Alu Clad Windows & Doors
The term “Alu Clad” is used in the industry to describe Aluminium Clad Timber windows and doors. This is how a number of years ago some of the leading Scandinavian manufacturers developed a new window & door system, whereby an aluminium profile was fitted to the external face of a timber only window or door. This development proved to be an absolute winner with architects and specifiers alike, as it provided the only true maintenance free external finish, with the Powder Coated Aluminium/ metal finish outside coupled with the beauty and warmth of timber inside. One colour can be used on the Aluminium outside and with another on the Timber inside, giving great flexibility in terms of choice of finish. Alucald is probably the most expensive option. It usually takes eight weeks from order to arrival and requires coordination when part of a small building project. Aluminium is modern looking and can be detailed to be very elegant, with a wide variety of colours offered. Most Aluclad sustems in Ireland are manufactured abroad and some do part assembly in Ireland.
Timber Windows & Doors
Wood has a proven durability as an appropriate material for windows and doors, particularly in harsh climates. Wood is 100% renewable and offers long term value as an easily maintained natural material. Timber has an elegant appearance and feel, with unquestionable thermal performance, required for today’s tough construction regulations. Timber is the only naturally renewable material for windows. The total amount of energy used to make a timber windows and doors is 20% of the energy required to make a (PVC) plastic window. Timber appeals for its environmental sustainability. It has low embodied energy and is a renewable material.
uPVC Windows and Doors
uPVC or un-plasticised Polyvinyl Chloride is a chemical compound of chlorine, carbon and hydrogen. The ‘u’ in uPVC stands for unplasticised and means that the material used has not been softened by additional chemicals known as plasticisers. As a window product is the cheapest, offering a wide range of suppliers and generally a quick turnaround and hence builders like to work with it. A good range of finishes and colours is available, with low maintenance, good weatherability and low maintenance is required in the short to medium term. uPVC is considered as a non environmental friendly material. Frames can be very bulky and junctions can be awkward. In a typical three bed semi-detached house with a decent front door, patio or sliding door, back door and six standard windows and two or three smaller-sized ones, budget approximately €10,000 for supply and fit of good quality uPVC windows and doors. In Aluclad the cost would be close to €14,000.