The benefits of aluminium
Neil Ginger, CEO at Origin, the UK’s leading manufacturer of doors and windows, explains why aluminium is seeing exponential growth as the ‘must have’ window material and the benefits it brings.
For homeowners, choosing a door or window is a major decision, and one that they have to live with, in most cases forever, or certainly until it needs to be replaced.
There are three main materials that can be called upon when looking to fill an aperture in a home with doors or windows: PVCU, wood and aluminium.
Each comes with its own benefits and offers something unique and individual to the project. PVCU is the cheapest option but has thick sightlines, due to the material not being as innately strong as aluminium. There’s also a tendency for it to flex and warp in inclement weather conditions, limiting operation and longevity. Wooden frames can look great on the right style of house, but they do require regular maintenance to keep them looking good and working well, especially when in direct sunlight.
Aluminium offers a perfect combination of strength and weight, allowing for narrow, more aesthetically pleasing frames and better sightlines, without compromising on security. For example, the edge of the frame on the Origin Window can be just 50mm from the glass, meaning that there is less window and more light.
Aluminium windows are easy for installers to fit and extremely low maintenance for homeowners. Plus, because the material is resilient to flexing, expanding or contracting, manufacturers can offer long guarantees, which leaves installers safe in the knowledge that they are covered.
At Origin, we offer a 20-year guarantee on all our products, which is not only industry leading, but also shows the confidence we have in aluminium as a material.
Pricing is a difficult subject, because here in the UK, we are big fans of bespoke sizing. Homeowners prefer a product to be made to measure, rather than selecting a set sized window and making it work within the space, which is what the US market tends to favour. PVCU windows are cheaper, with timber options often being ultra-expensive. Aluminium windows, however, deliver good value for money given the benefits it provides.
It is important to remember that the homeowner is getting what they pay for, so installers and fabricators should feel confident in recommending aluminium windows, knowing they are not only aesthetically pleasing, but will last the longest too – in other words, great value for money.
As any fabricator or installer will know, someone’s home is a personal statement, so being able to offer them a wide range of windows that fit their style and taste is imperative. All manufacturers should offer a choice of finishes, colours and styling, allowing full customisation to create a perfectly integrated look.
Unlike PVCU and timber, aluminium frames are available in a virtually unlimited range of colours, including realistic wood grain effects and metallic shades, further extending the potential offerings.
Origin offers over 150 shades on its window, plus a dual colour option, which means that installers can offer an exterior frame to match the building style, and a different interior colour to suit the inside of the home.
There is a greater confidence in aluminium products, therefore, the guarantee can be longer. It gives the manufacturer, the partner, the installer and the homeowner better peace of mind.
The standard industry guarantee tends to be around 10 years, but the Origin guarantee is for 20 years and covers all the manufactured parts and paint.