ARTICLE Joanna Mathers

When selecting joinery, there are a few things to consider, particularly location. Coastal areas or those affected by high wind bring special issues to the table. Check the measure of thermal resistance (R-value) but remember, unless walls and ceilings are well insulated, money spent on double glazing will be wasted.

How much does aluminium joinery cost?

“Aluminium also uses some of the latest innovations in efficient weather management and employs a number of practical solutions", says Ronnie Pocock, marketing manager at Fletcher Window and Door Systems. "It’s long-lasting, robust and won’t warp over time.” Exterior maintenance is practically zero and, with aluminium, you’ve none of the issues associated with timber joinery such as shrinking, swelling or warping.

But what about chalking? And some of those less appealing colours? Chalking can occur on older joinery, and with particular colours, says Ronnie, adding today’s powder quality and processes are far superior, “so it isn’t much of an issue.”

The colour of older aluminium joinery can be changed. Aluminium joinery has undergone something of a revolution with the introduction of thermally broken products, where a polyamide barrier separates the internal and external frames. Initially, people were too slow to see the value says Ronnie, however, changing expectations and publicity around the benefits of insulation and double glazing mean cost it no longer such an issue.

The final cost of your joinery will depend on the size of your project. However, aluminium is generally one of the more affordable joinery options. Additionally, hiring a joiner will cost approximately  £12 -  £30+ per hour, according to Glassdoor.  

Black aluminium window joinery

Cost for aluminium joinery

Aluminium windows: From £400+* per window, excludes installation. (dependent on project specifications).

Aluminium doors: From £2,300+* per external bi-fold door, excludes installation. (dependent on project specifications)

Hire a joiner: £12 -  £30+* per hour

 

How much does composite aluminium/timber joinery cost?

Composite joinery offers homeowners the best of two worlds; the warmth of natural timber in contemporary or traditional styling inside, and on the outside, the durability and ease of maintenance of aluminium.

Composite window frames can accommodate single or double glazing, says Ronnie Pocock, at FWDS, manufacturers of the ALTI r composite product range, “although they’re not as thermally efficient as thermally broken aluminium, timber or PVC.” Double glazing will reduce condensation but, he says, for best results you need an active or passive ventilation system.

Renovators of bungalows and villas are finding composite joinery provides a solution that is respectful of the original character of the house, says Ronnie. “Particularly with additions where there is an open-plan space that’s semi-separate from the main house via a glazed walkway.”

As for pricing? Every situation is different, says Ronnie. “Different product, glass specification, windzone, colour, installation requirements – so it’s difficult to give a number. There’s no such thing as an off-the-shelf solution(). It’s all bespoke so you have the peace of mind that comes with getting exactly what you’re willing to pay for.”

outer light grey joinery with inner timber joinery on glass accordion door

Cost for composite aluminium/timber joinery

Composite windows: From £689+* per window, excludes installation. (dependent on project specifications)

Composite doors: From £710+* per external door, excludes installation. (dependent on project specifications)

Hire a joiner: £12 -  £30+* per hour

 

How much does PVC joinery cost?

PVC frames, also marketed as uPVC or PVC u, offer a number of advantages, says Andrew, not least of which is improved thermal and acoustic performances. (Being thermally non-conductive means condensation is kept to a minimum).

Double seals and multi-point latching improve air-tightness and increase security, and another plus is the fact that PVC cannot rust or corrode. Frames come in a wide variety of opening styles with welded joints for stronger, leak-free corners.

But not all PVC is created equal. Andrew advises checking that doors and windows comply with government regulations, and that the PVC formulation contains a minimum Rutile Titanium Dioxide content of 8phr, which ensures the product is not destroyed by sunlight. “Resistance to chalking and fading is high on everyone’s list.”

white PVC segmented glass window joinery overlooking garden

Cost for PVC joinery

From £65* per window, excludes installation. (dependent on project specifications). 

PVC doors: From £1,300+* per external bi-fold door, excludes installation. (dependent on project specifications)

Hire a joiner: £12 -  £30+* per hour

How much does timber joinery cost?

Thermal ratings are critical, says Andrew Riley, GM of timber joinery manufacturers McNaughton Windows and Doors. But the R-value of timber is just one of the advantages he highlights.

“It’s also a natural and aesthetically pleasing product, offers a great variation in design, repairs easily, can change colour with a coat of paint – and it’s a renewable resource with a reduced environmental impact.

“It’s encouraging that homeowners are taking an interest in embodied energy when calculating the environmental impact of their choices.”

Timber’s environmental advantage is further compounded when its longer lifespan is considered, he says.

“You only need to look at renovations on houses built 80 years ago to see that well constructed and maintained timber windows have a proven lifespan in comparison to other products.”

Cost can still be a stumbling block, however. Andrew believes the key is for renovators to know what they expect from a product and look for those features.

“Don’t let the initial upfront price determine your choice.” Despite timber frequently being more expensive than standard aluminium joinery, he says they’re increasingly hearing renovators and new home builders talk about the importance they’re placing on thermal qualities, environmental impact and durability, “all of which support and often justify the use of timber joinery.”

Quality timber joinery adds to both the indoor and outdoor appeal of contemporary and traditional home designs – but choosing hardware that ensures smooth, watertight operation is essential.

dark coloured timber joinery for several accordion glass doors

Cost for timber joinery

From £148.00* per window, excludes installation. (dependent on project specifications). 

From £220 per external door, excludes installation. (dependent on project specifications). 

Hire a joiner: £12 -  £30+* per hour

 

Renovate Magazine LogoThis project estimate article featured on page 40 of Issue 012 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.

 

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*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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