Last week, we talked about when and why you should replace your windows. After learning that replacement windows can save you lots of hard-earned cash now and later, I found myself having to make another decision. What MATERIAL should I choose for my windows and how can I save the MOST MONEY when purchasing replacement windows.
Consider the architecture of your home when choosing a coordinating window material.
- Clad-Wood – Low-maintenance exterior metal cladding (sometimes referred to as aluminum clad) is like a coat of armor for extra protection from the elements. These windows feature beautiful wood inside your home with protective metal cladding outside. The metal is bent and folded over the exterior of the window to prevent weather from penetrating into the wood frame. The baked-on finish is durable, easy to care for and available in a variety of popular colors. The wood frame can then be stained or painted on the inside.
- Wood – With wood windows, you’ll get the beauty of natural wood interiors and exteriors without the worry of wood rot. Wood windows offer endless options in shape and style, because the material is easy to work with. Some window manufactures have exclusive wood materials that are easy to care for while offering design freedom to stain, clear coat, or paint to get the exact look you want. Wood also makes a great insulator, so the frame will not transmit cold or warmth from the outside. The drawback associated with wood windows is that they require regular maintenance. Frequent painting and staining is necessary to prevent rot and keep your window aesthetically pleasing. Because wood has so many great properties, it is the common denominator in many of the clad window options.
- Vinyl – Vinyl is recognized for being remarkably durable to give you years of energy efficient performance. These windows are easy to care for and reliable. There are also ample design options to boost your home’s character. Today’s vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free, and are available in a variety of colors that permeate the material, eliminating the visibility of scratches and dings and the are inexpensive. Vinyl windows do not require painting. Unfortunately, vinyl cannot be shaped into ultra thin pieces, so they tend to have a heavier appearance and more plastic than other types of windows.
- Aluminum – These windows are lightweight and strong, and are most frequently selected for homes in warmer, milder climates where heat loss is not as much of a concern. Aluminum windows are also noted for being cost effective.
Keep in mind material alone doesn’t guarantee performance and neither does price. There are excellent and mediocre double-hung wood-frame and vinyl-frame windows out in the market place. Additionally, it is important to note that even the best windows won’t deliver the look or comfort you expect if they’re installed poorly.
The best advice we can give you is “do your research” before purchasing replacement windows. Tree Court Builders Supply can help you get started in determining what you need, what materials to choose and what kind of windows work best for your home and budget. With warmer weather just around the corner, feel free to call 636-225-7717 to talk to a friendly customer service or sales rep today.