Windows: Choosing between uPVC, Aluminium and Wooden Frames
If you plan to build a new home or buy and renovate an existing property, one of the things you should be checking out is the windows. Windows add value to a house, improve security, help reduce energy consumption and add an aesthetic appeal to a house.
In Tanzania, there are several choices when it comes to window frame choices. We have three main choices when it comes to selecting the type of window frames and these are the uPVC, Aluminium, and Wooden. But what are the main differences among the three choices?
With the technological advancements, aluminium window manufacturers have brought aluminium windows to the forefront of the construction industry. One of the advantages of aluminium is that it can be shaped into many different configurations with ease, thanks to its strength-to-weight ratio.
Wooden windows were the norm in Tanzania when it came to house construction as every house was expected to have wooden windows. In the late ’90s to mid-2000s, we witnessed the emergence of aluminium windows which were expensive then and only the well-off could afford. Later, prices went down making them affordable for many while at the same time, new environmental conservation laws kicked in that saw the availability of timber diminishing at a great pace making wooden window prices much more expensive than aluminium. In the year 2000s, we also welcomed the uPVC technology which had great looks and due to its newness, they became fashionable but expensive. The regular thinner aluminium is the cheapest window frame, followed by uPVC and then the wooden window frame at varying percentages depending on the service providers.
The advantage of aluminium over uPVC and wooden windows is that aluminium windows have an aesthetic appeal over uPVC and wooden windows, although this is debatable as some people think otherwise due to their preferences. Aluminium is lightweight, flexible, durable and lightweight that’s why it is a preferred choice on housing projects, while its strength makes aluminium a preferred choice on commercial buildings.
Wooden windows are still popular but they are easily affected by the weather and are so difficult to repair and maintain compared to uPVC and aluminium.
Aluminium is the most durable among the three. Aluminium has strength that cannot be matched by wood or uPVC and this strength allows slimmer frame structures and a great glass surface area.
When it comes to thermal efficiency, uPVC is more favorable than aluminium and wood. Aluminium can easily allow heat to pass through due to its highly conductive material and is thermally inefficient compared to uPVC.
The nature of the building should be highly considered to be able to make an informed choice of window frames. If you are buying a cottage, you don’t necessarily have to fit it with modern aluminium looks as that will ruin the look of the cottage, but if you are buying a contemporary house or apartment, then aluminium or uPVC will suit nicely.
Personal taste has a big role in the choices you make. If you really like the appearance of wood, then go for wood but be sure to consider other options when making your decision.