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4 Common Window Materials For Your Home

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If you’re considering window replacement or new construction windows, you may be weighing your options for exactly what type of windows you want. Homeowners have many choices regarding window replacements and installations, including window frame and sash materials, different glasses, and the window company that completes the window replacement installation project. Each answer to the choices above will affect your home and energy bill.

Tom Adams Windows and Carpets, a window company with more than 66 years of experience, is renowned for its national award-winning service and installation. We can help you choose the best replacement windows from one of our top American-made window companies for your needs and budget.

Here are the four most well-known types of window frames and sash materials to consider when replacing your windows.

Common Window Materials

Vinyl Window Frames (Most Popular Option)

Vinyl window frames and sashes offer an affordable, long-lasting option for New Window Replacements. They are also the most popular window frame and sash materials. Vinyl window frames have several desirable characteristics. Such as:

  • Inexpensive (Best Value)
  • Lifetime Windows Warranties
  • Heat-resistant Frames and Sashes (won’t warp or twist because of sun or heat)
  • Cold-resistant Frame and Sashes (won’t crack or break because of cold weather)
  • Water-resistant Frame and Sashes (won’t rot or swell)
  • UV-resistant Frame and Sashes (Fade-resistant to sunlight )

Vinyl windows are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a long-lasting plastic also used for home pipes and residential and commercial vinyl flooring tiles. Replacement vinyl windows are known to last 50+ years, and with each year, technology makes them better. They provide excellent insulating properties when extruded into shapes and also increase soundproofing. Combined with an energy-efficient Low E glass with an Argon insulating gas, replacement vinyl windows work well to keep out drafts as well as noise. Best of all, these windows require little to no maintenance. Provia Windows and Doors is one of the best vinyl window manufacturers in the USA and has the country’s BEST warranties.

Tom Adams Vinyl Windows offers a variety of interior colors and wood grain laminates for your custom vinyl window frames, along with custom colors on the outside. That means your replacement windows will match your home, inside and out.

The cost of designer colors is minor compared to what it costs to customize the look of other types of windows. Window installation for vinyl window replacements is exceptionally fast, which helps reduce costs for the homeowner. You can also accent by capping your vinyl windows with accented colors or matching aluminum capping colors. High-quality replacement or new construction vinyl windows have welded corners on all frames and sashes for added strength and provides a better long-term installation. Ask about our new Fine Line welding—the most aesthetic and superior welded replacement window made in the USA.

Common Window Materials

Wood Window Frames

Although vinyl windows tend to be the more affordable and popular option for window replacement, many people enjoy the appearance of wooden frames and sashes. You should be aware that wood windows will cost more than their vinyl counterparts, but you cannot replicate a real hardwood natural interior’s warmth and look. If you’re considering wood windows, look to Provia windows and Doors’ Aeris line as well as Marvin Windows and Doors.

You can purchase vinyl windows that give a natural appearance that resembles real wood. But, as with luxury vinyl tile versus hardwood floors, many homeowners prefer the real thing. In traditional or historic homes, wood windows match the home’s décor better than any facsimile created by man.  If you’re looking to preserve the historic quality of a home even during a renovation, you’ll want to replicate the original wood windows’ look, from frames, sashes to wooden grids.

Wood window frames have excellent insulating properties. While you may consider vinyl to be exceptionally durable, wooden window frames can last forever with the proper care and maintenance. You can switch the color easily if you paint your home’s interior or exterior, so your windows will always match your décor. Don’t forget many wood windows have an aluminum-clad exterior for long-lasting protection and no maintenance on the outside. And remember, there’s nothing quite like the warmth and beauty of wood.

Common Window Materials

Fiberglass Window Frames

Many homeowners think of fiberglass as the material inside their home’s walls, ceiling, and attic to provide insulation against the elements. But did you know that the same properties that make fiberglass an excellent insulator within your home’s walls also make it a practical option as a window material?

Fiberglass is constructed of glass fibers woven together to create a very strong, solid, and highly insulating material. The Marvin Window and Door companies use Pultrusion to make the material from a process patented 20 years ago, designed to outperform aluminum, vinyl, wood, and composites.

Fiberglass is not as pricey as wood and has been used to manufacture cars and boats that withstand the environment and give added strength when constructed effectively. It does cost more than comparable replacement vinyl windows. But it has excellent insulating properties and can be used in conjunction with a wood interior to give the highest rated strength and zero maintenance on fiberglass windows. Fiberglass exterior with a hardwood interior provides the beauty of natural wood along with the power of fiberglass.  Because it is so sturdy, window installation may be faster and easier than wood. All fiberglass replacement windows also offer more glass in every window.

100% weather-resistant, sturdy, and available to match the interior of today’s modern homes, fiberglass window frames are designed not to bend, break or crack, while providing excellent insulation and soundproofing, especially when paired with double-paned glass. Many color options are available for the outside and inside. You can choose design options to match the traditional, modern, or industrial look of your home.

Common Window Materials

Composite Window Frames

Composite window frames are designed to look like wood and mimic many of the wood frames’ properties but at a lower cost. They are typically made from particleboard or laminated strand lumber and are held together with special glues. Some composites are constructed from blown foamed PVC. Please find out all the information on composites; many are misleading. Some use made-up names like FIBREX to mislead homeowners to think that the composite is strictly made of strong fiberglass, but it is a composite of many different products.

The composite frames come with many different exterior cladding types that can be made of other materials, vinyl or composite. The insulating properties and durability of composite frames depend on the material used in the composite. When buying a composite window, the mixture of the different materials is often not the best suited for your home. Each composite window is made with many different products in which each has different characteristics. A window specialist like Tom Adams can help you sift through each window to find the best for your home and budget.

Tom Adams also recommends, sells, and installs vinyl, fiberglass, wood, or a combination of the three.  Click here for a FREE In-Home Estimate and Consultation.

What is your preferred type of window frame? Let us know in the comments.


  • Weather-proof
  • Lasts up to 50 years or more
  • Offers excellent insulating properties
  • Provides superior soundproofing and toughness
  • Never needs painting or maintenance
  • Many interior choices available (real hardwood to laminate wood)
  • Unlimited and custom colors available on outside
  • Comes in new construction and replacement style
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • Best value


  • Easily paintable to match the interior and exterior design of your home
  • Classic, traditional or historic look
  • Comes with aluminum clad exterior or wood exterior
  • Long-lasting
  • Needs maintenance
  • Easy to change colors inside or outside
  • Offers excellent insulating properties
  • Comes in new construction and replacement style


  • Costs less than wood, more than vinyl
  • Great Value for what you get
  • Extremely long-lasting
  • Patented construction process
  • Excellent insulating and soundproofing qualities
  • No maintenance
  • Super strong frame / sash
  • Same expansion rate as glass
  • Can be combined with real wood interior
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes in new construction and replacement style


  • Durable
  • Highly insulating
  • Varies from different manufacturers
  • Very Expensive to Overpriced for the value
  • Long-lasting
  • Only available as replacement style

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