uPVC Double Glazed Windows

uPVC windows are the most popular type of double glazing in the UK.

Their affordability, low maintenance and 20 year average lifespan make them an attractive option.

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uPVC windows

uPVC window

uPVC windows (also known as PVCu or rigid PVC windows) are double glazed windows with plastic frames. uPVC is the most popular type of double glazing in the UK.

uPVC double glazing keeps your home warm, insulated, quiet and secure.

They are designed with a gap of air between the two window panes. This gap creates a vacuum which stops cold air from getting into your home and hot air from escaping.

Available in a range of styles and colours, these windows are a good option if you have a modern home, or want to buy affordable double glazing.

They are also low maintenance and long lasting. An uPVC double glazed window has a 20 year average lifespan.


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uPVC sash windows

uPVC Sash Window

Sash windows are an aesthetically pleasing option and are especially popular with traditional, period looking homes.

Most old sash windows are made of wood. However uPVC sash windows are now much more popular and most homeowners replacing their old wood sash windows opt for uPVC.

Modern uPVC sash windows are able to retain the elegance of traditional sash windows, while they are also hard wearing, virtually maintenance free, long lasting and energy efficient.

uPVC sash windows can also be made and coloured in a way that makes them look like wood. This is called wood effect uPVC or traditional looking uPVC.

The table below shows the leading uPVC double glazed sash windows which have been endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust for their energy efficiency.

Window Company
Sash Window Name
Energy Efficiency
Masterframe Window
Bygone Chamfered Sash Window
A-Rated
Anglian
Anglian PVCU Vertical Sliding Sash
A-Rated
Anglian
Timber Tilt & Slide Sash
A-Rated
Tradesmith Ltd
Bevelled Standard / Flush Sash
A-Rated
Safestyle
Safestyle Sliding Sash Window
A-rated
Quickslide
Quickslide Sash Window A+
A+ Rated


uPVC sash windows are available in a wide range of styles and patterns. They are also available with Georgian bars. The most common styles and patterns are shown below.

upvc sash window styles

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uPVC casement windows

uPVC casement windows

uPVC Casement windows are the most popular type of window in the UK. They are a secure, energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing and cost effective option.

uPVC casement double glazed windows tend to have a higher energy efficiency than sash uPVC double glazing.

While there are hundreds of window companies offering uPVC casement windows, only a handful have been endorsed by The Energy Saving Trust. These uPVC windows are shown in the table below:

Window Company
Product Name
Energy Efficiency
A and B Glass
A and B Glass Casement
A+ Rated
Anglian
Anglian PVCU Casement
A+ Rated
CMS Window Systems
CMS Double Glazed Enviro Casement
A Rated
Everest
Everest Foiled Fully Reinforced Casement
A Rated
Duraflex
Duraflex Techniglass
A Rated
Safestyle
Eco Diamond Window
A Rated
Zenith
Eco Therm Casement
A Rated


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uPVC bay windows

As one of the most beautiful styles of window, uPVC bay windows are a popular option for homeowners.

Bay windows - or bow windows, as they are called when they are more rounded, offer more natural light in your home and panoramic views.

They also provide more space as they project outward from the house . Bay windows are typically made up of a central window and two side windows.

uPVC bay windows are often either casement or sash windows designed to fit your bay window. They are often also available in traditional looking uPVC - you can learn more about this below.

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Traditional looking uPVC windows

Unfortunately the temptation to opt for cheap, low quality white plastic uPVC proves too much for some households. This has caused many people to wrongly believe that uPVC windows always look cheap.

To combat this, many leading installers offer traditional looking uPVC. These windows look more like traditional wood windows and are often called wood-effect uPVC or woodgrain uPVC.

Traditional uPVC windows are a great option for traditional looking homes or homes in a conservation area.

These windows retain the aesthetic appeal of timber frames whilst combining all the huge benefits of modern, innovative uPVC windows. They are also cheaper than timber and aluminium windows.

The table below shows the leading providers of traditional looking uPVC windows:

Window Company
Name of traditional uPVC range
Safestyle
Heritage windows
Everest
Conservation range
Anglian
Wood-effect uPVC
A & B Glass
Timber effect uPVC
Masterframe Window
Vintage collection




How much will it cost?

uPVC double glazed windows are currently the cheapest type of double glazing. They are available in a range of styles, including casement and sash.

