Best Areas for Aluminum Replacement Window Installations

According to the AAMA, it seems that the popularity of aluminum replacement windows has dropped quite a lot and only about two percent of the population is currently using them. This percentage is eclipsed by fiberglass replacement windows which represent two point six percent of the window replacement market, while the vinyl windows are by far the most predominant type. They currently represent three quarters of all replacement windows installed.

Best Areas for Aluminum Replacement Window InstallationsSo why aren’t there too many people to consider aluminum replacement windows? Well, there are a few reasons behind that. First of all, aluminum doesn’t really look that great compared to other materials and on top of that, it’s also not that energy efficient when compared to fiberglass, vinyl, clad wood and wood. What this means is that during cold days, these windows will transfer a lot more heat to the exterior and there’s also the chance of condensation forming, not to mention frost (in the most severe cases). This is especially the case if low efficiency glass is used.

In order to combat this problem though, a new generation of aluminum windows that features thermal break frames seem to do the trick. They’re basically placing an insulating material between the outside and the inside of the aluminum frame which improves energy efficiency by a wide margin. However, compared to other types of windows, aluminum replacement windows are still quite inefficient from many points of view.

Still, if you’re someone who lives in an area where the temperatures are very low in the wintertime, then you may want to consider shopping for other types of windows, since the majority of vendors are certainly not going to sell you aluminum windows if you live in an area where the local energy codes aren’t properly met. On the other hand, if you live in the American South or any other area with a mild climate, then aluminum replacement windows may just be the type you should consider.

Not only are they very strong, but at the same time they’re also lightweight and can easily withstand temperature extremes and high winds without losing their integrity. So if you live in an area with powerful winds and even hurricanes, then it’s definitely a good idea to consider getting aluminum replacement windows. Sure, no one will stop you from getting impact resistant vinyl replacement windows, but most of the times they’re going to cost a lot more than their aluminum counterparts.

According to the experts, modern aluminum windows look really stylish and classy when compared to the old windows used before them.

In recent times, aluminum replacement windows seem to be used by many architects when designing various structures and that’s not only because of their affordability, but also due to their strength and clean lines which allow for larger expanses of glass and thinner frames. For instance, did you know what the architects at Washington state’s Build LLC are actually some very big fans of these types of windows? That’s because they not only complement modern design perfectly, but they’re also maintenance free and very functional.

For many mid century homes, these windows are a perfect match, so if your home was initially built with aluminum windows, then without a doubt the modern choice of such windows is certainly going to blow you away. They look simply amazing and have a lot of benefits that many people with a low budget are definitely going to fall in love with.

Keep in mind though that even if most of the times you’re going to hear that aluminum windows require no maintenance, that is not entirely true. Over time, they will become prone to corrosion or pitting and this is especially the case if you live in coastal areas where the air is salty. The good news though is that compared to vinyl, you can easily paint or prime aluminum in any color you want and do so easily. On top of that, the majority of windows can also be ordered with powder coat or enamel finishes.

Compared to other types of windows on the market, you won’t find aluminum windows to be offered by a lot of vendors, but if they complement your home’s design and your climate, then you can easily get them from a wide range of local, regional and national manufacturers. As an example of top national names to get them from, Milgard and Jeld-Wen are definitely amongst the most reliable manufacturers out there.

Once you’re done with your replacement window Chicago installation you may want to take a look at our seamless gutter options.

Fiberglass Replacement Window Advantages

Compared to vinyl, clad wood and wood windows, fiberglass windows hold a few important advantages, but despite that, they are still a niche item, representing just 2% of the replacement windows market. Two of the most significant reasons for their lack of popularity include price and homeowner unfamiliarity.

Fiberglass Replacement Window Installation in Chicago
Many of the people who do consider installing these types of windows in their homes say that their cost makes it hard for the windows to ever be a solid rival to vinyl or wood replacement windows in terms of market share. The difference in price though is not that great when compared side by side to clad wood windows, but there are cases when the price can be less or on par with them. On the other hand, compared to vinyl windows, the price difference can be as little as thirty percent or as much as fifty percent higher, based on the window options and quality. In the future though, the popularity of fiberglass windows will surge and there is a good chance they’re going to become mainstream.

If you plan on installing fiberglass windows in a property where achieving an organic look is imperative, then you may want to forget about it. However, given the fact fiberglass replacement windows hold some important advantages compared to other types out there, does that mean they deserve the high asking price? According to the majority of experts, if you can afford it and you love these types of windows, then the answer is yes.

One thing that makes fiberglass windows a great choice is not only their lack of maintenance, but also their incredible durability. Not only are they resistant to moisture and temperature extremes, but they’re also not going to splinter or rust. According to Lee Wallender from About dot com, fiberglass replacement windows have a lifespan that is about thirty eight percent longer compared to vinyl replacement windows.

