Taking A Closer Look At The Pros And Cons Of Various Window Materials As A Homeowner

Posted on: 13 July 2015

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The windows that you have in your home offer you and your home a valuable service. They allow in natural light, give you the chance to enjoy natural ventilation when the weather is right, and are an overall aesthetically pleasing design feature. If you are in the process of trying to choose new windows for your home, you will be faced with a plethora of choices when it comes to the type of materials used in construction to frame the glass of the window. To make the best decision, it is a good idea to understand the pros and cons of each window framing material. 

Aluminum Windows

Pros: Aluminum is a resilient material, but it is also lightweight, which makes it easy to work with and inexpensive. Aluminum is not a corrosive material, so it will not rust or cause problems with windows sticking like some other types of windows. 

Cons: Aluminum is not as insulative as some other window materials, like wood or even vinyl, because it does conduct both heat and cold. Therefore, it can contribute to heat or cold transfer into the home. 

Wooden Windows 

Pros: Wooden windows are definitely reliable and sturdily constructed. Wood acts as a great form of insulation and will not allow warm or cold air through. Wood is easy to paint, as the textured surface accepts paint well. 

Cons: Wood is especially vulnerable to moisture, and therefore will not only be in danger of rot over the long term, but can swell and shrink with changes in humidity. Painted wooden windows may show signs of streaking and damage through the years because the changing shape of the wood will cause sticking and rubbing. 

Vinyl Windows 

Pros: Vinyl window casings are easy to install and low cost. Vinyl is easy to keep clean with mild soap and water and will not swell or change with temperature and moisture. Further, it will not conduct heat or cold like aluminum or other metals. 

Cons: Vinyl can be prone to sun damage, such as color fading or cracking, in areas that are exposed to direct sunlight. Vinyl is very difficult to paint because the smooth surface will not allow paint adherence without high amounts of epoxy or adhesive, which can cause the windows to stick. 

Composite Windows

Pros: Composite windows are created with synthetic ingredients that are similar to wood and vinyl, which gives the best of both worlds. The composite window frame will ward off changing temperatures, is easy to paint, and will not break easily. 

Cons: Some forms of composite casings are more prone to moisture than others. Therefore, they may show some signs of swelling much like wooden windows. 

By doing a little research into the various types of window materials and their benefits and shortcomings, you will be much better equipped to make your own decision when you need to replace what you have in your home. If you would like more information about window materials, talk to a window expert, like those at M C M Home Exteriors in Red Deer, for advice and insight.