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Aluminium versus plastic windows?

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  • Aluminium versus plastic windows?

    Hi All,

    I would appreciate peoples thoughts.

    currently in the process of putting a building plan into council. the designer has asked me whether I prefer aluminium of plastic UPVC windows. I have been told that aluminium is an inferior product and is not used extensively overseas. I am wondering if aluminium has any advantages and should still be considered?


    thanks


    Phillip

  • #2
    From my understanding of UPVC windows vs Aluminium windows is UPVC isn't cold to the touch unlike Aluminium joinery. It is used extensively in Europe. I'd go find a local manufacturer and ask to see their product and testimonials from their clients. Downside UPVC isn't cheap. Here's a link to Christchurch manufacturer nkwindows.co.nz
    Last edited by donna; 03-06-2017, 11:44 AM.
    Kaye
    www.streetsaheadpm.co.nz

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    • #3
      Upvc is much much better. Metal is a thermal conductor (therefore conducts the cold), plastic is a thermal insulator.

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      • #4
        Phillip you bet me to it I too was recommended plastic due to being coastal etc. and it's good to know it's a superior product.

        cheers,

        Donna
        SEARCH PropertyTalk, About PropertyTalk

        BusinessBlogs - the best business articles are found here

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        • #5
          I have UVPC and am relatively happy. A few downsides (but might have improved now) - they cant be partially open and locked, so ground level or lower level windows cant be left open when out or its a risk to do so. Also when opening, the window falls back in to a certain point, so while you can physically open the open the window to its maximum it doesnt stay there. I would say mine only stay open about half way. If you are getting in any doors, then the locks can be a bit 'dicky'.

          The biggest bonus is they are very easy to maintain, and I would say you would eventually get your costs back in that you dont have to paint etc. The flashings have to be redone but thats not a big job.

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          • #6
            Thanks all for the feedback, sorry for my delayed reply - I have just seen the responses. I called one supplier who believed the price would be similar to aluminium. I've found that the building application does need to commit to either at this point. Does look to have some good adavantages so will investigate

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TheLibrary View Post
              I have UVPC and am relatively happy. A few downsides (but might have improved now) - they cant be partially open and locked, so ground level or lower level windows cant be left open when out or its a risk to do so. Also when opening, the window falls back in to a certain point, so while you can physically open the open the window to its maximum it doesnt stay there. I would say mine only stay open about half way. If you are getting in any doors, then the locks can be a bit 'dicky'.

              The biggest bonus is they are very easy to maintain, and I would say you would eventually get your costs back in that you dont have to paint etc. The flashings have to be redone but thats not a big job.
              I would say that all the issues you state are due to the particular manufacturer rather than uPVC as such.
              Also Aluminium is very easy to maintain and shouldn't need painting either.

              Of particular issue to uPVC is its UV stability in the NZ environment. Seems that we have higher UV here than Europe. I expect they have sorted these issues by now - uPVC windows have been around for a while now in NZ.

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              • #8
                I would really look into the UV side of things. On a slightly different note, same goes for all those later model European caravans imported into NZ. I was speaking with someone who works for an outift that builds upmarket horse trucks with accomodation. That outfit also modifies and repairs other trucks and caravans on the side. He said that many UK caravans are breaking down because of NZ UV.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                  I would say that all the issues you state are due to the particular manufacturer rather than uPVC as such.
                  Also Aluminium is very easy to maintain and shouldn't need painting either.

                  Of particular issue to uPVC is its UV stability in the NZ environment. Seems that we have higher UV here than Europe. I expect they have sorted these issues by now - uPVC windows have been around for a while now in NZ.
                  Agreed. Updated research needs to be done. I used warm windows. The have been installed for around 5 years now and I havent any issue with any of the frames even on the north facing side, but the flashing paint has come away. I think they still look nice and are super easy to keep clean. Agree about the aluminium, but I think the UVPC does look nicer, and I also found when looking at pricing the difference between the two was not substantial. You don't need to invest in heavy curtains/window coverings either which is another saving.

