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How to Choose the Right Window Frame Material for Your Home

Are you looking to replace your windows and frames in your home? Window frames can make or break the look and function of a house’s windows. They serve such valuable functions for a home’s aesthetics, energy efficiency, and structure that it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, AZ Valley Windows is here to help. We have been installing windows and frames for nearly two decades and have a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Let’s look at the multiple functions of window frames and how different frame materials can affect the outcome of a replacement project. 

Window Framing for Insulation and Support

Frames serve multiple functions in a house. Firstly, windows themselves compromise the structural integrity of a wall since they are made of very weak materials. Window frames make up for this weakness. They provide structural support and a track on which windows can open. The second critical function that frames provide is temperature insulation. A poorly installed frame can be drafty and unsealed, potentially costing you significantly more money on your utility bill. A well-installed frame will keep outside air out and inside air in, which is critical in climates with severe temperatures. The last and most obvious role frames play is an aesthetic one. House designs rely on windows to break up visual monotony and help the eye move around the look of the building. Interior design depends on windows for natural light and as the foundation for decisions like furniture placement. Windows also play a large role in determining property value. 


Types of Window Frames

What options are there when choosing between frame materials? Aside from considering the shape of the windows, the biggest factor for a frame’s look and usefulness is its material. There are several common types of window frames. Wood frames are excellent insulators, providing natural aesthetics and a homey feel. They’re extraordinarily popular across the country. Their look can be further customized with paint and finish. However, keep in mind that wood is an organic material subject to natural decay, and must be maintained over time or it will start to decompose. Another option is vinyl frames. Unlike wood, vinyl is very low maintenance while still providing similar insulation. However, vinyl frames have limited customization in color and look, and the potential to warp and deform in hot temperatures. If you enjoy seeing the neat, clean, and contemporary look that vinyl offers, it is without a doubt one of the best choices for you.

Fiberglass frames are similarly limited in looks, as fiberglass is an artificial material only produced in a limited palette of colors. It is also a more complicated frame to manufacture, meaning it costs more upfront. However, you shouldn’t write off these types of window frames just yet. Fiberglass provides fantastic insulation and is the most durable material of the three covered so far. This also means it is well suited for large window framing with particular structural requirements. There are also methods using combinations of materials commonly found in the framing industry. Wood-clad frames join wood frames with a more durable, lower maintenance exterior like fiberglass to provide the aesthetic appeal of wood with lower maintenance and higher durability. Its two drawbacks are a high price point, and occasionally, the layers can separate. Composite frames are similar but with higher customization for a stronger result.


A Closer Look at Aluminum Window Frames

Considering the particular housing needs of living in Phoenix, there is one clear window frame material that stands above the rest. Aluminum window frames are great for any housing remodel, renovation, or addition. Firstly, aluminum is an extremely customizable material. Industrial manufacturing methods make it a simple matter to manipulate aluminum into custom shapes and thicknesses. The finish can be baked in when you select the look, and the light weight makes them easy to install. Secondly, aluminum is a low-cost, low-maintenance material. Not only is it cheaper than the other types of window frames mentioned, but it does not require frequent refinishing like wood does when exposed to the elements. And it ages more gracefully in hot weather than vinyl. Thirdly, aluminum windows are great at blocking sound. In a dense urban area, or alongside major roadways, this makes a significant difference in how private your living space feels. For modern aesthetics and modern benefits, choose aluminum.


Advanced Tips on Choosing the Right Window Frame for Your Home

If you are renovating or remodeling your home and figuring out the window frames, the information above may have given you some ideas. Make sure to weigh each of the variables equally, since they all have equal impact on your enjoyment of your home. Figure out which look you like the best. No matter the benefits, a frame style that doesn’t suit your home aesthetic or your tastes is not worth installing. That being said, if a material is not available, it can’t be used. Check with your local home material suppliers and ask your window framing contractor which services they offer since they may not have expertise or specialization in the type of window frames you want. The windows themselves should contribute to your house’s sense of architectural harmony. Calculate the cost not only by the upfront price but also by the long-term investment costs, including maintenance and potential replacement.

The Best Window Frame Installation in Phoenix

AZ Valley Windows is proud to provide the best windows, aluminum window frames, and door replacements available in the market. Whether you prioritize energy efficiency, long-lasting functionality, affordable financing, or all three, we are here to help. We care deeply about our community in Phoenix. Being a locally owned company, improving the comfort and overall craftsmanship of our neighbors’ homes is a source of great joy to us. We’ve been working hard since 2004 to make sure that we not only have a reputation as a reliable business partner for door and window replacements but also that we live up to that reputation with every customer interaction. Reach out today for a free in-home consultation and estimate. We look forward to hearing from you either through our phone number or our simple online quote form.

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