It doesn’t matter whether or not you want new construction windows or replacement windows, choosing the right window frames is arguably the most important decision. The most energy-efficient glass will do you no good when it’s sitting in the wrong frame.
Your windows’ frame is the structural backbone that will ensure it functions optimally for decades. If it’s your first time considering replacement windows, don’t make the mistake of getting hung up on the style of the window but neglect to really consider the type of framing material you’ll be using.
5 Types of Window Frame Materials for Replacement
The top window brands generally offer at least one or more of the following 5 types of window framing material.
- wooden window
Window Cost by Frame Type
Without considering some of your unique needs and requirements it is almost impossible to get an accurate estimate of how much your window replacement will cost. However, here is a breakdown of some average window costs per framing material.
|Aluminum Windows||$200 - $1,250|
|Composite Windows||$300 - $1,385|
|Fiberglass Windows||$480 - $1,650|
|Vinyl Windows||$385 - $825|
|Wood Windows||$585 - $1,300|
Vinyl windows are strong, long-lasting, and aesthetically appealing. They are very easy to manufacture and this makes for very attractive pricing options. However, don’t be mistaken. Vinyl windows are still extremely energy-efficient and the impact on your energy bills will be evident. Be sure to opt for reputable brands, however, like the following market leaders in the vinyl window:
Fiberglass window frames don’t damage easily. They are resistant to dents, scratches, warping as well as corrosion. All these qualities really make this framing material very practical and although less common and they’re relatively simple to maintain, making it the number one choice for many homeowners.
Composite windows are high performance, attractive and long-lasting. They bring the look and strength of wood windows, the low-maintenance features of vinyl while offering good insulation – making it a reliable option for homeowners. Moreover, this framing material is fully recyclable and environmentally friendly.
Aluminum windows offer a sleek and modern look. This framing material is extremely affordable and durable, light and easy to work with, and also offers possibilities for optimum in-house energy efficiency. However, compared to its competitors, aluminum falls slightly short on insulation.
However, maintaining aluminum frames is quick, easy, and cheap to maintain, so this option will likely remain popular for many more years to come.
Wood windows have a couple of advantages as a material for wooden replacement windows and it is the most sought-after material by far. It has a superb thermal resistance that equals that of vinyl or fiberglass. Wood adds an ancient, timeless, rustic look to your home. It can also be wrought very easily using simple tools and can take different forms from basic shapes to complicated ones.
Wood, when treated with water-resistant solutions, can also withstand the elements that it is most vulnerable to.
The advantage of wood as a material includes its durability and timelessness. Wood also remains a superior material, able to withstand both hot and cold weather conditions.
Window Frames by Brand
Different window brands specialize in one particular type of window framing material, but most still more types of window framing material of differing qualities. Again, although it is impossible to get an exact estimate of the windows you require without considering some of your details first, a clearer picture can be drawn by taking a look at some of the national averages for new windows. Be sure to opt for reputable brands such as the following:
- Milgard Windows
- Jeld-Wen Windows
- Pella Windows
- Simonton Windows
- CertainTeed Windows
- Champion Window
Window Cost by Brand
We always advise comparing several estimates from professionals near you to get a more accurate idea of how much window replacement will cost you. Comparing estimates will also give you a clearer idea of the regional pricing trends on different replacing window framing materials. However, based on national average costs, consider the following rates:
|Top Window Manufacturers||Price Range||Price Per Window Installed|
|Pella Window Costs||$425 - $1,400||$500 - $1,800|
|Andersen Window Costs||$1,480- $2,100||$1,980 - $3,000|
|CertainTeed Window Costs||$265 - $565||$295 - $1,000|
|Simonton Window Costs||$180 - $375||$265 - $425|
|Milgard Window Costs||$225 - $575||$680- $1,250|
|Alside Windows||$268 - $545||$525 - $885|
|Harvey Windows||$235 - $450||$350-$|
|Jeld Wen Windows||$350 - $2,175||$650 - $2,650|
|Champion Windows||$200 - $1,250||$300 - $1,850|
Other Window Frame Considerations
When trying to decide on the right type of window frame material, you’ll be considering the following:
- Price: Vinyl replacement windows are generally the most competitively priced. Fiberglass windows are more expensive. Wood, on the other hand, can vastly differ in price as well as quality but is still more expensive than vinyl or fiberglass.
- Maintenance: Are you an enthusiastic DIYer with time to do regular work around your home? Or do you have less time for upkeep in and around your property? Always consider the amount of work that comes along with your chosen window material. Vinyl and fiberglass frames require less attention compared to others.
- Appearance: New replacement windows offer massive and instant curb appeal, not to mention a good return on investment. What sort of look are you trying to achieve? Wooden frames are versatile and luxurious with a high-end feel. Fiberglass and vinyl come in many different colors.
Apart from price, most people wonder about the durability of their windows.
Comparing Window Frame's Durability
- Aluminum: Aluminum window frames are strong and durable but often lack energy efficiency. When correctly installed by a reputable supplier they can last as long as 30 years.
- Composite: Composite windows have the strength of aluminum maintenance with the appearance of wood. These windows can withstand the harshest weather conditions and can last for up to 40 years.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass frames will never rot. They are not susceptible to rust or corrosion and they never warp. They can also withstand almost anything mother nature throws at them and last as long as 50 years.
- Vinyl: Vinyl will last anywhere between 20 – 40 years and the lifespan will be drastically affected by the amount of bright sunlight it is exposed to. During this time, it will require almost no maintenance.
- Wood: Traditional wood windows are at the top of most people’s lists. With a bit of regular maintenance, they will last as long as 60 years or more.
How To Increase The Lifetime of Your Window Frames
Regardless of the frame material you choose, your windows will still be susceptible to damage over time.
Ensure that all dirt, sand, and rubbish is kept clear from the track. Use brushes with soft bristles to keep them clean from any debris and dust.
Why not consider covering your windows with an extra layer by adding exterior shutters or storm windows. This will not only increase its lifespan but also ad an extra layer of security. Equally, caulking and adding weatherstrip to your window frames will also improve their lifespan as well as functionality over time.
If you have aluminum windows, clean them with a non-abrasive pH-neutral detergent solution while wood frames need to be inspected twice per year at least for signs of rot and deterioration.
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