Choosing the Right Window Frames

Last month we talked about how to choose the right glass for your windows, but today we’re going to get into the frame.  This piece outlines your window, contributes to your overall design, and ultimately helps with the energy efficiency of your exterior.  You have a lot of options now, all with their own advantages and disadvantages.  So, we’ll just highlight a few.


Wooden Frames


Not only are these the most classic option, but also, they’re great for insulation!  They tend to transfer both heat and cold less than some of their competitors, and if you invest in high quality craftsmanship, your window frames can last for generations.  However, they require some upkeep to ensure they’re protected and looking their best.  Also, in more humid environments, they may not be the best choice, since they can shift, swell, or even rot.  But, stylistically, they complement virtually any architectural design.


Vinyl Frames


For those of you looking for a truly low-maintenance upgrade, this may be the right option. It coordinates well with the vinyl siding that’s on many modern homes, plus you can customize the color!  It’s definitely a less expensive alternative to window framing, but it doesn’t have to be “cheap.”  Just pick energy efficient glass and go with a professional team that can give you a tight installation—you’ll be fine!  However, the fact remains that some people simply don’t like the look of them.  Which is why you have other choices!


Wood-Clad Frames

Want the best of both worlds?  Then try these frames on for size.  The interior part is usually wooden, with your choice of stain.  This gives you the low heat/cold transfer of the wood window frames.  However, the exterior is typically a low-maintenance vinyl or aluminum that stands up better to the elements.  So, if you like, you can achieve two looks that coordinate with your different indoor/outdoor styles.  Installation becomes especially important with this option, though, because a poor seal will rapidly damage the wooden-clad portion.  Therefore, make sure you work with someone you trust—like Schaefer Siding and Exteriors.


Composite Frames


Usually, this manmade material is a combination of scrap wood shavings and recycled plastics. Thus, you can get the look of a classic wood frame but without a lot of the maintenance issues.  Plus, they’re the logical choice for the eco-friendly household because of the recycled component(s).  This option can also include fiberglass frames (which involve glass fibers as opposed to wood) that rank highest in terms of durability.  If you’re looking for windows with low transfer with limited warping, then this may be the way to go!

Just like window glass today, you have so many choices for your frames.  If you’re having a hard time deciding, contact us.  We’re happy to go over these (and other) options in detail to find the perfect look for your home.  That way, you can have new windows that boost your energy efficiency, look great, and stay that way for a long time to come!


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