing your home is safe and secure brings huge peace of mind. Both PVCu and aluminium windows offer superior levels of security.


Some of the security features included in our PlatinumNRG window system are bi-directional dual roller cam central locks, twin shotbolt locks and concealed hinge bolts.

Security features of PVCu Windows


Despite the slim frames and lack of beading, Sheerline aluminium windows offer excellent security.

A patented jointing method strengthens the frame corners, securing frames and the glazing. Multipoint locks and hinge protectors give additional protection.

Expert help for the right decision

We are on hand with a wealth of experience and expertise to talk through every aspect of your decision making.

Our Window Configurator is a tool that can help you to visualise your windows before you finally decide.

To book a design consultation, please call us on 01444 45 71 45.