No matter what type of neighborhood you live in – from a historic area in Charleston, South Carolina to a mountain retreat in Asheville, North Carolina to an urban loft in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina – the homes surrounding yours probably all have a similar aesthetic. Thus, when the time comes to make changes to the exterior of your residence, you might find yourself looking to nearby homes for inspiration.
If you need new window frames, for example, you might see what designs other nearby homeowners have made. While it is important to ensure that the outside of your house fits the general look of your neighborhood – particularly if there are Homeowners’ Association bylaws by which you need to abide – there are other things to take into consideration as well. You’ll learn more about these below.
Learn about window frame materials.
There are several different materials that are frequently used to manufacture window frames. As with any product, each option has its own list of pros and cons. Here, we take a look at some of today’s most popular choices in the Carolinas and around the United States.
Fiberglass – Fiberglass window frames are among the newest options on the market. One of the major selling points of this material is that it lasts for a long time and is extremely durable. Furthermore, fiberglass is known for its high R-value, which makes it an excellent insulator. The biggest downside of this material is that it is one of the most expensive options for modern homeowners.
Aluminum – Aluminum window frames have existed for decades and offer North Carolina and South Carolina homeowners a sleek alternative to other materials. One of the perks of aluminum is that it is quite lightweight, which is appealing to some people. The downsides of this material, though, include the fact that it absorbs heat, reducing energy efficiency, and is still pricier than some other options.
Vinyl – Vinyl is the most popular window frame material among today’s homeowners. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that it is generally what builders use on new construction projects, it is affordable, and it is easy to obtain from almost all home improvement retailers. Although vinyl is the most cost-effective window frame material, it is one of the least durable, so take that into consideration as you shop.
Wood – Wood window frames are not the most practical choice, but some homeowners choose them for aesthetic reasons. This material has a traditional look that is perfect for historic homes. In certain cases – such as if their residences are on the National Register of Historic Places – homeowners are required to use period-appropriate materials when remodeling. In these situations, wood window frames may be the only option.
Consider your utility bills.
In the modern world, energy efficiency should be among your chief concerns when it comes to purchasing anything for your home, window frames included. While many manufacturers now offer EnergyStar-rated product lines, it is still important to do your research to find the best windows for your home and the climate where you live.
Because the Carolinas have a variety of climates, it’s smart to talk to a local window installation expert or a reputable local salesperson before you make a purchase. This way, you can understand exactly how your new windows will impact your utility bills at different times of the year. Someone who lives in Asheville, NC where it gets cold, for instance, may not have the same concerns as a homeowner in the South Carolina low country.
Remember, the Hatch Homes team is here to help you every step of the way as you renovate your house. If you have questions about our window installation services, or if you need help choosing the ideal windows for your project, give us a call today.