No more drafts So you've decided to buy new windows. You are either building a new home, or are tired of how that gale blows out the candles on your birthday cake before you can. Before buying new windows, you should be aware of the different window types available, and the pros and cons associated with each type.
Wood windows Wood is the choice of most homeowners. Wood is strong, insulates well, and has natural appeal and a warm look. It needs exterior maintenance, and interior surfaces can be painted, stained, or finished any number of ways. To get the most out of your wood windows, you will probably need to do some light maintenance each year, and need to repaint them every 3 to 5 years.
Vinyl windows Vinyl windows do not need to be painted or stained — a plus on the exterior. They offer good insulation value and strength, making them a viable alternative to wood. Basic maintenance usually involves a little detergent and elbow grease
Aluminum windows Aluminum windows have a stronger frame but poorer insulation than wood or vinyl. They're fine in areas with a mild climate, and are also used for commercial applications.
Fiberglass windows Fiberglass combines the higher strength and stability of aluminum with the insulating properties of wood and vinyl. Fewer options are available at this time, as fiberglass is just beginning to show up in the window market. So if you're looking for the latest hip window design, you may be out of luck.
Combination windows Combination windows are available with wood on the interior and vinyl or aluminum on the exterior, combining the look of wood with a low-maintenance exterior material. This is known as "cladding" (as in vinyl-clad or aluminum-clad).