August 17, 2020

A guide for steel replacement windows

Written by Rebecca Clayton

Can I use aluminium for steel replacement windows?

If a project you’re working on has old steel casement windows, have you thought about what the options are to replace those windows? The answer doesn’t have to be modern steel windows - although their traditional beauty and sophistication is highly desired, they do come at a high price point compared to the aluminium alternative that offers the same industrial style aesthetic. In this article, we will discuss what to consider with steel replacement windows and what the aluminium options are.

It is worth mentioning that these windows are designed to offer a modern alternative to heritage steel windows, some systems have the ability to provide an exact aesthetic match which is especially important when specifying replacement glazing on listed buildings or properties in a conservation area. Aluminium windows are designed to provide a modern alternative at a lower price point while maintaining the visual appeal of industrial style glazing. Steel windows are desired when an authentic style that is almost a replica of the original glazing is required.


Sieger® Legacy Windows

The Sieger Legacy Windows are a remarkably well-designed aluminium window solution. This contemporary window design provides a timeless industrial style design that is inspired by traditional steel-framed windows.

Modern Art-Deco Windows in modern aluminium frames These windows have a beautifully slim sightline of 58mm across the frame and vent to achieve a highly sophisticated finish. The outer profile of this system is minimal which makes it an excellent match for old steel systems that need to be replaced.

The aluminium profiles have a full thermal break to achieve modern thermal performance ratings. This window system can be installed without glazing bars, however, if the traditional steel look is desired then glazing bars can be applied. If glazing bars are desired, then Sieger can include dummy spacer bars within the double glazed unit, along with aluminium glazing bars that are applied onto the surface of the glass.

The glazing bars can be arranged in the same design as the original steel system to create the same appearance and not disturb the original aesthetic of the property.


Ultra Slim Thermally Broken Steel System

Traditional Steel Look DoorsOur Ultra Slim Thermally Broken Steel System is the slimmest thermally broken steel system available on the market. The frames can achieve a profile of just 50mm when combined with the vent, or 30mm with a fixed steel frame. The steel frames have been specifically designed to achieve a traditional style that looks similar to heritage steel frames but with the benefit of modern performance.

The Ultra Slim system is highly versatile and is available in a large choice of configurations and large sizes to create impressive steel-framed glazing details to any property. Manufactured completely bespoke, this system can be designed to match the exact design of the original glazing that it will replace – which is important in conservation areas.


Aluminium or steel for steel replacement windows?

Typically, aluminium alternatives are chosen for the replacement of old steel casement windows. However, these windows are also a very popular choice for contemporary or heritage style glazing in new extensions and even new builds.

Mondrian Internal Sliding Door SystemAluminium casements are a credible alternative to steel as they achieve a similar aesthetic and have modern performance values. Genuine steel windows on the other hand can achieve a true aesthetic match to the steel systems that need to be replaced. New steel glazing systems have been developed to achieve beautifully slim sightlines while providing the latest thermal performance and weather resistance.

Due to the labour-intensive manufacturing process of steel systems, they do come at a much higher price point than aluminium so if you have the project budget for steel systems, then they are definitely the way to go. New steel windows will retain the authenticity of the windows that are being replaced, just speak to a technical advisor who can talk you through the product, glazing and configuration options.

Oversized Aluminium Window Alternatively, steel look aluminium windows are a great option for projects on a tight budget to consider. The on-trend industrial window look can still be achieved but at a lower price point to steel windows. The Sieger Legacy system is designed with sightlines, handle options, colour options and frames that create an authentic steel-look which is available as windows and doors (including steel look bifolds).


Which has better weather resistance, steel or aluminium windows?

The ultra slim steel system installations achieve excellent levels of thermal insulation thanks to the integrated thermal break within the steel windows. For example, a fixed window that’s 5000mm x 2500mm can achieve a Uw value from 1.12 W/m²K. These fixed steel windows can also achieve Class 4 air permeability and 9A 600 Pa water tightness.

industrial house extension using steel framed doors. The Sieger Legacy Windows have achieved Uw values from 1.5 W/m²K, Class 4 air permeability, 2400 Pa wind resistance, and 9A water resistance. The Sieger Legacy system also comes with PAS 24 certified security ratings.

To discuss your project with a member of the IQ Glass team and talk through your options for steel replacement windows, simply contact us here.