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Thread: Please advise: Anodised aluminium windows and doors.

  1. #1

    Please advise: Anodised aluminium windows and doors.

    Hi all,

    A slightly off-beat topic but...if anyone has experience of these I'd really appreciate hearing about it.

    I'm just about to put in a VERY large order for windows/doors for a 5000 sqft new build house. Trust me...there's a lot of glass.

    We have been in touch with several suppliers for months now and, in general, their sales teams have been awful, with vague and often contradictory opinions.

    We and our architect are very keen on having and anodised bronze (Analok 543 if you're particularly interested) finish but we're worried about how scratch resistant they'll be.

    The anodising company says they'll be indestructible, the suppliers are saying they'll scratch easily and that we should have a powder coated RAL colour. But even the metalicised RAL colours don't have the same sheen and lustre as the anodised.

    But if anyone has experience of anodising windows, do tell...before I make a very expensive mistake.

    Many thanks,

    david

  2. #2
    Master
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    Aluminium was popular in the 1970s before UPVC came onto the market. Aluminium was strong with a slim section but was prone to really bad condensation. The outside of the frame was cold outdoors and warm inside, so you always had condensation running down the inside. The big makers such as Everest messed about with isolation inserts but the condensation was always there. It was a frequent topic of conversation down in the pub.

    The moment UPVC windows came on the market in the 1980s, the end of aluminium was assured. The UPVC was more creaky but was virtually maintenance free whereas the aluminium models had to be placed inside a hardwood frame which needed to be waterproofed with Sadolin or similar every couple of years. So you need a ladder to do the upstairs windows.

    Avoid the aluminium like a plague.

  3. #3
    Craftsman eletos's Avatar
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    Got some aluminium windows and doors fitted as part of a extension build.

    They are powder coated and look great, no issues with condensation etc.

    The only thing I can see being an issue is the threshold step at the front door. I can see this will get scratched and wear over time.


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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Aluminium was popular in the 1970s before UPVC came onto the market. Aluminium was strong with a slim section but was prone to really bad condensation. The outside of the frame was cold outdoors and warm inside, so you always had condensation running down the inside. The big makers such as Everest messed about with isolation inserts but the condensation was always there. It was a frequent topic of conversation down in the pub.

    The moment UPVC windows came on the market in the 1980s, the end of aluminium was assured. The UPVC was more creaky but was virtually maintenance free whereas the aluminium models had to be placed inside a hardwood frame which needed to be waterproofed with Sadolin or similar every couple of years. So you need a ladder to do the upstairs windows.

    Avoid the aluminium like a plague.
    So we're still trotting out 1980s pub expert opinions as fact in 2022?

  5. #5
    Modern aluminium windows perform better now than they did back when uPVC came on the scene. As long as they are detailed properly, condensation wonít be an issue. Anodising isnít indestructible but will resist scratching. If youíve found the colour and sheen you want, go for it.

  6. #6
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    Iíve been fitting windows for 40yrs and anodised aluminium is the best product on the market in my opinion. RAL coloured powder coating is an absolute nightmare for scratching and nowhere near as durable as anodised. The new modern aluminium profiles have thermal breaks incorporated in the manufacturing and so any condensation on the aluminium is pretty much non existent as long as your not running your room temperature above 23 degrees in the coldest months Dec/Jan and even then itís very light. Certainly nothing to complain about. The improvements made in window manufacturing in the last 20 yrs is immense the same as cars, tech etc . . . .
    Most aluminium products come in 70mm wide outer sections now and so the need for hardwood surrounds are no longer needed, anodised is Ďmoreí expensive but you only get what you pay for and itís a fantastic product. Go for it and you will not regret it at all, itís hard wearing, and keeps its colour without any fading unlike the powder coated products which look well worn after a couple of years unless you spend 2/3 hours twice a year thoroughly degreasing the windows which obviously is dependant on how many windows/doors you have in the house.

  7. #7
    Master yumma's Avatar
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    Anodised aluminium is extremely durable, most architectural ironmongery is SAA (satin anodised aluminium) and withstands years of abrading with hands and rings if you think of door handles. Modern aluminium frames are compliant with Building Regulations and are Thermally broken (insulated to prevent Cold Bridging), so no issues with condensation. I am a Surveyor of 25 years experience and have fitted Comar and Kawneer aluminium windows in many Schools, Offices, Libraries and Fire Stations for decades. They are excellent. Agree with the previous comment about RAL coloured powder coated aluminium, it is less durable, can discolour with age and is a lot worse than anodised.

  8. #8

    Please advise: Anodised aluminium windows and doors.

    Anodising might be difficult to scratch but if it does, unlike powder coating, itís not easy to correct.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernestrome View Post
    So we're still trotting out 1980s pub expert opinions as fact in 2022?
    Sarky comment but with a hint of justification.

    Yes everything gets tweaked and improved with the passing of time. The thing is that UPVC almost replaced aluminium overnight, so why bother to improve something that's almost non existent.

