Shopping for new windows can be quite the hassle. With so many different shapes and styles of window frames to choose from, how can you know you’re getting the best product for your home?
When it comes to window frames, there are a lot of things to consider for your new windows. You want to make sure your windows have a low U-factor, or heat loss rate, to provide proper insulation. It’s also important to get windows that match the style of your home and fit within your budget.
Top Styles of Window Frames
Here’s a quick breakdown of the best styles of window frames on the market today:
Aluminum window frames are some of the most affordable window frames available. They are easily produced and readily bend into complex shapes making them a great choice for stylistic or architectural windows.
When choosing aluminum frames, you’ll want to pick a design that features a thermal break between the aluminum on the outside of the window and the aluminum on the inside of the window. Window frames with a thermal break are much better at insulating and will help you save money on your energy bills each month. A thermal break will also help your windows resist condensation. Aluminum window frames that don’t feature a thermal break will often get cool enough on the inside to cause condensation, which can cause other issues if left unchecked.
If you’re looking for a classic, traditional style of window, wood frames are a must. They’re slightly more expensive than other window varieties, but they insulate well and can be manufactured in a variety of shapes and styles.
Wood frames do require some general maintenance to keep them looking nice. Left unattended, wood window frames can become susceptible to rot or termites. Though, if you’re consistent with painting or varnishing your wood frames, they will look fantastic for years to come.
Vinyl window frames are made with PVC and are extremely durable. They’re also extremely affordable in most cases. Many of today’s homeowners are choosing vinyl windows for their homes due to their excellent insulation properties, the affordable price, and the fact that they require little to no maintenance.
Vinyl windows can last for decades without requiring any sort of maintenance other than a regular cleaning to retain their shine. They don’t readily conduct heat like metal windows, and they’re impervious to termites and rot. You can get the vinyl style of window frames in a variety of colors, and they don’t require regular painting like wood frames.
Composites are created by compressing wood particles and resins to create a sturdy material that is much stronger than regular wood. Window frames created with composites boast many of the same qualities as wood frames but are much more durable than traditional wood frames. They can be stained and varnished to look like natural wood, while having better insulation properties.
If you live in a harsh climate, composite windows might be the right choice for your home. Composite windows are among the most durable products on the market.