Types of Materials Used in Replacement Windows
Window frames are available in a variety of materials including aluminum, wood, vinyl, fibrex, and fiberglass. Frames may be primarily composed of one material, or they may be a combination of different materials such as wood and vinyl. Each frame material has its advantages and disadvantages.
- is ideal for customized window design, aluminum frames cause conductive heat loss (i.e., they have low R-values) and condensation. However, thermal breaks made of insulating plastic strips placed between the inside and outside of the frame and sash greatly improve the thermal resistance of aluminum frames. Click here for more information on Aluminum Windows.
- produces higher R-values, are unaffected by temperature extremes, and are less prone to condensation, but they require considerable maintenance in the form of periodic painting. If wood frames are not properly protected from moisture, they can warp, crack, and stick. Click here for more information on Wood Windows.
- windows are made primarily from polyvinyl chloride (pvc), which offers many advantages. They are available in a wide range of styles and shapes, have moderate to high R-values, are easily customized, are competitively priced, require low maintenance, and mold easily into almost any shape. Click here for more information on Vinyl Windows.
- is relatively new and not yet widely available. They have the highest R-values of all frames; thus, they are excellent for insulating and will not warp, shrink, swell, rot, or corrode. Fiberglass frames can be made in a variety of colors and can hold large expanses of glass. Some fiberglass frames are hollow; others are filled with fiberglass insulation. Click here for more information on Fiberglass Windows.
- material is a blend of wood fiber and specially formulated thermo-plastic polymer. This unique window material is made from reclaimed wood fiber from the Andersen Window Corporation's 65 acre manufacturing operation in Bayport, Minnesota. Fibrex combines excellent strength, insulation properties and provides low maintence. Click here for more information on Fibrex Windows.