Window & Door Types
Today’s Windows And Doors Are Better Than They Used To Be
Most people don’t just wake up one morning thinking it’s time to replace the windows and doors in their home. Usually there has been plenty of time to feel or see the problem. Sitting near a window and feeling the discomfort of a cold draft or the sun’s heat are common symptoms. Another widely reported moment of decision is when your old sliding glass door comes off the track. Again. Or you notice that the frames on your old anodized aluminum windows are looking more than ever as if they were made from worn-out garbage cans.
Don’t be surprised that windows and doors don’t last forever. Even if your house is less than 20 years old, your original windows and doors may have been of poor quality, and are now showing the effects of time. Also, because of advances in technology, materials and design, new windows and doors can provide energy efficiency and maintenance benefits that older products could never be expected to provide.
Immediate And Long- Term Benefits
Replace your old windows and doors requires less time and money than you might expect and can improve the re-sale value of your home, to say nothing of the benefits you’ll begin to enjoy immediately, such as lower energy bills, increased comfort, improved appearance and reduced maintenance.
More and more windows and doors are being made of vinyl or similar materials such as fiberglass. Windows with vinyl frames have excellent insulating properties. Vinyl does not conduct heat or cold easily, and the multi-chambered design of vinyl frames adds insulating value. Although vinyl frames usually can’t be painted, they also do not peel or deteriorate in the same way as wood. The quality and cost of vinyl windows and doors varies considerably. When evaluating quality, you should pay particular attention to the finish of the frames and whether or not the joints are welded.
In warmer climates, aluminum windows and doors remain a popular choice. Although aluminum conducts heat and cold more easily than wood or vinyl, more energy- efficient aluminum frames incorporate thermal breaks that prevent heat or cold from being conducted through the frame. Aluminum frames also offer the greatest benefits of strength, low maintenance and relatively low cost. While old aluminum products were usually unpainted, today’s aluminum windows and doors are finished with a durable electrostatic paint process in a variety of colors for low maintenance and a traditional appearance.
Originally, most windows and doors in all parts of the country were made of wood. However, fewer than half of the windows being installed today are wood. Wood has good insulating properties and can be painted or stained in a virtually unlimited number of ways. Of course, wood that’s exposed to the elements may rot or warp, and eventually has to be re-painted. Many wood windows are now sheathed or clad with aluminum or vinyl on the exterior to reduce maintenance. Good quality wood windows and doors tend to be more expensive tan other types of framing material.
Custom Vs. Stock Sizes
Whatever type of windows or doors you’re selecting, you can choose products that are made specifically to fit the openings when you replace the old windows in your home. This can provide a significant advantage over the stock frame sizes offered by some window companies or available for purchase “off the shelf” at lumberyards and home centers. With custom-made windows, you can be sure of getting the exact size window you need, which is important for proper installation.