Aluminium vs PVC windows – ultimate comparison

You need solid knowledge to choose the best windows for your project. But it will take you precious time to acquire this knowledge. That’s why, to save you time, we’ve put together a comparison based on European aluminium and PVC windows that will explain when to choose aluminium and when to choose PVC. 

Key informations:

  • If you are on a tight budget, and looking for a warm and economical system – choose PVC windows.
  • If you want to avoid scratching the frames during installation, want more durability and resilience, and want large glazing and a huge choice of colors – choose aluminum windows.

Read our ultimate comparison below to learn more!

From this article you will find out:

Aluminum or PVC windows comparison
Aluminum or PVC windows comparison

What is the price difference between aluminium and PVC windows? 

The main factor that will influence whether your customer decides to buy PVC or aluminium windows is the price. And this varies significantly and, depending on the profiles being compared, the difference is between 70% and 200%. Aluminium windows are almost always more expensive than PVC.

We compared the same set of PVC and aluminium windows. For PVC, the Salamander BluEvo 82 system and for aluminium, the Aluprof MB-86.

Aluminum or PVC windows comparison price

The difference is significant. If you build standard terraced houses for sale, PVC windows will be a better option. On the other hand, if you develop a building to a very high standard, it is worth using aluminium windows. Included in the cost of the windows is the expense of servicing, the frequency of which depends on the durability of the window. 

Which windows are more durable?

“The window installers scratched the windows before they were even installed”. – do you know it? If you’re fed up with such problems and want peace of mind, you can choose more durable windows. We’re talking about aluminium, which is more ‘window installer-resistant’ than PVC thanks to its hard coating. Any scratches or abrasions are much less visible and easier to hide.

The durability of windows is closely linked to the price. Why? A shorter window lifespan means more repairs and subsequent installations. The lifespan of PVC is estimated to be around 15-20 years, while aluminium windows retain their properties for up to 50 years due to their greater resistance to corrosion and sunlight.

Even a standard coating shows high resistance (also to sea salt), and there are coatings with increased resistance, notes Agata Toczek, a technologist at Debesto.

PVC as a material loses its properties when exposed to weather conditions for a long time. If the PVC structure is too large, especially in a dark colour, the frame may bend and begin to cause problems. Aluminium windows are stiffer and more robust, so they will work well if the builder expects them to be extremely durable.

What are the differences in the heat loss parameter?

We could spend a lot of time comparing irrelevant differences between thermal parameters. But the question is, does it make business sense to consider small differences? In fact, two factors determine the choice of a window with a specific thermal performance: building law and the type of building.

Before proposing a window system to your investor, check what minimum Uw requirement you need to meet. As a general rule, PVC windows protect better against heat loss – they have a lower Uw parameter. The difference disappears when the window area increases because the thermal performance is mainly determined by the glass. However, at the end of the day, it is all about meeting the country’s requirements at an attractive price.

See our example comparison of the thermal performance of two window sets:

Aluminum or PVC windows comparison heat loss

The Aluprof MB-86 profile is one of the warmer aluminium profiles, but if your investor needs an even lower Uw, you can offer him one of the passive aluminium systems, such as Aluprof MB-104 passive. However, you must remember that passive solutions involve higher costs. The question then arises about the cost-effectiveness ratio: how much will you pay extra and how much will you get in return for it? 

It’s another issue if you’re building a house for yourself and you want to put windows in the showroom. Showing the window system ‘live’ can help you to negotiate with investors and get a better margin for your investment. Our customers often make their home a showroom and are then willing to pay extra for an even lower Uw than is required.

Which window will give more freedom to the architect?

What if your investor wants a non-standard window colour? PVC windows offer approx. 30 veneer colours and aluminium windows over 200 RAL colours (thanks to powder coating). However, they are more expensive.

What if your investor wants the look of aluminium, but the price is too high? You can offer him a PVC Gealan Linear window, advises Debesto specialist Stanislav Bloszko. This is a frequent choice for our customers who want a better look and at the same time an attractive price.

Aluminum or PVC windows comparison colors

The aluminium window is considered to be more exclusive than PVC; it has a thin frame, offers greater configurability and lets more light into the room. This is due to its lighter weight and the possibility of a larger size.

Large windows – should you choose PVC or aluminium?

If a builder necessarily needs a very large window, then aluminium is probably the optimal choice. This doesn’t mean that a big size can’t be achieved with PVC. It depends on whether the builder wants one large glazing or whether a set of windows is acceptable.

Aluminum or PVC windows comparison dimensions

Let’s find out the differences between the maximum dimensions of PVC and aluminium windows. In the case of tilt and turn windows made of PVC, we can achieve a maximum of 150 x 160 cm (2.4 m2 ), while in aluminium the limit dimensions are 170 x 200 cm (3.4 m2 ), which is over 40% more. In the case of sliding sash windows, the possibilities for aluminium and PVC differ by a considerable margin, as the aluminium window can be almost 70 per cent larger. For example, the PVC HST Aluplast 85MM window has maximum dimensions of 510 x 250 cm (12.75 m2), while the aluminium HST Aluprof MB-77 HS Monorail has maximum dimensions of 660 x 324 cm (21.38 m2).