Examples of average costs for uPVC double glazing, according to property type:

Number of Windows
Average Cost of Casement uPVC Windows
Average Cost of Sash uPVC Windows
4 windows
£1,400 - £1,650
£2,380 - £3,180
7 windows
£2,450 - £2,760
£3,650 - £5,150
9 windows
£3,150 - £3,450
£4,360 - £6,580
12 Windows
£4,205 - £4,680
£6,205 - £7,530
15 windows
£5,255 - £5,780
£7,210 - £9,355


It’s important to note that costs will be higher if you have a larger home and require more windows. Also, costs tend to increase when you require more openings per window.

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What colours are uPVC windows available in?

Despite often being associated with the colour white, uPVC windows are available in a wide range of colours.

White is the cheapest colour but opting for a different colour will not add too much to the price of your windows.

The specific colours vary from company to company. Most companies offer cream, grey, brown, oak and black uPVC as standard.

Most also offer a dual colour uPVC option where you can have coloured windows on the outside and white frames on the inside.

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uPVC windows made to measure

It is important that you opt for a uPVC window company that make bespoke windows specifically for your home. This will ensure that your windows fit perfectly.

Made to measure double glazing will keep out draughts and will not move or rattle in windy conditions. They will also make your home more energy efficient and secure.

The uPVC window companies listed below all offer made to measure windows.



Who offers uPVC windows? What are the leading companies?

Installer
uPVC windows
Wooden windows
Aluminium windows
Everest
Yes
Yes
Yes
Safestyle
Yes
No
No
Anglian
Yes
Yes
Yes
Zenith
Yes
No
No
Britelite
Yes
No
Yes
Crystal Windows
Yes
No
No
Manchester Window Factory
Yes
Yes
Yes
Weather Seal
Yes
No
No

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What are the advantages and disadvantages?

There are advantages and disadvantages to consider before purchasing uPVC windows.

Advantages include that uPVC double glazing is:

  • low cost
  • durable
  • low maintenance
  • weather proof
  • a good insulator
  • lightweight
  • fairly recyclable
  • highly energy efficient for your home
  • likely to save on energy costs, when replacing older style windows
  • able to reduce noise from outside your home
  • helpful in making your home more secure
  • now available in a wider range of designs and styles, including uPVC windows that look like wooden windows

The disadvantages of uPVC double glazing includes that they:

  • usually come with white frames
  • get dirty quickly
  • require regular cleaning
  • can discolour if not cleaned regularly
  • are not the most visually pleasing windows to look at
  • can discolour and crack when exposed to sunlight over a long time
  • don’t use natural materials
  • can be more difficult to recycle
  • are less environmentally friendly
  • are manufactured using a lot of energy and many chemical processes
  • can’t legally be used to replace original windows on a listed building, or building that’s in a conservation area without proper planning permission
  • tend to appeal less to modern house buyers than wooden double glazing
  • will probably add less value to your home than wooden double glazing
  • can be difficult to repair - often requiring replacing the whole window
  • have a relatively short life expectancy - 20 years
  • tend to come with a 10 year warranty only
  • look out of place on an older style house (pre-1930’s)
  • can devalue an older style home


What are the alternatives to uPVC windows?

Double glazed windows are predominantly available with frames made from;

  • uPVC
  • timber
  • aluminium

There are advantages and disadvantages to all three. For example, many housebuyers tend to prefer wooden framed double glazed windows, because they are more visually appealing and can add more value to your property. However, wooden double glazing can be up to 3 times more expensive than uPVC.

Aluminium frames are very modern and require no maintenance. However, they are the most expensive kind of double glazing.

Find out more about the best kind of double glazing here.



What do I need to know about warranties for uPVC windows?

Leading double glazing manufacturers and fitters should provide a warranty or guarantee for when you buy your uPVC windows from them.

Although uPVC double glazing tends to last around 20 years, most double glazing companies offer a 10 year warranty. This means that if any of your uPVC windows need replaced or repaired after the warranty expires you will pay for this.

Before buying your windows, always compare quotes from a few suppliers and ask whether quotes include a warranty. Always compare the length of each warranty to ensure you’re getting the best deal.


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