Windows 101: Aluminum Windows

Windows 101: Aluminum Windows

 

Whether as new installations or replacements, aluminum windows are today one of the most popular choices for American homeowners. If you’re considering aluminum windows for your next home window installation, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons – courtesy of U.S. Exterior by Seidel.

Pros

  • Compared to wood windows, aluminum windows are less expensive, offer superior durability, and require less maintenance
  • Aluminum windows also come in multiple designs: single, double-hung, and multi-pane. Also, a near-endless array of colors and numerous finishes are available for aluminum windows, which is always a big selling point when our expert window contractors in Buffalo Grove speak with customers about their next window project
  • The combination of aluminum windows’ thinner frames and their powder-coated enamel finish (which can either be textured or smooth) make aluminum windows a sleek, modern choice that meshes well with contemporary architectural design
  • Aluminum windows are highly resistant to marring, cracking, and scratching
  • Aluminum windows possess superior strength and structural integrity. In fact, the larger the window, the more likely it is to be aluminum. Another benefit of aluminum windows’ structural integrity is a higher degree of resistance to strong, even hurricane-like winds. If you were to consider a window replacement that swapped out aluminum windows for vinyl, achieving the same level of impact resistance would cost you an extra 20% – 30% more in terms of upgrades.
  • If a homeowner with aluminum windows wants to explore a different paint color or coating approach, changing things up is easy to do. On the other hand, vinyl windows are always the same color, and believe it or not these windows’ warranty could be voided if a homeowner decides to repaint them.

Cons

  • Don’t offer the same thickness as vinyl window frames
  • A few of the more popular finishes today – smooth, textured and faux wood – are not available. In the latter case, a homeowner with aluminum windows who wanted a faux wood look would have to settle for a coating that’s painted on, and not nearly as realistic as vinyl windows with a real faux wood treatment
  • Despite their high resistance to scratches and cracks, aluminum windows are more susceptible to dents, fading, and corrosion. The reason for this is that when an aluminum window is chipped or scratched, the damage to the finish will cause the underlying raw metal to become exposed. This isn’t a problem for other window types, i.e. vinyl, which are one homogenous material with no coating.
  • Further to the mention of fading and corrosion, the former is more apt to happen with aluminum windows because of their enamel finish, which is less resistant to sunlight than the dyes used to color vinyl windows. Also, after a certain number of years aluminum windows’ metal fasteners will corrode. In coastal environments where the air is salty, this corrosion can happen much faster.
  • On the subject of maintenance, aluminum windows certainly aren’t maintenance-intensive. However, the fact they’re prone to condensation means that they must be cleaned periodically with a special cleaner. It’s also recommended that aluminum windows’ metal mechanisms be lubricated every so often to help guard against premature wear.

For more insight into aluminum windows, contact our well-established window replacement contractor today.