Which material is best for your replacement window frames?

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When your windows aren’t working how you want them to, it’s time for an upgrade. Replacement windows carry a number of benefits. These new features can improve your home energy efficiency, upgrade the look of both the inside and outside of your home, and make home cleaning easier. 

After you decide to invest in replacement windows, it’s time for you and your window design expert to choose the exact ones you want. While most people focus on the type of glass or the style of window they want to choose, the material that the frame is made from is also important. Understanding the differences between frame material options will help you make a confident long-term investment.

Here, you can Explore the different types of frame material and the benefits of each to find out which is best for your home. 

Pick the right window frames for your home.
Pick the right window frames for your home.

For centuries, wood was the go-to material for window frames. However, as technology has evolved other materials have slowly begun to replace this natural material. 

Despite the growing number of synthetic options, many people still like the look and feel of wood. Wood can be a strong and warm material that provides adequate insulation and strong aesthetic benefits. You can paint, stain or otherwise customize wood as well. 

The negative side of wood is that it’s less resilient to the elements. Water can lead to rot over time and sunlight or heat can eventually create unsightly cracks and damage. Additionally, the best quality wood is on the more expensive end of window frame materials. 

One of the synthetic frame options that’s replacing wood is fiberglass. Made from strands of glass fiber woven through heated resin, this increasingly popular material is a durable option that is resilient to weather and household use. In fact, fiberglass frames can withstand the most severe weather conditions without warping, cracking, bending, rotting, or rusting. This material also looks great on both the inside and outside of your house. It comes in a number of colors and styles that can fit your home.

Fiberglass also has a low thermal expansion, so it won’t expand and contract as much as other frame materials might. It expands at almost the same rate as glass, ensuring that the entire sash stays sealed, which prolongs the life of the windows and maximizes performance long term.

“Fiberglass is a strong, durable and popular option.”

Fiberglass also requires very little maintenance and doesn’t need to be sanded, painted, or sealed, and because it’s a thermally efficient material, it helps insulate your home well. It’s one of the strongest materials for your window frame. The only downside of this new material is that it is generally fairly expensive. 

Aluminum window frames are not the best choice for the Northeast. Although this material is inexpensive, strong, durable and able to be painted whatever color you need, it doesn’t insulate well. Although popular in warmer climates, the metal conducts heat out the frame. This can hurt your heating bill and nullify any energy-efficient glass you’re installing. 

In an era when energy-efficient windows are preferable, aluminum windows don’t often rank high on wish lists. Even with new technologies like built-in thermal breaks, it is unlikely aluminum will ever be as energy efficient as other frame materials.

Modern vinyl frames are designed to withstand the impact of harsh UV light on them over time. Vinyl has emerged as one of the most popular frame options.

Known for their durability, vinyl window frames can withstand severe Northeast weather without peeling, blistering, or fading. They are also easy to maintain and generally require only simple cleanings to keep them looking fresh.

Vinyl is also a relatively inexpensive option that comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. Perhaps, the biggest benefit of vinyl is how much insulation it can provide. There are options that actually exceed ENERGY STAR® standards and can significantly improve the energy efficiency of the home. The potential for huge savings in monthly electric bills makes vinyl-frame replacement windows a compelling investment for most homes.

Use this information to inform a discussion with your replacement window designer about the best window frame material for you and your house. Consider speaking to a replacement window expert at Alure Home Improvements. For more than 70 years, Alure has helped customers achieve their home remodeling dreams. Alure’s window experts are among the most knowledgeable in the business and can help you select a stylish replacement window in a material that suits your aesthetic preference, maximizes energy efficiency, and delivers years of dependable performance. Contact Alure Home Improvements to learn more.

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