Now more than ever, builders and contractors have a wide array of window frame and sash materials to choose from for their construction and renovation projects. Whether the goal is to create an eye-grabbing visual effect or you’re just looking to replace worn units, it’s important to give serious thought to the type of materials you want to use so that you can maximize your budget and achieve your project objectives. Below are some of the most popular window frame and sash materials in use today, as well as a brief description of the main characteristics of each one.
Vinyl first emerged as a window frame material in the 1970s, and quickly rose to popularity due to its energy efficiency and affordability. Made from a synthetic plastic material known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl is known for its high R-value, which means that it can provide a solid degree of insulation. Vinyl frames and sashes also feature good moisture resistance, and they don’t require painting, which can help speed up the completion process of a building or renovation project. Another strong point of vinyl is that it’s available in a wide range of colors, and since the color goes all the way through, you don’t have to worry about any finishing coat getting damaged over time.
Although wood’s popularity has been challenged by vinyl in recent decades, many builders still consider wood to be the crown jewel of window frame and sash materials. Wood is by far the most versatile material, as it can be milled and custom cut into all kinds of different shapes and configurations. Many builders prefer wood due to its natural beauty and strength, but wood does require consistent maintenance via periodic painting or staining in order for it to retain its durability and good looks.
As the name suggests, clad wood is a variation of a regular wood window frame where the exterior of the frame is clad with either vinyl or aluminum in order to boost durability and increase weather resistance. This allows you to protect the exterior face of the frame and sash from the elements, while still keeping the beautiful wood finish on display on the interior side. This gives you the best of both worlds, but it will cost more than regular wood frames and sashes.
Aluminum is one of the most budget-friendly materials to use for frames and sashes, and it offers exceptional versatility in terms of customization for projects that require exacting specifications. Aluminum is also a highly durable material; it will not crack, split, warp, or swell over time, making it one of the most cost-effective options when it comes to minimizing long-term maintenance. In terms of eco-friendliness, aluminum is one of the most frequently recycled metals in the world, making it an excellent choice if you’re looking for sustainable building materials for your next project.
The type of materials you choose for your window frames and sashes can have a significant impact on the finished product, not only in terms of aesthetics, but also performance. With so many different factors to consider, it can be difficult to settle on which material will be the best for your given project. Nisbet Brower, a building materials supplier in Cincinnati, OH, has decades of experience in the building and construction business, and can offer you sound insight and expertise to help you choose the right window and sash materials for optimal results. Contact us today to find out how our team of building professionals can help you meet your project and budget objectives, so that you can deliver an outstanding finished product for your clients.