What are Clad Wood Windows?

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Welcome to Sash Window Refurbish

Experts in Sash Windows Repair & Restoration, Timber Windows & Timber Doors in east midlands

Why Trust Sash Window Refurbish?

Sash Windows Refurbish specializes in providing repair and restoration services for wooden windows and doors in the UK, as well as various types of carpentry. During the process of fulfilling orders, we utilize a range of tools and paints, including saws, sprays, primers, resins, and adhesives. With more than 20 years of experience in carpentry, we have tested and used various brands and types of work tools, making us well-equipped to offer helpful advice on selecting the right tools and paints for your needs. Read more ...

Exploring the Variety of Clad Windows

Aluminum Clad Windows: Modern Elegance with Durability

Aluminium-clad windows combine sleek design with robust durability, making them a popular choice among homeowners. Their resistance to corrosion and low maintenance requirements make them an excellent investment for any home.

Vinyl Clad Windows: Affordable and Low-Maintenance

Vinyl-clad windows are known for their affordability and low maintenance. They offer excellent insulation, keeping your home comfortable throughout the year. However, there are certain issues associated with vinyl-clad windows, which we’ll discuss later in this guide.

Fiberglass Clad Windows: Superior Strength and Energy Efficiency

Fiberglass-clad windows provide superior strength and energy efficiency. They are highly durable, and resistant to warping and swelling, making them an ideal choice for areas with extreme weather conditions.

Extruded Aluminum

Measuring just 1/8 of an inch thick, this particular cladding stands out for its superior strength and durability compared to other options on the market. Extruded aluminium, in particular, is highly resistant to dents and scratches, maintaining its impressive appearance for years after installation.

When paired with a specialized paint like Kynar, aluminium cladding becomes even more resilient. Kynar is a fade-resistant product that outperforms other paints, resisting chalking and retaining its vibrant colour over time.

Extruded aluminium is also a cost-effective choice, especially for windows with unique shapes. However, it’s important to note that while it offers durability and affordability, it may not provide the same level of insulation as some other cladding materials.

Roll Form Aluminum Cladding

Usually, the most budget-friendly cladding option is roll-form aluminium, which is significantly thinner than higher-quality cladding materials. Roll-form aluminium-clad windows often experience chalking or fading over time due to the lower quality of the paint and the product itself.

Are Clad Windows a Pricy Investment?

One common concern among homeowners is the cost associated with clad windows. While they might seem expensive upfront, their long-term benefits often outweigh the initial investment. The durability and energy efficiency of clad windows can lead to significant savings on utility bills over time.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Clad Windows

Pros of Clad Windows:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Clad windows offer excellent insulation, reducing heat transfer and making your home more energy-efficient, which can lead to lower energy bills.
  2. Low Maintenance: Clad windows are typically low maintenance as the exterior cladding protects the frame from the elements, reducing the need for frequent painting or staining.
  3. Durability: The cladding material, often made of aluminium, vinyl, or fibreglass, provides additional strength and durability, making clad windows resistant to rot, decay, and insects.
  4. Aesthetics: Clad windows come in a variety of finishes and colours, allowing homeowners to choose a style that complements their home’s architecture and enhances its curb appeal.
  5. Weather Resistance: Clad windows are highly resistant to harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, wind, and extreme temperatures, ensuring longevity and structural integrity.
  6. Customization: Clad windows can be customized to fit specific size requirements and design preferences, providing flexibility in architectural choices.
  7. Sound Insulation: Due to their construction, clad windows offer better sound insulation, reducing external noise and creating a quieter indoor environment.
  8. UV Protection: Clad windows can be designed with coatings that protect the interior of your home from harmful UV rays, preventing the fading of furniture, carpets, and other interior items.

