Window materials: the cost-benefit calculation

The choice between wooden windows, aluminum windows and plastic windows is often difficult, as each type of frame has its own advantages. In this article, you will therefore find a detailed cost-benefit calculation for all types of windows, which should help you to weigh the pros and cons against each other.

Plastic windows cheapest

If you compare the prices of the window types, you can quickly find that plastic windows are the cheapest. On average they cost around 20-30 percent less than wooden windows or aluminum windows.

The price alone is not always decisive. It is also about the life of the windows, the care and energy benefits. Therefore, a comparison should in any case be more comprehensive.

Advantages of aluminum windows

weathering resistance

Aluminum windows do not weather and remain attractive on their exterior even after years, while plastic windows can fade over time. Although this is just a visual difference that says nothing about the functionality, but it should still be considered.


Some experts also believe that aluminum windows have a much longer life than plastic windows. This opinion is not shared by all experts, and in the component durability statistics, the lifespan of all three types of window is given as an average of 40 years.

According to other sources, however, aluminum windows can be considered as having a shelf life of around 60 years. For wood windows, however, a little less than 40 years, but depending on the type of wood used.

The lifetime of windows, however, only plays a role in the calculation in individual cases. With an average total useful life of a building of 80 years, regardless of the type of window used, a window replacement must be carried out over the entire period of use. Different is then only the time. The lifetime is therefore hardly cost-relevant in practice.

Maintenance for windows

Aluminum windows and plastic windows are virtually maintenance-free. For wooden windows, on the other hand, intensive care must take place (brushing and glazing). This involves a lot of effort, both in terms of time and financially.

If this expenditure is included in the calculation over the entire service life, wooden windows become more and more expensive. In comparison to the other two types of windows, wooden windows are already considerably more expensive.

heat protection

In terms of glazing, there are no differences in the three types of windows. Any type of glazing with any U-value is possible for all three types of windows. However, wood offers minor advantages in terms of the insulation of the frame.

The natural insulating effect of wood improves the frame insulation value in most cases slightly compared to plastic windows and aluminum windows.

Since this can be compensated by a correspondingly more efficient glazing over the total U-value of the window, there is no significant energetic advantage here. For a saving of heating costs, the total insulation value of the window is always decisive.


  • Aluminum windows can have a longer service life
  • Wooden windows are generally more expensive due to their maintenance effort
  • Plastic windows are the least expensive option in any case

Video Board: Aluminium window frame and it's benefits