Coloured uPVC Windows
Coloured upvc windows prices and designs
Whilst white upvc windows remain the most often fitted, either as new or replacement windows, a trend for coloured UPVC windows is starting to become evident of late.
If you are thinking about fitting new or replacement double glazed windows, take a look at the following guide to the pros & cons of using coloured UPVC windows for your home.
- What is coloured UPVC?
- What are the different designs of coloured uPVC windows?
- How much do coloured UPVC windows cost?
What is coloured UPVC?
The material known as UPVC is actually a rigid vinyl polymer that is very hard wearing and easily formed into profiles, which makes it ideal for the construction of double glazed windows.
It is also a naturally good insulator, which adds another extra benefit to using it.
The window frames are made from long chambered sections of UPVC, which are called profiles. These profiles have these chambers within them (like a honeycomb) to make them lighter, stronger and to boost their insulating properties. The chambers can also contain lengths of galvanised metal to add extra structural strength to longer profile spans.
Colours can be applied to the profiles in one of two different ways:
- Spray paint.
- Laminated foils.
Spray paint coloured uPVC Windows
As the name would suggest, the colour is normally applied as a “coat of paint”, sprayed onto the frame at the factory during the manufacturing process. Typically, the coating, which can include various lacquers, will be applied by hand to each individual window frame using an air-powered spray gun.
Spray painted RAL colours have a very wide range, going up to 100+ in many cases.
However, you don’t get them in wood-grain surface effects, but you can have a spray coat added on top of a foil laminate surface to achieve the desired wood-grain finish.
Of the types of spray coat, one will be heat treated or “baked” after spraying, another chemically bonds with the UPVC material – of the two types, the bonded version is likely to have the more durable surface and longer lifespan, but will be costlier (check with supplier for process used).
Foil Laminate coloured uPVC Windows
This way of making coloured UPVC windows is completely different to spraying. Here, a synthetic coloured layer (foil) is applied over the outer surface of the profiles and then heat treated to the extent that the laminate layer actually chemically bonds with the surface of the UPVC profile.
This bonding makes the colour permanent, so that it is very rare that it can peel, crack or otherwise deteriorate in that way.
As the foils are an actual layer added to the surface, it is possible to give them a texture and in this way timber-grain textures can be added to the surface of the profiles. When finished, this gives the complete unit the look and touch of a wooden window., but in one of 20 different colours.
Colours can be smooth, matt, gloss or as we already mentioned, timber-grained.
The spray painted RAL colour range is huge. It’s quite possible to get almost any colour you like to be used, such is the availability – some suppliers can offer a choice of over 150 different options.
For foiled uPVC windows the range is smaller but, in real terms it is sufficient. You are highly likely to be able to find the colour to suit your home or taste from 20 options because most of us are quite conservative in the colour choice for our house windows.
Popular colour choices would include:
- Black / Brown
- Chartwell Green
- Light Oak
- Pearl Grey / Anthracite Grey
Both of these processes will offer “dual-colour” options, where the outside of the frame can be a different colour to the inside – a popular choice here is to use white inside and a contrasting colour outside.
Most suppliers of coloured upvc windows (both spray & foiled) will offer a 10-year guarantee against peeling, cracking or fading.
What are the different designs of coloured uPVC windows?
The preferred type of design to use will depend on your personal taste, budget and space available in the rooms where the windows will be fitted, but various types of window designs include:
Fixed windows – these are windows without any opening sections. Generally, either too big to open or too small
Swing windows – most often seen as casement windows that are side hinged and open outward.
Sliding windows – these are windows which slide horizontally or vertically, such as the Sash window.
Rotating windows – these are windows which revolve from a pivot, most often seen as reversible windows, a version of the tilt & turn style.
Bay and bow windows – these windows are ones that project outwards from the property
Awning windows – these are casement windows that swing with hinges at the top, popular to use in kitchens and bathrooms.
Advantages & Disadvantages of using coloured upvc windows
Coloured UPVC windows not only give your home an extra dimension to its’ appearance and style, but also valuable improvements in the following areas;
- Insulation – A++ energy rated double glazed upvc windows save heat loss.
- Lower maintenance cost – no need to paint them, just keep them clean.
- No condensation – inbuilt trickle vents combat moisture build-up & damp.
- Lower noise – compared to a single glazed window, noise pollution can drop 60%
Benefits of coloured UPVC windows
Durability – UPVC is water resistant, making it totally weatherproof which reduces the chances of your window frame dilating or distorting.
Wide colour range – With a wide range of colours to choose from, you can contrast your frames with existing fittings the way you wish.
Easy to maintain – coloured UPVC windows are easier to maintain compared to timber frames which require regular painting AND oiling. The only necessary maintenance required is cleaning which not only keeps your windows looking at their best but also helps reduce mild dew and mould build up.
Audio insulation – The glazed panels in UPVC windows use air in the space between the panels to slow up sound vibrations. This makes it strenuous for sound to travel through the second panel making less noise to infiltrate your home.
Environmental friendly – since UPVC is a form of vinyl, it is remarkably recyclable. Any UPVC waste that results during fabrication is immediately recycled.
Thermal properties – unlike timber, steel and aluminium which heat up during hot seasons and cool the house during cold seasons, glazed panels prevent heat from escaping during and keep out cold air.
Lower cost – UPVC windows are relatively cheaper compared to timber and aluminium options.
Adding a colour or textured finish to a upvc window will increase the cost, on average you could expect around a 15% to 20% uplift per unit.
Although the latest double glazed windows are very hardwearing and durable, damage repair can be difficult. If you do cause damage to the coloured surface, to the extent that the underlying colour of the UPVC profile is exposed, it can be very difficult to “patch-it-up”.
How much do coloured UPVC windows cost?
As mentioned beforehand, adding a colour or textured surface finish will increase the cost by around 15-20%. You also need to take into account the size and design style as each one will have its own price banding.
Labour costs are also variable around the county, so this may also impact on the final cost, however, here are some general average guide prices for the cost of coloured upvc windows.
|Window Size (mm)||Basic Design||Window guide price|
|1800 wide x 1000 high||rosewood tilt & turn||from £300 + fitting|
|1500 wide x 1000 high||cream 2 panel casement||from £220 + fitting|
|1200 wide x 1000 high||white double hung sash||from £450 + fitting|
|2000 wide x 1000 high||black 3 panel awning casement||from £350 + fitting|
To fit individual windows, one at a time, you could allow from £220 + fitting per day. Doing a single window is going to be the most expensive “per window” cost. For a team of professionals to supply & fit a complete 3 bed semi-detached house you could expect to find costs in the region of £4,000 to £6,000 depending on the number of windows, their size and the window design (sash windows cost more than casement windows for example).