What is the Best Window Material? https://ridgevalleyexteriors.com/areas-served/north-carolina-roofing-contractor/raleigh/Finding the right windows isn’t just about understanding what types of windows are available, or even what they look like. If you take a closer look at all the different types of windows and their features, you’ll start to get an idea of what the right windows could look like for you. From choosing the correct color, material, and style to figuring out where you would like your windows installed, there are plenty of questions to even continue this discussion. Rather than exhausting yourself trying to find the perfect choice when there are so many choices available, try focusing on finding windows that fit with your overall style and budget instead.

From traditional windows to sliding windows, there are many options available for your home. There are different frames, window types, and glazing materials to consider. Plus, not every frame is appropriate for every home; not every glass will keep your energy bills down. Our guide explains what you need to know about selecting the right windows for your home and helping you get started on the selection process. 

What is the best window material?

Frames

Fairly self-explanatory, the frame holds the glass panes in place and provides the seal between your window and your walls. What’s not as self-explanatory, however, is how each frame material can impact your budget, style, and window performance. The proper frame material can help improve the energy-efficient aspect of your windows, and even look aesthetically pleasing. It’s important to consider the frame material, including its durability, budget, and style when making your purchase decision. 

Wood

Beautiful, functional, and great for insulation, wooden frames are a classic choice for homeowners who want a lot of character in their windows. With varieties in shape and style, there’s something for everyone—from the homeowner who wants to paint every square inch of their home to the artistically inclined individual looking for interesting window treatments.

While you may love the look of real wood, it’s important to remember that wood expands and contracts with humidity, so a window that looks flush on install day may bow or crack years later. 

They may need even more attention if you live in a warm, humid climate, as that speeds up the chance for mildew and decay.

Fiberglass

Durable and resilient to the weather, fiberglass frames need much less maintenance and upkeep than wooden frames, and they’re able to mimic their natural appearance. Good insulators with great energy efficiency and color options, fiberglass frames are ideal for people who value durability as much as style.   They’re a great insulator and energy-efficient material withstanding high-temperature extremes while offering durability you can always count on. It is also available in a variety of attractive colors that make your patio, porch, deck or even walkway look more beautiful while preventing moisture damage to the decking, which can lead to mold and mildew. 

Still a little new to the market, many fiberglass frames have a few small issues to get worked out. Frame quality can tarnish over time, if not cleaned regularly, and colors can fade over time unless they are protected properly.

Aluminum

If you live in a hot, humid climate, aluminum frames would be ideal for your home as they are rot-resistant and can stand up to hurricane-like weather.  They are easy to paint and style and are some of the best frames on the market for maintenance and upkeep.

Aluminum is a very popular material for building frames because it is lightweight, strong, and cheap. The problem is that over time, aluminum does not efficiently transfer heat away from its surface, so it can cause your house to be too warm in the summer and cold in the winter. This is especially noticeable with larger homes or those in warmer regions because they tend to absorb more heat. If you notice your home is warmer than usual during the summer months, it may be because of an aluminum frame. 

Vinyl

With the ability to withstand harsh UV light and high energy-efficiency ratings, vinyl frames are a popular choice for many homeowners.  Vinyl models also come in a wide variety of colors and styles to match your home decor, with little maintenance required to keep them looking sleek. 

However, not everyone likes the look of vinyl windows, and as a result, they are not popular choices for historic homes. Vinyl windows can’t be painted and offer little flexibility when it comes to customization once they’re installed. So, it’s important to make sure that you know what style you want as you’re shopping for vinyl windows.

Glass

Energy efficiency is a factor when choosing a new window, and it plays a big role in how energy-efficient your home will be overall. It matters because every little bit counts when trying to keep costs down. One way to improve efficiency is by choosing windows made from energy-efficient materials.  

When picking the glass for your windows, make sure to pay attention to its energy rating. These numbers can help you pick out the most energy-efficient window for your home. The better the rating, the more likely you’ll be able to save money on your electricity bills down the line.

