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Guide to Buying PVC Windows – 30/05/2017


You are likely reading this article because you find yourself in a situation where you need new windows.

This might be for a new build property you are self building, replacement of tired or even rotten existing windows, or you could be a builder who has a client who would like some help.

In this series of articles, we take a step by step approach to determine the options and where to start. In each blog, we will look at a product group, the relative price point and merits of each.

White PVC – often called UPVC

What are the choices?

Buying PVC Windows

50% of all windows sold in the UK are white PVC. This is mainly because they are the lowest cost option, last 20-30 years on average and might well be a like-for-like replacement for what is in your house or planned to be in your new home. UPVC windows are often favoured due to the low price, but also offer low maintenance. They have a low to mid range life expectancy. The product comes in double or triple glazed, most options are available. For example: bifold doors, lift and slide doors, patio and French doors. Steel needs to be incorporated into the frames of larger units. This is needed to give rigidity, but pushes up the cost.

The product is definitely in decline though, as people try to seek a more attractive appearance and often coloured windows. Often PVC windows don’t offer the best performance, unless in tilt and turn style with multiple seals between the opener (sash) and the frame.

Many small local companies hand-fabricate PVC windows on a very low cost basis, but the quality of these is usually questionable.

What to look for when buying PVC windows

  • Multiple seals made from butyl rubber
  • Tilt and turn mechanism
  • Check seals are welded and continuous on the corners (mitres). If the seals are just roughly pushed together, then avoid. They won’t have the all critical airtightness (that is the buzz word in achieving energy efficiency!)
  • Often, German Made UpVC windows are some of the best and offer performance, and a product without poor recycled content (which quickly leads to yellowing of the plastic)

At Enlightened Windows, we supply a good range of quality PVC windows that will last and are quality assured. Contact us today to find out more and receive a free quotation.