If you are wondering why uPVC windows are cheap and if there is something cheaper available out there, it is worth learning a little more about how they are made. These windows are made of polyvinyl chloride, which is a "plastic", or technically speaking, a durable synthetic polymer. This material is distinguished by high thermoplasticity, resistance to high temperatures and good insulation properties. The price of uPVC windows and doors can be surprisingly low, especially when compared to products made from other popular materials. At the same time, plastic windows are safe in everyday use and meet the strict standards that apply in the European Union.
The cheapest uPVC windows cost much less than wooden windows or aluminium ones. Their high resistance to the elements including rain and snow, which translates into high durability, remains important. These windows are also non-flammable and easy to keep clean. The price of plastic windows and doors is greatly influenced by the specifics of the profiles, which determine the acoustic and insulation parameters. The durability is identified by letters A, B and C, where A stands for the highest class. Such frames also have thinner walls, which increases their susceptibility to deformation. When choosing lower grade uPVC windows, the customer needs to accept reduced performance, strength and stability, but it’s worth remembering that even the cheapest products available on the market today provide perfectly satisfactory performance.
Cheaper uPVC windows might have worse heat transfer coefficients. The lower the value of this parameter, the lower the heat loss. Air permeability, watertightness and resistance to wind forces are also important factors. If the building is located near places with heavy traffic, investing in windows which provide good sound insulation is highly recommended. In this case, a high Rw coefficient (Weighted Sound Reduction Index) in your uPVC windows will make the interiors much quieter. For the same reasons, it's worth getting a patio or balcony door with good acoustic parameters.
The prices of the most affordable uPVC windows can be quite varied, but tend to remain on a similar level for the most standard models. In the UK market, the standard window is a rectangular window with a dimensions of approximately 1230x1480 mm in white, which cost about £300. For models with a different color than standard white, you have to reckon with a higher price. Windows covered with a foil on both sides cost approx. £60 more, while the fitting of anti-burglary glazing additionally increases the price of a typical window by approximately £390. Buying a uPVC patio door will entail a greater expense than buying a window. Much also depends on the manufacturers, who can offer models with different profiles.
One of the parameters determining the final price of plastic windows is size. The cost of a small, white uPVC window with the dimensions of 500 x 700 mm or 600 x 600 mm is approximately £200. Basic "utility" windows, suitable for practical spaces that people don't live in, often unheated, are even cheaper. The expenses associated with investing in higher-quality plastic widows are slightly higher. Let's take a popular size of 1165 x 1435 mm, a two-leaf window with one leaf fixed and one opening. Such a window, in a basic model, will cost approximately £300. But higher-performing models, suitable for example for passive houses, costs closer to £450. A patio door of a popular size of 1800 x 2100 mm will typically cost approximately £850. You will need to spend a similar amount on a large, three-leaf uPVC window.
The price of uPVC windows is influenced not only by their size, but also by the colour scheme. The cheapest windows come invariably in the standard and popular white. Other colours might cost more by a significant margin, even as much as 10-30% more. Plastic windows with double-sided foil cost 100 pounds more than their white counterparts with the same technical parameters. In practice, the average price of a non-white two-leaf uPVC window with the dimensions of 1165 x 1435 mm will amount to approximately £380, while the same model in white would cost £80 less. The price difference is less noticeable for windows with the veneer applied on one side only, either internally or externally. This addition increases the cost of a standard-sized window by approximately 20% compared to a standard white window. Various interesting colour options are available for sale.
Thermal insulation is also a factor affecting the purchase price uPVC windows. In the case of products with better thermal performance (lower thermal coefficients), the price is typically higher. Another issue concerns the construction of the window itself. Buyers are increasingly less likely to choose cheaper double-glazed models, which are replaced by triple-glazed products with noble gas filling. Their price is much higher, but they have excellent heat transfer coefficients. Such solutions will successfully work in modern new-builds, especially passive houses, but will improve energy performance of most properties.
The example prices of cheap uPVC windows are usually given in the form of average purchase costs of a window with VAT. However, it does not take into account the cost of the fitting service, which in the case of plastic windows is quite an involved process. DIY installation might not be the best solution if you want to be sure of the best results.
Installation of uPVC windows involves the need to seal the places between the window and the wall. Inaccuracies and mistakes made at this stage may contribute to the increased heating costs of the building, so it is worth hiring experienced professionals to complete window fitting. Installation of a new window, preceded by the dismantling of old window joinery costs approximately £40 per m. The total cost often includes window trimming, which might be completed at the installation stage. Check prices for affordable, quality windows in the online Windows4you store. We offer budget-friendly high-quality windows, which are available in various colour variants and configurations. We also provide fittings, fixtures and trimmings, for a complete DIY installation package, and for customers in the Midlands, offer assembly.