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How to Choose the Right Window Material; Tips from an St. Charles, Illinois, New Windows Company

Published , By Brian Olson

Are you looking for replacement windows for your residential or commercial property? Choosing the right window style and design from the numerous options available could be a daunting task in itself. To add to that, you will also have to choose a material for the window.

Generally, the window ‘material’ refers to the material used in the window frame. To help you make an educated decision, here are some of the most common window materials used in St. Charles:


Wood has been used as a window frame material for decades. The two primary advantages of using wood are its aesthetic appeal, as well as its natural insulating properties. However, wooden window frames need to be periodically maintained by re-painting, sealing, and finishing in order to avoid rotting and sun damage. Maintained regularly, they can serve you for well over three decades.


Aluminum is usually the preferred window frame material for commercial applications. The primary advantage of aluminum is that it makes stronger frames. Aluminum frames are robust, durable, and easy to maintain. They can also be designed to look sleek and minimalist, ideal for contemporary designs.

Additionally, high-end aluminum can also be given a smooth powder coated finish, which offers the frame longevity, eradicating the need for repainting. However, aluminum is not a very good insulator and may not be a great choice if energy efficiency is your primary concern for selecting the window material.


Vinyl windows are widely used today. Vinyl window frames are easily manufactured, thereby providing the benefit of high value and low cost to the purchaser. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is an excellent temperature insulator, not allowing heat or cold to pass through it. This makes vinyl windows highly durable in both hot and cold climates.

Vinyl windows resist corrosion, and once installed, they are virtually maintenance-free. The possible downside of vinyl frames is that they may not add as much value to your home as compared to other materials.


Fiberglass is resistant to corrosion, air pollutants, and does not warp when exposed to extreme humidity or temperature fluctuations. They are also are durable, tough, and extremely weather resistant. This makes fiberglass window frames suitable for use in large windows and aesthetic designs. However, a possible drawback of fiberglass is that it is much more costly as compared to vinyl or aluminum.

Wood-clad Windows

Wood-clad windows are a good option to reduce the maintenance needed by all-wood windows. Basically, manufacturers clad wooden frames on the exterior of the house with either aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass, making the frame low maintenance from the outside.

 On the inside, you still have an aesthetic wooden look. These window frames are highly weather-resistant, low maintenance, and energy-efficient, but are more expensive than all other materials.


Fibrex is a composite material that contains wood fibers and epoxy resin. The final outlook resembles wood, but eliminates the drawback of rot, mold, or deterioration that is common in wood.

Fibrex is a cutting-edge material that adds a lot of durability and strength to your window frames. Due to its strength, the sash and frames can actually be made narrower, giving room for more glass and a wider view. Fibrex also has superior thermal insulating properties that can help you save money on your energy bills.

Looking to Replace the Windows in Your Home in St. Charles, IL?

Established in 1979, the experts at Olson Windows have extensive experience in selling and installing windows in the St. Charles area.

We provide recommendations to help you select the right material for your new windows in St. Charles. Our team of seasoned professionals is ready to help serve you.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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