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Choosing the Right Windows: A Comparison of Different Materials Available in the UK Today

Whatever window style you want for your property, there is no doubt that you should find the right window material for it. Fortunately, you have a wide selection available to you when it comes to window materials, ranging from traditional wood to uPVC, composite, fibreglass, metal, and more. But with all these choices, it is easy to become quite overwhelmed. So which window material is best for your requirements?

Here is a rundown on the different materials available with a description of the advantages and disadvantages (and average costs) of each.

Wood – softwood and hardwood

Wood can either come as softwood or hardwood, with softwood being popular for those on a budget. Softwood such as Douglas fir is popular for its stability and durability, and softwood can either be painted or stained as well. The advantage of wood as a material is that it fits both period and contemporary properties, and is affordable, especially if decorated and glazed on-site.

The disadvantages of wood, however, come from the fact that it can easily warp, peel, twist, or flake, and it also often requires repainting after several years. The cost of typical softwood windows can run from £6,000 to £15,000.

Hardwood is usually more durable and stable than softwood, and it can also be given a treatment to be extra stable. Oak is a popular hardwood material, and it is often stained. Hardwood is usually expensive, however, and can cost four times as much as softwood (between £8,000 – £20,000). Often times, people will obtain a home equity line of credit to finance these renovations.


uPVC has become a more popular alternative to traditional wood in recent years, primarily due to its affordable cost and its easy maintenance properties. One disadvantage to uPVC, however, is that it may not fit well with other types of properties, especially period ones. The cost of typical uPVC windows can range from £5,000 to £15,000.


Composite windows are distinguished by the fact that they are a combination of materials, usually consisting of wood windows combined with aluminium, for example. If you are planning to have your windows triple glazed, composite window material is often ideal. Composite windows also work well with a contemporary-designed building or property, and they are also easy to maintain and can easily be made to look like timber. Composite can be an expensive material, so you have to see if you can find the right package. Door and window specialists such as, however, offer great service and always follow the highest standards, so you know that you are getting your money’s worth. The average cost for composite windows can be from £10,000 to £25,000; more if you want them triple glazed.

Fibreglass or metal

Common metal materials for windows include steel and aluminium, and you can also opt for fibreglass, also referred to as GRP. These materials are often easy to maintain and can look more appealing than uPVC. However, metal is not known for its thermal efficiency. The cost of these materials can range from £8,000 to £20,000.

Other points to consider

When choosing the material for your property’s windows, you should also consider your property’s theme or design. If you have a property in a period design, it might be better to opt for a material that goes well with it, such as timber or wood. If you have a more modern building, however, you can choose from the full range, as most of these window materials fit well with a contemporary design.

Image attributed to sumetho/