When you are thinking to buy new or replace your house windows, the major deciding factor comes in your mind is Window frames! They are the structural backbone of a window and a good frame is what will keep a window functioning for decades rather than years. When you’re looking for quality windows start by focusing on the frames themselves and then worry about the glass. It’s important that you know what type and size frame you need before you make the purchase.
There are four major types of window frames available on the market today: vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass and wooden.
Vinyl Window Frames
Vinyl windows are windows with frames made out of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), the same stuff used to make pipes and fittings for plumbing. The material is extruded into a straight shape and then crafted together into a window frame and filled with glass to make the window.
Advantages of Vinyl Frames
1. Extremely durable
3. Virtually maintenance-free
4. Exceptionally energy efficient
However, vinyl windows aren’t the most durable option and they don’t have the same level of charm as wooden windows or aluminum windows do. They aren’t quite as strong as fiberglass, wood or aluminum, even when made with the best design practices.
Aluminum Window Frames
Aluminum windows are known for being rugged and long lasting. They are also more modern and work well if you are looking for a sleek modern look on your home. They let in plenty of sunlight and are low-maintenance, especially when they aren’t painted. They won’t wear out in sunlight and won’t rot, or mold or suffer from most common wear problems that affect wood, vinyl or fiberglass windows.
Advantages of Aluminum Frames
1. Slim Profile
3. Narrow sight lines
4. Low Maintenance
Aluminum windows aren’t very efficient even though manufacturers do everything they can to boost those efficiency figures. When compared to other options they fall short in terms of efficiency. They are also quite expensive. You’ll spend more for aluminum windows than you will for vinyl or fiberglass, though they are usually a bit cheaper than wooden windows.
Fiberglass Window Frames
Fiberglass windows are a less common option that’s really very durable and relatively simple to maintain. The windows are made from extruded fiberglass sections and the frames are a similar shape to vinyl frames.
Advantages of Fiberglass Frames
1. Traditional wood profile
2. Extremely strong—can hold large expanses of glass
3. Low maintenance
5. It can resist any weather condition and standing up to extreme temperature
Fiberglass is an excellent insulator and makes window frames that work to prevent the transfer of heat. Unlike wood or aluminum, fiberglass is a bit dull in appearance. This can be remedied by painting it a different color, but many people still don’t find it as charming. The material is also quite expensive and can cost as much as or more than aluminum or wooden windows. Fiberglass is much more expensive than vinyl windows are for a very similar look, and that’s why so many people gets confused and end up with vinyl frames in their homes window!
Wooden Window Frames
Wooden windows are one of the oldest types of windows still in use today, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer most of the benefits that newer options offer. They’re just as durable as your other window frame options as long as you’re willing to do the work to keep them in good shape. Wooden windows are one of the most expensive options available.
Advantages of Wood Frames
1. Warmth of solid wood grains
3. Excellent insulating properties
4. Highly durable, they’re attractive.
Compared to vinyl or fiberglass windows, wooden windows are pretty expensive. They also require a lot maintenance, for instance if you fail to repaint the windows when needed, they can suffer from severe expansion and contraction due to moisture changes in the wood. They are also susceptible to rot and weathering in certain climates.
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