When you’re strolling through an art museum, do you ever stop to examine the frames that hold the paintings, drawings, and photographs? Probably not, but that just shows how effectively they’re doing their job! Instead of distracting from the artwork, they complement it and fade into the background. When it comes to windows, a frame should not only be attractive and complementary but also eco-friendly, insulating, strong, and low-maintenance. Before you remodel your windows or build a new home, be sure to explore the different types of window frames available.
Types of Window Frames
We can’t do your homework for you, but to make the task a little easier, we’ve compiled a quick list of the most popular window frames and their pros and cons. Scroll through the list to get some ideas, but be sure to research your favorite options more thoroughly before you make your final purchase!
WOOD. Wood is versatile and traditional, and it can be found in hardwood and softwood varieties. As you might have guessed, hardwood is more expensive but also very durable. Softwood isn’t as pricey, but it requires more maintenance and it must be painted or sealed. Due to wood’s flexibility and tendency to expand/shrink with the temperature, it doesn’t perform as well as other frames in regard to insulation and strength.
VINYL. Vinyl is a more modern framing material, and it’s often used to replace drafty wood window frames. With superior insulation, it blocks off both heat and sound. Although it’s commonly found in basic finishes like white, cream, and black, vinyl can also be purchased in a faux-wood finish for homeowners who want the look of wood without all the work. Speaking of which, vinyl is very low-maintenance and doesn’t need to be painted or sealed. Plus, it is resistant to moisture.
ALUMINUM. Strong and supportive, aluminum is a great option if you need a thin frame to support a large piece of glass. It is also, like vinyl, very low-maintenance. Although some older aluminum frames will rust, modern versions are coated with a product that prevents rust from forming. However, because aluminum’s insulating capabilities are weak, it has a tendency to produce condensation and may require plastic components for a superior level of insulation.
FIBERGLASS. Fiberglass often contains hollow sections, which can be filled with insulation for a better thermal performance. So if you’re worried about heat loss, fiberglass frames are a great option. Fiberglass is also very strong and energy-efficient, but it tends to have a high installation cost.
COMBOS. You’ll also find frames that are a combination of the materials above. For example, you might find metal or vinyl frames with wood on the outside, giving the appearance of wood but retaining the durability of metal/vinyl. There are also frames with wood for the interior and vinyl or fiberglass for the exterior, to reduce maintenance but add the decorative appeal of wood.
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Whether your windows look out over mountains, a seaside, a cityscape, or a simple suburban neighborhood, spend some time finding the perfect frames. Not only will they benefit your view, but they will add value to your house, lower your electric bill, and reduce the need for maintenance. If you’re looking into windows, you might also want to check out this previous blog post about the different types of glazing available these days. Good luck!
If you’re remodeling your house or building a new home and you live in the southwest Missouri area, please give Adam Cowherd Construction a call at 417-877-7548 or click here for a free quote. We would love to help you build the home of your dreams!