Window Replacement Materials And Frames | Vinyl, Aluminum, Wood And More
There are a variety of available window replacement materials and frames from your home windows. Find articles on an extensive list of home window frames, including vinyl, aluminum, wood, fiberglass and composite.
Vinyl window frames are a very popular choice one of the least expensive of frame options and now comes in many pre-molded colors. This also appeals to those seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle, such as condominium owners, senior citizens and lower- or fixed income families. Browse below to find great information on window replacement materials and frames.
Articles On Window Materials And Frames
Aluminum Windows - These fit most every design need, and often boast a much better look than vinyl or even wood. They're also the most durable, and they are best at blocking out sound. They are easy to clean, resistant to the elements, dent resistant, and can be painted any color. Their superior strength means the frame itself can be very thin much thinner than wood or vinyl and offers enhanced security. As aluminum windows are easily customizable, they have been more popular in commercial buildings than homes. Aluminum is a better choice for milder climates, but can be used in colder climates if "thermally broken."
Cellular PVC Windows - Cellular PVC is a material that is used for replacement windows - it is an economic choice for budget-minded homeowners. Regular PVC is a thermoplastic polymer, and has become a popular building material because it is durable, inexpensive, and easy to fabricate. Cellular PVC, while still relatively new, is rapidly becoming even more popular because it is half the density of regular PVC, weighs about the same as softwood, and has a tensile strength of up to 5,000 PSI.
Composite Windows - are relatively new, and relatively expensive within the replacement window market. They are typically more expensive than vinyl but less expensive than clad wood. Composite windows are another option for homeowners who want the look of wood, without the expense.
Double Pane Windows - These windows are also referred to as dual paned or double glazed or insulating glass (IG) windows. They provide better insulation than old single pane (cutting the heat loss in half as long as the seals are intact) at a lower purchase price than triple-paned windows. R-value ratings measure a material's ability to resist the flow of heat. A single pane glazed window has an approximate R-value of 0.85, while a double pane glazed window has a value of 1.5 - 2.0.
Energy Efficient Window Glazing - The edges of a multiple-glazed window are the coldest parts, and that's where condensation forms first and most frequently. Cold edges are even more of a problem with true divided-lite windows. (A lite is a pane.) That's because each individual pane has edge spacers. In true divided-lite windows, the ratio of cold edge to warm center is higher than it is with regular insulated windows. Therefore, warm edges are key to reducing the likelihood of condensation, and improving the efficiency and longevity of your windows.
Fiberglass Windows - These windows are fairly new to the market. They are made with some post consumer glass recycled into what are called "pultrusions" This is similar to extrusions, but is pulled through the die instead of being pushed through the dies. High cost and low availability have made this product rare in the marketplace. It has some advantages such as strength and it is paintable. It is used in less than 1% of windows today.
Glass For Window Replacement - Knowing your window options is the first important step when shopping for windows to make sure you get exactly what you need for your home. When choosing from the varieties of glass available to you, consider your energy efficiency goals. Once you have a clear idea of your goals, take a moment to review the different grades of glass. This next section will take you through an overview of the four basic types.
Insulated Window Headers - One way to address the energy inefficiency of windows is the headers. Insulated window headers in various sizes are now available, and they create a thermal break without jeopardizing structural performance. With this thermal break, you can reduce heating and cooling consumption by drastically reducing or even eliminating heat transfer across the header.
Single Pane Windows - The majority of older windows are single pane. In fact, almost half of U.S. homes have old-fashioned single pane windows. With innovations in window technology, many builders of newer homes and homeowners replacing windows opt for single or triple panes because one layer of glass doesn't offer very much protection against heat or cold. However, a single-glazed window with clear glass allows more daylight to pass through it then any other type and some people still prefer the traditional look of single panes.
Smart Windows Switchable Glazing - One of the more recent and novel innovations in windows is electrochromic windows. Electrochromic windows are one of the new wave of modern technologies referred to as "switchable" glazing, or "smart" windows, that can help homeowners save money and energy.
Steel windows - These frames and doorframes have been incorporated into architecture for hundreds of years. Architects have used the strength, durability, narrow sightlines, and versatility of steel frames to create a distinctive, unique look in their buildings. Today, steel frame's ease of installation and ease of replacement make them the ideal choice for your home.
Vinyl Replacement Windows - There are many features to consider when choosing a vinyl replacement window. In addition to the issues of structural integrity, you'll have to take into account the climate, size, color, and style of the window. Your vinyl replacement window should complement your home's architecture and color, and match the other existing windows (unless you're replacing them all at one time).
Wood Replacement Windows - Wood has been a traditional material for windows for centuries. There are some advantages to wood windows. They can be painted or stained to match your interior décor, they can look as nice as furniture, and they fit well into historic renovations. The downside of wood is that it is susceptible to damage from excessive moisture (it can warp or rot), excessive dryness (it an crack or split) and it does require some type of sealing to make it last long term.
Aluminum Windows vs Vinyl Windows - What is the better choice? These two different types of window frames each have very distinct advantages and disadvantages over one another.