Windows are an integral part of your home. They help regulate temperature, protect you and your family from harsh weather, and invite lots of sunlight in on a beautiful day to both brighten the elements of your house and your mood.
If you’re in the process of building a new home or upgrading your current windows, you may be wondering, “What window frame materials are out there?” or “What am I looking for in a window?” There may be options you haven’t considered previously, or not at all until now.
Here we’ll take a look at some of the main window frame options available, most specifically the best types of window frames for houses, to help you choose the best one.
Exploring Different Window Frame Materials
There are different types of window frames for houses and plenty of options available depending on the style you’re looking for and what you want the overall aesthetic to look like.
The most common materials on the market include wood, vinyl, aluminium and fibreglass. Each has their own set of benefits and also a few disadvantages that are worth considering to figure out which option will best meet your needs.
Here are the main pros and cons of each type of window frame material to help you narrow down your decision.
Wood Window Frames
Wood is a popular material choice with homeowners. Wood window frames are effective insulators as well as being aesthetically pleasing.
Advantages of wood window frames:
- Wood is a natural resource, renewable and environmentally sustainable.
- Can be made into a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Strong and durable and will last for years.
- Can be painted or stained to match exterior décor.
- The best wood for window frames includes soft woods like fir or spruce.
- Wood is more costly than other materials. It requires regular maintenance like sanding, painting, staining, etc.
- It is also susceptible to rotting, mould and mildew from weather damage, if not properly maintained.
Vinyl Window Frames
Vinyl is the most common material for windows today as it is easily manufactured, while still maintaining beneficial properties.
Advantages of vinyl window frames:
- It has good resistance against heat transfer, making it energy efficient and great for insulation.
- It is the most affordable of all window materials.
- Vinyl doesn’t require any maintenance and will continue to look great for many years.
- Non-corroding, UV-resistant and very durable.
- Vinyl cannot be stained or painted to match décor. It allows for little customization, so it can difficult to match more traditional styles.
- It can damage more easily upon installation and the material can warp over time.
Aluminium Window Frames
Aluminium is not as popular a choice for residential buildings but is well suited to commercial applications.
Advantages of aluminium window frames:
- Less expensive than other materials and easy to maintain.
- Available in anodized or baked-on finishes, so you don’t need to repaint.
- Lightweight and can be customized to fit specific configurations.
- Very durable and strong.
- Aluminium is the least energy-efficient of all the materials. It loses heat and cold easily and isn’t as good at insulating.
- Can be prone to condensation and susceptible to corrosion, if exposed to salt water and salt air.
Fibreglass Window Frames
Fibreglass is another popular choice for homeowners as it is quite versatile and very energy-efficient, which is helpful if you’re looking to save more money on home heating or cooling bills.
Advantages of fibreglass window frames:
- Fibreglass matches the look of wood and can be painted to match your homes’ exterior.
- Very strong and durable.
- Expands and contracts with the insulated glass making it energy-efficient.
- Resistant to rotting, swelling and warping.
- Foam-filled which means it has the highest insulation value and works well in cold temperatures.
- Fibreglass windows are the more expensive choice, costing 25% more than vinyl windows.
- They also have limited colour choices, and although they can be painted, standard finishes can easily scratch.
Choosing the Right Window Frame Material
Deciding which window frame material is right for your home may not be a simple choice but using the advantages and disadvantages above can help you consider your options more carefully. If you have any additional questions about window frame materials, contact the specialists at Fasada who are happy to help with all of your window needs.