If you are going to replace your windows in the near future, there are several window materials that are offered by the leading window brands on the market.
- Composite Windows
- Aluminum Windows
- Vinyl Windows
- Fiberglass Windows
- Wooden Frame Windows
Each one of the above is excellent choices. They are energy efficient but some are more durable than others. Although each material differs slightly, we will go over the different types to help you make the right decision for your needs.
When you are in the market for replacing your windows or installing new windows, the frames are one of the most important aspects to be considered. Understand, the frame of a window is literally its total support or its backbone. The quality of the frames will dictate whether your windows will last for a long period of time or not. Let’s face it, if you are going to spend money on new windows, you want them to last for decades not just a few years.
First, you should start by concentrating on the frames of various windows then move on to the glass. Also, make sure you have the size and type of window you need before ever making a purchase.
Ask Yourself, Should You Repair Or Replace Your Current Windows?
If you are looking to have your windows repaired, the material matters. Wood frames can be repaired at a very affordable cost but you should carefully look at the condition of the window frames and glass before making up your mind.
If your window frames are rotting out, it is not going to be worth the cost for repairs and in most cases, they cannot be repaired.
If you have single-pane windows that are getting on in age, chances are they are causing drafts in your home and are far from cost-efficient. Quite honestly, the best alternative is to replace them.
If you are fortunate enough to have double-pane windows, there’s a good chance you can get them repaired. If your window frames are wooden, they can be easily repaired and updated with customized kits or other commercial products for that purpose.
Keep in mind, if you have a home that is vintage, you really will not get the same look with newer materials so wood frames will ensure your home keeps its classic appeal.
Replace With Composite Windows
Composite window frames are made from two materials. They are made with wood and vinyl materials or wood and aluminum materials. Either combination refers to composite windows which will look like any other window frame material mentioned and are very easy to keep up and maintain.
Replacing composite windows is a great choice, especially if money is not an option compared to less expensive alternatives.
Replace With Aluminum Windows
Aluminum windows are probably one of the most popular alternatives when it’s time to replace your old windows. Aluminum is very h2 and will last a very long time. These windows are very popular choices for people who want a very modern, sleek look to their windows to match their modern-style homes. They will not wear out easily, will not suffer from mold or rot, they let in sunlight while offering low maintenance, especially if they are not painted.
These windows do not wear out from simple wear and tear unlike other materials including fiberglass, wood, and vinyl. The downside to aluminum, they are not as energy efficient as other materials. Other materials are a great deal better for saving energy and you will also pay a great deal more for these windows vs other materials. The upside, they are less expensive than wooden frames.
Replace With Vinyl Windows
Vinyl is a very versatile, flexible material that is used in many window styles so you can get the exact look you want. Vinyl windows are made from PVC or polyvinyl chloride which is the same material that is used for piping and fittings in plumbing, which speaks volumes. The material is literally forced out, forming a straight shape then made into window frames. Finally, the frames are filled with glass. Vinyl is very affordable and considered an excellent source for good insulation.
The downside, they are not as durable as other materials and do not have the pleasing look you will get from wood. Vinyl is not as h2 as fiberglass, aluminum, or wood which is why many people will replace vinyl with something else when it’s time to replace their windows.
Replace With Fiberglass Windows
For some reason, fiberglass is not the most common choice for replacing windows but fiberglass is very durable and very easy to maintain. The material is forced out, just like with vinyl, and then shaped to the frames. Fiberglass is well-known for weather resistance and works well with changes in temperature better than many other materials. The composition of fiberglass is very close to that of the glass panes used to finish up the windows. Fiberglass, just like glass, expands and extracts dictated by the change in weather. Because fiberglass is an excellent insulator, these windows will prevent the transfer of heat.
The downside, unlike wood or aluminum, fiberglass has a rather dull unattractive appearance and therefore are usually painted in different colors. Even though they can be changed in appearance with paint, most homeowners do not like this material. On top of that, this choice for windows is very expensive which is a great deal more than either wood or aluminum. Because fiberglass looks and works a lot like vinyl, most consumers will go with vinyl.
Replace With Wooden Windows
As long as they are properly maintained, wooden windows are just as long-lasting and durable as any other window frame materials. Let’s face it, wooden frames have been used for windows longer than any other material. Wood windows are extremely flexible to fit either very modern homes or vintage homes. They offer incredible strength and are very pleasing to the eye.
Unlike vinyl and fiberglass, wood is a great deal more expensive and must have regular maintenance. Unlike other materials, you must be committed to painting these frames when needed to prevent damage. When painted, these frames will not suffer from expansion and contraction from changes in moisture. The biggest downside to wood, it’s susceptible to rot caused by the change of weather in certain areas.
Know Your Window Measurements Ahead Of Time
It is suggested you have an expert come in and properly measure each window you will be replacing. If your measurements are off, even if just slightly, you will run into issues down the road. If the window you purchased is too big for the opening, you will only have two alternatives. You can either have someone create a larger hole in your wall or return the window for a replacement. On the other hand, if the window is too small, you will have a great deal of trouble hanging the window properly and will suffer from drafts and poor insulation. You could also run the risk of the window breaking! The best option, turn it back in for another size.
Are Divided Windows A Good Choice For You?
Instead of a full pane of glass, divided windows consist of small sections of glass between each section. You can also choose windows that have a faux divided look as if each section was separate even though that’s not the case. That said, if you have a jaw-dropping view out your window, I would stay away from divided windows, you will destroy that incredible view.
If your heart is set on a classic look to your window panes, here are some options you can choose from:
Your Authentic Divided Window
These windows are created with small pieces of glass in between each divider but are also very expensive. They take a good amount of time to create and are weaker than some other alternatives. Divided windows are mostly popular for vintage, old-fashioned homes such as Victorians. Again, keep in mind, divided windows will block your views unlike full panes of glass.
Your Grid Window Frames
These windows have full panes of glass with dividers glued to the surface, creating a grid. They will give you the look of an authentic divided window and are a great deal less expensive and more energy efficient.
Your Faux Grid Frames
This design features the grid sitting in front of the window as a part of the frame but usually do not touch the glass. These frames are very easy to clean by simply passing a cloth behind the frame to clean the entire window instead of individual frames. The downside, faux grid frame, quite honestly, look fake!
About Window Frame Warranties
Although most manufacturers offer a Lifetime Warranty for their windows and frames, these warranties can mean different things to different manufacturers. Make sure you carefully read the fine print and find out just how long the warranty will cover your new windows. You must ask what conditions are covered in your warranty and find out which manufacturers really do stand behind their products.