Window Frames: Does It Really Matter Which One You Choose?

Since the mid-1940s, window frames, the glass used (lights) and coatings have gone through many iterations.


The introduction of aluminum windows post-World War II brought the building industry an option to more expensive wood windows. Although the original aluminum window frames were far from what would be considered acceptable by today’s standards, they were a much-needed breakthrough at a time when housing demand for returning veterans was at an all-time high in California.


As technology improved, so did techniques in window framing. By the 1990s aluminum was competing not only with wood but with vinyl, steel and fiberglass window frames, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.


Here's some information on different types of window frames:



Wood-Framed Windows

Wood windows have an innate natural beauty with one-of-a-kind wood grain patterns and with regular maintenance can last for years. However, because wood is also a sustainable resource, it is prone to decay (wood rot), bugs (termites), bowing, warping and twisting, making the window aesthetically displeasing and ill-fitted. Wood also requires a great deal of maintenance, including coating the wood with varnish or paint to keep its luster. In spite of this, wood windows are still very much in demand, especially in higher-end homes.







Aluminum Framed Windows

Aluminum on its own is pliable but not extremely strong. However, its level of strength can be increased by combining it with other substrates or through an annealing (heating) process. It is suggested that aluminum or any other type of metal window frames have an insulating plastic strip on the inside and outside of the frame and sash to reduce heat flow.







Vinyl Framed Windows

Vinyl-framed windows account for more sales in this country than any other type of window frame. They require little to no maintenance and today’s units won’t crack or yellow like early iterations. The framework can also be filled with insulation to improve its thermal superiority.

When you need windows for your home or multi-family housing call Bel-Air Exteriors. We are your window experts. Contact us today!