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Metal Window Frames

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Blackswanwood

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Cutting a long story short a new workshop that I am having built on the footprint of an earlier building needs to have windows that closely replicate the originals. These were “Crittals” so it looks like it will need to be Heritage Aluminium that we use.

I have a bit of an aversion to metal window frames. My feeling is that they look good but are very inefficient which in fairness may be an outdated view (my architect says it is). One thing is certain though in that they aren’t cheap!

Has anyone any experience of them or first hand knowledge of the pros and cons please? Everything I can find online is written by a manufacturer so perhaps not unbiased.

Thanks.
 

--Tom--

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The difference in U value between PVC and Aluminium was negligible when we had new windows in an extension. The Aly were a lot more solid feeling though and the frames were slightly smaller so let more light in.
Over a 25 year lifespan the cost difference was more palatable too
 

sunnybob

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I had a house that had crittal windows. They were loose and awful looking. I had plastic double glazing ordered. When they came to remove the crittals, the walls started falling :shock: The 1960's builders hadnt bothered to put steel lintels over the window holes, just laid the bricks onto the iron frame. (hammer) (hammer).

Make sure your builder puts lintels in. :lol:
 

MikeG.

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It sounds as though this is a building within the curtilage of a Listed Building. If so, you'll have to confirm all your window choices with the council.

Crittalls traditional cottage windows (now called Homelight Plus) are a lot better these days, particularly because they come with seals and therefore don't rely on a paint-to-paint junction to keep the weather out. They're galvanised and powder coated, so there isn't going to be the same rust issue that they used to suffer from. They're also double glazed.
 

Blackswanwood

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MikeG.":2asr16av said:
It sounds as though this is a building within the curtilage of a Listed Building. If so, you'll have to confirm all your window choices with the council.

Crittalls traditional cottage windows (now called Homelight Plus) are a lot better these days, particularly because they come with seals and therefore don't rely on a paint-to-paint junction to keep the weather out. They're galvanised and powder coated, so there isn't going to be the same rust issue that they used to suffer from. They're also double glazed.
Thanks - yes that is the case.

I spoke with the Planning Officer on Friday and she's relaxed whether we go with steel or slimline aluminium as to the untrained eye they look pretty much the same - we just need to replicate what was in the falling down building. It seems the aluminium options routinely have a thermal break which isn't the case with all steel windows.

I've read all the blurb, seen them in use in commercial applications but am still sceptical.
 

lurker

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Does the workshop need windows at all?
With led lights being so cheap and effective you don’t need them for a light source.
More wall /less windows equals more storage which equals more free floor space.
And it will be warmer and more secure.
 

Woody2Shoes

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I have a custom-made window, made from thermally broken aluminium extrusions and double-glazed units. I designed it myself in terms of shape/size/colour ec. but the detailed design and construction was done by a small company in the midlands somewhere. The window is excellent and ageing very gracefully. The key is the thermally-broken aspect which is some kind of plastic (maybe upvc but I don't think so) sandwiched into the extrusion. My neighbour is an architect and uses modern metal-framed, but thermally broken, windows a lot - you can get nice narrow rebates - assuming the DGU spacer is thin enough. Low maintenance, relatively strong and clean lines - not the cheapest option to buy, but I think the lifetime cost may well be cheaper than hardwood. Cheers, W2S
 

Woody2Shoes

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Woody2Shoes":2wcjdr2z said:
I have a custom-made window, made from thermally broken aluminium extrusions and double-glazed units. I designed it myself in terms of shape/size/colour ec. but the detailed design and construction was done by a small company in the midlands somewhere. The window is excellent and ageing very gracefully. The key is the thermally-broken aspect which is some kind of plastic (maybe upvc but I don't think so) sandwiched into the extrusion. My neighbour is an architect and uses modern metal-framed, but thermally broken, windows a lot - you can get nice narrow rebates - assuming the DGU spacer is thin enough. Low maintenance, relatively strong and clean lines - not the cheapest option to buy, but I think the lifetime cost may well be cheaper than hardwood. Cheers, W2S
PS I grew up in a house that had Critall windows - single-glazed galvanised steel - they were horrid in the winter!
 

sunnybob

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Just a question... I thought crittal windows were a '60's thing. seeing as this is a listed building, how old ARE crittal windows?
 

Blackswanwood

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sunnybob":s17sxg9r said:
Just a question... I thought crittal windows were a '60's thing. seeing as this is a listed building, how old ARE crittal windows?
They started out in the 1880’s Sunnybob.
 

sunnybob

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oh well, whats 90 years here or there :roll: :roll: (hammer)
 

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