Compare Aluminum vs. Composite Windows


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Aluminum vs. Composite Windows

In the battle between aluminum vs. composite windows, we will compare these two popular frame materials in terms of pricing, aesthetics, strength, energy efficiency and overall value.

Costs And Pricing

In terms of cost, aluminum windows will typically be slightly more expensive than a comparable composite window. Composites are often made with a combination of vinyl and wood particles, which makes them a cheaper material than their aluminum counterpart. The average cost of an aluminum window will range from $400-$650 fully installed. The average cost of a composite window will run $400-$550 fully installed.

Style And Aesthetics

In terms of style and aesthetics, composite windows will probably get the nod from more consumers and contractors over aluminum. Unlike vinyl windows, composite frames can be painted, which allows for some great exterior and interior colors and finishes. Aluminum windows, on the other hand, have a thinner, more modern or commercial look to them. Some homeowners like this modern appearance because it provides more glass or viewing area, but others prefer the warmer feel of the composites.

Strength And Durability

In terms of strength and durability, aluminum windows beat out composites quite handily. In fact, aluminum window frames are stronger than any available material on the market. However, most well-made composite windows have more than enough strength and durability for 99% of all residential homes on the market.

Energy Efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency, composite windows will beat out aluminum windows any day of the week. This is the one area where aluminum windows are really at the bottom of the barrel compared with other frame materials. Even with the new thermally broken construction, aluminum windows tend to do a poor job in terms of thermal performance. Composite windows, on the other hand, are right in the middle of all window frame materials in terms of energy efficiency.

Bottom line

Aluminum windows do well in hot climates because of their incredible strength, but they tend to lack in energy efficiency. They do offer a unique look that some consumers will really like. Composite windows are quite nice looking with the many exterior color options they typically offer and they achieve decent but not great performance numbers.

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