It should be recalled that in PVC windows, steel is responsible for the statics of the structure, which is located inside the profile, whereas in aluminium, the frame itself provides the statics, so suppliers can make larger structures on aluminium profiles. Aluminium is more rigid and does not deform like PVC. In addition, it is lightweight and puts less strain on the hinges. 

Is there an ideal solution?

You may have come across a proposal on the web for an ‘ideal’ solution that combines the properties of PVC and aluminium. It is about PVC windows with an aluminium overlay. We want to be honest with you. The cost of a PVC window with an aluminium overlay is not much less than just an aluminium window. Consider whether it is cost-effective for you to buy a PVC window and pay extra for cladding.

Which windows are better: PVC or aluminium? This question is asked in the wrong way. The question should be: which type of window is best for you? It depends on the purpose of your investment, what your budget is and what performance requirements you need to meet. If you want to find out what costs you have to take into account, you can simply use our online calculator.

about author

Voytech Stach

Sales manager at company from Poland that specializes in the export of windows and doors in the B2B segment.

Do you have any questions?

Send a message to Voytech

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faq

Smart-slide

1. In what schemes can Smart Slide be made?

At the moment, we are able to make the Smart Slide system in schemes A and G2. Is it possible to buy smart-slide sliding doors with two movable sashes? (Diagram D)This type of solution (scheme D) is only possible for HST systems. Then we get a double-sash sliding door, where both sashes are movable.

Aluminium

1. What is the quality of aluminum in the products sold by debesto.com?

We work on the profiles of well-known and proven producers such as Cortizo, Aluprof, Yawal, etc. Proven quality confirmed by international certificates and warranty. The aluminum used stands out from the competition throughout the entire production cycle: foundries, extrusions, powder coating, anodizing, processing, etc.

Debesto.com – who are we and what do we do?

1.What will I gain from working with you?

First of all, you’ll save your TIME. We will do the whole work with ordering doors, windows, gates, and blinds for you. Why should you outsource it to us? 
  • You will get products in a quality which was checked by us.
  • You don’t have to worry about meeting the deadline or financial condition of the supplier - we order the production only to verified companies.
  • We’ll find products that suit your needs - it doesn’t matter if that are windows, wooden or aluminum doors, PCV, blinds, or garage doors.
  • One complete transport at a lower price instead of a few different ones will come to the place of investment.
  • You’ll comfortably get everything done with one adviser, one invoice, one transfer, and only one place where you can (if necessary) make a complaint.
 

2. Does your company produce windows?

We aren’t just a traditional producer. We order the production of doors, windows, gates, and blinds inside of a network of selected and verified suppliers in terms of production punctuality, their financial condition, and the quality of products. We call ourselves the broker on a polish joinery market. We’ll do all of the arduous work with ordering the joinery from Poland for you. We’ll choose relevant products at an affordable price, organise safe transport and we’ll deliver the product to any address in the world. 

3. Do you have any stationary representatives in other countries?

We do not have any branches in other countries. Our office and a magazine are in Poland in Oleśnica (30 km from Wrocław).We overcome thousands of kilometers separating us from our clients owing to modern technologies. Thanks to that you’ll save your money and time because we don’t have to add any extra costs to the services or products to maintain expensive offices all over the world.

Delivery time, payment, installation, warranty

1. What is the delivery time on debesto.com?

The time of order processing is highly dependent on its specification. For example, white PCV windows, standard colors (anthracite on one side) can be ready for pick up or a shipment from 7 working days. The waiting time for nonstandard PCV colors is about 4 weeks depending on the color. The production time of PCV doors is also about 4 weeks. Aluminium doors and windows - from 3 weeks, wooden windows from 6 weeks. Furthermore, the blinds about 2 weeks, garage doors - about 3 weeks, metallic doors from 4 weeks. You’ll find estimated production time next to every product on its subpage.

2. How does the payment look like? Do I have to pay the whole amount immediately?

We suggest two forms of payment: 1. 50% of advance for production of the product and 50% shall be paid before picking up/ sending the goods. 2. 100% payment in advance. This form is much more favorable because we give you an additional 5% discount depending on the group of products.

3. Will I buy the joinery with an installation on debesto.com?

No, on debesto.com we sell only windows, doors, blinds, and gates, which we deliver to every place in the world. The installation of the windows depends on the client. We do not offer installation service because our offer is not directed to the building companies, installers, developers, and realtors that can install the joinery by themselves.

4. If the windows would be installed by a different company, do the products keep the warranty?

Yes, the only condition is installing the product in accordance with the art of assembly and applicable standards in the country of the installation in terms of the warranty.

