Choosing the right material for your windows and doors

When the time comes to replace your property’s existing windows or doors it can be difficult to know which material type to choose to best complement the look and feel of your home. More options are available every year as both technology and industry techniques continue to advance.

Read on for information about the common types of windows and doors available here at Livingwood Window & Door Specialists, as well as the pros and cons of using either wood or aluminium in construction materials. In this post, we’ll explore:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Design and aesthetics
  • Durability and maintenance
  • Security

self build project

Energy efficiency of timber vs aluminium

Timber

Wooden window frames and doors are excellent insulators, helping to retain heat indoors during winter months and lower your energy bills as a result. Combined with double-glazed or triple-paned options, timber is a perfectly competitive material when it comes to thermal energy performance.

Aluminium

Because aluminium is effective at conducting both cold and heat, it needs a little bit of help in the thermal performance department. Fortunately, our aluminium windows are equipped with thermal breaks using the latest industry methods, utilising insulating material between metal frames to reduce heat transfer. So, there’s no cause for concern: aluminium windows and doors can offer energy efficiency up to and well beyond building regulation standards.

Design: timber or aluminium?

Timber

Architects and designers opt for timber frames and door constructions when they want to evoke authentic charm and natural beauty. When you want to integrate the texture and warmth of intricate wood-grain in your property, sometimes only the real article will do. If the classic, more traditional look is definitely for you, then take a look at our real redwood timber windows and doors.

One of the other major benefits of timber is the wide variety of looks and styles that can be achieved, as well as the material’s applicability in a range of widespread architectural settings. Timber products can also be repainted and varnished multiple times over their lifetime, providing a degree of design flexibility unrivalled by aluminium. Here at Livingwood, we offer wooden doors and windows with a range of versatile finishes – including vivid solid colours, and professional stains which reveal the wood-grain underneath.

Aluminium

Synonymous with a sleek, modern aesthetic, aluminium windows and doors have become increasingly popular in recent times. Strong but light, aluminium can be reshaped into a variety of configurations and is much loved for its ability to carry large panes of glass on surprisingly thin frames. The thin sight lines of contemporary aluminium frames has led them to being frequently used to facilitate extensive outdoor views, blurring the threshold between a property’s interior and exterior.

Our aluminium doors and windows are also highly flexible when it comes to looks, with a wide selection of coatings available to ensure the installation matches the surroundings. Aluminium, when coloured with a convincing wood effect, can fit in well within modern and older properties, while allowing you to simultaneously benefit from the properties of aluminium and the aesthetics of traditional timber.

Reynaers CP155LS

Durability and longevity

Timber

For their traditional good looks, timber frames and (to a lesser extent) doors pay the price with higher maintenance requirements, being more vulnerable to the effects of sun and rain exposure. Best suited to temperate climates, timber windows can peel, bubble or decay when not properly cared for. If you live by the coast, another material type may be the better choice for you.

While not as durable as aluminium, timber products can nevertheless be protected against the worst of weather exposure with our industry-leading lacquer and stained finishes. Protected from the most extreme impact of the elements, at worst you’ll need to keep an eye out for long-term decay and be ready to occasionally sand and repaint the wood surface.

Composite wood products, with aluminium cladding for example, can reduce maintenance requirements further.

Aluminium

Aluminium is a tough and durable material. It is also remarkably lightweight, resistant to most forms of surface damage. It has the added benefit of being 100% recyclable without losing any of its beneficial metallic properties in the process.

Our aluminium doors and windows, once finished and coloured with our powder coating, will be specially protected against peeling or discolouration. Resistant to insects and the elements, promising smooth operation for years, it’s no wonder that aluminium is the dominant choice in architectural and challenging commercial applications.

Double glazed lift & slide doors

Security

It’s worth noting that, because windows and doors tend to be the first point of entry for a would-be burglar, no one product on its own will protect your property or belongings. It is important to take necessary precautions, wherever possible, to keep yourself and your assets secure.

Timber

Wooden doors and window frames must be solidly constructed in order to provide adequate levels of security. Fortunately, the security of timber doors can be independently certified by a number of third party organisations.

Aluminium

Another key benefit of aluminium windows and doors is their safety. The material’s impressive strength ensures excellent security, though doors with extensive glazing panels are best suited to locations which are at low risk of being exposed to potential robbers.

For the record, Livingwood’s range of windows and doors meet only the strictest of PAS 24 and building regulation standards, certified by the British Standards Institute (BSI).

Summary

Whether aluminium or timber is your preference, specify high security glazing to ensure you have peace of mind and can rest assured that your home is protected. For a winning combination between the two materials, our composite windows and doors should also be given serious consideration. These timber frame windows, with weather-proof aluminium capping, are low-maintenance in terms of their external condition whilst offering the authentic look of timber internally.

Note: all our products are supported by comprehensive guarantees for our customers.

5-year warranty

Our redwood timber windows and doors are provided with a five-year guarantee as standard. We put years of confidence in our wooden doors and windows because all the timber we source is laminated and graded to remove any knots, resulting in a top-quality finish that’s difficult to beat. Our stain finishes also come with a two-year guarantee to protect the redwood from the elements.

10-year guarantee

Our aluminium windows and doors come with a 10-year guarantee, which emphasises the superior quality in our materials and framework.

If you have any questions about which of our timber or aluminium ranges will most benefit you and your property, don’t hesitate to get in touch.