There are typically five window frames and sash materials to choose from to accompany your window. Among the five materials, vinyl is the most popular. Vinyl provides a middle ground between the highest priced, highest quality material and the inexpensive and low quality material. Simply put, vinyl produces the highest quality for the best price. The durability of vinyl coupled with the thermal resistance it provides, makes it one of the most sought after materials on the market. This material is ideal for those who do not want to spend a lot of time with the maintenance of their windows and have a smaller budget to work with.
Although less desirable, people also equip their windows with materials such as wood, aluminum, steel and fiberglass. Genuine wood frames are typically higher in price and require a lot of maintenance. Wood provides good thermal resistance however the durability of the wood depends on what type of wood you are using.
Aluminum is the least desirable window frame material on the market. Aluminum provides little to no insulation however requires a minimal amount of maintenance. The durability of this material is good and it is an inexpensive material.
A less common material used in framing windows is steel. Although steel has average thermal resistance, the durability of this material is superior to others on the market. It requires little to no maintenance however for every advantage there is a disadvantage. Steel is extremely expensive which is the characteristic that tends to turn people off from the material.
Rounding up the commonly used frame and sash materials is fiberglass. If you are looking for a cutting edge material, this is it. Fiberglass has very good thermal resistance and durability and requires very little maintenance. The only drawback to fiberglass is that it is very high in price. Due to the high cost of fiberglass, people tend to choose vinyl, which performs just as well however costs less.