New replacement windows can make a dramatic difference in any home by giving it a fresh new look, improving security or offering an extra barrier against the elements. Some windows vary in their ability to perform these tasks, however. Each window material provides a different level of comfort for you and your home and it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each. Typically, homeowners face a decision between four of the most popular window materials on the market: vinyl, wood, aluminum and fiberglass.
Vinyl Windows: In today's industry, vinyl is the most recommended and used material for replacement windows. This is due to it's durability, energy efficiency and low cost. You can read more about the benefits of vinyl windows here.
Wood Windows: Most homeowners choose wood windows because they are the most aesthetically pleasing material. The window can be stained or painted, unlike vinyl, so that it effortlessly matches the rest of your house. A coating helps to protect the wood's natural grain from the weather while still allowing it to be easily visible. Because of wood window's high demand and high quality look, the price of the material and installation is more expensive than any other option. Additionally, wood windows require more maintenance to ensure that the wood holds up over the years. This can include any repainting or resealing and any work will demand immediate attention to avoid any further damage. And while it is one of the most energy efficient materials, providing an insulation value that is unmatched by vinyl or aluminum, wood windows have been known to warp, crack and rot under extreme heat or moisture.
Aluminum Windows: Aluminum is the most popular choice for historic architecture, so it is commonly found in older Connecticut and other New England homes. Aluminum requires minimum upkeep and offers superior durability for climates that experience severe weather, especially if you opt to purchase rust-free aluminum or install a layer of cladding. Aluminum windows are lightweight and easy to install, so they are less costly than other materials and offer a high ROI upon resale. However, aluminum is one of the least energy efficient materials for replacement windows. Being made of metal, these windows are a good conductor of differences in temperature. Therefore, if it is cold outside, that lack of heat is transferred inside. During the summer and fall, heat is transmitted into the building and condensation builds-up as well. Many homeowners choose to turn a blind eye to this, however, because aluminums' strength can make up for the heat loss and gain in hurricane- or snowstorm-prone climates.
Fiberglass Windows: Fiberglass is increasingly becoming a more popular option for homeowners, and is projected to be as prevalent as vinyl in the near future. Composed of small strands of glass and epoxy resins, fiberglass resists expansion and contraction caused by heat, therefore making it an extremely strong and stable material. It is also able to be painted and requires very little maintenance. Fiberglass technology enables it to trap air in between the panes of glass, which provides insulation value to your home as well as reducing any unwanted exterior noises. Additionally, they can be designed to mimic the appearance of wood windows, so you get a high-quality look with all the added benefits. Because of this, fiberglass windows are second only to wood in price, and are usually 10-30% more money than other materials.
Fiderio & Sons would be honored to help you on your next window project! Visit our showroom in Meriden or download our coupon for $500 off any window project.