What Types of Window Frames Are There and Which Kind Should You Choose?

types of window frames

When it comes to windows, you should be thinking about the frames long before you start thinking about the glass.

Window frames are the backbone of windows, and they can make the difference between a decent window and a window that will last over a decade. Besides, you have to know the type and size of your window frame before you can get any glass.

If you don’t know what types of window frames there are, give this quick window frame guide a look.

Vinyl Window Frames

This type of window frame is made of polyvinyl chloride (or PVC).

But don’t worry, this frame doesn’t look like normal PVC pipe. It’s straight, flat, and shaped like every other window frame. Once it’s filled with glass, you’ll hardly notice it’s the same stuff used to make plumbing pipes.

Vinyl frames are also inexpensive, and they do a good job of insulating your home.

What Else You Should Know

Though they’ll look like normal window frames, they definitely won’t look like they’re made of wood or other, more common materials.

Vinyl window frames aren’t as strong as other window frame materials, so they may not be very durable.

Wooden Window Frames

Wooden frames are traditional, long-lasting, and durable. They also bring an aesthetic appeal to the home many people enjoy. If you maintain these frames, they can stay in good condition and do their job for a long time.

What Else You Should Know

These frames cost a lot of money, and they take a lot of maintenance. Wood is always at risk of rotting or weathering if they’re in the right climate conditions.

You’ll also need to keep the frames painted. If you don’t, the moisture levels in the wood can change, causing the frames to expand and contract more than usual.

Aluminum Window Frames

These modern window frames are long lasting and strong. If you’re going for a sleek, contemporary house, aluminum window frames are the way to go.

You don’t have to do much to maintain these types of window frames, and if you don’t paint them, your workload goes down even further. The aluminum won’t mold, rot, or wear out in the sun.

What Else You Should Know

These frames are expensive (though maybe not as much as wooden frames), and to top it off, they aren’t efficient. They don’t keep outside temperatures from getting into the house as well as other window frames, so you may see your energy bill go up with aluminum frames.

Fiberglass Window Frames

Fiberglass frames don’t take a lot of work, and they’ll last a long time. These frames resist weather changes better than wood, PVC, aluminum, and any other material.

On top of that, fiberglass makes a good insulator, so it will keep the temperature levels inside your home controlled and comfortable.

What Else You Should Know

Fiberglass can be a bit underwhelming. Even when painted, some people think it doesn’t have the same appeal as other window frames. Fiberglass can also cost more than wooden frames in some cases, which cause many people to choose a cheaper alternative.

Types of Window Frames: What’s the Best for Me?

This all comes down to where you live, what kind of budget you have, and how much work you’re willing to put into them. Remember, things like wood wear out faster than aluminum or fiberglass, so if you aren’t willing to maintain your window frames, you may want to choose something else.

Need some help deciding between all the different types of window frames? Make sure you take a look at these five tips about choosing new windows for your home.

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