Aluminium or UPVC Conservatory, which one is best?
Which offers the best solution for a home extension, an Aluminium or UPVC Conservatory?
Adding more room to your home by means of a conservatory is a cost effective and very popular solution in the UK.
Given that Figures from respected valuers suggest that a new conservatory can add between 5% to 12% to the resale value of a property, it’s also a good financial investment.
UPVC conservatories have long been the first choice. however, with the resurgence of Aluminium in the frame construction for conservatories, is it a better option?
Here are few feature comparisons to help you choose between a conservatory in Aluminium or UPVC.
Being a metal, Aluminium is by far the more naturally strong material of the two. It can be formed into longer sections without bending, warping or the need for additional reinforcement. This means a much wider application and design freedom. It also makes for slimmer frames that will make your conservatory look much less “clunky”.
UPVC itself lasts a long time, as does aluminium. Neither material is subject to rust or to insect attack (woodworm, rot etc.). Aluminium, however, generally has a longer expected lifespan than UPVC. UPVC can start to fade after around 12 to 15 years if not cared for.
UPVC is a form of plastic, and therefore it is going to be more vulnerable in many more ways than a metal like Aluminium.
As an extreme example, Aluminium has a melting point of 660°C and so an enterprising intruder with a blowtorch cannot just melt the frames to break in. Galvanised metal reinforced UPVC frames go a long way to mitigate this issue.
Both UPVC and Aluminium conservatories offer a range of colour options & designs.
UPVC foil colours can be found in around 20 or so options. Spray painted UPVC can extend this range, but great care is needed when dealing with spray painted UPVC. You must deal with a contractor / supplier that has a great deal of experience with this type of technique. Poorly applied UPVC spray paints will deteriorate very quickly.
Aluminium typically will have a powder coat paint surface applied. The range of RAL powder coat colours can extend to over 150 different shades.
Both can have timber-grain effect surface finishes.
Aluminium is a good conductor, whilst UPVC is a natural insulator, so you would be justified to believe that UPVC is the best performer.
That would be the case if the design of modern aluminium conservatory frames did not include “thermal breaks”. The thermal break isolates the inner surface from the outer surface, thereby making heat or cold conductivity very difficult.
The biggest factor when dealing with energy efficiency for your new conservatory will be the glazing. As a conservatory is usually about 70% glass, making sure the glazing is as energy efficient as possible is a very important issue.
Aluminium Vs UPVC Conservatory, which one is best?
UPVC conservatories are the cheapest. This is in terms of the initial cost of supply & fit.
It is often said that “you gets what you pays for”, so being driven purely by price is not necessarily the best way to go.
Having said that, if your budget is limited, then getting the lowest price conservatory is surely going to be your priority and therefore a UPVC conservatory would be the best solution.
If you do have a more flexible approach (and budget) then looking at “value for money” is probably a better option.
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In our humble opinion, Aluminium conservatories offer better visuals, higher security levels and a longer life expectancy. If you have the extra budget, then you should seriously consider one for your home extension needs.