Metal windows and doors: a buyer's guide

Metal windows and doors can create an industrial look, historic authenticity or contemporary style. Find out if they’re the right choice for your home – and how to buy the best

metal windows and doors: Original Crittall windows, Crittall
Original Crittall windows, Crittall
(Image credit: Crittall Window Limited)

Metal windows and doors offer a huge range of opportunities for updating the style of your property. From the classic Crittall style populalised in the 1930s to bolder, industrial design often used in terraced home extensions, this type of glazing is right on trend. 

Highly sought after, metal windows and doors can either replace original designs, or be used to smarted up a property that had plastic or old timber windows. 

Are you fitting metal windows as part of a renovation project? Find our how to renovate a house in our expert guide. Or, if you are extending, find out how to extend a house

Will metal-framed glazing suit my home?

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Metal-framed glazing is an elegant option that suits properties of different styles and will look great for years to come. Both metal-framed doors and windows can complement homes with brick exteriors as well as modern grey or white rendered walls. 

If your house currently has dated uPVC doors and windows, metal can be a much slimmer and more attractive alternative. Fitting metal in place of wood, on the other hand, can allow you to avoid the maintenance requirements of timber.

Metal framed windows and doors in a terraced house

(Image credit: Mustard Architects)

Why choose metal framed doors and windows?

Panel style metal-framed doors won’t offer the uninterrupted views that bi-fold or sliding doors do. However, they will frame views to the exterior in an appealing way. The metal framing isn’t bulky, so they’ll still let in plenty of light and each panel can reveal a new perspective. You might also like the idea of the doors themselves being a feature rather than a barely-there barrier, and they can complement other materials used in an interior scheme.

And the style’s not just appropriate for doors: panelled metal windows can bring an industrial edge to your home, or create period style, depending on the dimensions of each of the glazed elements.

Different glazing panel styles are available when you’re buying – they could be either horizontal or vertical rectangles with different dimensions on offer, or square in appearance

Metal doors and windows don’t have to have the multiple glazing bar style, though. Consider more contemporary offerings that team expansive panes of glass with super-slim metal framing that maximises light and views.

Metal framed windows in a retro kitchen

(Image credit: Bruce Hemming)

What colours do metal frames come in?

There’s an enormous choice of frame colours for metal windows, ranging from classic black, through greys to standout shades such as orange, red or green. Your supplier might also be able to colour match them – for example to a favourite paint shade.

Metal framed doors and windows in an open plan kitchen

(Image credit: Darren Chung)

What are metal door and window frames made from?

Crittall’s doors and windows – the designs that probably spring to mind when you’re thinking industrial-style glazing – are renowned and are made from steel. If you’re lucky enough to have a period property with original Crittall Windows, you can replicate the historic designs. Steel doors and windows can look just as good when they aren’t original to the property, though.

Steel designs from other manufacturers are also available – for windows and doors and even roof lights.

Metal doors and windows can also be manufactured using aluminium. This metal is strong and light, and will create frames without bulk. As well as designs that maximise light including both bi-fold and sliding doors, there are also versions that have the typical steel frame style, if that’s the look you prefer.

Look out also for composite doors and windows. These low maintenance designs use metal on the outside and wood on the inside for a warmer effect internally, energy efficiency and durability.

Metal windows do require some maintenance; find out how to repair and maintain metal window and door frames.

Metal framed windows used as an interior and exterior wall

(Image credit: Crittal)

Can metal windows and doors be made bespoke?

Yes. Many companies that sell metal windows and doors will provide a fully bespoke service, which will include a site survey, help with design, manufacture and installation of your windows. Don't assume that because you have an unusual or awkward space, it can't be fitted with metal frames. 

A shot towards the end of a side return extension

(Image credit: Leanne Dixon)

Are metal framed doors and windows well insulated?

Well-designed modern metal doors and windows include thermal breaks (aka thermal barriers). These insulators are part of the frame and prevent heat being conducted outside by the metal, which could create condensation and leave rooms cold. They will also stop the metal frames indoors from feeling cold in winter or hot in summer, both of which can affect a room's ambient temperature. Together with modern glazing, thermal breaks ensure doors and windows are energy efficient.

Original Crittall windows, Crittall

Original Crittall windows, Crittall

(Image credit: Crittall Window Limited)

Can you divide rooms with metal doors, too?

Metal doors can be a brilliant solution inside a home, and using them internally in addition to exterior doors will give your decor a consistent look. Used within the interior, metal-framed doors and partitions let light through but create a measure of separation – try them if you like the idea of broken-plan rather than fully open-plan layouts. 

Using metal-framed glazing in a hallway can also be a sound strategy, allowing light from a front reception room into the passageway without losing the benefits of a separate entrance to your home.

Indoor metal door, Crittall

Indoor metal door, Crittall 

(Image credit: Crittall Window Limited)

How much do metal framed doors and windows cost?

Expect to pay from £2,640 to £3,120 per metre for glazed panelled doors to fit a standard door height.

To receive quotes for new windows, fill in the questionnaire below and our partners will be in touch with you:

Looking for more window advice?

Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.