When replacing windows, there are many options for homeowners to choose from, especially when it comes to window frames. Window play a vital role in allowing light and air into a home. They also work to protect against outside elements and can greatly affect a home’s energy bills. To keep heating and cooling bills to a minimum, it is important your window frames are free from gaps. Vinyl window frames are often the most popular among homeowners, offering great energy efficiency and stylistic options. Another major benefit of vinyl window frames is they never need painting or re-coating and are likewise very easy to clean. On the other hand, many homeowners opt for fiberglass window frames because they offer the same look and feel of wooden frames without the regular maintenance that natural wood windows need. However, wooden frames are still a popular option for window replacement, particularly in historic properties. Finally, there are also aluminium frames, which are known for their durability and sleek design. As you can see, there are plenty of options available. Therefore, before deciding on the type of window frame that is right for you, it is a good idea to understand the differences between replacement windows so you can make an informed decision.
Vinyl replacement window frames
Vinyl window frames are made out of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is the same material used to make pipes and fittings for plumbing. Vinyl windows are both affordable and highly energy efficient. They are made out of a highly versatile material, so they can be molded to suit most window styles. Vinyl window frames also tend to be lower in cost as compared to other materials.
On the other hand, cheaper vinyl windows are not the most durable of frames and many do not have the same modern style like wooden or aluminium windows. Also, they are not as strong as fiberglass, wood or aluminium windows.
Aluminium replacement window frames
Aluminium windows are known for their durability, while also offering a highly modern aesthetic. They are low-maintenance and do not wear out in sunlight, rot or mold, which is common with wood and vinyl windows.
Aluminium windows are not the most energy efficient window frames out there, especially when compared to vinyl and fiberglass windows. They are also quite costly, and you will pay more for aluminium window frames than vinyl or fiberglass, but less than you would pay for wood.
Fiberglass replacement window frames
Fiberglass windows are extremely durable and easy to maintain. The windows are made from extruded fiberglass and are a similar shape to vinyl frames. Fiberglass window frames are weather and temperature resistant, arguably the strongest weather resistor out of all the materials. It is also an excellent insulator, so it is ideal for climates that fluctuate in temperature.
Fiberglass is quite expensive and often costs more than aluminium and wood. It is also much more expensive than vinyl but offers a very similar look and feel, which is why most homeowners generally choose vinyl window frames.
Wooden replacement window frames
Wooden window frames are highly durable and can last a long time when properly installed and maintained. They offer a beautiful and rustic aesthetic, making them highly popular frame for older homes and historic properties.
When compared to vinyl or fiberglass window frames, wooden frames are costly. They also require a lot of maintenance and are susceptible to rot and weathering in certain climates.
Need to replace or repair your window frames?
Often homeowners wonder whether they need to replace their window frames, or simply try and repair any damage. While it is true that some window frames can be repaired affordably, the best option is usually to replace. For example, while wooden frames can be repaired quite affordably, rotting windows are not actually worth the trouble to repair, and often cannot be repaired anyway. You may be interested to know that the national average cost that a homeowner pays to repair window frames is $380, or between $184 and $605.