We frequently blog about the aesthetic differences between uPVC, wooden and aluminium windows, but that isn’t the only reason to consider all of your options. The window frame is an integral part of the unit, so it’s logical that there are other factors at play.
While energy efficiency is fairly consistent across all types of windows, security is still a concern for homeowners. Are uPVC windows naturally stronger than timber frames? Could aluminium be easier to force open?
Here’s a quick primer as to the window frame materials we offer, and some of the security considerations to bear in mind as you compare them.
Round 1: uPVC
Our customers like uPVC because it’s long lasting, hard-wearing and affordable. It can be manufactured in practically any colour, and it makes any home look presentable and smart. So how does it rank in the security stakes?
The longevity of uPVC is one of its biggest assets. You won’t find any rot in the frames, so intruders won’t be able to prise the window open, and you don’t need to do anything to keep the frames in good shape. The actual frames themselves are solid and inpenetrable, so much so that it would be virtually impossible to break the uPVC without using noisy power tools. Naturally, that a tactic no burglar would even contemplate.
Round 2: Aluminium
Aluminium window frames are thin and light, and you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re less secure because they look so delicate. In fact, aluminium is one of the most burglar resistant materials available, because it’s incredibly strong despite its featherweight appearance.
When considering uPVC and aluminium in the security stakes, there’s very little between them, providing they’re installed by a professional company. Be wary of buying cheap aluminium windows from online auction websites, as the quality may be lacking.
Round 3: Timber
As we’ve mentioned before, even the most solid timber frames will eventually show signs of weakness due to rot. The key here is to buy timber with your eyes open: you will need to put a little time into keeping the wood in good shape.
Timber is a hugely versatile material, and its natural beauty makes it an enduring favourite. So while timber is strong, just be aware that a neglected window will always be a vulnerable point in the home.
Bonus round: Multipoint locks
Regardless of the material you choose for your window frames, the locks are the most important aspect of their security. Providing you have modern multipoint locks, every frame should offer equally good security. Check your locks every 4-6 months, and make sure you always have a key for each window.
If you live in a high-crime area, or you’re concerned that your existing windows could give a burglar a free pass, contact Hamilton Windows for glazing advice. We can help you to come up with a plan for replacements, with the good looks you want and a price tag that you can afford.