Window frames are available in a variety of different materials including vinyl aluminum, wood and fiberglass.
Vinyl frame windows are the most affordable option. They have limited color options, but never need repainting. Vinyl window frames have been available since the 1970’s and have been steadily gaining market dominance. Wood windows are still considered the top of the line, but require repainting or staining in order to maintain their appearance and resist the elements. To compensate for this upkeep, many manufacturers began cladding the wood with vinyl or aluminum.
Don’t Put Your Relationship on the Line
In this industry, relationships drive success. So don’t gamble with the window brand you choose. Go with a brand that you can trust to deliver strong performance over time at a great value to your customers.
Why Materials Matter
You know your customers want low-maintenance windows and doors that stand up to the effects of weather and time. Integrity’s Ultrex® pultruded fiberglass has material properties that create an ideal blend of strength and longevity, making it a strong choice for all customers.
Not All Composites Are Created Equal
Ultrex Fiberglass’ solid makeup and construction differentiates it from the competition. One square inch of Integrity’s state-of-the-art building material can support 34,000 lbs – that’s more than the weight of two monster trucks or 8.5 rhinos or 3 elephants. Ultrex windows also resist chipping, chalking, or fading – and they are engineered to look the same years after installation as they do the day they’re installed. Ultrex expands and contracts at virtually the same rate as glass, so it works with glass rather than against it. This means seals aren’t prone to leaks, seal failures and stress cracks.
Jamb Liner: Ultrex
Fibrex Windows: Andersen’s Fibrex® is made of a vinyl/wood composite – despite the name, there is no fiberglass in Fibrex, the truth is there are multiple materials used in the exterior of these windows. Multiple materials expand and weather at different rates, resulting in a loss of seal (causing eventual drafts & leaks).
Vinyl Windows: This extruded plastic makes the least expensive and most commonly installed windows, but it turns brittle with age and exposure to cold. The frames and sashes have thin, flexible walls, can’t be repaired, and don’t take paint well. Joints are heat-welded together, leaving obvious bumps at corners.
Clad Wood Windows: These high-end wood windows have an exterior layer of vinyl or metal – usually aluminum – that reduces maintenance and improves longevity. They are a close match to fiberglass in performance, but have a much higher price point.
Aluminum: This lightweight, extruded metal is about as rigid and low-maintenance as fiberglass. However, it’s a terrible insulator, readily carrying heat to the outside in winter and to the inside in summer. That’s why this type of window is suited only for mild climates.