Since fiberglass generally is composed of spun glass fibers, it’s going to react to major temperature changes exactly like glass panes would in a window. Because of that, the whole window system is more airtight which greatly prevents air leakage and increases energy efficiency. Due to the structural stability and strength of fiberglass, these windows are generally a great choice for being used as framing material for large openings, but also triple framed windows.

Compared to any other window frame materials out there, foam filled fiberglass boasts the best insulation value. However, in the majority of locations, hollow core fiberglass frames also have good insulation capabilities. While foam filled cores can bring a few advantages to the table for those living in harsh climates, at the end of the day it’s the kind of glass you choose that dramatically impacts comfort and energy savings.

Not many types of windows out there are paintable, but that’s certainly untrue when it comes to fiberglass. For most people, this is good news and that’s because the majority of factory color selections are limited. On some lines, a faux wood veneer or stainable wood on the interior is available if you’re the type who loves the beautiful and natural look of wood in your room.

According to the AAMA, fiberglass is an eco-friendly material that is very durable and will last for a very long time. Just like wood replacement windows, windows made of fiberglass are built using a renewable resource (i.e. sand). While the durability of fiberglass makes it a bit harder to recycle it, this is however a product that is safe to dispose of and handle.

This means that when you choose to buy fiberglass replacement windows, you’re going to get the same options as other types of replacement windows out there, including upscale window hardware, high-efficiency glass, fancy inserts and grills and so forth. Of course, these come at a price.

While in the past only a handful of manufacturers offered fiberglass replacement windows for sale, these days you can find them available from a wide range of them, including Pella, Marvin, Milgard and many others. In terms of size, the windows are usually sold in stock sizes, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t also get them in a custom size. All you have to do is make sure that you look for them in all the right places and you’re certainly going to find them in the size you require.

What’s left is aluminum window. However, they don’t perform that well in all geographical locations, contact us,  window installers Chicago and we’ll share our opinion with you.

Aluminum and Vinyl Clad Wood Replacement Window Debate

While wood windows conservatives are not really going to be impressed by them, clad wood replacement windows are probably the best choice if you’re looking for replacement windows that offer you the best of both worlds: that includes minimal exterior maintenance and the look of wooden windows.



While it’s true that these windows are indeed made of wood, they also have a layer of aluminum or sometimes vinyl that’s bonded to the exterior, so this means that you don’t need to worry about sealing or painting them. On the other hand, if you want, you can go ahead and stain or paint the interior which is made of wood in order to match your decor.

Price wise, clad wood windows are going to run you approximately two hundred dollars per window, but compared to real wood windows, maintenance time and cost are going to be a lot lower. Basically, the majority of window manufacturers out there offer clad wood windows and a lot of contractors recommend them as the best alternative to 100% wood windows.

Pros and Cons

Since there are different types of clad wood replacement windows out there, you should know that all of them have their own pros and cons. First of all, these windows can be purchased in a wide range of styles and colors and their insulating properties are certainly amazing (the same as wood). Because of that, they’re a great choice if you live in areas with hot summers and cold winters or both.

While vinyl isn’t immune to scratches (since the color runs through the material) they are less likely to show. In time, vinyl is also going to lose its color, but the good news is that it can be easily repainted should that happen.

Although aluminum is not really a great insulator, for those who live in areas with a milder climate, aluminum clad wood windows are a good choice to consider and on top of that, they’re also a lot stronger compared to the vinyl variety. Therefore, if you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes and generally severe weather, then these types of windows are certainly a wonderful choice.

Due to its nature, aluminum is indeed prone to scratching, yet if it’s necessary aluminum clad windows can be easily repainted. At the end of the day, based on your location and priorities, aluminum clad-wood or vinyl windows can make for a durable and overall amazing choice.

External cladding material

400 SERIES TILT-WASH DOUBLE-HUNG aluminum clad wood window by Anderson

400 SERIES TILT-WASH DOUBLE-HUNG aluminum clad wood window by Anderson

When looking for clad-wood replacement windows, not only will you need to consider the exterior cladding material, but you should also know that these windows are built using a wide range of woods, from exotic species to basic pine. To make sure you get the right ones, you need to take a closer look at your home decor. As for the rest of the options you can consider, they include hardware finishes, a wide range of pane inserts and styles and energy efficient glass.

Keep in mind that one of the most important features and pros of clad wood replacement windows is their great energy efficiency. Compared to all vinyl replacement windows, these are a lot better at minimizing air leakage. On top of that, they’re also a lot better at retaining their shape compared to vinyl windows in case they are exposed to extreme temperatures.

Initially, clad wood windows were a lot more expensive than vinyl, but if you sell your home, the difference in cost is going to be recouped. In a Value versus Cost survey conducted by Remodeling magazine in 2014, it was discovered that clad wood window has a minor advantage in terms of recouped project costs (seventy nine point three percent versus seventy eight point seven percent for vinyl windows). However, depending on the region, the return and the spread can be larger.

For instance, if you live in the Pacific region, then the projected return for clad wood windows is slightly over 100% of its cost, compared to 100% for vinyl replacement windows. Contact Window Contractors Chicago for clad, vinyl, wood,  aluminum or combination? Give us a call and we’ll help you choose the best option for you property and budget.

