Window Materials

Wood | Vinyl | Aluminum | Clad  | Back to FAQ

Wood Windows

Originally, most windows were made of wood. Wood has good insulating properties and are unaffected by temperature extremes. They are less prone to condensation and can be painted or stained in virtually unlimited ways. Ease-of-use makes for easier custom windows, which is why highly detailed designs are typically made from wood. The only downside to using wood windows is that they require regular maintenance; however, a properly maintained wood window could last hundreds of years.

What is an advantage of choosing wood windows?

One advantage in choosing wood windows is the option to paint or stain any color on both the exterior and interior at any time.

How do I maintain the integrity of my home when I replace my windows?

If you want to replace your windows in the same window material that was original to the home, wood windows is your likely choice. Choosing wood windows are the best way to maintain your home’s original integrity.

What replacement window affords the most attractive solution?

Wooden frames are easily the most attractive frames. The timeless appeal of wood suits both modern and period properties. In particular, for period properties it is almost mandatory to have traditional looking frames and in particular sash windows.

Are wood windows more expensive than windows using other materials?

Wood windows might be more expensive than other window materials but it should never hold you back from choosing this kind over the others. It is a wise investment that makes living exceptionally comfortable and elegant. In the end it pays off.

Vinyl Windows

More and more windows are made of vinyl. Windows with vinyl frames have excellent insulating properties. Vinyl does not conduct heat or cold easily and the multi-chambered design of vinyl frames adds insulating value. Although vinyl frames can’t be painted, they do not peel or deteriorate in the same way as wood. Today, with the options available, homeowners can choose from a variety of styles, color finishes, grids and glass.

The quality and cost of vinyl windows varies considerably. When evaluating quality, pay particular attention to the finish of the frames and whether or not the joints are welded.

Will I reduce maintenance with vinyl windows?

With vinyl-framed windows maintenance is virtually eliminated. No scraping and painting these windows.

What are the advantages of vinyl windows over windows made with other materials?

(1) Vinyl windows do not deteriorate or rot.
(2) They can be fusion welded to eliminate air and moisture leaks at the joints.
(3) They will not become damaged or corrode when scratched.
(4) They offer excellent insulating properties.

Are there differences in the vinyl used by window manufacturers?

Numerous types and grades of vinyl are used in window manufacturing. Lesser quality vinyl typically has problems with brittleness or impact resistance, color consistency and expansion and contraction. The best vinyl is one that has been formulated specifically for manufacturing high-quality windows.

Aluminum Windows

Although aluminum conducts heat and cold more easily than wood or vinyl, more energy-efficient aluminum frames incorporate thermal breaks that prevent heat or cold from being conducted through the frame. Aluminum frames also offer the greatest benefits of strength, low maintenance and relatively low cost. Today’s aluminum windows are finished with a durable electrostatic paint process in a variety of colors for low maintenance and a more traditional appearance.

Clad Windows
Aluminum and Vinyl Clad Windows

What does “cladding” mean?

Some windows have wood frames that are covered on the exterior and/or interior with a layer called “cladding” consisting of vinyl or aluminum. This cladding provides additional protection for the window frame by strengthening its resistance to outside weather or heavy inside usage.