Choosing the Right Window Material for New Constructions

Whether you are a home builder, architect, or contractor, you have to carefully evaluate what type of style and operating mechanism you choose for the windows to install in your newly constructed building.

Windows are the focal point of every house. They are also the major source of natural light and fresh air flooding in your home. Moreover, they safeguard your family and valuable possessions and offers protection against inclement weather conditions outside.

When talking about new or replacement windows, frames are the most crucial factors to consider. Investing in a quality frame keeps a window functioning not just for a few months but for years. So, when you are searching for quality windows, focus first on the frame material and later think about the glass and design.

Picking a particular type of window frame is usually dependent on the factors like:

  • R-value – is the window’s ability to prevent heat transfer. The higher the R-value, the better it is at resisting outside temperature.
  • U-value – measures the tendency to transfer heat. So the lower the U-value, the better it is.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient – indicates the degree to which the room will be heated when the sun is shining at its peak. A higher SHGC is great for winters, but not for summers as it will increase the air-conditioning costs.
  • Wind Resistance – measures air leakage. So, lower the number, better it is at sealing out the air.

Types of Window Frames

Here are some common window materials used for new construction projects:

Vinyl Window Frames

Vinyl is the most popular material used for window frames these days because of its easy manufacturing and inexpensive price. It has a good resistance against heat transfer which makes it really effective at providing insulation. However, it is less appealing to eyes, so styling options are limited. And also, it isn’t as durable and robust as other window frame materials.

Fiberglass Window Frames

Fiberglass is a lesser common yet a very durable option for window frames. It looks more or less like vinyl but is stronger and better at resisting weather and temperatures. It doesn’t expand or contract and is less likely to warp but it does require a good coating of paint to last long. Fiberglass is also expensive than vinyl windows that is why most contractors don’t use it in their homes.

Aluminum Window Frames

Aluminum is known for low cost, low-maintenance and high-strength. Since it is a metal, it tends to get cold and hot quickly which makes it a bad choice for builders looking for good insulation properties for building new homes. They are preferable only when strength is their primary concern.

Wooden Window Frames

No window frame is as elegant as a wooden one. Wooden frames have been used for homes for hundreds of years and have undergone a makeover as well to adapt to modern standards. Wood lasts longer than any other material if maintained properly and offers great strength and an extraordinary aesthetic appeal. However, it is the most expensive of all and desire extreme care and maintenance. It is also susceptible to rotting in certain weather conditions.


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