The Steel Windows Myth

The Steel Windows Myth

Steel windows and doors have been in existence in their current form since the 1930’s, and a well manufactured window will last, easily, for 50 years or more.


You are still able to find the traditional single glazed steel windows, commonly known within the industry as the SMW window. If you have existing steel windows and live in a listed property or conservation area these are the windows you will normally be required to replace your originals with.



However, not all steel window manufacturers produce the SMW, so it pays to ask at the beginning of your purchase journey if you will be getting the SMW window and not a look alike, which isn’t the same!


There are many different profiles, which are all supplied by a common supplier in Switzerland. They hot roll the steel to form the profiles used by all steel window manufacturers in the UK, products such as W20, W30, W40, System 500.


This principle is very much the same as how other window segments like aluminium work i.e. that a “system house”, such as Schuco or Reynaers will produce a suite of profiles, that a fabricator then turns into a window or door product.


If you take the product number (W20, W30 etc.) then the windows or doors you will receive from the manufacturer/ fabricator, will be the same, and to the same standards and general specifications! Some companies have chosen to brand their offering slightly differently to try and say it is a different system, but in reality…it isn’t!


A lot of people will call steel windows, CrittallR Windows, the reason for this is that they have a brand that has been established since 1849 and for many years, were the leading brand. The simple and plain fact is that unless a window or door product has been produced from their factory, then it should be referred to as a STEEL WINDOW.


The way steel windows and doors are manufactured should be the same, regardless of the factory they come out of. They should be manufactured to BS6510, powder coated to BS6497 and many will have the same ironmongery on. Suppliers to the steel window market are limited.



The industry is galvanized by the Steel Window Association and you really should only purchase (specify) from companies who are members, as they have signed up to a set of standards, codes of ethic and are of reputable standing. The question to ask is, if a manufacturer isn’t a member, why not? Are they complying to the above-mentioned standards? What sort of warranty will they offer you, the customer? 


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