A Beginner’s Guide to Window Materials

Replacing all of the windows in a typical home can be an extremely costly project, but the energy savings can make it worthwhile in the longer term. It will also add value and aesthetic appeal to your property, but given the cost and the amount of work involved, you’ll need to think carefully about the available options. Although double-glazing and insulation are among the most important factors to consider, you’ll also want to choose the right materials.

1 – Vinyl

In modern homes, vinyl tends to be the material of choice for windows and, in some cases, doors as well. Vinyl presents some significant advantages, including minimal maintenance requirements and good thermal performance. It is also the cheapest of all materials. Unfortunately, they present little in the way of customization options, since they cannot be painted, and they are only available with a limited set of finishes. They’re also not particularly suitable for older buildings either, since they tend to look completely out of place.

2 – Wood

When it comes to appearance, wood is undoubtedly the favorite option. It offers natural beauty, making it far more suitable for older buildings or any other properties with a more rustic look. Wood also offers good thermal performance, and there are numerous options available. On the downside, wooden windows require a great deal more maintenance, and they typically need treating and painting every few years to maximize their lifespan. However, well-made wooden windows should last longer than almost any other material, provided they are properly maintained.

3 – Fiberglass

Fiberglass windows are rapidly becoming more popular thanks to their excellent thermal performance, durability, and appearance. They can offer a similar appearance to wood, albeit without the high maintenance requirements. You can also paint fiberglass windows to get the perfect finish that you’re after. They’re durable, making them an excellent choice in harsh conditions. Unlike wood, fiberglass does not warp, sag or turn brittle in extreme weather. On the other hand, it tends to be among the most expensive of all the options.

4 – Aluminum

Due to their relatively low thermal performance, aluminum windows are a popular option. However, they present some important advantages, such as minimal maintenance requirements, excellent durability, and high strength. They also come in a range of color options. Aluminum windows are ideal in situations where cold temperatures aren’t a factor, like homes here in Florida. You can also improve the thermal performance by using insulative material between the two panes.

5 – Wood-Clad

Wood-clad windows present a compromise between vinyl and wood in that they are primarily constructed from wood, albeit with a layer of vinyl or aluminum on the exterior. Although they provide the appearance of purely wooden windows on the interior, they have an exterior finish similar to that of vinyl windows. On the other hand, they are quite cheap, and like vinyl windows, they require minimal maintenance. They’re also available in a range of colors and styles, although it is not possible to paint them.

Choosing the optimal material for your replacement windows will largely depend on your budget style, and the type of home or office they will be installed to.

Koehler Homes, Inc Consultations

At Koehler Homes, Inc we specialize in window replacement services. We offer in-home consultations for every one of our customers and provide you with an honest assessment as to the best options for your situation. We take everything into consideration regarding your home, style, budget, and environment to provide you with several options and an estimate that will not break the bank. If you would like to schedule a free in-home consultation contact us today at 904.580.3777.

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