Find a loan that fits your project needs with HomeAdvisor's exclusive lender.Learn More
There are three types of frames used for windows. They are vinyl, thermally broken aluminum and wood.
Some of the early vinyl windows did not perform very well. As a result, vinyl windows have a negative connotation in many people's minds. However, all of that has changed now. In fact, vinyl frames are actually more efficient than thermally broken aluminum, and in some cases, even more efficient than wood.
Here are some other advantages:
Windows should be replaced every 25 years! Use this link toInstall Windows
Thermal Break Aluminum Frames
Good quality aluminum windows have a thermal barrier that prevents the frame from conducting heat or cold; however, even with the thermal barrier, these windows are not as efficient as vinyl or wood. It's important to make sure that windows in aluminum frames are "marine glazed". This is a process that helps to insure that there is no direct contact between the glass and the metal frame, thus prolonging the life of the insulated glass unit. Thermal break aluminum windows are generally available in two colors: dark bronze and white.
Other important things to look for in a aluminum window are:
If you choose to use wood windows for your home, you'll want to look for the following features:
You also need to consider the type of glass in your windows.
Insulated glass is made up of two pieces of glass that have been sealed together to keep out dust and moisture. There are a number of different types of spacers that separate these two pieces of glass from each other.
Tinted glass is used primarily to reduce the heat gain from windows with a southern or western exposure. Tinted glass can also be combined with a Low E coating where there is a major problem with heat generated by the sun. Because tinted glass reduces the amount of light allowed into your home, you should insist on actually seeing the tinted glass that will be used in your home. In this way, you can determine whether it is transmitting enough light and whether you are comfortable with the appearance of the glass.
Tempered glass is glass that has been heated and then quickly cooled. This procedure not only strengthens the glass but it also creates surface tension so that the glass cannot shatter into large jagged pieces. Instead, it will break into small pieces that are less dangerous. This type of glass is also called "safety glass."