Finally ready to start your renovations? If you’ve already chosen your contractor, set your budget and taken your measurements, you’re now ready to go shopping for your products.
When it comes to windows, there are many different materials to choose from: PVC, aluminium, hybrid PVC/aluminium, wood and fibreglass. Which one to choose? Actually, these materials all have their own advantages. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them.
The residential windows market is dominated by PVC (polyvinyl chloride), mainly because of its affordable price, ease of maintenance, and insulating properties. Even through window models can appear identical from one manufacturer to the next, a good-quality window depends on the quality of the PVC. When shopping for windows, check the thinkness and the number of air chambers. If need be, ask to see a cross-section of the window. Other advantages of PVC:
- superior energy efficiency;
- 100% recyclable;
- glossy finish that repels dirt.
Aluminium is most often seen in commercial construction projects. Known for its stiffness, aluminium allows for a slimmer frame, leaving more space for the window panes. Aluminium is less common in residential projects because it is more expensive and because its high conductivity makes it less energy efficient than PVC. Some benefits of choosing aluminium:
- low maintenance;
- long life;
- forced-entry resistance.
- Hybrid (PVC/aluminium)
Hybrid, or “mixed” models, are an interesting compromise. In these types of windows, the inner PVC frame is covered with aluminium, giving you the best of both materials: robustness and energy efficiency. Hybrid windows also offer:
- an excellent quality-price ratio;
- the modern look of aluminium;
- weather resistance.
Still widely used, wood is appreciated for its warm, timeless appearance. These days, wooden windows are most often used in high-end projects. Elegant looking, wooden windows require periodic maintenance and take longer to manufacture than other types of windows. As a result, they are more expensive. Other advantages of wood:
- stable and durable;
- environmentally friendly, because it is a renewable resource;
- acoustic and thermal properties.
Another material you’ll encounter on your shipping trips is fiberglass. While it’s used a lot for doors, not many manufacturers use it to make windows. You should be aware that you probably won’t find all these materials at the same store and that manufacturers usually concentrate on only a few materials.
Which material is best suited to your needs? Go with the one that meets your specific criteria: budget, energy efficiency, warranty, longevity, appearance, manufacturer’s reputation, etc. Need help? Call us! We’ve been offering personalized consulting services for 70 years!