Dream | Design | Deliver

From PVC-U, wood and aluminium, to timber with aluminium cladding, there are many different types of materials to choose from for windows and doors, but which offer the most benefits?

To help you decide, we’ve compared traditional PVC-U against the modern timber with aluminium cladding alternatives.

1. Aesthetics

Windows and doors really add to the “first impression” that your property makes to its visitors, so it’s important to make sure it’s a positive one.

Unlike PVC-U materials, aluminium can be moulded into unusual shapes which makes them a great option for creating curved windows.

Timber and wood options can be more suited to traditional period properties as they can feature details such as joints, narrow glazing bars and integral horns.

Combining the benefits of both aluminium and wood, timber with aluminium cladding units allow householders and property designers to tailor windows and doors to suit property  styles – whether that’s traditional or contemporary. In addition, they can be sized depending on building requirements and manufactured in a wide range of different colours – allowing the purchaser to have a completely unique product.

2. Efficiency

The materials of frames contribute to the overall energy performance of a property.

Both timber with aluminium clad variations and PVC-U options can provide high levels of energy efficiency. However, the extra strength provided by timber with aluminium clad options makes it easier to fit them with heavy, triple-glazed glass and solar control glass.

These features can help you reduce noise pollution and energy bills by making your property warmer, and ensures indoor spaces stay bright but cool when outdoor temperatures rise.

And, wooden alternatives are more environmentally friendly than PVC-U options, as they are easier to recycle.

3. Sustainability 

As well as the energy performance of window and door products, sustainability of materials is an important factor too, so check the credentials of the manufacturer to learn how they source and treat their products.

PVC-U is not widely recognised as sustainable due to it not being made from an organic material. In comparison, timber units are organic, due to the material being a natural wood.

When reviewing how units are manufactured, it’s good to look at the systems and processes that are used, and if they are damaging to the wider environment. For example, at Rationel, we treat all windows and doors with “System 2 ECO” –  a water-based treatment system that uses microporous paint/stain applied in spray booths, collects overspray waste and recycles it for reuse.

It is used when impregnating, painting and finishing our products, to ensure they have a long lifespan. And, approximately 50% of aluminium used in production of Rationel products is from recycled sources, and 85% of our products are produced using hydroelectricity.

4. Durability 

Timber-framed units that have aluminium external cladding can protect timber from weathering and offer a long-lasting, weather-proof finish. And, according to the Wood Window Alliance, timber-framed windows have a lifespan of more than 60 years – double that of most PVC-U options.

It is essential to check the weather tightness of your window frames in relation to water and wind – find out if the manufacturer has conducted tests, and ask to see an example or demonstration.

GOOD TO KNOW: Rationel is certified according to the FSC®, and uses pinewood from Northern European forests , where reforestation ensures the number of trees planted is higher than the amount cut down.

To discover how you can benefit from our help, simply get in touch by calling a member of our team on 01869 248181, or email generalenquiry@rationel.co.uk.


Alternatively, click here to download our brochure.