Which window material is best? Comparing all double glazed materials

As per all double glazed window projects, the better knowledge you have regarding the different types of window materials, the better the outcome for the project.

Double glazed window technologies have improved tremendously over the last decade, so we have included some of these best window materials throughout this blog. Previous knowledge and perceptions of double glazing materials in the past would not meet the required standards required today.

Which materials are best for replacement windows?

We have listed throughout this blog the most popular types of window materials being used throughout Peterborough residential properties. Each window material varies in size, shape and colour. We will include both the pros and cons of each material, helping you choose which replacement window material would be best for your home.

Traditional Timber Windows

Traditional Wooden Window Frames Peterborough

Timber window frames have been the chosen material for homeowners for hundreds of years now. So many homeowners still considering replacing their windows for new timber double glazed windows.

Advantages of timber windows:

Timber windows are produced from a natural source i.e. wood. When fabricated, timber can be produced into a huge variety of different shapes and sizes. Wood offers the best insulation with the lowest hot and cold transfer. Timber is extremely strong and when protected can last for many years. Wooden doors can be painted any colour. A typical timber window will offer a traditional warmth and harmony to heritage style properties.

Disadvantages of timber windows:

Timber windows are extremely costly compared to other double glazed window materials. Only limited carpenters offer replacement timber window frames. Timber requires constant maintenance such as sanding down, repainting, staining, caulking and re-sealing, also cleaning down the frames. Timber frames are highly predisposed to rotting, mould, also fungi created from the sun light and various weather conditions. This is enhanced if these timber window frames are not maintained correctly.

Combined wood and clad material

Cladding Window Frames Peterborough

As wood requires lots of maintenance manufacturers have come up with a mixed aluminium and fibreglass cladding window profile. Though these products are the most expensive window materials on the market, they are bonded together with the timber frame, offering a huge range of additional benefits over traditional wooden window frames.

Advantages of wood cladding windows:

This outstanding blend of robust materials have created a magnificent window profile that is extremely weather resistant. These double glazed profiles are available in a mass variety of colours. They are very low maintenance (occasional wipe down). The inside is real wood so can be stained or painted like other wooden window frames. Whilst fully protected from the elements from the outside. All types of energy efficient glazing options are available such as double glazing and triple glazing.

Disadvantages of wood cladding windows:

As these window profiles are extremely difficult to seal the edges during manufacturing process, this can lead to increased moisture and can lead to rotting of the window frames. As this frames contract and expand during the weather variants, the timber frames can retain the moisture leading to rot, mould and cracking. If this occurs then it reduce the life span of these profiles. These double glazed units are extremely expensive as they combine the most expensive materials on the market.

When it comes to maintenance this can be quite demanding as the inside timber will require re-staining each year. The overall installation will take much longer as onsite capping will be required if aluminium clad windows are selected. This must also be taking into account as the fitting cost will be higher.

UPVC Windows

UPVC Window Frames Peterborough

UPVC windows are the ideal material used for replacement windows. UPVC have overtaking traditional timber windows due to their high performance and low cost. New double glazing technologies have helped this amazing uPVC window material to overcome its poor reputation of going yellow, back in the 80s and 90s. However, it is still vital that you only select high quality uPVC window manufacturers as there are still low-quality products on the market.

Advantages of UPVC Windows:

UPVC windows are the most affordable window product on the market today. The frames are designed with hollow gaskets, some of which may be insulated foam. Both the cavity and insulation enhances its overall energy efficiency. The more gaskets then the better the energy efficiency. One of the key features of uPVC windows is how little maintenance these windows actually need. They will not corrode and the plastic is UV-resistant, therefor will not discolour like traditional plastic windows do. All of the seams are welded together this prevents any unwanted air or water residue from making its way through. UPVC is extremely durable and will last for many years. When it comes to colour selection uPVC windows come in a great range which can match most of its rivals.

Disadvantages of uPVC Windows:

Unlike the traditional timber window the uPVC frame cannot be painted. However, uPVC windows are available in dual colours so the frame can be manufactured with your interior and exterior colour theme to mind. If the interior frames are cleaned with various products this can damage or even reduce the insulation of these double glazed windows. UPVC can contract and expand during winter and summer months however problems generally do not occur.

Aluminium Windows

Aluminium Window Frames Peterborough

Aluminium window frames have become increasingly popular over the recent few years. The cost of aluminium windows have come down significantly as homeowners now realise the advantages of aluminium over its competitors. Very similar to the uPVC windows, aluminium also offers very little maintenance. These robust aluminium window frames offer strength and durability which means that the frames can be manufactured to a much greater sizes than uPVC windows.

Advantages of Aluminium Windows:

Aluminium has come down in price and can be very competitive towards other double glazing profiles. Like uPVC profiles aluminium is very easy to clean and repainting should not be required. The profiles are much thinner than uPVC which means that you will have much more glass. These frames are also much lighter and can be customised much easier than other profile types. Aluminium will not warp and the corners are mechanically joined, so no unwanted air or water can enter.

Disadvantages of Aluminium Windows:

Aluminium has the least U-value as it will lose heat and cold easily. However, we offer aluminium frames with thermal breaks between the interior and exterior surfaces. These thermal breaks will enhance the energy efficiency significantly. Without these thermal breaks aluminium can produce condensation (depending on manufacturers). If the aluminium is not pre-treated, households near coastal areas when exposed to salt water can lead to problems of the overall double glazed unit.

Fibreglass Windows

Fibreglass Window Frames Peterborough

Fibreglass windows have not been very popular until recently. Fibreglass proposes a traditional wood look with minimum maintenance. Fibreglass window frames look incredibly good and can be configured to match any Peterborough property.

Advantages of Fibreglass Windows:

Fibreglass looks very much like wood and can be painted to match any décor. Very like uPVC, Fibreglass will not warp, rot, swell or discolour. As it’s exceptionally strong it will holed large pieces of glass, so very suitable for bow and bay windows. When it comes to insulation the fibreglass windows are the best on the market. These impeccable windows frames arrive with foam filled cores or hollow cores. With insulated performing the greatest during extreme weather conditions. These fibreglass window frames will not discolour. Available in stainable wood or wood look veneer on interior, makes ideal window profiles for properties in wooded or conservation areas.

Disadvantages of Fibreglass Windows:

When it comes to cost fibreglass profiles cost approximately 25% more than uPVC. When it comes to colour choice they are very limited. The standard finish is also susceptible to scratching. Due to these disadvantages makes it difficult to find local manufacturers.


While there are many different material types for double glazed windows, it is important to choice the right product for your Peterborough home. Not only does the overall look matter, but so does the cost and energy efficiency.