Step #4 – Selecting the Right Window Framing Material
The best framing material for your window project depends primarily on your budget, the maintenance you’re willing to take on, and the type of look you prefer. Explore framing material options below to see what matches your needs.
Easily the most common choice for window frames, vinyl windows are low-cost, durable, easy to maintain, relatively energy-efficient, and have a wide range of customization options. When it comes to the best bang for your buck, vinyl windows are the way to go.
The natural beauty of wood windows is unmatched. They are also relatively easy to customize with fresh paint or varnish and offer great insulation. However, wood windows tend to be less durable, are more high maintenance, and are susceptible to rot or weather-related decay. Because of their classic look, wood windows are often the best choice for renovating a historical home because they match their timeless style.
Fiberglass windows are a newer innovation, but their popularity is rising quickly. These frames are made of glass fibers and polyester resin, making them very durable, low maintenance, energy-efficient, and sustainable. Fiberglass windows can mimic the look of other materials like wood or vinyl, but last much longer, even against harsh weather conditions. Fiberglass is more of an investment, with the price usually hovering around double that of a vinyl window.
Aluminum windows used to be a more popular choice, but vinyl and fiberglass options have surpassed them in popularity among residential homeowners. While aluminum windows tend to be the most budget-friendly and are relatively durable, the material’s poor insulation properties, proneness to corrosion, and less classic look tend to make vinyl, wood, or fiberglass a more popular choice.