Cons of Clad Windows:

  1. Cost: Clad windows tend to be more expensive than non-clad windows, making them a significant investment for homeowners, especially for high-end materials like solid wood or metal cladding.
  2. Potential for Condensation: In certain climates, condensation can form between the cladding and the window frame, potentially leading to issues like mould and mildew if not properly addressed.
  3. Limited Repair Options: If the cladding gets damaged, repairing it might be challenging, and replacement could be necessary, which can be costly and time-consuming.
  4. Installation Complexity: Proper installation of clad windows is crucial. Improper installation can lead to water infiltration and reduce the window’s effectiveness in terms of energy efficiency and durability.
  5. Environmental Impact: The production of cladding materials, especially aluminium, can have a significant environmental impact due to the energy-intensive manufacturing process and resource extraction.
  6. Potential for Deterioration: While clad windows are generally durable if the cladding is damaged or compromised, it can lead to deterioration of the underlying materials, affecting the window’s performance.
  7. Limited Insulation of the Frame: While the cladding provides excellent insulation, the frame material itself (usually wood) might still be susceptible to decay over time if not properly maintained.

Addressing Issues with Vinyl Clad Windows

Vinyl-clad windows, although affordable and low-maintenance, have their share of problems. Homeowners often wonder about issues such as whether they can be painted or if dark vinyl-clad windows will fade over time. Let’s address these concerns to provide clarity.

Concerns with Aluminum Clad Windows: What You Need to Know

The main issue with aluminium-clad windows is their susceptibility to rust if not cleaned regularly, typically a few times a year. A less common concern is that aluminium conducts heat, potentially reducing energy efficiency. However, it’s worth noting that the majority of modern aluminium and aluminium-clad products are specially treated to mitigate these problems.

Leading Brands Offering Clad Windows

When choosing clad windows, opting for reputable brands ensures quality and reliability. We’ll highlight some leading brands in the market, giving you a starting point for your research.

  • Pella
  • Andersen
  • Marvin
  • Milgard
  • PlyGem
  • Weather Shield

Comparing Fibreglass Clad and Aluminum Clad Wood Windows

Deciding between fibreglass cladding and aluminium cladding can be challenging. Both choices offer durability, excellent energy efficiency, and effective protection for the underlying wood. Ultimately, the choice boils down to cost and aesthetics.

In most cases, aluminium cladding is slightly more expensive than fibreglass. However, there is a wider variety of aluminium-clad window options available. Both materials are durable and of premium quality, making either option a viable and worthwhile choice.

Clad Windows vs. Vinyl: Making the Right Choice

Vinyl and clad windows both offer the advantage of low maintenance for homeowners, but they differ in several key aspects. Vinyl windows are virtually maintenance-free; they don’t require sealing, repainting, or specific cleaning methods.

Fibreglass-clad windows are also low maintenance but necessitate occasional cleaning of their aluminium cladding to prevent rusting.

A significant distinction between the two lies in the interior material. Clad windows have a wooden interior that allows homeowners to paint or stain it according to their preferences.

This versatility appeals to those who enjoy changing their home’s appearance, as wood is easy to refinish. In contrast, vinyl windows have a fixed vinyl interior, limiting options for customization as vinyl does not hold paint well.

Considerations like lifespan, energy efficiency, and cost further differentiate the two types. Both vinyl and clad windows can last 20+ years, contingent on factors such as make, brand, and climate.

Clad windows, while offering aesthetic versatility, tend to be more expensive. In terms of energy efficiency, both types can excel, with factors like brand, added insulators, and glass type influencing their performance.

Homeowners must weigh these factors to make an informed choice based on their preferences, budget, and desired customization options.

Decoding the Difference Between Vinyl and Vinyl Clad

Vinyl and vinyl clad are materials commonly used in construction, each with distinct characteristics. Vinyl, made entirely of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is durable, moisture-resistant, and low-maintenance. It offers a consistent appearance, comes in various colours, and requires no painting. In contrast, vinyl-clad products feature a vinyl coating over a core material, often wood or aluminium.

This design provides the warmth of natural wood indoors and the weather-resistant properties of vinyl outdoors. Vinyl products, including windows and siding, are cost-effective and easy to maintain, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners.

On the other hand, vinyl-clad products offer a balance between aesthetics and durability. While they tend to be more expensive due to the additional manufacturing processes, the combination of the core material’s strength and the vinyl coating’s weather resistance makes them a desirable choice.

