The term “composite windows” almost always refers to a timber framed window, with a relatively thin aluminium plate on the outside. However, there are many variations on this.
Aluminium-clad timber composite, can be very low maintenance. If you are careful to buy good quality, with dense engineered timber and a multi-coat, fully breathable paint finish, the only maintenance they will need is a good clean. In contrast, timber windows fail in exposed situations: where extreme weather prevails and a more rigorous maintenance schedule is required.
Virtually Zero Maintenance
Unfortunately, we all lead very busy lives. And the necessary maintenance often never reaches the top of the priority list.
The next generation of timber windows is here and growing in popularity with customers. Composite windows are so called as they comprise of a normal wooden window with aluminium cladding (to take the extremes of the weather).
Many of manufacturers offer a stated life expectancy of 65 years with very little maintenance. To define very little maintenance: just simply washing and cleaning the aluminium exterior.
Typical timber windows will require painting every 5 years, but a composite window requires only washing.
Composite windows now account for 70% of the products which Enlightened Windows sell, and those wishing to upgrade from PVC or timber are finding this new product not only requires little attention, but also looks stunning (huge ranges of painted colours and and natural softwood/hardwood finishes). Furthermore, the latest granite textured finishes are also available for that stunning modern look.
Both classic or modern style composite windows are available with low gloss finishes to give a soft satin look.
The Best of Both Worlds
Simply put: the best possible material for window frame insulation is timber. Combine this with the gorgeous natural wood finish.
So why doesn’t everyone have timber windows?
In the UK, PVC rose in popularity due to many poor attempts at making timber windows. Wooden frames were constructed from cheap timber, so needed regular sanding and re-painting to keep them looking presentable.
Plastic was cheap and required no further attention after fitting. With the fall in timber window quality, it was an easy win.
Nowadays, timber windows from Germany and Scandinavia are made in ultra modern factories using techniques never previously available. Their timber is knot-free, laminated and helps to provide passiv haus U values and beyond.
The question of re-painting however, still remains. It’s recommend to re-painting modern timber windows every 5 years (2-3 for marine environments).
Realistically, customers admit that this is not likely to happen in the future. By cladding the exterior with aluminium, homes retain all the benefits of timber windows, and remove all the drawbacks.