Whether you are remodeling or building a house from scratch, every little detail matters. It can be easy to end up overwhelmed over the sheer number of decisions that need to be made, from measurements of doorways to permits to the type of window you use. For example, most people when they think of “types of windows” are imagining shapes and colors, but the type of material you use can affect your energy bills for years down the line. One of the newest types of the window on the Australian market is the UPVC window. Let’s see how much do UPVC windows cost in Australia.
What are UPVC Windows?
UPVC stands for un-plasticized polyvinyl chloride, a chemically resistant, strong plastic. If that sounds fancy or complicated, just think of it as super-strong plastic. Un-plasticized simply means it has not gone through a softening process that is typically used on PVC, a material used in faux leather bags and other clothing items. PVC is a material you likely interact with or own without even realizing it.
UPVC is largely used for door and window frames because it is durable, but still easy and cheap to manufacture. However, it is also used to make medical and dental equipment because it is a non-toxic plastic while remaining sturdy. So, no worries about having toxic materials in or on your home. This also means that if you do decide to replace them down the line, they are recyclable, reducing your carbon footprint even further.
This type of window may be new for Australia, but has been on the U.S. and European markets for years now and are one of the most popular window materials in those markets. The low cost and low impact on the environment make it an easy choice for a lot of the newest generations of homebuyers in these countries and now Australia.
Initial Costs for UPVC Windows
The initial cost of any window can be daunting until you remember that windows stay in place for decades at a time. However, the longevity of windows adds pressure on the shoulders of home designers to pick the correct windows. UPVC is one of the most affordable options currently on the market, with prices for a single pane window starting at less than $200 AUD.
However, the price can go up depending on the size of the window, style of window, color, fixtures, and the energy efficiency rating you want. For example, a window the same size window as the above-mentioned single-paned one can go up another $100-$150 AUD just by adding an opening mechanism, adding a pane, or by going up an efficiency rating.
Large multi-paned windows or windows with odd dimensions can get up into the $1000 AUD range, not to mention charges for color and style. Keep in mind, however, that UPVC windows can stay in place for 30+ years and often come with a warranty, sometimes a lifetime warranty, in case it does not stand up to the manufacture’s claims, lessening the burden of the cost.
Another cost to take into account is installation costs, which can be cut by doing it yourself, but it might be better in the long run to hire a professional. You can expect to pay about $75 – $90 AUD an hour for a professional window installer, but that also takes away the stress and worry that comes with doing it yourself. There is also less room for error and ending up having to replace the window, which will cost more than hiring a professional.
Long Term Costs for UPVC Windows
One of the most important jobs of a window frame, besides holding the windowpane in place, is insulating the home. UPVC windows are amazing at this because they are typically double-paned and multi-chambered construction, there is less chance for heat to sneak into your home. This means less energy your air conditioner has to expend to keep your home cool, which means less carbon footprint and a lower energy bill at the end of the month. Over time, this can save you hundreds of dollars and cover the cost of the windows.
Another important cost to factor in is the maintenance required to keep the windows from fading or rotting. While UPVC windows are more durable than aluminum and wood, they can fade, it will just take a lot longer and can be prevented.
When UPVC does fade, you can just spray it with a new protective coat. Not only will it no longer look faded, but it will strengthen the vinyl against more weather damage. Whereas when wood or aluminum rots or rusts, you have to replace the frame. So, in the long run, UPVC is still more cost-effective than wood or aluminum.
These costs may fluctuate depending on the contractor you choose to go with if you go with one at all, and your location.