  10. #10
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Most bifold door systems are aluminium, most Velux windows are aluminium.

    Things have moved on, they are insulated, structurally sound and the surface treatments/coatings are pretty good these days with a good warranty.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Sarky comment but with a hint of justification.

    Yes everything gets tweaked and improved with the passing of time. The thing is that UPVC almost replaced aluminium overnight, so why bother to improve something that's almost non existent.
    UPVC outsold aluminium because it's cheaper, not because it's better.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernestrome View Post
    UPVC outsold aluminium because it's cheaper, not because it's better.
    It's cheaper and needs less maintenance. The main sales point was no condensation.

    You can spend hours walking the streets and nearly every house is fitted with UPVC and there is a reason for that, it wins on all counts.

  13. #13
    Master Ruggertech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernestrome View Post
    So we're still trotting out 1980s pub expert opinions as fact in 2022?
    Doesn't exactly sound like a fun pub either ;)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggertech View Post
    Doesn't exactly sound like a fun pub either ;)
    Keep it sensible.

  15. #15
    Wind up! 5000 sq ft architect designed new build house with uPVC windows!

    Sent from my M2101K7BNY using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxnick1975 View Post
    Wind up! 5000 sq ft architect designed new build house with uPVC windows!

    Sent from my M2101K7BNY using Tapatalk
    Yes you do see them.

  17. #17
    Master Ruggertech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Keep it sensible.
    Oh my aching sides :)

  18. #18
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    It's not indestructible but as others have said, it's extremely durable and long lasting due to being an electrochemical process rather than a spray coating like powder. The colour will also never fade or diminish. Go for it.

    Back in the day I had an anodised bike frame and the coating on that was super tough!!

  19. #19
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    The colour will also never fade or diminish. Go for it.
    Really? Completely different use-case obviously, but I try to avoid anodised aluminium parts on my bikes precisely because the colours (especially black) always fade and end up looking horrible. Plus if you scratch it you can't touch it up. Might just be cheap sh*tty parts though!

  20. #20
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    It's cheaper and needs less maintenance. The main sales point was no condensation.

    You can spend hours walking the streets and nearly every house is fitted with UPVC and there is a reason for that, it wins on all counts.
    To be fair it generally looks awful, so its cheap and functional doesnt mean its best.

  21. #21
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    We've got aluminium patio doors that are at least 40 years old soon to be replaced and we've been in the house 10 years and never had any condensation problems

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrusir View Post
    To be fair it generally looks awful, so its cheap and functional doesnt mean its best.
    Cheap ? Have you seen how much new windows and doors are now

  23. #23
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael 38 View Post
    Cheap ? Have you seen how much new windows and doors are now
    More or less doubled in price in 12 months,
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael 38 View Post
    Cheap ? Have you seen how much new windows and doors are now
    cheaper then, upvc is the cheapest material you can get windows and doors in.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Aluminium was popular in the 1970s before UPVC came onto the market. Aluminium was strong with a slim section but was prone to really bad condensation. The outside of the frame was cold outdoors and warm inside, so you always had condensation running down the inside. The big makers such as Everest messed about with isolation inserts but the condensation was always there. It was a frequent topic of conversation down in the pub.

    The moment UPVC windows came on the market in the 1980s, the end of aluminium was assured. The UPVC was more creaky but was virtually maintenance free whereas the aluminium models had to be placed inside a hardwood frame which needed to be waterproofed with Sadolin or similar every couple of years. So you need a ladder to do the upstairs windows.

    Avoid the aluminium like a plague.
    Utter rubbish

  26. #26
    the aluminium trade supply website is a good resource of info on what profiles are available, often brands are just using a profile from one of the main manufacturers.
    we are hopefully getting aluminium to replace some crittall windows, not cheap! we were quoted 22k!? but have hopefully found a U.K. manufacturer at half the price (Aluk or Sheerline)

    If anyone in the trade knows of a front door thats also FD30 and steel or aluminium then let me know. not a UPVC frame and just a panel replacing the glazing but a proper door and side light.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    the aluminium trade supply website is a good resource of info on what profiles are available, often brands are just using a profile from one of the main manufacturers.
    we are hopefully getting aluminium to replace some crittall windows, not cheap! we were quoted 22k!? but have hopefully found a U.K. manufacturer at half the price (Aluk or Sheerline)

    If anyone in the trade knows of a front door thats also FD30 and steel or aluminium then let me know. not a UPVC frame and just a panel replacing the glazing but a proper door and side light.
    Have a look at Metador, most fire does will look a bit industrial.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.Ldn View Post
    Really? Completely different use-case obviously, but I try to avoid anodised aluminium parts on my bikes precisely because the colours (especially black) always fade and end up looking horrible. Plus if you scratch it you can't touch it up. Might just be cheap sh*tty parts though!
    I don't think I've had anything black anodised on my bikes but most of the parts (stem, hubs, frame) I've never seen any issues. Even with cable rub, anodising is much harder wearing.

