Choosing the Right Style and Material
Most styles of windows are available in a number of different materials. Each material has advantages and disadvantages in terms of maintenance and appearance.
Windows were traditionally made of wood, and it is still popular because it is so versatile. If old windows are drafty, you can install weather stripping. Hardwood is expensive, but is durable and only needs the protection of oil. You can also paint hardwood windows or give them a natural finish. Softwood windows need to be protected by paint or a natural wood finish, and regularly maintained
Double-glazed, vinyl windows offer excellent heat and sound insulation. Old windows are often replaced throughout a house by new vinyl windows. In addition to white, other finishes are available, such as wood-grain. Vinyl requires little maintenance.
Where maximum light is required, aluminum windows can be an excellent option-the strength of aluminum means a thin frame can support a large expanse of glass. However, aluminum conducts heat out of the home and is prone to condensation. Double-glazing may be required by building regulations to reduce heat loss. Old aluminum windows were prone to rust, but modern versions are coated during manufacturing and are durable and low-maintenance.
Windows can be made from a combination of materials. Aluminum windows, for example, often have a wooden core, and steel casements can be housed in wooden frames to reduce heat loss. Frames with decorative real wood on the inside, and maintenance-free fiberglass or vinyl exteriors are also available. Traditional lead lights are made up of small pieces of glass held between strips of lead within a wood frame. Other types of windows are available with lead-light-effect double-glazing.
This kind of lumber is extremely high-quality, and is divided into grades 1-3 and A-D. Lower grades are distinguishable because they have more knots.
A distinctive, traditional design with two vertically sliding sashes. Modern sashes are made of wood or vinyl, and some versions allow tilting of sashes for easy cleaning. In this example, the top sash slides down, and the bottom sash slides up.
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