Framing the Debate: What Materials Are Best for Window Frames?

Patricia Cecil-Reed

Before new house windows installation, be sure you know all the available options - and there are many. For window frames alone, a number of choices exist. To make the best selection for your home, it's a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of each type.

The Basics of Window Frames

Some of the most common window frame materials include:

Wood: The most traditional type of frame, wood frames, are great for insulating against heat and cold. However, these frames can be costly, especially for unusual sizes or window shapes, and they require regular maintenance.

Aluminum: A cost-effective material that is also quite sturdy, aluminum is a great option for the budget-conscious. Homeowners should consider the fact that these frames conduct heat and cold more than other materials.

Vinyl: Vinyl window frames are a popular option among homeowners, largely because of their durability and affordability. A wide variety of sizes and shapes are offered, and many vinyl frames come with a 20 or 30 year warranty. A drawback for this type of window frame can be color fading over time.

Clad: Clad frames consist of vinyl or aluminum on the outside and wood on the inside. For this reason, these frames are durable and low-maintenance. However, clad frames are some of the most expensive frames available.

Composite: Using pine and wood fibers, composite window frames are sturdy and easy to care for. Composite frames are usually priced in between wood and vinyl frames, but they are considered more durable than both.

Now that you have an overview of the basic types of window frames, you can begin to narrow down the options for your house windows installation.



About the Author

Patricia Cecil-Reed is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a B.A. in Literature from Sarah Lawrence College.

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