Wood Replacement Window Analytic Approach

According to the experts, it seems that wood replacement windows are the right choice for older properties or for homeowners who favor a traditional appearance. What’s great about wood is that not only is it very versatile, but at the same time it can also be shaped or milled in order to fit a wide range of openings.

If you are interested in getting wood windows, you should know what most of the time they come unfinished, but if you want you can also stain or paint them in any color you want. Better yet, it’s also possible to order windows that are already painted or ready to be painted, but if you go down this route there are going to be few colors you can choose from.

Wood Replacement Window InstallationIn terms of price, you should know that wood windows are a bit more expensive compared to vinyl replacement windows. So if you want to get one in a regular size, then a standard double hung pine window is going to cost between two hundred and fifty and two hundred and eighty dollars, plus a little bit extra for the installation if you don’t want to install it on your own. Of course, depending on quality and brand, the prices can vary quite a bit.

Other factors that can increase the price of wood replacement windows include exotic woods, decorative inserts, and high performance glass. For instance, a window with that features high performance glazing is going to cost over 800 dollars. If you opt for mahogany, then the cost is going to be a whopping twenty one hundred dollars.

Vinyl and wood both have excellent insulating properties. Keep in mind though that vinyl replacement windows cannot handle temperature extremes as good as wood replacement windows, especially when it comes to heat. High temperatures causes vinyl replacement windows to become difficult to close or open and they can develop leaks.

Even if wood replacement windows boosts great resistance to temperature extremes, they are susceptible to a host of other environmental factors, such as moisture for instance. That is why you need to make sure your wood replacement windows are properly sealed (you can stain or paint them for this purpose). But staining or painting wood replacement windows makes them high maintenance and the costs are certainly going to add up pretty quickly.

If you live in an area with harsh winters, then maintenance can be a big problem. In fact, it’s best that you avoid getting wood windows at all and go for clad wood windows instead. Doing so lowers your maintenance costs and the windows also maintain their natural wood on the inside.

On the other hand though, it seems that there are some people who have a different opinion about this. According to the EWC, wood is definitely not the most durable material for making window frames and that is because it’s susceptible to rot. But if wood is maintained properly, then it undoubtedly has a very long lifespan compared to other materials on the market. Since it can be painted in any color you wish, wood can easily maintain its exterior surface for a very long time.

Clad wood and wood replacement windows are by far one of the most environmentally friendly choices of windows material on the market today, but only if the wood used for them comes from a sustainable source.

The more popular window manufacturers, such as Jeld-Wen, Marvin and Andersen mention exactly where the wood used for making their windows comes from. In order to learn more about the distributors and manufacturers that use wood from sustainable forests, the Forest Stewards Council has compiled a database of FSC certified retailers on its website that you should definitely check out.

According to many home renovation experts, if you want to improve the value of your home, then you should certainly consider getting wood replacement windows. However, while this generally does apply, it seems that it’s not a given. That’s because a lot depends on the condition of the existing windows and also on the type of home.

For instance, aluminum, clad wood, fiberglass and vinyl windows may not complement a historic Victorian home, but they can look okay and more appropriate if used for a more modern home. Regardless of how great your home may look, drafty and rotting windows are never going to be a selling point, so if you have a home with such windows that you plan on getting good money for, you should replace them right away.

You can always contact us and ask any questions you may have concerning Chicago window installation, available window types, financing options, or anything else.

Vinyl Slider Windows Installation

Installation of vinyl sliding windows in Chicago is in most cases the most affordable way to improve energy efficiency and curb appeal of your house.

A sliding window sashes can be moved horizontally left or right. Because of their design sliding windows are not recommended for very tall and narrow openings, you may simply experience difficulty / wobbling when attempting to slide tall sections.

They are fairly easy to maintain, sections can be removed for cleaning by slightly lifting them up and pulling inside.

For larger horizontal openings slider windows are often configured with a centered picture window and two sliders positioned symmetrically on both sides.

Feel free to contact us, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning vinyl slider windows installation in Chicago. Also check vinyl picture window installation.

Specifications of vinyl slider windows we install in Chicago:

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Vinyl Picture Windows Installation

A few things to consider before deciding on vinyl picture window installation in Chicago. Vinyl picture windows are best to create an unobstructed view from the interior of your house. However, you need to remember that picture windows are stationary / non-opening type and will not provide any means of ventilation. House ventilation and air exchanges are regulated by building codes, also, natural ventilation (i.e. provided by windows) can be substituted with mechanical systems.

Therefore, you should always consult your local building inspector when in doubt. Depending on room configuration and wall area available for window installation a picture window can be combined with one or a couple of double-hung, casement, or slider type windows. This would solve ventilation issue and still provide almost the same amount of light for your room. Just like any other type, picture windows are available with different glass types, grid designs, and colors. How about vinyl garden window installation?

Specifications of picture windows we install in Chicago:

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