Aluminium extrusion is a very versatile material and can be designed to form various systems which can be made into windows, doors, curtain walls, roof lights and conservatories. In this section we try and give an overview of the various types of product which are currently available for residential installation in the UK.
Whilst extrusion forms the basis of any system, aluminium sheet and aluminium castings can be used to compliment any system where more complex shapes and solutions can be offered by the installer.
Safe to say that aluminium systems can offer a truly bespoke solution to any requirement on a property.
This is the most common type of window used in UK housing. The windows are usually divided into several sections or ‘inserts’ that open outwards. Opening windows are usually hinged to the side or the top. Casement windows can be modern or traditional in appearance.
Turn tilt window
This is a type of window most associated with Continental Europe. Typically these inward opening windows are designed with a smaller number of large inserts and tend to look more modern. Turn the handle through 90° and the window tilts inwards on the bottom hinge; turn the handle through 180° and the window swings inwards on its side hinge.
Sliding sash window
Used widely in Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian period homes, the style of the original box sash window remains popular, particularly in more traditional properties in the UK. There are now a number of more modern interpretations of the original:
Fully reversible window
Primarily designed for ﬂats, these windows usually have a simple design and can be fully rotated for easy cleaning from the inside.
Fixed light window
A ﬁxed light or ﬁxed window can be made to complement any of the opening window types described in this guide. They can be very large as the maximum size is not limited by the weight a hinge can carry.
Residential doors may be used as a front door, that open inwards (usually locks when shut), a back door, that usually open outwards (that can be shut without it locking) and double doors or French doors that have been a very popular way to open up the living room to the back garden, particularly in more traditional properties. Typically, the maximum width of a door leaf is about 1.3m.
Sliding patio doors usually comprise two, three or four panels, of which some will slide and some will normally be fixed. This style of door can incorporate very large panes of glass, to give the most uninterrupted views.
There are a number of different variations when it comes to the way these doors operate - the most popular two types are as follows:
Folding sliding door
Also known as bi-fold doors, bifold doors have become very popular in the UK in recent years. The doors open and fold concertina style so when open the door leafs can be folded back to the same side or split so they can be folded back with some on one side and some on the other. Either way, the appeal is that they open up around 90% of the aperture.
French windows, or doors, are typically twin side hung vents or doors meeting when closed without a central mullion. These can be either an open in design or open out. Often fitted with espagnolette or multi-point locking hardware, the design allows for a wide unobtrusive opening to be created.
Curtain wall is a glass facade most often associated with commercial buildings like ofﬁce blocks. On a smaller scale, curtain wall can have some very striking applications in domestic properties, particularly in creating a double height atrium or stairwell.
Conservatories usually consist of a complete glazed structure, containing windows, doors and a glazed roof. Usually a self supporting structure, which uses the structural capability of aluminium, conservatories are often provided to bespoke sizes and designs.
A similar construction to a conservatory, but with a flat roof complete with one or more pyramid style roof lights.
An orangery or orangerie was a room or a dedicated building on the grounds of fashionable residences from the 17th to the 19th centuries where orange and other fruit trees were protected during the winter, as a very large form of greenhouse or conservatory.