Wood windows have some of the highest energy efficiency ratings among the different types of replacement window frame materials. The wood frames also offer a natural warmth and elegance both inside and outside your home. But wood isn't the perfect window material due to potential weather damage, needed maintenance, and the higher cost. But suitable alternatives exist in the form of wood clad windows.
There are a few different types of wood clad windows with specific pros and cons that can help you decide on a frame model. If you need additional help deciding, contact a window replacement installation company like Southland Exteriors LLC for more information.
Extruded Aluminum Windows
An extruded aluminum window has a wooden frame on the inside and a thin, tightly fabricated piece of aluminum as the exterior coating. The "extruded" in the title refers to the fabrication method of the aluminum, which makes the material as strong and durable as possible.
Aluminum on its own doesn't make for a fantastic window frame material even when some insulation is included. The energy efficient ratings on aluminum frames remain lower than wood and vinyl frames regardless of whether added panes of glass or gas-filled glass is used.
Combining durably manufactured aluminum to the surface of wood creates a hybrid window frame that receives top marks across most areas. The window frame retains the energy efficiency of the underlying wood frame but the aluminum coating means the frame has lower maintenance and better strength and durability. The aluminum can also be dyed, which opens up your frame color options.
The one bad aspect of this type of window frame is the higher cost compared to a standard aluminum window frame.
Roll Formed Aluminum Windows
Do you like the idea of a wood frame with an aluminum coating but can't afford an extruded aluminum wood clad window? A roll formed aluminum window might be a good option. The aluminum here is thinner and less durable than the extruded aluminum, but the results after cladding are still better than wood or aluminum frames alone.
A roll formed aluminum window still excels at energy efficiency, color selection, and low-maintenance aspects. But the aluminum is more prone to damage and denting caused by the impact of weather elements, for example. Depending on the type of frame and how your windows were installed, the denting might not be highly noticeable to others even if it were to occur.