The use of aluminum in construction is popular because the material is energy efficient and affordable. The aesthetics of aluminum is another one of the major reasons that people opt to implement the material into their new homes. Aluminum is sleek and futuristic looking, making it perfect for modern designs.
Don’t be misconstrued however, because aluminum definitely has a place in retrofit builds and renovations of historic homes. Do you have to be careful how to integrate it as to not lose any of the historic luster of something like hardwood floors or cabinets? Of course, but with the right design aluminum can provide a great contrast (as well as an energy efficiency boost) in homes 50-100+ years old.
A Huge Variety of Colors Available
The aluminum manufacturing process have improved tremendously over the past couple decades. While you might assume you’re stuck with the familiar silver hue of aluminum in your project, you can now choose from a variety of baked on colors. This is especially beneficial in windows, doors, and some other exterior products. A shade such as a dark green or a light brown look perfect on the exteriors of traditional style homes. Curb appeal and aesthetics was one of the main reasons for avoiding aluminum construction materials on historic homes – not anymore.
Affordable for Larger Scale Renovations
Aluminum is lightweight and relatively easy to source. When you have a commercial historic building that may need 80-100 new windows or more, aluminum may be the only construction material that fits under budget. Being lightweight helps to reduce labor costs as well as workers can install the products faster and more efficiently. Being able to source aluminum easily helps lower material costs to keep project costs low.
Noise Abatement Over Vinyl Windows
Historic homes and other buildings were built to stay standing – not necessarily for energy efficiency and being soundproof, etc. Compared to vinyl, it’s closest competitor for windows at least, aluminum offers superior noise abatement and better thermal properties too.
Custom Designs Very Much Possible
Another thing old builders never had to consider was standard sizes or building codes. Many buildings are outfitted with all sorts of features that look like the dimensions were pulled out of a hat. Not only are custom sizes very easy to achieve with aluminum construction materials, but so are unconventional designs with multiple sides and varying angles, etc.
The conventional route to historic home renovations is to go with wood wherever possible. Wood is feasible, but it is also very expensive and requires constant maintenance. Something else about wood is the fact that it’s flammable, something aluminum is not. Obviously if an old building has lasted this long, the HVAC system, electrical, ventilation, and any other fire risks are in fine working order – but it never hurts to be extra safe.
Aluminum is definitely a possibility when it comes to your renovation projects. Sometimes you need to think outside the box when it comes to integrating aluminum and modern designs but with the right touch you’ll achieve the perfect retro blend.