Most of us think about the type of windows for each room and the appropriate sizes of window panes when deciding to replace the old windows in the house. However, we rarely consider one crucial question that affects the thermal properties of the window we choose and potential protection against cold.
Yes, a window frame is not just decoration. The material it is made of will significantly affect the quality of your life after the window is finally installed. You should pick out the type of window frame that fits you best according to its style, durability, energy efficiency, appearance, and price. Let’s make an ideal choice for your home!
Types of Window Frames
There are four primary types of window frames, including:
- Wooden type of frames
- Vinyl (PVC) type of frames
- Aluminum type of frames
- Fiberglass type of frames
However, you can find the newest one on the market these days, as well. These new composite (clad wood) window frames are a combination of two different materials. It looks like they will be a replacement for existing frame models very soon.
1. Types of Window Frames Made of Wood
These types of window frames are somehow controversial since they are outdated and super modern at the same time. Although they seem overcome thanks to the appearance of new, much more practical materials, wood can never go out of style. Therefore, picking out such a frame is an excellent option for your home.
In fact, in most houses in the US, especially older ones, you can see wooden frames with exterior window shutters. They give the top-notch aesthetically pleasing appearance and classical charm to traditional homes.
Wooden replacement windows require more maintenance than some other materials. However, they can last almost forever if you take care of them properly and regularly.
If you want to make your wooden windows unique and highly appealing, you can have a stained-glass window done on window panes, for example. That will increase the value of your property if you plan to sell the house once.
Manufacturers adapted these types of window frames according to modern standards, and they look better than ever. Unfortunately, like every other classy and exclusive option, these frames are costly.
- Wooden window frames are long-lasting and highly durable when maintained properly
- These types of window frames are easy to clean, replace, and fix when needed
- Even though they are a traditional option, you can make these frames to fit both the exterior and interior decor of your home
- They are beautiful and make your home looks stylish and attractive
- Since wood is an excellent insulator, these frames are a highly energy-efficient option
- It is the most expensive type of window frames
- They require regular maintenance, including periodical painting and proper protection against the adverse weather conditions
- These frames are not insect-resistant, and termites may destroy them, especially in some regions
- These types of window frames are susceptible to rot and mold
2. Types of Window Frames Made of Vinyl (PVC)
Nowadays, types of window frames made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) are highly popular due to the excellent insulation ability, affordability, and decent durability of that particular material.
The truth is that these frames are not sturdy and durable, like those made of wood or aluminum. However, you should consider this versatile material if you like playing with various designs and styles.
The advantage of PVC is that they are a cheap option made with UV (ultraviolet light) stabilizers. They prevent the long-term degradation of the material by absorbing UV radiation.
The great thing is that vinyl frames are moisture-resistant and don’t require painting. Plus, the air cavities filled with insulating material make these types of window frames a superior option when you want top-notch insulation in your home.
- Vinyl is an affordable and versatile material convenient for making different window designs and styles
- These types of window frames require little maintenance
- They come with UV (ultraviolet light) stabilizers
- If filled with quality insulation, these frames are highly energy-efficient and moisture resistant
- It is a cheap option
- These frames are available in just a few colors, including the most common white, which makes it quite ugly, dull, and cheap-looking option
- Vinyl colors fade during extreme heat conditions, and you will need to replace the entire window since you can’t repaint this material
- The resale value of these frames is quite low
3. Types of Window Frames Made of Aluminum
You can pick out aluminum window frames for your home regardless of whether it was built in a classic or modern style. They are sturdy, light, practical, and long-lasting, and you can expect them not to rot or wear out in sunlight.
These frames are too expensive relative to quality, and they are actually not quite an energy-efficient solution. However, you can solve this problem by adding an insulating plastic strip between the external and internal sash. That will reduce the U-factor and heat flow.
All in all, I like these convenient frames since they require low-maintenance and look sleek, strong, modern, and clean. The fact is that constructors prefer these types of window frames for commercial buildings because of their strength, durability, and longevity.
If you live in the region with a moderate climate without extreme variations in temperature and the heating is not your primary concern, you should think about this reliable option.
- These types of window frames are well-known for their durability and low maintenance
- They are sound-resistant, weatherproof, and practical
- It is a modern and chic option for contemporary-styled houses that allows sunlight to filter through
- Weather won’t affect this material, and it won’t rot, rust, fade, shrink or become moldy over time
- These types of window frames are the less energy-efficient ones compared to other options
- Aluminum absorbs cold, and frames made of this material are not efficient insulators
- They are too expensive
4. Types of Window Frames Made of Fiberglass
In general, a fiberglass type of window frame is not so popular in the US. It is a pity since this material is convenient, and requires low maintenance. Since they can withstand the stress, these frames are an excellent option for larger windows.
Since they are made of extruded fiberglass, they remind me of PVC window frames, but they are even more durable. These frames can resist any weathering and withstand significant variations in temperatures better than the other materials used for frame construction.
Since fiberglass is similar to the glass window panes, it contracts and expands while the temperatures change. Plus, thanks to air cavities, this material is an excellent insulator and keeps your home warm by preventing the transfer of heat.
Unfortunately, the frames made of fiberglass appear a bit dull, but you can solve that by painting them into a more beautiful color. It sounds excellent, but most owners don’t want to bother with such work, especially when you know that these frames can be more costly than aluminum, or even wooden ones.
- You can repaint these types of window frames when needed
- Except they are excellent insulators and resistant to cracking and fading for long, these frames require low maintenance
- It is weatherproof, sound resistant, long-lasting, and the most durable type of window frame with excellent thermal performances
- These energy-efficient frames are resistant to adverse weather conditions
- Since fiberglass is primarily made of fine sand, it is considered a sustainable material
- These types of window frames look like PVC models, and they are equally energy-efficient but more expensive
5. Composite Wood Types of Window Frames
Composite (clad wood) window frames are a combination of two different materials. There are two possible options:
- A mix of wood and vinyl
- A mix of wood and aluminum
The combination of two entirely different materials will result in the product looking like any of the types of window frames mentioned above. For example, this material containing laminated strand lumber, particleboard, wood fiber, and polymer plastics covered with aluminum or vinyl, can successfully imitate the appearance of wood.
These exterior materials are an excellent solution to protect the wooden parts and stabilizes the frame. Plus, they are easy-to-maintaining, highly energy-efficient, incredibly stable, and more resistant to moisture and decay compared to traditional frames made of wood.
- These types of window frames are a practical and highly convenient replacement to wooden frames
- The thermal properties of this energy-efficient model of frames are fantastic
- Since they are the newest option, composite frames are highly expensive
- If you plan to resell your house, you should keep in mind that these costly windows won’t increase the value of your property
The importance of a window frame is reflected in the fact that it provides support to the window. When you pick out high-quality frames for your house, keep in mind that it should provide plenty of benefits to your family. The right frame will secure the window pane, hold all the parts of the window in place, keep your home well-insulated, and contribute elegance and style to the exterior of the house.