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                  • #10
                    not a fan of UPVC
                    Last edited by jimO; 06-06-2017, 05:53 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jimO View Post
                      not a fan of UPVC
                      Dude, more information? Like that doesn't really help, with respect.

                      Why are they no good in your opinion?
                      Squadly dinky do!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Davo36 View Post
                        Dude, more information? Like that doesn't really help, with respect.

                        Why are they no good in your opinion?
                        the ones i have seen look cheap, one job i was on had a 2m wide sliding door and you could bend the sliding bit like a banana when it wasnt closed also it was sagging from the weight of glass, this was a brand new door

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                        • #13
                          This is from a manufacturer:
                          "The downside of uPVC windows is that they do not last as long as aluminum windows (about 25 years vs. roughly 60 years, respectively). When they are discarded, aluminum windows are easy to recycle but uPVC requires special processing, typically ends up in landfills, and is toxic to humans and animals when burned."

                          Given our UV issues on top of such a short life I would stick with Alu.

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                          • #14
                            I replaced an aluminium ranchslider with UPVC hinged french doors a while back. After only two or three years the doors became twisted and clunky. One of the doors stuck out at the bottom. There was little I could do to fix the problem. I regretted the decision to go with UPVC, should have stuck with aluminium.

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                            • #15
                              There's no problem with uPVC windows and UV light in New Zealand. This problem has been fixed since the mid 90s.

                              The quote that Bobsyouruncle supplied comes from here: https://www.fenesta.com/interior-des...h-ones-better/

                              They appear to be a manufacturer of uPVC windows and not aluminium in India, so I'm not sure why they're dissing their own product. They have another page that compares Aluminium, PVC and Wood where they say "Fenesta UPVC Windows and doors are made of special UV resistant blend and therefore do not fade even after prolonged exposure to sun" and they don't give any indication that the life of uPVC windows is shorter than aluminium.

                              NK Windows in Christchurch on their "A greener home" page they say: uPVC windows are almost 100% recyclable. Recycling window frames conserves resources and saves disposal costs.

                              Found this Canadian website: http://www.northviewcanada.com/upvc-...s-ones-choose/ "In general, modern technology UPVC windows are expected to last about 30-40 years, while lifespan of aluminm clad ones (aluminum over wood) is about half less and doesn’t exceed 15-20 years."

                              Another NZ uPVC supplier whose website currently seems to be down, google cache link: http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...&ct=clnk&gl=nz "Un-plasticized Polyvinyl Chloride is also the most durable of the materials available. Aluminium can pick up oxidation whereas uPVC is highly resilient. It is highly unlikely uPVC joinery will need changing within 35-50 years. All our uPVC windows and doors come with 15 years warranty, as per NZBC B2 requirement. In countries like United Arab Emirates and Quatar companies using Veka profiles with tropical mix, identical to the profile that we use, uPVC double glazing manufacturers offer lifetime warranty for frame discoloration/warping. "

                              Apparently there's a Window Association of New Zealand and they have a page about NZ standards: http://www.wanz.org.nz/upvc-windows-...and-conditions "If you are purchasing uPVC windows or doors, make sure the windows come with a certificate of compliance with this uPVC Standard for New Zealand conditions.

                              The complying product may be a little more expensive than other uPVC windows – but it will be well worth it!"


                              uPVC windows are much better thermal insulators that aluminium. Pure aluminium (as opposed to aluminium clad) windows don't really exist overseas. The only reason we have them in NZ is they're cheap and so people think they're normal. Another advantage of aluminium windows is they're available in a much wider range of colours for no real extra cost. This isn't the case with uPVC, since none of them are manufactured in NZ and everything is imported, they suppliers import only a limited range of base colours and if you want to apply an extra 'foil' colour on top, it'll cost quite a bit more, and needs to be special ordered which can have long lead times.

                              Anyone who has gone from single-paned to double-pane windows will know that they hardly get any condensation on the glass panes on cold winters mornings - instead you get all the condensation on the aluminium window frames. You don't get this with uPVC frames.
                              Last edited by donna; 08-06-2017, 05:15 PM.

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