Choosing Window Frames

Author: Garry John

There are three main types of material used to manufacture
window frames for
These are aluminium, PVC-u and wood. There are also vinyl-coated
and fibreglass frames, but for simplicity at this stage we shall
stick to the three main types. The three materials each have
their strengths and weaknesses and in this article we shall look
at the several properties to see how each type shapes up. The
properties we look at are heat insulation, sound insulation,
security, appearance, maintenance and least but definitely not
least, cost. We shall also briefly talk about the different
styles of windows commonly available today.

Heat insulation is perhaps the most common reason for getting
double-glazing. However, if the frame is not right the
insulation provided by double-glazing is lost. The worst
conductors of heat and therefore the best insulators are wood
and PVC-u. Aluminium is a relatively good conductor of heat and
so is not the best material if this is of primary concern.</p>

The protection against sound is another great attribute of
double-glazing and their isn’t really a clear winner. The
relative sound insulation properties are therefore of lesser
concern that those of say heat.

Security is always a concern and here we have a clear winner.
Aluminium is extremely strong and is the material of choice
where security is of major concern. This explains why aluminium
is commonly seen on commercial premises. Wood and PVC-u have
their weak spots. <a
window frames</a> expand during hot temperatures and the
expansion gaps required can become weak points for intruders.

Another area that has a clear leader is appearance.
window frames</a> are easily the most attractive frames. The
timeless appeal of wood suits both modern and period properties.
In particular, for period properties it is almost mandatory to
have traditional looking frames and in particular sash windows.
The appearance of the properties can be undermined with PVC-u
frames or cheap looking fake wood finishes.

Although wooden frames are the most pleasing on the eye they are
also the hardest work. Older frames require a significant amount
of attention to prolong their life. The newer wooden frames are
treated before being shipped to retailers but they still require
the attention. Regular coats of protective paints are needed
every four or five years. PVC-u and
aluminium window frames require very little maintenance and
can be cleaned with just an occasional wipe with a damp

Finally, we look at the cost of the different types of frames.
Generally speaking, the cheapest are PVC-u frames, followed by
aluminium and finally wood are the most expensive. The economic
benefits of PVC-u frames combined with their excellent
insulation properties go a long way to explaining their

There are many different styles of window that can be
manufactured from the three materials.
ent windows, tilt and turn windows and sash windows are all
made from the three materials.

About the author:
Garry John has contributed to several sites about double glazing
including "  double




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