If your windows are old, drafty and hard to open, this could be the year you make that long-awaited window replacement. Choosing the right type may be your most difficult decision, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of four popular window frame materials to help you make the right choice.
- As the lowest cost option among all different window options, vinyl is a no brainer for homeowners on a budget.
- The good insulating qualities of vinyl cut down on heat transfer and help your windows be more efficient.
- The material comes in many different colors to match the outside of your home. Various interior colors, including a wood grain veneer, help you customize the interior look as well.
- Good durability means vinyl windows have a long life.
- Vinyl can’t be painted, so select a color you won’t want to change.
- Some people don’t like the plastic look of vinyl.
- While they’re the cheapest window replacement option, they don’t increase home value.
Confused by all the replacement window options available?
Approved Contractor’s Window Replacement Buying Guide can help you find the right window solution that fits the needs of your Southern California home.
- Wood has an appealing aesthetic appearance.
- This type of replacement window increases home value.
- You can stain or repaint wood windows to your heart’s content.
- Wood is a good insulator, which is great for energy efficiency.
- As an organic material, wood requires regular resealing and repainting to maintain its appearance.
- Wood windows are among the more expensive options.
- The material is subject to water damage, rot and termites.
- Made of small glass strands, fiberglass is incredibly durable against the weather.
- The material provides good insulation against outdoor air.
- Little maintenance is required to keep fiberglass windows looking great.
- Homeowners praise fiberglass for its ability to mimic the look of wood better than vinyl can.
- Fiberglass is a more expensive replacement window option.
- Compared to other types of windows, fiberglass is fairly limited in terms of size availability and features.
- Don’t worry about spending time on maintenance if you choose aluminum windows. They’ll continue to look great even if you completely ignore them.
- Aluminum is a durable material.
- Because it’s lightweight, aluminum is incredibly versatile, a great option for large or custom windows.
- Virtually rust-free even after many years, aluminum tends to offer a longer life even than vinyl windows.
- Aluminum can be painted to match your décor.
- At the end of its lifespan, aluminum is recyclable.
- Because aluminum is more conductive, it tends to be less efficient than other replacement window types.
- The colder appearance of aluminum gives it an industrial appearance rather than a homey feel.
- Windows with aluminum frames tend to be more likely to develop condensation between the panes.
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