Heat Mirror Glass

Heat mirror windows use special absorbers that carry outgoing heat from your sun or other lighting sources back into your room, but do not let in any return heat. This gives you a clean, cool look without blocking the sun or letting in cold air. 

Heat mirror windows like Ridge Valley’s Quantum2 block 99.7% of UV light and insulate with the same strength as a wall. Quieter than most double-pane windows, heat mirror windows have a lightweight, suspended film technology that maximizes the natural light brought in from outside while reflecting harmful UV rays. Ridge Valley’s Quantum2 thermal windows offer efficient heat dissipation and performance. And at an affordable price, they make great additions to any home. A properly installed heat mirror window will not only increase your comfort while working or studying, but will also increase the value of your investment due to increased value-added safety and durability.

Tempered glass

Tempered glass, while certainly not a new material, has seen a rise in popularity due to its perceived strength and ability to withstand impacts. It can boast several benefits when placed within a building’s design.

Tempered glass is constructed by heating and then rapidly cooling a transparent solid mineral, usually an oxide such as borosilicate or aluminosilicate. Heat is applied during processing, which causes the glass to become stronger and more resistant to impact, oil, chemicals, shrinkage, and thermal shock. It’s typically used when required by code for safety reasons or if it’s being placed in high traffic, damage-prone areas like by front or backdoors. Tempered glass is also much harder than regular glass, so it won’t break into sharp, dangerous shards when it does break (and tempered glass is virtually unbreakable). It will also hold up well to sunlight and environmental elements like rain and snow better than regular glass. 

Insulated glass

Insulated glass is when two or more panes of glass are spaced apart then hermetically sealed, allowing for the air between the panes to act as insulation between your home and the outside world. They are often filled with a gas-like argon to provide better insulation and keep heating and cooling bills down. While not as strong as other types of glass, it does allow heat from the sun through to your home through a window and not allow cold air from outside to penetrate.

Style

Your home should reflect your personal style and priorities. When you buy replacement windows, we want them to look as good on the outside as they do on the inside. 

As important as energy efficiency is for your new windows, it’s hard to appreciate your savings if your house is an eyesore. How your new windows look on your home feels as important as how well they function. 

The most common style of windows is double-hung windows. The Double-Hung Window’s versatility allows it to achieve more than any other window type. This is due to its unique design that allows each sash, both the upper and lower, to move up and down and even tilt in and out. Because of this, double-hung windows are highly functional for a variety of situations. 

When you’re thinking about what kind of windows to put in your home, you should consider how much light and air circulation you desire, as well as the aesthetic elements of the window. Casement windows provide good insulation, a solid seal against wind and weather, as well as soundproofing and blend well with older homes due to their wide frames and casings. They also provide a solid seal against wind and weather. If you have the wall space, you can try adding a bay or bow window, enhancing the character of your home while adding a lot of additional light to your interiors.

Picture, garden, awning, hopper, and sliding windows are other options that you can consider when picking out your windows, though they are usually chosen to fit more specialty needs like a basement, bathroom, and kitchen windows.

There is a huge selection of decorative windows available. It is a matter of personal preference whether you choose a middle-of-the-road type of window that gives you a clean, uncluttered look or opt for something more modern with detailed workmanship and intricate designs. 

Can’t decide which window suits your home best? We can help.

The most important part of any window replacement is understanding which type of material will work best for your home as every window material has its own benefits and pitfalls.   When you’re ready to replace a window or door in your home, you have a lot of options. So how do you make the right one for you? The good news is that with Ridge Valley Windows, you’ll get expert service and advice at every step of the process.

Here at Ridge Valley Exteriors, we understand that working with an unfamiliar window company can be stressful. Most companies will just walk you through the ordering process and offer little support after the sale. We at Ridge Valley Windows are different; we want to get to know you. Whether it’s our friendly and knowledgeable salespeople or our experienced installation crews that will service your windows, we have a team ready to provide you the best possible experience. The window experts at Ridge Valley can work with you to find the best window material for your home and budget. Contact Ridge Valley Exteriors at 844-741-7663 or request a window replacement estimate and get started today in Kennesaw, GA, Tampa, FL, or Raleigh, NC.

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