Alu Clad: What it is and why you want it
30th May 2017
Since Alu Clad windows have hit the scene a number of years ago, they have been growing steadily in popularity, and for good reason, which we will get into later. It is hardly surprising that it was a system born in the harsh conditions of Scandinavia, where necessity is the mother of invention when it comes to optimising all the elements of building design. Alu Clad windows represent an inevitable evolution in window design that skilfully harmonises modern technology and traditional materials, while never losing site of the importance of stylish design. But what exactly are Alu Clad windows?
With typical Scandinavian ingenuity, the inventors of Alu Clad windows took their inspiration from nature when seeking to design a way to have near maintenance free wood-framed windows. What they found was that in nature, wood manages to survive for hundreds of years without rotting or suffering the kind of degradation that it does when used as a material for building windows. Of course this is partially due to the fact that it is still alive and growing, but it also down to its bark, which robustly protects it from the elements. Inspired by this, aluminium profile was engineered to be secured directly to the front of the wooden elements of windows and doors, essentially acting as bark, albeit bark that can be powder-coated in your colour of choice! So, is this the product for you?
The lack of necessary maintenance is a massive factor for many customers who choose to go with Alu clad. The exterior of the wood is protected by powder-coated aluminium. This is a truly robust finish, which you would need to repaint about as often as you would need to repaint a new car. For the majority of exposed areas, this standard coat is likely to look perfect well into its second decade, however, if you are lucky enough to live right on the Atlantic coast, there is always the option of marine coating the Aluminium to guarantee protection.
Due to the protection, and the breathability, offered by the aluminium cladding, you can expect whatever kind of wood you choose to perform better over its lifetime than it would without it. Wood frames can sometimes need treatment over the years as the elements take their toll. Alu Clad frames on the other hand, failing a natural disaster, are very likely to last a lifetime.
When it comes to Alu Clad, form certainly does not suffer on account of the superior function. In addition to the sleek powder-coated aluminium on the outside, you can choose the wood of your choice to suit your interior. Options include Meranti, Oak, Pine, larch, and even Eucalyptus, all of which can also be finished to your taste. There really is no style that can’t be complimented by the right choice of Alu Clad windows, even a more traditional, stone fronted home (see picture) can benefit from the advantages that Alu Clad windows have to offer.
There will always be some buildings that call for purely, aluminium, wood, or even uPVC windows. Having said that, it seems undeniable the Alu Clad windows truly gives you the durability promised by aluminium while also having the classic interior styling that can only be found with wood. When you add to this that Alu Clad windows can be energy rated all the way down to passive, they become an extremely attractive prospect. Our advice is, if you are in the market for windows and doors, the wise move is to at least consider Alu Clad.
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