  29. #29
    I have certainly had some bike parts go brown that were black. Like anything it is much better than back in the 90s when anodising was red or blue and faded after a few years.

    OP house sounds great - we have powder coated but I would go for hard anodised in your position especially if gets you the colour you want.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.Ldn View Post
    Really? Completely different use-case obviously, but I try to avoid anodised aluminium parts on my bikes precisely because the colours (especially black) always fade and end up looking horrible. Plus if you scratch it you can't touch it up. Might just be cheap sh*tty parts though!
    Aware this is OT, but being parts, can they not be reanodised?

    I suppose it might be rather cost prohibitive in most cases unless they're really specialist?

  31. #31
    Anodising can certainly fade if coloured with organic dyes - typically for brighter colours like red, blue, green, yellow and also black.

    Windows/door profiles will likely use inorganic dyes or electrolytic colouring where this won't be an issue - typically black, bronze or gold colours.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Sarky comment but with a hint of justification.

    Yes everything gets tweaked and improved with the passing of time. The thing is that UPVC almost replaced aluminium overnight, so why bother to improve something that's almost non existent.
    Because UPVC is environmentally awful, bulkier and only has a relatively short service lifetime.

    As mentioned several times, Aluminium windows are exponentially better than 40 years ago and both enviromentally and aesthetically much nicer. UPVC main real selling point is that it is much cheaper.

    As far as I'm aware:

    Hardwood: will last several lifetimes but requires regular maintenance
    Aluminium: Will last a lifetime (45+ years) with very minimal maintenance
    UPVC: 20-35 years minimal maintenance

  33. #33
    Yep, worth pointing out that old uPVC windows have issues too. In our last house the frames had bowed creating gaps around the opening windows which let in drafts. It's the same in many older houses.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by ernestrome View Post
    So we're still trotting out 1980s pub expert opinions as fact in 2022?
    🤣

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Aluminium was popular in the 1970s before UPVC came onto the market. Aluminium was strong with a slim section but was prone to really bad condensation. The outside of the frame was cold outdoors and warm inside, so you always had condensation running down the inside. The big makers such as Everest messed about with isolation inserts but the condensation was always there. It was a frequent topic of conversation down in the pub.

    The moment UPVC windows came on the market in the 1980s, the end of aluminium was assured. The UPVC was more creaky but was virtually maintenance free whereas the aluminium models had to be placed inside a hardwood frame which needed to be waterproofed with Sadolin or similar every couple of years. So you need a ladder to do the upstairs windows.

    Avoid the aluminium like a plague.
    Truly laughable this advice. We are not living in the 1970s -80s now.

    Aluminium windows and doors have come a long way since the early versions produced by Everest and Anglian. Thermal breaks and insulation like aerogel in the frames means they match and surpass UPVC. They are just as easy to maintain as UPVC particularly when powder coated or anodised.
    From the original posters post, my guess is that he is not looking at the bottom end of the market windows produced by Everest and Anglian but is probably looking at manufacturers such as Kawneer or Schueco etc.
    The big advantage that aluminium has over UPVC is that the panels can be much bigger and the frames can be much smaller - down to 20mn. This makes a huge difference to the amount of light coming through on multi section doors.

    When making a similar decision to the op, I went with powder coated RAL Sky-Frame systems for the sliding doors and triple glazed Origin Windows in matching powder coat for the rest of the house. Incredibly easy to maintain and very effective in terms of insulation. No had one drop of condensation ever.
    Anodised should be the same as powder coating in terms of maintenance, my only concern would be that repairing a scratch on anodised finish is not possible whereas with powder coat you can use a touch up kit which whilst not as strong as the powder coat does work

  36. #36
    Master Wolfie's Avatar
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    Contact Fordystar - Heís on TZ and supplied all my powder coated aluminium doors and windows last yearÖ. A top bloke and knows his profession inside and outÖ

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by MB2 View Post
    I have certainly had some bike parts go brown that were black. Like anything it is much better than back in the 90s when anodising was red or blue and faded after a few years.

    OP house sounds great - we have powder coated but I would go for hard anodised in your position especially if gets you the colour you want.
    I have had disappointing results when having BMW brake calipers anodised to replicate original spec, the black fading quite quickly and the blue going "patchy".
    But a long way removed from windows!

  38. #38
    Oh dear

    Sent from my M2101K7BNY using Tapatalk

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Chabsy View Post
    Have a look at Metador, most fire does will look a bit industrial.
    i did check them out but the seem to be retail/institution focussed and prices to match.
    iím after a normal 2-3.5k door and side light that passes fd-30 but isnít a upvc frame with a thin foam sandwich in place of glass so likely aluminium or wood/aluminium mix with a minimum 50mm core insulation. actually wood is fine if the u-values are good as the door will not have any weather or direct sun

  40. #40
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    We replaced our windows a few years ago and went for power coated Aluminium frames. What we really liked about them was a) they were not Brown or White Plastic and b) the Power Coating they used gave it wood grain (Walnut) effect. Not cheap, but 8 years later not a single problem.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
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