Window Frame Materials: What Are the Pros & Cons of Each?

Dec 17, 2021

Interior view of upscale kitchen with three sets of beautiful double-hung windows over the range looking out and a set of casement windows in the dinette areaIn the not-so-distant past, most homeowners had wood-frame or aluminum-frame windows. However, those once-popular window frame materials have largely taken a back seat to newer synthetic materials like vinyl and fiberglass. Overall, the advancements in window frame materials and construction techniques have benefited homeowners, who now have many options when it’s time for window replacement. However, that same abundance of options has also led to confusion, and perhaps caused some homeowners to put off a much-needed upgrade.

At Johnson County Siding & Window Co., we’ve been in the home window installation business for over 40 years, so we’ve had a front-row seat to many of the advances in window frame materials as well as construction methods aimed at boosting energy efficiency. We’re happy to share this “cheat sheet” comparison of the pros and cons of various window frame materials to help you jumpstart an upgrade at your home.

Wood-Frame Windows

  • Pros: Wood windows are naturally energy efficient (when combined with high-tech insulating glass), and their classic beauty can’t be denied.
  • Cons: They’re among the most expensive options on the market, and they’ll require repainting every few years to keep them looking their best.

Aluminum-Frame Windows

  • Pros: Aluminum-frame windows are among the most affordable and strongest window replacement options.
  • Cons: Aluminum is not aesthetically appealing, and it’s one of the least energy-efficient window frame materials available. So, over time, you may miss out on money you could have saved on energy bills by investing in more energy-efficient upgrades.

Vinyl-Frame Windows

  • Pros: Provided you invest in premium vinyl-frame windows from a manufacturer known for incorporating masterful craftsmanship and energy-efficient technology, this type of window can be an excellent choice. Vinyl windows tend to be more affordable than many other types of windows, and they require minimal maintenance.
  • Cons: Color options are often limited, and vinyl frames are not designed to be painted.

Fiberglass-Frame Windows

  • Pros: These are the crème de la crème of replacement windows, combining an elegant appearance with outstanding durability and excellent energy efficiency. Fiberglass windows also require little upkeep beyond an occasional cleaning.
  • Cons: Fiberglass windows cost more than many other options, but they often pay for themselves over time due to their superior energy efficiency. They can be tricky to install, so it’s important to make sure your window contractor is certified to install fiberglass windows.

If you’re in the Kansas City area and considering a home window replacement project, the experts at Johnson County Siding & Window Co. will be happy to help you sort through the options. Contact us today for more information.


If you know you want to get your home exterior project done, but are feeling stress about paying for it all at once, we can help.

Our financing partner, GreenSky, has sensible payment plans that work for homeowners who prefer to pay in installments. You can also ask your JoCo Siding & Window Co. sales representative about the details!

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