An aluminum clad exterior has many assets. It’s virtually maintenance-free, it can be painted any color you want, and it offers extremely sturdy protection to the exterior of your window. But you have to be careful what type of aluminum you’re getting. Extruded aluminum is much thicker, more solid and usually a bit more expensive than roll-form aluminum, which is thinner, flimsier and usually priced less. If you’re looking at cross-sections, the difference between extruded aluminum and roll-form is easy to see. The disparity in strength would be similar to the difference between a metal pipe and an aluminum can. There is a drawback with aluminum cladding in that it is slightly more conductive than vinyl cladding, thus making it faintly less energy-efficient.
Copper and Bronze Cladding
Extruded Copper or Bronze clad is maintenance and provides the unique benefits and beauty of a living finish. Both Copper and Bronze will patina over time and in coastal area with high salinity will even turn shades of green and red. The cladding can have a patina applied to enhance the beauty. These patina’s come in many different colors for browns to greens. Extruded Copper and Bronze is much thicker, more solid and usually a bit more expensive than roll-form, which is thinner, flimsier, usually priced less and doesn’t let the wood breath causing rot over time. If you’re looking at cross-sections, the difference between extruded aluminum and roll-form is easy to see. The disparity in strength would be similar to the difference between a metal pipe and an aluminum can.
Wood windows with no cladding on the exterior are very popular for historic homes and neighborhoods where historical replication is king. These type of windows can obviously be painted or Stained any color because you’re applying it directly to a wood surface. The biggest drawback is that over time, Mother Nature plays havoc with the exterior and you will have to maintain them. Depending on where you live, what type of weather you incur, and the strictness of your local building or home association codes, you may have to re-oil or paint the exterior as often as every 2-3 years to protect the wood from aging and maintain the look required.
Thermally Broken Aluminum
A frame window with a barrier in between the inside and outside window frames that will prevent the conductive thermal energy loss. These systems come in many different designs for both contemporary and traditional homes. Many people use aluminum because you can get a steel look without the high cost associated with steel. The durability and low maintenance of Aluminum once painted or Anodized is one of the significant reasons for it use. Another, Aluminum is a Green Building component that can easily be recycled. Most of our manufacturers have 40 % or more recycled aluminum in the extruded profiles.
Steel and Thermally Broken Steel
No other quality is more readily associated with steel window and doors that their narrow sightlines. Architects have incorporated this attribute in every sort of building over hundreds of years, and have designed the gracefulness of steel windows into countless architectural styles. Ironically, the minimal aspect of steel windows and doors is derived for the incredibly massive strength of the material.