The frame material you choose for replacement windows will determine, to a large extent, how your new units perform. Though both the window frame and glass work together to determine the qualities of your replacement unit, the framing material forms the basis for much of their performance and efficiency, as well as the level of upkeep required. It’s important to be familiar with the window framing options available to you, such as:
- Wood – Wooden windows are popular among many homeowners, thanks to their timeless charm and inviting warmth. Wood frames are durable and insulate well, but they are also vulnerable to water damage, requiring extensive maintenance to prevent rotting and warping.
- Vinyl – Vinyl windows have become widely favored due to their excellent energy performance. They are also among the easiest to maintain, as they don’t require frequent cleaning to preserve their look and function. Vinyl frames, however, have a high expansion and contraction rate, making them susceptible to damage when exposed to extreme conditions.
- Aluminum – Due to their outstanding strength and light weight, aluminum is also one of the most used materials for window frames today. The only downside is that they tend to absorb heat, impairing a window’s ability to help maintain an ideal temperature inside the home.
- Fiberglass – If you’re looking to replicate the look and feel of wood windows without having to worry about warping, fiberglass is a good choice. These advantages will set you back more than the standard window framing material, however, on top of added maintenance costs.
- Composite – Composite frames, like Fibrex® from Renewal by Andersen®, combine the best attributes of several different materials, resulting in an option that boasts of superior strength, high aesthetic appeal, and excellent insulation and ease of maintenance. Fibrex windows, in fact, are guaranteed not to rot, peel, decay or crack. They are also fully recyclable, making them ideal for those looking to live a little greener.
Factor in the general climate in your area when choosing a window framing material. You want to be sure that your replacement window can withstand the elements, standing strong against whatever your local weather can throw at it.