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Current Board Posts

  • Thursday October 30, 2014

    Reliabilt Windows

    trying to get more info on Reliabilt 3201 windows. Rated highly in Consumer Reports. Built by...

  • Thursday October 30, 2014

    Steel Lintels

    On a pocket install in a brick home are you capping the steel lintels or leaving exposed? I have done both but...

  • Thursday October 30, 2014

    Full Frame vs Pocket Replacement

    I have similar quotes for pocket (with Sunrise windows) and full frame replacement (with Great Lakes Lifestyles windows). The fellow quoting the pocket...

  • Thursday October 30, 2014

    Great Lakes Lifestyles window?

    Can someone please comment on the quality of the (Ply Gem) Great Lakes Lifestyles window?...

  • Monday October 27, 2014

    Window suggestion

    Hi, I was I believe previously registered here but can't remember my old username so had to re register under a new...

  • Thursday October 23, 2014

    Sunrise Essentials?

    I live in North Carolina and am planning on replacing the windows in my brick house (22 windows). Balancing costs and quality,...

  • Tuesday October 21, 2014

    Window Installation: Spray Foam

    In considering window contractors, is it considered a "red flag" if a contractor indicates they do not use spray foam on their installs...

  • Tuesday October 21, 2014

    Quaker Windows

    Has anyone heard of or used Quaker windows? A local company wants to sell these windows to me. Spec wise the...

  • Friday October 17, 2014

    Zen equivalents

    I contacted Soft-Lite, and they provided a dealer that offers Zen windows, which I'm told is the private label for Soft-Lite. While...

  • Thursday October 16, 2014

    Energy Wall by Polaris?

    I have been researching windows for awhile now and I just came across the energy wall window which I believe is made by...

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Do it Yourself- Replacement Window Video

 

Replacement Window Materials

 

Window frames are available in a variety of materials including aluminum, wood, vinyl, fibrex, and fiberglass. Frames may be primarily composed of one material, or they may be a combination of different materials such as wood and vinyl. Each frame material has its advantages and disadvantages.

Aluminum. These days aluminum is primarily used in commercial applications and rarely for residential. This is because the strength aluminum provides is not needed when dealing with the typical size of a residential window. Aluminum will transfer heat, meaning it will get cold when heat retention is needed during the winter, and will transfer cold when you’re trying to maintain cool air during the summer months. In a commercial situation rigidity is needed for very large windows and aluminum must be used at the expense of energy efficiency.

Wood. Wood produces higher R-values, are unaffected by temperature extremes, and are less prone to condensation, but they require considerable maintenance in the form of periodic painting. If wood frames are not properly protected from moisture, they can warp, crack, and stick.

Vinyl. Vinyl windows are made primarily from polyvinyl chloride (pvc), which offers many advantages. They are available in a wide range of styles and shapes, have moderate to high R-values, are easily customized, are competitively priced, require low maintenance, and mold easily into almost any shape.

Fiberglass. Fiberglass is relatively new and not yet widely available. They have the highest R-values of all frames; thus, they are excellent for insulating and will not warp, shrink, swell, rot, or corrode. Fiberglass frames can be made in a variety of colors and can hold large expanses of glass. Some fiberglass frames are hollow; others are filled with fiberglass insulation.

Fibrex. Fibrex material is a blend of wood fiber and specially formulated thermo-plastic polymer. This unique window material is made from reclaimed wood fiber from the Andersen Window Corporation's 65 acre manufacturing operation in Bayport, Minnesota. Fibrex combines excellent strength, insulation properties and provides low maintence.