Choosing the best window frame material will vary from homeowner to homeowner depending on their personal lifestyle needs and desires. For example, there are some materials, like vinyl, that are virtually maintenance-free, however they may not give you the aesthetic you were envisioning for your home. There is also wood window frame material that provides a timeless look but is also high maintenance. If you are unsure about which window frame material is the best fit for your home and lifestyle, we are here to help. Read on to learn about the 4 most popular window frame materials and what makes each different.
Vinyl replacement windows are frequently chosen by Florida homeowners who favor a cost-effective solution and low maintenance. Vinyl is also a great replacement window material option because of its affordability and energy efficiency. The material also provides a high R-value, meaning a great amount of insulation. Selecting vinyl replacement windows will not only provide you with increase your overall home value with noticeable returns on your investment.
Thousands of Florida homes were constructed in the past several decades with aluminum single-pane windows. However, since 2015, the Florida Building Code states aluminum windows are not permissible in most cases of new construction or window replacement projects. You’ll be much better served by updating your home with vinyl windows! Many window styles and colors can be matched pretty closely if you’re only replacing a few old aluminum windows, as well.
Homes that are located in areas with extreme weather and high winds may also consider fiberglass windows. As Floridians, we understand what it’s like to live with unpredictable weather all too well. Fiberglass does not expand or contract, able to retain its structural integrity very well – even during the sweltering hot summer months. In addition, fiberglass window frames are known to be naturally well-insulated which results in minimized heat transfer and enhanced energy efficiency. Fiberglass is a fairly new window product on the market, so you will find there is not as wide a selection as vinyl, for example. Another downside is fiberglass window colors can fade, making the window frame appear worn and aged quicker.
There is no question that the most traditional-looking window frame material is wood. When the budget allows it, this is a popular choice for homeowners who appreciate a classic visual appeal and flexible styling options. While wood window frames are certainly pleasing to the eye, it is important to remember that they will require more maintenance than other window options. If you don’t take the time to properly maintain wood windows, they can warp, rot or become vulnerable to termites.