Which terms do I need to know before I start shopping for windows?

21 June 2012
As you shop for new windows, you’ll hear and read a lot of jargon about glazing, spacers and cladding. Here is a glossary of terms that might help you understand the gobbledygook!  

Cladding. This is the wood or metal window frame. Four popular choices are:

  1. All wood—both on the inside and outside frame. Wood is a beautiful choice, and you can paint it any color you like. The downside: You do have to paint it—and the outside requires frequent repainting. The Arizona heat and bright sun will deteriorate the outside wood over the years.
  2. All metal—vinyl or aluminum. They’re designed to be easy to maintain and never require painting, although some manufacturers make paintable versions. Rosie recommends that Arizona residents avoid vinyl windows because they can sag and deteriorate under the hot desert sun.
  3. Wood-clad. Clad windows have wood frames on the interior side and either vinyl or aluminum cladding over wood on the exterior. You can paint the inside any color you like, but you never have to paint the outside. Rosie’s ideal window: aluminum-clad wood. He never recommends vinyl-clad wood.
  4. Fiberglass—either all-metal or wood-clad. Fiberglass is an insulating material and is stiffer than vinyl. It also allows for slimmer sightlines so the glass area can be larger. Fiberglass windows perform well in extremely hot or cold weather because the material has a low expansion and contraction rate—so they’re becoming popular in Arizona. 

For more information and for answers to all YOUR Landscape, Garden and Home Improvement questions, visit our website, Rosieonthehouse.com

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