Are you looking to replace the windows in your home or business? Deciding which framing material you want is an important decision you shouldn’t take lightly. Your selection will impact the installation’s cost, durability, energy efficiency, maintenance requirements and more. Compare wood windows and aluminium windows, two popular material choices, to see which one suits you best.
That’s because there are pros and cons to both aluminium and wooden joinery. Ultimately the decision rests with you in choosing the joinery type best for your home.
How to choose the right joinery material for your home
Wooden and aluminium windows offer different benefits and features. Consider energy efficiency, maintenance needs, weather tightness and environmental impacts. Choosing the right type for your home means weighing up the pros and cons for both.
The benefits of wooden windows include:
- Environmentally friendly as less energy is required to make a wooden frame
- Have a negative global warming potential, reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over their lifespan
- Reduce energy costs by being thermally efficient as a natural insulator
- Natural beauty and timeless character wooden window frames bring to both modern and historic homes
- Available in a wide range of styles
In comparison, the cons of choosing wooden joinery include:
- Ongoing maintenance must be done, including regular painting or varnishing, sanding and weather tightness
- Most often higher priced than their aluminium version
- May not suit modern designed homes
- Heavier than aluminium window frames
Wooden windows are common in older homes. However, in new builds, they are again becoming more common due to their benefits and fitting into homes of a particular style. Often, homeowners are replacing wooden with aluminium when renovating. However, aluminium windows also have their pros and cons.
The benefits of aluminium windows include:
- Lower cost than wooden windows
- Minimal maintenance
- High strength, as they do not warp or rot
- Available in many different shapes and sizes
The cons of choosing aluminium joinery include:
- High probability of condensation
- Not a natural insulator, as thermal conductance is high
Should I pick a window frame type based on my location or property appearance?
Just like roofing materials and building cladding, choosing the joinery type for your home depends on where it is located and what it looks like. For instance, wooden windows require more maintenance than their metal counterparts. If you have a multi-storey property, this is going to be more of a problem. Scaffolding is then needed to do any repairs or painting. Thus, if your home is large, maintenance costs more.
However, if your home is a period or historic home, keeping the original appearance with wooden windows outweighs the maintenance issues. This is also true for homes in which a more natural appearance is preferred, such as in bush or coastal areas.
Aluminium windows and coastal areas are not a good mix. But you can use aluminium frames if they are well cared for. This involves removing salt residue on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to choose more durable paint finishes. Homes which are in high wind zones, however, are best choosing aluminium joinery. Because they are stronger than wooden frames, they will hold up to the harsher weather conditions better.
If you are unable to choose between wood or aluminium, perhaps using a composite frame will suit. Made with both materials, homeowners will have the maintenance and strength benefits of aluminium framing on the outside of their property, with the appearance and insulative properties of wood on the inside. This option lets you be respectful to the original character of your home when renovating but is costlier.
Aluminium vs. Wood Windows: Durability
Aluminium-clad windows offer exceptional strength for long-lasting durability. Take good care of your aluminium-clad window frames and you can expect them to last for decades.
Wood windows, on the other hand, are prone to warping, contracting, and expanding as temperatures and humidity levels change throughout the year. If the window seal is damaged and the wood frame gets soaked, it may require a replacement.
Aluminium vs. Wood Windows: Home Value
A highly sought after feature for many homebuyers, aluminium-clad windows add more value to your home than vinyl or all-aluminium windows. Due to their beautiful aesthetic, wood windows increase home value as well. Both are excellent choices if your goal is to sell your home at a higher price after making the upgrade.
Aluminium vs. Wood Windows: Cost
While the final cost of any window replacement project relies heavily on how many windows you are replacing and what style you choose, aluminium tends to be much less expensive than wood.
Aluminium vs. Wood Windows: Maintenance
As an organic material, wood is prone to warping when it comes in contact with moisture. However, wood does not attract condensation. It requires a little more upkeep, especially in humid climates, but as long as you have a quality window installed, water damage shouldn’t be an issue.
With that said, you never have to worry about warping from aluminium windows. The metal withstands exposure to all types of weather and climates without any extra maintenance on your part. Just remember, the style of window you choose impacts maintenance requirements as well. For example, sliding windows are easier to clean and less likely to have a malfunction than single- or double-hung windows.
Aluminium vs. Wood Windows: Colors and Finishes
Aluminium-clad windows offer the ultimate flexibility in terms of colours, finishes and wood types. At Weather Shield, you can choose from seven wood species and dozens of aluminium colours. Combine these any way you like for a custom look to match your home or business.
The same goes for the Weather Shield wood window product line where nine wood species and more than 50 colour selections let you customize the look any way you want. The aesthetic of composite and vinyl windows simply don’t compare to the warmth and classical elegance of wood windows.
So Which Is Better: Aluminum Windows or Wood Windows?
Many people want the aesthetic of wood without the associated maintenance requirements. That’s why aluminium-clad wood is such a good option. It offers the warm, comforting aesthetic of wood with the strength, durability and low-maintenance of aluminium.