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Is aluminium better than steel for my home improvement project?

9 July 2024 | General

When it comes to home improvement projects, choosing the right materials can make all the difference in terms of aesthetics, functionality, and long-term value. One of the most common dilemmas homeowners face is deciding between aluminium and steel for their windows and doors. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore why aluminium might be the superior choice for your next home renovation, particularly when it comes to achieving that coveted steel-look finish.

The rise of aluminium in home improvement

Over the past few decades, aluminium has gained significant popularity in the construction and home improvement sectors. Its versatility, durability, and sleek appearance have made it a go-to material for architects, designers, and homeowners alike. But what makes aluminium stand out, especially when compared to traditional steel?

Aluminium vs. steel: A comparison

Modern living space with large steel look aluminium windows, stylish black sofas, indoor plants, and abundant natural light.

Weight and handling

One of the most significant advantages of aluminium over steel is its weight. Aluminium is approximately one-third the weight of steel, making it much easier to handle during installation. This lightweight nature doesn’t compromise strength, however, as modern aluminium alloys offer impressive structural integrity.

Benefits for homeowners:

  • Easier installation process
  • Less strain on building structures
  • Potential for larger window and door sizes without additional support

Durability and maintenance

While both aluminium and steel are known for their strength, aluminium has a natural edge when it comes to weathering and corrosion resistance.

Aluminium Steel
Naturally resistant to rust and corrosion Prone to rusting if not properly treated and maintained
Requires minimal maintenance Requires regular painting or coating to prevent corrosion
Can last for decades with proper care Can be more susceptible to weather-related damage over time

 Thermal insulation

In today’s energy-conscious world, the thermal performance of windows and doors is a crucial consideration. Modern aluminium windows and doors often incorporate advanced thermal break technology, making them highly efficient at insulating your home.

  • Aluminium frames with thermal breaks can achieve U-values comparable to or better than many steel alternatives
  • Improved thermal efficiency leads to lower heating bills and a more comfortable living environment
  • High-performance glazing options can further enhance energy efficiency

Aesthetics and design flexibility

While steel has long been prized for its industrial chic appeal, aluminium can now mimic this look while offering greater design flexibility.

  • Aluminium can be powder-coated in a wide range of RAL colours, including steel-look finishes
  • Slimline aluminium profiles can closely resemble traditional steel frames
  • Aluminium allows for larger glass areas, maximising natural light and views


Initially, aluminium windows and doors may have a higher upfront cost compared to some steel alternatives. However, when considering the total cost of ownership, aluminium often comes out ahead:

  • Lower maintenance costs over time
  • Potential energy savings due to better thermal efficiency
  • Longer lifespan, reducing the need for replacement

Steel-look aluminium products: the best of both worlds

Circular steel look window

At Direct Trade Windows, we’ve harnessed the benefits of aluminium to create a large range of steel-look products that offer the best of both worlds. Our steel-look aluminium systems utilise modern slim aluminium framing profiles, giving our customers that coveted steel aesthetic combined with the numerous advantages of aluminium glazing.

Our Steel-Look Product Range:

Steel-look windows

Our quality aluminium windows feature slim sightlines and robust construction, perfect for both traditional and contemporary homes. Available in a variety of configurations, including tilt and turn options, these windows offer excellent thermal and acoustic performance.

Steel-look bi-fold doors

Create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces with our steel-look bi-fold doors. These doors combine the industrial aesthetic of steel with the smooth operation and thermal efficiency of aluminium.

Steel-look doors

From front doors to patio doors, our steel-look aluminium doors offer security, style, and energy efficiency. Available in a range of designs and colours, they can be customised to suit any home’s architectural style.

Steel-look internal screens

Bring a touch of industrial chic to your interiors with our steel-look internal screens. These versatile partitions can create distinct zones within open-plan living spaces while maintaining a sense of openness and light.

Why choose Direct Trade Windows for your aluminium products?

Modern living room featuring a dark hardwood floor and a large glass and black steel-look aluminium internal screen separating the space. A sleek dark grey sofa adorned with various decorative pillows sits opposite a minimalist glass coffee table with an array of glassware and a serving tray. Beyond the screen, a kitchen area with teal walls and white countertops is partially visible. Natural light filters through the large windows and balcony door, highlighting the tasteful mix of contemporary and cosy décor elements.

Quality and performance

We use only the highest quality aluminium profiles, ensuring superior performance and longevity. Our products meet or exceed UK building regulations for thermal efficiency and security.

Customisation options

With a wide range of RAL colours and finishes available, including popular options like anthracite grey, you can tailor your windows and doors to perfectly complement your home’s aesthetic.

Expert installation

Our team of skilled professionals ensures that every installation is carried out to the highest standards, guaranteeing optimal performance and longevity of your new aluminium windows and doors.

Comprehensive warranty

We offer a comprehensive warranty on all our products, giving you complete peace of mind with your investment.

Excellent customer service

From initial consultation to after-sales support, our dedicated team is committed to providing the best customer service in the industry.

Making the right choice for your home

Steel look bifold doors in classic style extension with chandelier

When deciding between aluminium and steel for your home improvement project, it’s essential to consider factors such as:

  • Long-term durability and maintenance requirements
  • Energy efficiency and potential cost savings
  • Aesthetic preferences and design flexibility
  • Budget constraints and overall value for money

While steel certainly has its merits, aluminium often emerges as the superior choice for modern homeowners. Its combination of strength, versatility, and low maintenance requirements makes it an excellent investment for any home improvement project.

Aluminium – the clear winner for your home improvement needs

In the debate between aluminium and steel for windows and doors, aluminium clearly stands out as the better option for most home improvement projects. Its lightweight nature, durability, energy efficiency, and design flexibility make it an ideal choice for homeowners looking to enhance their property’s value and appearance.

With Direct Trade Windows’ range of steel-look aluminium products, you can enjoy the classic aesthetic of steel combined with all the benefits of modern aluminium technology. From sleek windows to stunning bi-fold doors, our products offer the perfect blend of style and functionality for your home.

Work with Direct Trade Windows today

Ready to transform your home with high performance aluminium windows and doors? Contact Direct Trade Windows today for expert advice, a free quote, and to explore our extensive range of steel-look aluminium products. Let us help you bring your vision to life with the perfect blend of classic style and modern performance.



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