When renovating or building a new home, home owners are now faced with a wide selection of fenestration products. PVC, aluminium, wood, or hybrid windows: what constitutes the wisest choice? What are the main differences between standard and hybrid windows?
The terms “standard windows” typically refer to windows made of only one material, such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride), aluminium, or wood, whereas “hybrid windows” refer to windows made of at least two materials, for example, PVC and aluminium.
Standard PVC, Aluminium, or Wood Windows
Most often than not the most economical option, PVC windows constitute a good reliable product, requiring minimal maintenance and providing excellent insulation; its esthetic value, however, sometimes leaves something to be desired. Although PVC is highly energy-efficient, thanks to its low heat transfer capacity, its general appearance and larger frames often seem to discredit it or tarnish its quality value. Yet, this very competitive product offers excellent value for money with regards to energy efficiency and maintenance for people with relatively simple fenestration needs.
Both refined and robust, aluminium windows are light yet ultra weather-resistant. Thinner but also sturdier, aluminium frames allow the creation of oversized windows and are often offered in a large selection of colours. For slick-looking windows that are easy to maintain, aluminium constitutes a very interesting option. However, you’ll typically pay more for these windows, which, by the way, also provide less insulation due to the material’s high thermal conductivity.
Finally, wood windows represent another option, especially for the eternal lovers of more traditional or noble materials. Painted or stained, these premium products bestow upon your home unrivalled character and legendary old world charm… which tends to be reflected in their higher price, both financially and in terms of maintenance. Indeed, wood windows absolutely require meticulous annual care to remain beautiful and watertight.
The Solution? Hybrid Windows!
Fortunately, nowadays, there is no need to only choose one material at the expense of others! Indeed, the perfect combination now exists: hybrid windows!
Typically in aluminium on the outside and PVC on the inside – but possibilities are truly endless! -, hybrid windows represent the best “compromise”… without really being one! Think about it: for example, the elegant sturdiness of aluminium associated with the high energy- and cost-efficiency of PVC. Such hybrid windows probably constitute the biggest bang for your buck, most definitely a win-win product.
Other hybrid combinations also exist, such as aluminium on the outside and wood on the inside. It is really up to you to determine your needs and choose your materials accordingly; you truly have the creative freedom to design the ideal fenestration for your home.
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