UPVC WINDOWS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
BY A GLAZIER WITH 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE
Hello, my name is Phillip Sharp, and I am a glazier with over 30 years of experience in installing windows all over Sydney, Australia. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with a variety of materials and technologies in window installations. Currently, I am proudly serving as a part of the Splendid Window Glass Repairs team.
Today, I would like to share my insights on one of the most popular materials in modern window installations – UPVC, or Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride. From its durability to its thermal efficiency, UPVC windows have become a favorite among homeowners and builders alike. Let’s delve into what UPVC is and why it has gained such popularity.
What is UPVC?
Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride, commonly known as UPVC, is a form of plastic that is highly durable and free from the plasticizers that make other forms of PVC flexible. In the context of windows, UPVC is widely used for window frames due to its robust nature and low maintenance requirements.
Compared to traditional materials like timber and aluminum, UPVC stands out for several reasons. Firstly, it is non-corrosive, which means it won’t rust or rot over time. This is particularly beneficial in the varied Australian climate, where windows need to withstand everything from scorching heat to heavy rains. Additionally, UPVC is known for its excellent thermal insulation properties, which we will discuss in more detail shortly.
Benefits of UPVC Windows
Now that we have an understanding of what UPVC is, let’s explore the various benefits it offers, particularly for window installations.
Durability: One of the standout features of UPVC windows is their durability. They are highly resistant to weather conditions and don’t rot, corrode, or warp. This makes them an excellent choice for the Australian climate.
Insulation: UPVC windows are renowned for their thermal efficiency. Their insulation properties mean that they keep the heat out during the summer and keep the warmth in during the winter. This not only makes your home more comfortable but can also significantly reduce energy bills.
Maintenance: UPVC windows require very little maintenance compared to wooden windows, which need to be treated and painted regularly. A simple clean now and then is usually all that’s required to keep UPVC windows looking great.
Security: The robust nature of UPVC means that windows made from this material are very secure. When combined with modern locking systems, they provide excellent protection against intruders.
Customizability: UPVC windows come in a variety of styles and finishes. Whether you’re looking for a modern design or something more traditional, you’re likely to find a UPVC window that fits the bill.
Drawbacks of UPVC Windows
While UPVC windows offer a plethora of benefits, it is essential to consider some of the drawbacks associated with them:
Environmental Concerns: UPVC is a form of plastic, and there are concerns regarding its environmental impact. Although it is durable and long-lasting, it is not as easily recyclable as materials like aluminum.
Aesthetic Limitations: UPVC windows are versatile and come in various styles, but they might not offer the same classic appeal as timber. For some, the aesthetic of natural wood is preferred, especially in traditional or heritage homes.
Costs Associated With UPVC Windows
When it comes to costs, UPVC windows are often more affordable than their aluminum and timber counterparts. Let’s break down the costs associated with UPVC windows:
Initial Investment: The cost of purchasing UPVC windows is generally lower than that of aluminum or timber windows. This makes them an attractive option for those on a budget or looking for cost-effective solutions.
Installation Costs: The installation costs for UPVC windows are comparable to other materials. However, it is essential to consider the quality of installation, as this can affect the durability and efficiency of the windows.
Long-term Savings: UPVC windows are highly energy-efficient, which can lead to significant savings on energy bills in the long run. Additionally, the low maintenance requirements of UPVC windows mean that you will save on maintenance costs over time.
Cost Comparison: When compared to aluminum and timber, UPVC is a more cost-effective option in terms of both initial investment and long-term savings. While aluminum and timber might have certain aesthetic or structural advantages, UPVC provides excellent value for money, especially considering its durability and insulation properties.
Expert Tips For Choosing UPVC Windows
Having been in the glazing industry for over three decades, I’ve gathered a wealth of knowledge and experience in window installations. Here are some expert tips for those considering UPVC windows:
Quality Matters: When choosing UPVC windows, don’t compromise on quality. Look for windows that have excellent thermal performance ratings and are durable.
Proper Installation: Even the best UPVC windows won’t perform well if they are not installed correctly. Ensure that you choose a reputable company with experienced installers which follow the proper installation instructions.
Customization: UPVC windows come in various styles and finishes. Choose a style that complements the architecture of your home.
Security Features: Consider the security features of the UPVC windows. Look for windows with multi-point locking systems for enhanced security.
Energy Efficiency: Check the energy rating of the UPVC windows. Windows with a higher energy rating will be more efficient in insulating your home.
Warranty: Ensure that the UPVC windows come with a warranty. This is a sign of the manufacturer’s confidence in the product.
Maintenance Tips: Although UPVC requires minimal maintenance, following proper cleaning and maintenance will keep your UPVC windows in top condition
Case Study 1: Enhancing James O’Connor’s Suburban Home in Sydney with UPVC Bay Windows
Situation: James O’Connor, a resident of a suburban neighborhood in Parramatta, Sydney, wanted to renovate his home to create a more spacious and well-lit living area. He was particularly interested in installing bay windows to achieve this goal, but was concerned about the insulation and durability of the windows.
What We Did: Our team at Splendid Window Glass Repairs visited Mr. O’Connor’s home for an initial assessment. We suggested installing UPVC bay windows, explaining the benefits of UPVC in terms of insulation, durability, and low maintenance. We custom-designed the bay windows to fit the dimensions of his living area and chose a finish that complemented the interior and exterior of his home. The installation was completed efficiently, ensuring a perfect fit and finish.
