Monday, February 25, 2008

A Guide To Window Hardware

by: Charles Mohaney

A variety of materials are available in window hardware. You have several options in terms of energy efficiency and design. Your personal preference, the climate and the style of your home will help you choose the right material for your house.

Types of Window Hardware

Wood

Wood has been the most common material used in window construction for generations. Wood is the easiest material to work with, either for a professional or a homeowner doing a DIY home improvement project. This material is most often used in custom work and intricately detailed designs. You have a wide range of options for painting and staining to fit every decorating need. This material is also very good in terms of energy efficiency.

The only downside of using wood is the maintenance needed. You will need to re paint or stain often. The peeling not only looks terrible, but will cause the wood to rot, if not maintained properly over the years. With good, regular maintenance, wood windows will last a long time.

Steel

Steel is most often found in older homes and basement windows. It is rarely used in newer homes because it is not very energy efficient. The heat from your home can easily escape through the frame of these windows. In addition, regular maintenance is needed. You must repaint steel regularly, or it will rust. Steel is a very durable material and is still used in hurricane storm shutters.

Aluminum

Aluminium is nearly as durable as steel. However, like steel, it is not very energy efficient and allows significant heat loss. This material does have one benefit over steel. It doesn’t require the frequent maintenance. The color of aluminium is baked on and a variety of colors are available. Repainting is not necessary.

Vinyl

Vinyl is an inexpensive and durable material for windows. In addition, vinyl is fairly energy efficient. In addition, vinyl windows are maintenance free. They don’t need to be painted. Vinyl is colored straight through, so you won’t ever see chips, scratches or peeling. A variety of colors are available to match your home’s decoration.

The biggest problem with vinyl is that it can look cheap. There are vinyl products that are made to look like wood, but the effect isn’t very good. They still have a plastic look.

Fibreglass

Fibreglass is a fairly new material for window construction. It is very durable and energy efficient. When insulated properly, it is one of the best in terms of energy efficiency. There is little heat loss with well insulated fibreglass windows. You will pay for this efficiency. These windows are among the most expensive.

Things to Consider When Choosing Window Hardware

Consider the climate where you live. If you live in a hot climate, you want to keep the heat out and the cold air in your home. Look for windows with a lower U value.

If you live in a colder climate, you want just the opposite: to keep the cold out and heat in. Heat loss is a major problem in cold climates and you’ll want to prevent this both through the frame and the glass. Choose energy efficient material and insulate it well. Consider insulated glass, which adds to the energy efficiency of the window. These products contain two layers of glass with argon gas in between the layers.

When replacing windows, consider the design of your home. You want the windows to match the architectural elements of your home. Make sure the material you choose fits in with the time period of your home. You won’t want wood, Colonial style windows on a modern Contemporary home.

About The Author

Charles Mahoney reveals many news to http://www.replacement-windows-tips.com an web site for information. The author is specializing in tips on window hardware ( http://www.replacement-windows-tips.com/window-hardware.html ).


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