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Your Guide to Window Frames

If you are in the market for new windows, either new windows all together, or replacement windows, the window frames will actually be one of the biggest things that you will want to consider.  The window frame gives the window the structure that it needs, and the type of frame that you choose will determine how long your windows will last. You want your window to keep its functionality and seal, so you need quality windows and quality frames.  Choosing the frame first will help to ensure that you get a solid foundation for your window. After that, you can choose the type of glass. Just remember to get adequate measurements to ensure a well fitted window frame.

Choosing the Right Type of Window Frame

There are a few different types of frames for you to choose from.  The four main types that you see with most windows on the market include aluminum, vinyl, wooden and fiberglass.  Which of these types is right for you? The truth is, there is no blanket answer for everyone. It is going to depend a lot on the climate in your area, as well as the structure of your home.  Let’s take a closer look at each type so that you can decide which one is right for you.

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Aluminum Window Frames

First up, we have aluminum window frames.  Aluminum frames are really one of the most durable types of frames on the market.  They are also pretty modern, so it gives a more modern look and feel to the window.  Aluminum windows also don’t require too much maintenance, which makes them ideal for many homeowners.  They can withstand the sun and weather more than most other frames, such as vinyl or wood.

While aluminum windows are really great when it comes to the style and durability, you should know that they do not offer the best energy efficiency.  The manufacturers try to make them as efficient as they possibly can, but they do fall short in this area. They also tend to be on the more pricy side.  You will spend more for this type of frame than you would for more affordably vinyl or fiberglass frames. They are less expensive than wood frames though, as wooden frames are usually the most expensive of any of the frames on the market.

Vinyl Window Frames

Vinyl window frames have a lot of great benefits.  First, they are made out of polyvinyl chloride, most commonly known as PVC.  This is the same type of material that is used in the plumbing and pipe work in most homes.  This material is usually pretty affordable, so vinyl windows are usually budget friendly. It is also really versatile, and can be found in just about any type of window frame you could possibly be looking for.

Vinyl windows are not without their drawbacks.  First, you should be aware that they are not going to be the most durable.  They also do not have the same aesthetic appeal of some of the other window types.  They may even be lacking when it comes to strength. While they are budget friendly, be sure to be aware of the fact that they may not last as long, and they may not look as good as some of the other materials used in frames.

Wooden Window Frames

Wooden window frames tend to be pretty durable and stand the test of time.  That is, if they are maintained properly. This type of window frame has been used for centuries now, but they still have a modern look to them.  They look great, and this is why many people opt for wooden frames. This is the most traditional type of window frame.

The problem is that wooden frames tend to cost more than any of the other frames on the market. You also have to do a pretty good amount of maintenance on them to keep them sealed and in good condition.  They must be weathered every now and then to keep them from expanding or rotting. Keeping moisture out the wood is important. This is why you have to use a special kind of paint. They are also not recommended for all climate types.  If you live in an area with a lot of humidity or moisture in the air, then wooden frames may not be the right choice for you.

Fiberglass Window Frames

Fiberglass frames are not as common as the other frames, but they are pretty durable.  They are also really easy to keep up. They are made from sections of fiberglass, and they look really similar to the vinyl window frames.  Fiberglass windows get most of their praise for the fact that they are really great at resisting the elements and harsh changes in temperature.  Fiberglass expands and contracts as needed to face the changes in temperature. It also helps to insulate the window.

The drawbacks that come along with fiberglass windows are typically related to the fact that they do not really look the best.  They are also pretty expensive. Since they look a lot like vinyl windows, but cost a whole lot more, a lot of people opt for cheaper window frames, such as vinyl.  The good news is that the fiberglass frames can be painted, but even still they are not as visually pleasing as aluminum or wooden frames.

Having Your Window Frames Sized Correctly

Choosing your window frame isn’t as difficult as you might think, but the sizing of the window is very important.  You should always have a window expert come out to your house to fit your window frame to ensure proper sizing. If you get the wrong size frame, you may end up having to cut more out of your wall, or return the frame for a correct size.  If it is too small, however, you may not get the best insulation, and the window may not be as secure.

To Repair or Replace Your Window Frames?

Window frames can usually be repaired for an affordable price.  The problem is that not every window should simply be repaired. There comes a point where your window frames may need to be replaced. If the window frame has started to rot, then you will want to avoid trying to repair.  These need to be completely replaced in order to ensure that the window is secure and safe. Single pane windows also may need to be replaced, because they let in a lot of drafty air. Replace them with double or triple paned windows.  

If you have double paned windows, you may opt for repairing the windows.  Look for kits to use to repair or update your windows easily. This works well for wooden frames that have not yet started to rot.  Older wooden frames tend to have that charming appearance, and more modern windows may not give the same style. This is why you may opt for repairing rather than replacing.  

Are Divided Windows Right for Your Home?

Divided windows are actually more on the expensive side.  It is harder to design these windows, and they are also weaker in certain areas.  They can look great in certain rooms, especially if you are looking for more of an old fashioned appeal.  The problem is, they can be pretty obstructive when it comes to your view of the outdoors. With that being said, they are still a common choice, and they do look great.

Attached Grids vs Faux Grids for Divided Windows

With divided windows, you can opt for either attached or faux grids.  These grids give the look of a divided window, without it being made up of individual window panes for each section.   Attached grids are a lot more realistic in their appearance. They have one full glass pane behind the dividers, giving them the look of divided windows without the weak points.  The grid is simply placed over the window with glue to keep it in place. These windows are also a lot cheaper than an authentic divided window.

Faux grids are a lot easier to keep clean.  These grids simply sit on the window in front of the pane, and you are able to get behind them to clean them.  They do not look as realistic, but they still look pretty good. This will save you a lot of time when it comes to cleaning, but it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing.  

Your Window Frame Warranty

The warranty backing your window frames is very important.  Many manufacturers will offer a lifetime warranty on all of their windows and window frames.  The truth is, these warranties may be limited and may not be as comprehensive as you think. This is why you need to read over the warranty information very carefully.  This will ensure that you know what issues the warranty will cover, and how long the warranty lasts. This will help you to choose the right manufacturer for your window frames.

The Hatch Difference

Each window that Hatch Homes provides our customers is installed by certified and trained craftsmen. Let us show you the difference that new high-performance windows can make on your home!

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