Result: Mr. O’Connor was extremely satisfied with the new UPVC bay windows. He mentioned that the living area felt significantly more spacious and was flooded with natural light. The insulation properties of the UPVC windows also made the room more comfortable, maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the day. Mr. O’Connor was pleased with the modern look and the low maintenance requirements of the UPVC windows. He expressed his gratitude to the team for transforming his living space and enhancing the overall appeal of his home.
Case Study 2: Replacing Damaged Timber Windows with UPVC Casement Windows for Mrs. Isabelle Smith in Sydney’s Lower North Shore
Situation: Mrs. Isabelle Smith, a resident of Mosman in Sydney’s Lower North Shore, was facing issues with her old timber windows. The windows were damaged, drafty, and required frequent maintenance. Mrs. Smith wanted to replace them with new windows that would be durable, energy-efficient, and low maintenance, without compromising the aesthetic appeal of her charming home.
What We Did: Our team at Splendid Window Glass Repairs conducted an on-site assessment of Mrs. Smith’s home. We recommended replacing the old timber windows with UPVC casement windows. We explained that UPVC would provide excellent insulation, durability, and require minimal maintenance compared to timber. Additionally, we offered various styles and finishes for the casement windows to ensure they would complement the character of her home. After Mrs. Smith selected her preferred style, we proceeded with the removal of the old timber windows and the installation of the new UPVC casement windows.
Result: Mrs. Smith was delighted with the transformation of her home. The UPVC casement windows not only enhanced the aesthetic appeal of her house but also significantly improved insulation, leading to a more comfortable indoor environment and lower energy bills. She was particularly pleased with the reduction in maintenance requirements. Mrs. Smith expressed her appreciation for the professional service and the quality of the UPVC windows, stating that her home felt rejuvenated and more inviting than ever.
Case Study 3: Salvaging Mrs. Emily Clarke’s UPVC Window Installation in Leichhardt, NSW
Situation: Mrs. Emily Clarke, a resident of Leichhardt in New South Wales, had previously had UPVC windows installed by an unreliable contractor which she found off Airtasker. The installation turned out to be flawed, leading to numerous issues including poor insulation, discoloration, water leakage, and difficulty in operating the windows. She was desperately seeking a professional service to rectify the situation.
What We Did: Our team at Splendid Window Glass Repairs conducted an on-site assessment of Mrs. Clarke’s home. We identified the issues with the existing UPVC windows and discussed the possible solutions with Mrs. Clarke. We recommended replacing the existing windows with high-quality UPVC windows and ensured a meticulous installation process carried out by experienced professionals. Proper alignment, sealing, and finishing were emphasized to prevent any water leakage and ensure ease of operation. We also provided Mrs. Clarke with a warranty for the new UPVC windows and assured her of continued customer support.
Result: Mrs. Emily Clarke was extremely satisfied with the intervention by Splendid Window Glass Repairs. The new UPVC windows were aesthetically pleasing, provided excellent insulation, and operated smoothly. There was no water leakage during the rainy season, and Mrs. Clarke noticed a significant reduction in her energy bills. She expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the quality of the products and the professionalism of the installation. Her home was transformed, and she was relieved to have finally found a solution to the issues she had been facing with the previous installation.
Are Vinyl & Upvc windows the same thing?
Yes, in Australia and many other parts of the world, the terms “vinyl windows” and “UPVC windows” are often used interchangeably to refer to the same type of windows. Both terms refer to windows that have frames made from a particular type of plastic known as Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC).
Are UPVC Windows Soundproof
UPVC windows are excellent at reducing noise levels. Their insulation properties not only apply to temperature but also to sound, making them ideal for homes in noisy areas.
Can You Paint UPVC Windows?
Yes, UPVC windows can be painted, but it is essential to use the right type of paint and primer to ensure that the paint adheres properly to the UPVC surface.
How long do UPVC windows last?
UPVC windows are known for their durability and can last for around 20-25 years or more with proper maintenance.
Are UPVC fire resistant?
UPVC material is fire retardant, meaning that it does not support combustion and will self-extinguish if exposed to fire.
Do UPVC windows discolour over time?
High-quality UPVC windows are resistant to discoloration. However, lower quality UPVC may become slightly discolored or fade over a long period, especially when exposed to harsh sunlight.
Are UPVC windows environmentally friendly?
UPVC windows are energy efficient, which is beneficial for the environment in terms of reducing energy consumption. However, as a plastic, UPVC is not biodegradable and recycling options are limited compared to materials like aluminum.
What kind of maintenance do UPVC windows require?
UPVC windows require minimal maintenance. Cleaning the frames with a mild detergent and water a few times a year is usually sufficient. It’s also a good idea to occasionally lubricate the hinges and locks.
UPVC windows are an excellent investment for any homeowner. They offer a range of benefits including durability, energy efficiency, and security. However, like any investment, it’s important to do your research and choose quality products and installation services.
As a seasoned glazier currently working with Splendid Window Glass Repairs, I can personally vouch for the long-term benefits of UPVC windows, especially in the diverse Australian climate. If you are considering UPVC windows for your home, I highly recommend consulting with experienced professionals who can guide you through the selection and installation process.