Over the course of the past three decades, there have been many advances in the exterior fenestration industry. One might argue that window and door innovations have helped set the pace for today’s increasingly “maintenance free” home improvement products. With the introduction of exterior cladding and insulating glass, today’s consumers are faced with many new options designed to increase the efficiency and aesthetic of their homes.
Historically speaking, windows and doors were primarily manufactured using wood materials. While wood is strong and looks great, it also requires a great deal of maintenance. If wood isn’t treated properly, moisture will eventually begin to penetrate the surface and more likely than not, cause it to break down and rot. Typically speaking, wood windows and doors should be re-painted every 3-5 years. Depending on the size of a house, this can be a costly and time consuming process. Unfortunately, when this maintenance schedule is neglected, the associated costs increase exponentially.
This is why home improvement industry experts agree that selection of windows and doors is one of the three most important decisions a consumer makes when restoring an older home, or building a new one. Choosing the right window can increase the life and energy efficiency of a home dramatically and at the same time creating a unique and awe-inspiring look.
Today’s window marketplace offers more choices than ever before and it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. In order to combat the maintenance issue of wood materials, window and door companies began offering units with a clad exterior during the 1970’s. Exterior cladding covers and essentially protects exterior wood from the elements. Clad exteriors can be made using Vinyl, Aluminum, Fiberglass or other composite materials. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages.
Many advances have been made in the world of windows and doors over the course of the past 30 years. They’ve become largely maintenance free and energy efficient while maintaining a great look. Today’s consumer who is remodeling or building a house has thousands and thousands of options regarding windows and doors. It is important to do an ample amount of research before deciding which type is right for you and remember… a window and door are only as good as their installation. Make sure the contractor that your select possesses extensive experience and a solid technique. While it is important to consider all options before making your final decision, this is often easier said than done.