4 Types of Window Frames and Their Pros and Cons

Window frames play a crucial role in protecting the inside of your home from pests, drafts, and weather elements. Plus, they add style and character to any space. There’s a variety of window frames to choose from, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with each option before investing. We’ll break down the four most common types of window frames and each window frame’s pros and cons.

4 of the Best Types of Window Frames

We’ll discuss the four most popular types of window frames, plus each window frames’ pros and cons. You’ll be able to make an educated decision about which option is best for your home before you replace your windows and spend money on a major overhaul. 

1. Vinyl Window Frames

Vinyl window frames are a popular choice for homeowners because they are one of the more economical options. They typically cost around $100 to $900 each. They’re also a solid choice because they’re energy-efficient windows, fire resistant, and low maintenance. However, vinyl windows are hard to paint or stain, so they’re less customizable and can warp during high-temperature exposure. 

Pros Vinyl Window Frames

  • Affordable
  • Environmentally-friendly 
  • Energy-efficient
  • Minimal peeling and cracking
  • Low-maintenance 
  • Many style choices to choose from
  • Fire-resistant 
  • Keeps outside noises out

Cons of Vinyl Window Frames

  • Can’t be painted or stained
  • Not as strong as fiberglass or aluminum
  • May warp under high heat exposure
  • Not natural looking

2. Aluminum Window Frames

Aluminum window frames are a solid option for homes with large windows. They’re easy to customize and offer maximum support for heavy sheets of glass. Aluminum windows are also the most budget-friendly frame option, usually ranging from $75 to $400 per window. However, these window frames do not offer high-quality energy efficiency. Aluminum conducts hot and cold temperatures, so they’re more likely to produce condensation, which can deteriorate and rot the frame over time. 

Pros of Aluminum Window Frames

  • Budget-friendly 
  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Flexible 
  • Subtle appearance

Cons of Aluminum Window Frames

  • Poor insulation
  • susceptible to corrosion and condensation
  • High conductivity 

3. Wood Window Frames

Double glazed wooden window frame in the home in the autumn

If you’re seeking window frames that add charm and a traditional look, wooden frames are the best choice for you. Wood window frames come in various styles and colors, depending on the type of wood, paint, or stain. However, these frames require more maintenance and upkeep than other materials since they’re susceptible to pests, rot, and warping. Regarding pricing, wood window frames can be costly – ranging from $150 to $1300 per window. 

Pros of Wood Window Frames

  • Classic, inviting experience
  • Versatile styles
  • Good insulation
  • Highly sound-proof
  • Resistant to rust
  • Long-lasting 

Cons of Wood Window Frames

  • High-maintenance 
  • Prone to pests
  • Costly 
  • Prone to warping and cracking in heat
  • Susceptible to rot
  • Fire hazard

4. Fiberglass Window Frames

Fiberglass is a favored material because it’s durable and resistant to weather elements. They feature an interwoven proprietary blend of glass fibers and a strong resin core. This allows the window frames to expand and contract and withstand weather conditions. Downsides of fiberglass window frames include fewer color and design options and a high price tag. So you’ll pay between $500 and $1500 per window, but you will save money on your energy bills and the lack of window frame maintenance. 

Pros of Fiberglass Window Frames

  • Heat and cold-resistant
  • Waterproof and weatherproof 
  • Low-maintenance
  • Excellent insulation
  • Strength 
  • Durability 
  • Energy-efficient 

Cons of Fiberglass Window Frames

  • High cost
  • Minimal customization options
  • Prone to UV damage
  • Costly

Upgrade Your Window Frames

After reading the pros and cons of types of window frames, it’s time to upgrade your home. Standard Supply & Lumber is proud to offer the best types of window frames in every material, shape, and size. Plus, we carry products from the best brands on the market, such as Andersen Windows and Doors. No matter what you’re looking for, we have an option to suit! Find out more online, or stop into one of our local locations.