Replacement Windows

After choosing window glass, frame materials are a cinch.  Most people are pretty opinionated about framing materials.  Because along with window styles, framing materials define the true "look" of the window.

Replacement Window Frame Materials

At one time, the choice was simple:  wood.  But wood needs regular exterior painting.  After World War II, aluminum windows came along.  They looked like the solution.  They didn't need painting and they had the modern look favored at that time.  Then aluminum fell out of fashion.  So what's the solution?  It all depends on your situation.

Window Material Advantage Disadvantage
Wood
  • Attractive, fits in with historic homes
  • Slows the transfer of heat/cold from outside
  • Needs painting or sealing on exterior and interior
  • More expensive than aluminum or vinyl
Aluminum
  • Modern, high-tech look
  • Needs no painting
  • Transmits outside temperatures
  • Less popular, so may be difficult to find
Vinyl
  • Inexpensive
  • Needs no painting
  • Cannot be painted, even if you want to
  • Has "cheap" look that many homeowners don't like
Fiberglass
  • Can be painted
  • Inhibits transfer of heat/cold from outside
  • Expensive
  • Not yet widely available, so sizes may be limited

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