Windows and doors are two of the most important features of your home. Windows not only offer ventilation and increase your curb appeal, but they can also enhance security and energy efficiency. With the improvement in technology and innovation, there are so many window types and styles available to go with your property’s architectural style and meet your specifications. Now, when you are investing in replacing your old windows or getting new ones, another notable factor to consider is the types of window frames. Since they act as the structural base, they play a prominent role in the long-term functioning of your windows. Always start with the frame and then focus on the glass panes. Now, to help you make an informed decision, we have described the major types of window frames below, each with its individual pros and cons.

Vinyl window frames

vinyl windowsPhoto by ntm1909 on Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]

Vinyl window frames are manufactured from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is first carved into a straight shape and then made into a frame.

Pros

  • These types of window frames are quite affordable
  • They don’t require painting and are moisture-resistant
  • The hollow spaces in such frames can be filled with insulation material, making them excellent insulators
  • Vinyl frames are available in various designs and you can choose one to go with your architectural layout

Cons

  • Vinyl is not much durable and less strong when compared to wood, fiberglass, or aluminum
  • Vinyl frames don’t offer the same aesthetic charm like wood or aluminum

Aluminum window frames

aluminum window framePixabay

Aluminum is one of the most common and popular frame materials since it is light and durable.

Pros

  • Aluminum frames are lightweight, robust, and long-lasting
  • These types of window frames are available in sleek and modern designs, making them perfect for contemporary homes
  • Aluminum structures allow ample daylight, are sunlight-proof and are quite easy to maintain
  • They are resistant against rot, mold, and weather-related wear and tear

Cons

  • Aluminum windows are not energy-efficient because they easily absorb and conduct heat. However, you can combine them with other materials to increase their efficiency
  • Aluminum windows also fall under the expensive category of window frames

Fiberglass window frames

fiberglass windows Photo by ntm1909 on Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]

Fiberglass is manufactured from fine sand, is a sustainable material, and can be painted to mimic wood. Although they are not so common, they are a durable and affordable option.

Pros

  • Fiberglass windows are long-lasting and quite easy to maintain
  • These types of window frames offer good weather- and temperature-resistance
  • This material is an excellent insulator and ensures good energy efficiency

Cons

  • Fiberglass may appear a bit dull when compared to wood and aluminum. You can address this drawback by painting it in a color of your choice
  • This material is quite expensive in comparison to all other frame types

Brighten Up Your Home With These Skylight Ideas!

Wooden window frames

wooden window framesPhoto by Andersen Windows on Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]

The all-time classic wooden windows are a go-to choice for homeowners who want a vintage, sophisticated look in their properties.

How To Get The Perfect Window Glazing? Take a look at our guide!

Pros

  • Wooden frames are durable, strong, and naturally good insulators
  • They offer a wonderful aesthetic appeal to your home

Cons

  • These types of window frames are quite expensive when compared to vinyl or fiberglass
  • They demand frequent upkeep and maintenance as they are prone to moisture and weather damage

Here you can find further info on Smart Wooden Window Frames Maintenance Tips For You

Composite window frames

Composite frames mimic wood and are made by combining several wood products such as strand lumber, particleboard, and wood fiber. This inner material layer is then covered with vinyl or aluminum to protect the wood within.

Pros

  • Composite frames offer good moisture and damage resistance
  •  They possess the same structural strength and thermal properties as real wood

Cons

  • They are expensive than the other types of window frames

Additional points to consider when selecting window frames

Size

Before choosing your window frame material, ensure that you measure the exact size of your opening. Get this job done by a professional expert. This step is important; otherwise, you will end up buying frames that are too big or too small. Bigger sizes mean you shall have to cut away some of the extra material, leading to wastage and increased labor costs. Smaller sizes shall lead to an improper fitting, thereby, causing drafts and moisture to seep into your interiors.

Replacing vs repairing

Why go for replacing frames, when you can easily repair them? Check the condition of your window frame and glass before taking a decision. Especially wooden frames, if not excessively damaged, can be easily revamped with commercial kits available in the market. Old frames do not have much value in the resale market anyways. So, maybe, you can consider repair instead of replacement in such cases.

Full frame vs divided windows

There are two types of window frames, the full and the divided category. Now, if you want an unobstructed view of your outdoors, you can go for the full option, with undivided and huge glass panes. Divided window frames, which feature sections with small pieces of glass between each, lend that classic look of glass panes.

Read more: 2019 Window And Door Trends 

Final take

Several attributes come together to create energy-efficient, durable, functional, and aesthetic windows — the frames being one important aspect. Other factors that you should consider are the glazing or glass features, gas fills and spacers, and the window type and its operation. Also, consider the warranty. Read the label carefully and understand the period plus conditions covered under the offered warranty. That’s it. Once you are clear about your requirements, you are all set to embark on that window shopping journey!

Read more: 4 Interior Window Trim Styles That Have an Old-world Elegance

Different Types of Window Frames for Your Home was last modified: May 29th, 2020 by Anisha Dutta
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rachel framptonStefan Bradley Recent comment authors
Stefan Bradley
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Stefan Bradley

I didn’t know that composite window frames are good for resisting damage caused by moisture. My uncle just bought a new house and wants to install some sturdy windows that can resist moisture. I’ll let him know that composite windows might be exactly what he has been looking for.

rachel frampton
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rachel frampton

My husband and I are planning to have our window frames changed because our old ones are starting to rust. I guess a wooden frame would be a great choice because as you’ve stated here, they are durable, strong, and natural insulators. Although, if I’ll push through with this type of material, I wonder where could I find an excellent window installation service that specializes in the kind of frame.