Window Replacement, Plymouth, MN
Different Types of Window Materials: Which is Right for You?
Replacing the windows and doors in your home is a big step. Not only will it provide an updated look for your home, but it will also save you money on your energy bills and provide improved security for your home.
As you begin planning a window repair or installation project, you will likely find that there are a lot of materials on the market. Choosing which materials make the best bay windows, awning windows, and sliding doors is hard, and figuring out which type of material makes the most energy efficient windows is also tough. Whether you're getting new windows as part of a home remodeling project or storm restoration work, this guide can help you determine which route to go with your window materials.
Option #1: Vinyl Windows
Vinyl is a great choice for replacement windows for several reasons. The one that tops the list for most homeowners is price. Vinyl window replacement will come in considerably below other materials when the quotes come in from contractors. When window replacement cost is a big factor in planning your window installation project, vinyl can be a great choice.
However, vinyl isn't just a cost-saving material. It is also very durable. After cost, the next thing most people notice about vinyl is that it does not require painting. Instead, it arrives from the factory in the color you've chosen. That means no painting skylight windows or entry doors a few years down the road. Everybody loves a material that never needs to be painted.
The only downside of the color is that you cannot change it later on. If you replace your siding or repaint the interior of your home, the windows will still be the same color. Of course, that problem is easy to prevent by choosing a neutral color for the windows or by making sure your new colors are still in the same family as the old ones.
Option #2: Fiberglass Windows
Fiberglass is another tough, durable material. It comes in a little more expensive than vinyl, but it offers some clear advantages that could prove to be worth the extra investment.
The first is that you can paint fiberglass windows. Homeowners who like to redecorate more frequently will find themselves more satisfied with fiberglass. They can utilize different colors on the inside and the outside of the home without having to work around the color of the picture window or sliding doors. A simple coat of paint on either one will tie together the whole look of the house.
Another big advantage of fiberglass is that it is less susceptible to swelling and shrinking than vinyl. The extremes of weather in any part of the world can cause vinyl windows to expand and contract, potentially breaking weather seals and allowing the hot or cold outdoor air to enter the home. The frames can start to bind in both single hung windows and double hung windows. Fiberglass withstands this process more effectively, keeping the home sealed tighter, longer.
Finally, fiberglass offers greater insulating power. The batts of insulation you probably have in your attic or walls are fiberglass too, so that should tell you what a good job a fiberglass window insulation will do in keeping your energy inside the home. This is especially important in big, exposed units such as bow windows or a patio door.
Option #3: Aluminum Windows
Another affordable choice is aluminum. It comes in nicely on price, but it has other advantages as well. Because aluminum is strong, structural members made from it can be smaller than comparable components made of vinyl or fiberglass. That means that a casement window (or really any window) can have a larger area of glass and a larger viewing area of the outside world. The strength is also beneficial for protective features like storm windows, impact windows, or your home's storm door.
The main problem with aluminum is its energy efficiency. Aluminum is a very good conductor of energy which means that the temperatures inside and outside the home will constantly be transferring through the aluminum elements of the window.
In the wintertime, that means you can have condensation forming on the inside of your windows. In the summertime, water droplets will appear on the outside. This can make it hard to keep aluminum windows clean and can even result in damage to nearby wooden components.
A home window replacement project is a big undertaking. It's important that you have as much information as possible about the implications of the various materials you may choose to use. As you begin wondering "Who does window installation near me?" and start looking at custom-built windows, spend some time thinking about the factors we've mentioned above--durability, adherence of paint, insulating power, and strength. This guide will simplify that process.