Friday , October 23 2020

Choosing the Right Type of Window

Choosing the Right Type of Window

Today’s windows have come a long way — including window frame materials that offer a variety of benefits such as style, energy efficiency, low maintenance, and convenience. What you’ll find is that the only choice with all pros and no cons is composite windows, which includes Andersen’s own Fibrex® windows.

Composite — Pine and wood fibers are combined to create a material with the appeal of wood and the easy care of recycled plastic.

Pros:

  • Stable — doesn’t bow or crack
  • Can be embossed to resemble natural wood
  • Enables thinner frames and grids
  • Low maintenance
  • 10-year warranties on frames; 20-year warranties on glass

Price: Between solid vinyl and wood

Note: If you are leaning towards composite windows for your home, consider Andersen’s exclusive Fibrex® windows. Setting themselves apart from other manufacturers, Andersen created their own composite formula called Fibrex®. Warrantied not to crack, pit, corrode or rot, Fibrex® composite windows require virtually no maintenance.

Wood — The traditional frame material. Admired for its natural beauty.

Pros:

  • Typically made in stock sizes
  • Energy efficient — a great insulator
  • Lasts several decades if properly maintained

Cons:

  • Will deteriorate if exposed to weather
  • Requires periodic repainting or staining

Price: Middle of the road.

Aluminum-Clad Wood — A wood framed window where the outside face is sheathed in aluminum to protect the window from the elements.

Pros:

  • Offered in a wide range of colors, as well as clear anodized and copper finishes
  • Low maintenance, does not need painting
  • Glass and frame are washable with standard cleaners
  • Factory-finish warranties extend to 20 years

Con:

  • Salt air can corrode

Price: Typically costs more than conventional wood

Solid Vinyl — Most popular form of replacement windows.

Pros:

  • Available in many sizes and shapes
  • Homogenous color hides scratches
  • Clean with soap and water
  • 20 to 30 year warranties

Cons:

  • Limited number of colors
  • Vulnerable to temperature extremes
  • Quality varies dramatically

Price: Generally the most affordable frame (costs less than half of a comparable wood-framed window).

Vinyl-Clad Wood — Consists of a wood window frame where the exterior side is wrapped in a color-stabilized PVC to lower maintenance.

Pros:

  • Does not peel, warp or rot
  • Generally low maintenance
  • Glass and frame are washable with standard cleaners
  • 10 to 20 year warranties

Con:

  • Brittle in cold weather; susceptible to cracking and storm damage

Price: Costs more than all wood framed windows

Fiberglass — Known for being long-lasting, strong and stable; a top choice in homes.

Pros:

  • Made in a variety of colors; paintable
  • Can hold large expanses of glass
  • Does not warp in extreme temperatures
  • Self-extinguishing in fire
  • Has the highest R-values
  • Can last about 50 years

Cons:

  • Not widely available yet

Price: 25-30 percent more expensive than premium solid vinyl windows.

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