PVCU (or UPVC) stands for Unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride and it is the singularly most popular material for door and window frames. It has excellent heat insulation and is effective against even the most extreme British weather. It keeps the noise, rain and draught out and keeps the house warm and well insulated. It is both very durable and very economical, which makes an attractive combination.
The main selling point of PVCu is that it is a poor conductor of heat and therefore has excellent insulation properties. This substantially reduces heating and fuel bills. PVCu frames have an additional edge over wooden and aluminium frames, as they are very low maintenance and durable. These frames are easy to clean and do not warp, fade or discolour. They do not require any painting and so do not need regular treatments as do wooden frames. PVCu can be easily cleaned and just need an occasional oiling of the hinges and locks.
PVCu is readily available and are the cheapest option in the market. You will not have to go far to find a supplier and it is this competition that helps keep prices down. PVCu frames are offered in many colours but mostly seen in white. They are also available in variety of wood finishes and are popular for they impart the traditional wooden look whilst giving the benefits of PVCu. However, whether they seriously rival the look of the real thing is questionable.
Apart from the dubious aestthetic qualities, the other downside is the low structural integrity. PVCu frames require reinforcing with steel or aluminium to give them that necessary. Most PVCu systems for window and door construction are multi-walled, which means that they are reinforced internally with either aluminium or steel. PVCu frames are also susceptible to expansion in sunlight, which can be attractive to intruders as this provides a weak point in the frame. You can prevent expansion by reinforcing the frames completely.
PVCu frames do not compliment traditional buildings designs. In the UK, they are therefore not used in listed buildings and historic and conservation areas. Even so, PVCu frames are the most economical and cost-effective option for your home as they impart lasting and hassle-free beauty and protection to your home.