You probably have either wood, vinyl or aluminium window frame materials holding your windows in place right now. But is it right for you? Or which one would be best for you if you eventually wanted a replacement or renovation? Here’s what you need to know about wood, vinyl and aluminium window frames, to help you make the right choice for your home and individual tastes.
Wood is one of the most widely used window frame materials, predating vinyl and aluminium windows and doors by centuries. Wood is readily available in a variety of colours and types to suit all tastes, and woodwork has developed significantly through the ages to provide homeowners with endless aesthetic options. But wood is expensive.
Yes, wood is a rather pricey material, especially if you are buying wood of higher quality. But the expense of proper maintenance sinks its roots far deeper into your pockets. If your wooden window frames are exposed to the elements they will need constant treatment to seal and protect the wood. In areas with a lot of rain and moisture it is nearly impossible to keep your wood from rotting for any length of time without constant, costly maintenance. So wood is, sadly, no longer really an option for external window frames.
Vinyl has risen above both wood an aluminium in some countries as the predominantly used material for window frames. It is highly affordable, rot- and insect-free, and best of all it requires virtually no maintenance whatsoever. This looks and sounds great, but the benefits mentioned come with a condition: you are limited to white or other light, generic colours.
Most manufacturers will warn you that should you paint your vinyl window frames any colour with a light reflectance value (LRV) lower than 55 – which is fairly light –the warranty on the material is void. This is because vinyl’s shape is altered and warped by heat, and darker colours tend to absorb much more heat than lighter colours. So for those who enjoy darker colours, you will need to spend a fortune on dark paints specifically formulated for vinyl and plastics, or spend a fortune on regular maintenance and even replacements.
Saving the best for last, aluminium windows and doors are the solution to the problems inherent in both wood and vinyl frames. Aluminium is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, which makes it both highly available and affordable. Aluminium windows literally protect themselves against corrosion and the elements by forming a layer of aluminium oxide when coming into contact with oxygen, and should this layer ever be damaged it will immediately repair itself. So on top of needing virtually no maintenance, aluminium window frames essentially maintain themselves for you.
Aluminium doors and windows can also be painted in any colour you like without compromising the material. Whether you choose lighter or darker colours the aluminium will not be warped by the temperature at all, and it also assists in regulating the temperature of your home through insulation. If fitted properly, aluminium window frames will also keep creepy-crawlies and the rain out of your home.
Contact a reputable and professional aluminium door and window manufacturer to make the best of the very best window frame material available.