5. Do the products that I buy have a foreign warranty?

Yes, the only condition is installing the product in accordance with the art of assembly and applicable standards in the country of the installation in terms of the warranty.

Transport and delivery

1. Do you have a transport in your offer?

Yes, collaborating with debesto.com you get a complex service of joinery order including transport.Transport is priced individually for every project. The distance and package dimensions or its elements have an impact on the price. The presence of e.g. a huge HS window may raise the price compared to the delivery of standard windows.We always look for the best transport option, which besides the competitive price guarantees safety and punctuality of the delivery. The more you order the more you save - we send goods from different places in one transport. The location ensures favorable delivery prices to many different places. If the transport offer won’t be satisfying enough you can send your own shipping or pick up the package in person.

2. what is an estimated time of the transport?

The transport time depends on the month in which the package is to arrive. To most of the countries, it is something about 3 days after packing the goods. The delivery time depends on that if the transport is dedicated (The driver is going to only one client) or in the partial load (delivery to a few clients). To countries aside from UE the time is much longer. To USA it is about 30-35 days, the delivery to Africa is very similar.

3. If I order the joinery from debesto.com will I get transport for free?

It is possible - the final offer is determined with the client’s keeper. It depends on the size of the order and the place of delivery. At the same time, we always look for the best transport offer, which after summarizing with the prices of products allows the customer to save money on the import from Poland.

4. Will I definitely get the goods on time?

Don’t worry, we know how important punctuality is in our business. That is why we deliver the goods only by using certified transport companies and we order production to the verified factories. We also track the order fulfillment all the time, to react in case of delay. We always assume a margin of error and we do not promise the client unfeasible deadline. We prefer to say honestly, that the delivery will take longer than giving empty promises.

5. Are my goods insured during transport?

Yes, the package is fully insured. We deliver the goods only by using certified transport companies which have OC insurance for transported goods. If the commodity got damaged we deal with fixing the damage, so the new product can come to you as fast as possible. After that, we clarify this situation with the transport company.

6. Is it possible to get a forklift unloading at the price of the transport?

Yes, it is possible but remember that we always explore the client’s possibilities in terms of unloading goods individually. Our experienced logistic section takes care of the transport organisation. It is also looking for the best solution for you in terms of value for money for transport to offered options such as the elevator or a forklift. In some countries, it happens that for example, it is much more profitable to rent a forklift at the location, than paying extra for it at the transport company.

Are my goods insured during transport?

Yes, the shipment is 100% safe. We deliver the goods only using certified forwarders with liability insurance for the transported goods. If the goods are damaged, we repair the damage so that the new goods reach you as soon as possible. Then we explain the situation with the carrier.

Can I buy roller shutters with built-in mosquito nets at debesto.com?

Roller shutters with mosquito nets are popular and seem to be a viable option. Unfortunately they are not as good as clients usually think they are. People with longer fingernails will find it extremely problematic to expand and seathe nets. Damage-prone animals in the house? (yes cats, we look at all of you) Mosquito nets are not finished off with any kind of sturdy frame, which results in jagged sides and easily damagable product. Debesto strongly advise against buying roller shutters with built-in mosquito nets.

Is debesto.com offering an installation service?

No, debesto.com sells and delivers windows, doors, roller blinds and garage doors to our customers around the world. Our offer is addressed to construction companies, developers, assemblers and distributors, that usually take care of installation services for their clients.

What are the payment options? Do I have to pay full price in advance?

Absolutely not. There are two payment options for you:1. 50% advance payment, before manufacturing an order and 50% before delivery.2. 100% advance payment. This form of payment gives you discount varying from 1% to 5% of order price, dependent on category of products.

What is an estimated time of realization of an order in debesto.com?

Times of realization of the orders, depends on various factors, such as dimensions, frame material, system, etc. PVC windows and doors in white and anthracite (external) are available for delivery or pick-up, 7 working days after processing an order. For custom PVC solutions, wait time is up to 4 weeks, depending on the colors used. Six weeks, is an estimated wait time for wooden products. Aluminium windows and doors realization time is up to 8 weeks. Furthermore, roller blinds and sectional garage doors, respectively have 2 and 3 weeks of realization. Steel doors from our offer are available within 5 working days, in case of standard dimensions and custom orders up to 7 weeks.In debesto, we put a great effort to fulfill deadlines of our customers. Our realization times represent guaranteed deadlines for your orders. We do our best, to make sure, your products are delivered to you, as soon as possible.

KoPiBo rotating rolls – what is it and how does it work?

KoPiBo regardless of the size of the window and the quantity of anti-theft points, guarantee the greatest comfort of everyday use and smooth performance of the window, as they automatically set up and down and rotate – reducing the friction between the anti-theft points and the rolls.

What if windows are installed by other company? Is warranty still valid?

Yes! As long as windows or other products are installed in accoradnce with installation standards, warranty of your order will be valid.

Want to know how much your business can gain by importing joinery from Poland?