First introduced to solve the issue of the inefficient aluminium clad window, composite windows are a modern, light, and strong alternative to some of the other windows on the market.
They have dramatically increased in popularity over the last 20 years, but what exactly are they? And what is so great about them? This guide will explain everything to do with composite windows, and why you should make the switch.
What are composite windows?
Composite windows are formed by combining two materials with different properties, in order to create a durable window structure that has the best qualities of both materials.
Most often made from timber and aluminium, these windows have the attractiveness and insulation of timber, with the strength of aluminium cladding. Many people opt for composite frames as they are high performance, yet light and visually appealing.
Whilst you can choose to have a composite window anywhere within your home or office, they are particularly effective for rooms that struggle to retain heat, such as in conservatories or rooms that are under trees.
These types of windows can actually be effective in helping to heat the home, and when paired with a green heating system, are a great environmentally friendly option.
Check out our complete guide on the price of new windows, if you want a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay (including installation). You can also read about the various window styles available, as well as double glazing, triple glazing and decorative windows.
Benefits of composite windows
Due to their hybrid nature, composite windows have a multitude of benefits. They offer reliability, brilliant thermal properties, high performance, as well as being attractive. Some of their other main benefits include:
Strength and longevity
The aluminium cladding used on the window is incredibly durable and long-lasting, as well as requiring less maintenance than traditional full timber windows. Composite windows are also extremely strong, which is not only great for structure but can also improve the security of your home.
When compared to uPVC windows, composite windows have a longer lifetime – they can often last 40 years as opposed to around 30. The materials used are also recyclable, which means that they are a greener choice than other types of windows such as uPVC.
Composite windows have brilliant insulation properties, making them very popular in the UK and other countries where the climate is colder. This often means that you will inevitably spend less on your heating bills after you have these windows installed.
These energy savings not only save you money but help to make heating your own as environmentally friendly as possible, reducing your home’s carbon footprint.
Little maintenance needed
Composite windows are extremely low maintenance as the timber is on the inside of the window, meaning that it is not exposed to the harsher outdoor weather where damage can be caused.
Design and style
The design possibilities are endless with composite windows. You can choose from a variety of colours, finishes and styles to really personalise your home. Whether you want a traditional looking timber composite window or a darker, more modern frame, it’s all possible.
The aluminium aspect can be finished in gloss, matt, or satin, and the wood is able to be stained or painted to create the perfect window for your home.
Whilst composite windows have a multitude of benefits, they are more expensive than other kinds of windows. This is because they are so versatile, and the materials used are on the higher end of the price range.
Composite windows vs other types of windows
uPVC vs composite windows
Because of the cost, many people opt for classic uPVC windows instead, as these are the cheapest on the market. Although many people fail to consider that whilst the upfront costs may be cheaper, uPVC window’s lifespan is not as long as that of composite windows and so over time this price difference can actually mean that composite windows are cheaper.
Another issue with uPVC windows is that they require more maintenance and are prone to warping and discolouration over a long period of time. They are also less environmentally friendly than composite windows, retaining less heat in the building, which can cause your heating bills to skyrocket.
Fibreglass windows vs composite
Fibreglass is one of the best materials to use for windows in terms of energy efficiency. Although a composite window can be made from plastic, glass and wood fibres, and depending on the materials used, composite windows can be incredibly energy efficient, rivalling that of fibreglass.
Another reason that composite windows could be a better choice for your home than fibreglass is that fibreglass has less options for customisation, as most of these windows should not be painted.
Whilst fibreglass is also low maintenance, it can be very expensive, sometimes costing more than composite windows. They’re also still relatively new, so there’s less available on the market, and fewer tradesmen are comfortable installing a fibreglass window.
Timber windows vs composite windows
Timber windows look great, and they do have a certain charm about them when used on period properties, however, on modern builds they can look too old-fashioned, whereas composite windows are far more stylish. They also require lots of maintenance and protection from the elements, as the timber will be exposed to outdoor conditions.
How much do composite windows cost?
As we have already mentioned, composite windows are on the higher end of the price scale. This is because timber and aluminium are two of the most expensive materials to use and so, when compared to a cheaper uPVC window, composite windows cost a lot more.
Whilst the upfront cost is more expensive, the materials are high quality and last a lot longer than others like uPVC, with less maintenance required. Therefore, this could actually mean you save lots of money over a lifetime.
Installing composite windows
Generally, you’re looking at a cost of around £10,000 – £25,000 to install double glazed composite windows throughout the house, although, this price will increase further if you want triple glazing on your windows.
When finding a professional trader to install your new windows, it’s important to look around for multiple quotes, as you’ll be able to get the most reasonable deal.
There are plenty of websites that can help you search for a professional, including Checkatrade.com, where you can read reviews and check certification before you call somebody out for a quote.
Composite Windows Summary
If you are looking to switch out the windows in your home, composite windows are a great option. Whilst they can, initially, be more expensive than other types of window, they are a culmination of the benefits of multiple materials, allowing them to be incredibly strong and durable, as well have to have incredible environmental benefits.
Not only practical, but they are extremely customisable, enabling you to pick windows that really compliment your home.