Top Double-Hung Window Materials

October 11, 2010

Double-hung windows are perhaps the most popular type of window. They differ from single-hung windows in that either the top or bottom sash can move up or down, giving double-hung windows great versatility and a balance between ventilation and security. Double-hung windows can be ordered in a variety of sizes and configurations for both new construction and replacement. Some newer double-hung windows feature tilting sashes, which provide another ventilation option as well as making cleaning easier.

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Typical Double Hung Window Materials

You will find double-hung windows made with wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum. Your choice of materials depends on your needs, taking into consideration insulation properties, cost, and durability.

  • Wood: This is the most traditional material for double-hung windows. Wood is easy to work with, takes paint or stain well, and has excellent insulation properties. Wood does require periodic maintenance, and can be subject to swelling or shrinkage in temperature and humidity extremes.
  • Vinyl: This may be the best price/performance choice. Vinyl is strong, durable, doesn't fade or peel, and features excellent insulation and low maintenance.
  • Fiberglass: Provides perhaps the best insulation of any window material, as well as excellent sound insulation. Fiberglass is paintable to match your home's trim, requires little or no maintenance, and mimics the classic look of wood.
  • Aluminum: Greater strength allows thinner frames than wood or vinyl. Aluminum has superior sound insulation properties, but does not insulate as well against heat and cold as other materials.

When choosing materials for your double-hung windows, you need to take into account factors such as climate, aesthetics, price, and personal preferences, then pick the material that best suits your needs.

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