Replacement Window Materials
Today's modern replacement window is being manufactured from several different materials. These materials include vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, wood and composites. Each window material has pros and cons as well as varying price tags. Vinyl windows are by far the most affordable, maintenance-free and durable windows available.
Vinyl replacement windows - vinyl has good expansion & contraction characteristics, low thermal conductivity and can be manufactured affordably. A good vinyl replacement window should be reinforced with metal or composite material for added strength and to decrease deforming possibilities. The quality and source of vinyl used in the extrusion process vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer. $ - $$
Aluminum clad wood replacement windows - wood windows that have been clad in aluminum have high insulating properties, provide a stronger material for added support and offer a wider range of design and color opportunities. $$-$$$
Fiberglass replacement windows - fiberglass has excellent expansion & contraction characteristics, low thermal conductivity and increased strength. The material does not need reinforcing and is a weather resistant material. Fiberglass windows have longer manufacturing lead times and bigger price tags. $$$-$$$$
Aluminum replacement windows - aluminum is a strong, lightweight material that has better than average expansion & contraction characteristics. Aluminum is an easy thermal conductor though and tends to be obsolete for most residential applications. The strength and durability of aluminum makes it a good choice for commercial and intuitional buildings. $$ - $$$
Composite replacement windows - the newest material to be used in window manufacturing, composites have excellent expansion & contraction characteristics, low thermal conductivity and the strength of fiberglass and aluminum. The current designs are lacking in architectural aesthetics and the material is costly and takes longer to manufacture. $$$$ - $$$$$
Broken widnow frame on a five-year-old builder-grade vinyl window. Inferior vinyl formulas lead to vinyl failure within short time periods.
A long lasting quality vinyl winow includes composite reinforcement, triple & quad weatherstripping, insulated frames and superior vinyl formulas.