uPVC vs Aluminium

September 13th, 2018


1. High performance

  • Most thermally efficient, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer
  • High sound resistance, blocks out street noise up to 34dB reduction
  • Can eliminate most condensation – depends on sources within your home
  • Watertight and airtight

2. Life span

  • Lasts 40+ years, with no fading, corrosion, warping, and with minimal maintenance

3. Perfect for Wellington wind

  • Most joinery is rated to SED wind zones for 216kph wind

4. Strong structure

  • Solid looking product
  • Internal steel for strength and load bearing
  • Welded corners

5. Double Glazing

  • Double glazed as standard
  • Glazing thickness 23mm standard, out to 31mm and 41m with some frames
    Handles a variety of glass types , like Obscure, Laminated and Low E

6. Adaptable look

  • Fits any type of home, including character builds

7. R Value

  • Standard R value of .41
  • Viridian planitherm XN Low E Glass increases that to r.84

8. Used throughout the world as a joinery solution of choice

9. Recyclable

  • Recycled in Europe into new windows and doors


1. Great look

  • Slim profile
  • Large colour range and colour matching
  • Easily formed into designer shapes, therefore fitting well into modern architecturally designed buildings

2. Affordable price

  • Standard aluminium is cheaper than uPVC. Thermally broken aluminium is similar in price.

3. Easy to install

  • As it has high installation tolerances

4. Upgradable

  • Old aluminium can be retrofitted with double glazing


1. Large size

  • uPVC frames are typically a larger profile in order to fit in all the technology that makes it so thermally efficient

2. Limited range of colours

  • The main colour used in New Zealand is white, although other colours are available at a higher price with a 3-6 month lead time as they must be specially imported.

3. The above two cons mean that the look of uPVC may not be right for certain projects

4. Limited range of window shapes

  • uPVC is harder to manufacture than aluminium, therefore harder to make into unique shapes

5. Not as well known in the market place by consumers or architects

6. Bad reputation in some quarters based on early attempts to introduce to the NZ market place


1. Low performance

  • No thermal efficiency, meaning the cold and heat transfer easily through the joinery, making the frames either hot or cold to touch, depending on the outside weather
  • Condensation forms easily on frames and glass
  • Transmits noise easily

2. Short life span

  • Pitting and corrosion are an issue
  • Colour fade
  • Corners of frames (mitres) often pull apart over time.

3. Reduced security

  • Easy to pull rubber out and remove the glass from the outside

4. Look does not fit the character of older houses

5. R-Value

  • Old Aluminium typically around r.16
  • Newer thermally broken aluminium around r.25