How to Choose the Right Replacement Window Frames for Your Home

If it’s time to replace the windows in your home, you may be wondering how to make a choice between the dozens of styles available. Should you opt for long-lasting vinyl windows? Or the beauty and warmth of wood frames? What are fiberglass window frames and how do they work? Which style works best to insulate your home? Here’s a brief guide to the different kinds of window frames and the benefits of each style.
Advantages of window replacement
Until it’s actually time to replace windows and doors, we tend to take them for granted. It’s when choosing new fixtures that you come to realize how many different and important functions they have in a house. Windows and doors have both aesthetic and practical functions. They add to the appearance and character of the house, giving it a look of traditional comfort and elegance or sleek contemporary lines.
In practical terms, windows and doors provide security, from intruders as well as the elements. They let in light and air, and keep the home cool or warm according to the seasons. In fact, they are an important part of the insulation system of the house. Leaks and drafts can dramatically raise heating or cooling costs. Leaky windows can lose as much as 30% of heated indoor air in the winter.

Different types of window frames
When it comes to choosing new windows, you have a lot of choices in terms of types of frames and window glass. Window frames can be made of vinyl, wood, fiberglass and aluminum. Each kind has its advantages, and adds a unique look. The appearance of the window frames is an important factor, because windows typically make up as much as 15% of the wall area of any home is taken up by windows.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of the different kinds of window frames:

  • Wood frames
    Wood brings natural beauty and warmth to any space, and also has excellent insulating capabilities. It has been used for home construction and specially for windows and doors for thousands of years. Wood frames do need more work than other materials like vinyl and fiberglass. Repainting, polishing, staining and sealing take some work, but also help to renew the beauty of wood window frames.

  • Vinyl windows
    Vinyl replacement windows are extremely durable and also corrosion resistant. This makes them virtually maintenance-free. They are also highly rated for energy efficiency. Vinyl windows have a neutral appearance that goes with many styles of architecture and home decor. Vinyl French doors and sliding patio doors are likewise a good choice both for energy efficiency and appearance.

  • Aluminum
    Aluminum window frames offer a sleek line and a light, strong material that will last a long time. These come in various designs and shapes. Home designers and architects love these because the frame has a narrow profile, leaving a clear view. Aluminum is also very low maintenance.
    Aluminum can be corroded by salt air and salt water, so these are not recommended for homes near the sea.

  • Fiberglass
    This is a new material that is very popular for window frames. It replicates the look of wood but resists rotting and warping. It is very strong and needs practically no maintenance. Fiberglass window frames can be painted to match any home decor.

The best way to choose between wood, fiberglass, aluminum or vinyl windows is to match the materials to your specific needs. Depending on what you’re looking for in terms of appearance, care and insulation, you can find the right style to bring your home into the twenty-first century.

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