Homeowners should consider factors like appearance, maintenance needs, and budget when choosing between these options. Ultimately, the decision hinges on individual preferences and specific project requirements, guiding homeowners and builders toward the most suitable choice for their construction needs.


Can You Paint Aluminum Clad Windows?

Yes, aluminium-clad windows can be painted. However, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use suitable paint to maintain their appearance and durability.

What Are Metal-Clad Windows?

Metal-clad windows refer to windows with a metal exterior surface, enhancing their durability and resistance to elements.

Who Manufactures Vinyl-Clad Windows?

Several reputable manufacturers produce vinyl-clad windows. Researching and choosing a reliable brand ensures the quality of your windows.

Is It Possible to Replace Cladding on Windows?

Yes, the cladding on windows can be replaced. Consulting a professional is recommended to ensure proper installation and maintain the window’s integrity.

Can You Paint Vinyl-Clad Windows?

While it is possible to paint vinyl-clad windows, it’s essential to choose the right paint and follow proper techniques to prevent damage and ensure longevity.

Will Dark Vinyl-Clad Windows Fade?

Dark vinyl-clad windows are more prone to fading due to prolonged exposure to sunlight. Choosing high-quality, UV-resistant materials can mitigate this issue and prolong the window’s lifespan.

How long do wood-clad windows last?

Wood-clad windows typically last between 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance. Regular painting or sealing can extend their lifespan and preserve their appearance over time.

What is the difference between wood and wood-clad windows?

Wood windows are entirely made of wood, providing a classic aesthetic but requiring more maintenance. Wood-clad windows, on the other hand, have an exterior layer of durable material (such as aluminium or vinyl) for enhanced weather resistance, reducing maintenance needs.

Are wood-clad windows good?

Yes, wood-clad windows are considered good options for homeowners seeking a balance between the warmth of wood interiors and low-maintenance exteriors. They offer excellent insulation, are energy-efficient, and, when properly maintained, can provide both durability and aesthetic appeal.

About the author

Glen Ramsey, who presently holds the positions of customer support and content manager, is a cherished member of the Sash Window Refurbish team. He is in a unique position to provide advice on all questions pertaining to the renovation of historic windows because he has a wealth of experience in all elements of window renovation, dealing with clients regularly and assisting them in choosing the best window-related course of action. He oversees the creation of information for all of our platforms in his capacity as content manager, including web content and other materials. Glen has witnessed the whole gamut of Sash Window Refurbish's window restoration activities, from our work on significant listed Georgian homes to a wide variety of smaller-scale private residential projects.


My technician Andrew replaced all my sash windows that had rotten sills. Accessing the rotten sills was not an easy task. He explained to me what needed to be done in order to fix the problem. He is a great person and I’m happy that he was the one who did the job. He is reliable, tidy, friendly and very professional. I highly recommend him.



I hired Andrew and Alex a while back to repair my damaged sash windows. They were was very considerate and very patient as he did his job. A few days ago, I had another problem with one of my sash lock keys and I called him again to come and fix the problem. I’m very impressed that Liam responded quickly and he not only fixed the problem but he also gave me a spare key. What a great after sales service!

Alan W.


I’m very impressed with the new windows that Andrew installed and also the reconditioning job that he did on other sash windows. The quality of his work is by far more superior than what we got when we hired another company a few years back. We will certainly hire him again if any window work arises

Kelly (Sleaford)


Our decorator referred us to Andrew because some of the work needed a window expert. Andrew together with our decorator did a fantastic job. The work was done efficiently and to the highest standards. Andrew is understanding, committed and very professional. I recommend him without any hesitation.

Steaven Reader


Alex did a great job in fixing windows in our terraced house. The windows were broken, frames damaged and the wood was also rotten. Alex's job was high quality and he did it pretty fast. I was also very impressed that he was considerate of my son’s asthma condition and maintained cleanliness. Top work.



Andrew just recently replaced three sash windows in my Edwardian house. He also repaired and replaced some sills and draught proofed three windows. In addition to that, he also did some carpentry work. What I like the most about Liam is that he did a clean job. He is very professional and always updated me about the timescales and costs. He also did his job with minimal disruptions. I highly recommend him.

Cris M.