Frame Material for Larger Window in Cold Climate

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misterawesome
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Frame Material for Larger Window in Cold Climate

#1 Post by misterawesome »

I need to replace some single-hung windows in my condo. The current windows are aluminum (i believe). I live in Chicago, and on extremely cold nights the frames collect frost, which then melts and damages the surrounding sill area (some drywall, others wood). As I seek out a replacment, one challenge I need to account for is that my main living area windows are somewhat large - it is a bank of 3 36x70 windows together. At that height, do I need to rule out vinyl as an option?

My other mitigating factors when considering a replacement: the window frames need to be dark to match the rest of the building (a deep grey-ish brown tone); I do not plan to live in my condo more than 5 years or so paying top dollar for a "forever home" window is not of interest to me.

Any guidance on materials would be of great help to me.

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HomeSealed
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:46 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Madison, SE Wisconsin

Re: Frame Material for Larger Window in Cold Climate

#2 Post by HomeSealed »

That window size is still within the capabilities of a vinyl window, however choosing a quality product will be imperative.
Same for the color on the exterior, no issue there. If you are looking for an interior color other than white, almond, or a woodgrain finish on the interior, that may be a reason to look at another material.

In Chicago, you'd have a composite like the Starmark available to you which is extraordinarily strong, as well as some great vinyl options like Okna or Softlite Elements, and if that interior needs to be an off color, fiberglass can fit the bill in those cases.

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Randy
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Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 7:26 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Frame Material for Larger Window in Cold Climate

#3 Post by Randy »

If HomeSealed serves your area, you would be well advised to get their expertise on your project. They have the best product lineup in that area, and the installation procedures to ensure the products perform to their maximum capability.

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TheWindowNerd
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Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Frame Material for Larger Window in Cold Climate

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd »

You could consider fiberglass. But the cost is higher and not as air tight.

What floor are the windows on?

Vinyl, painted exterior,foam filled frames and sash, option for triple pane to make sure you do not have condensation.

You can have the best windows and still have condensation or more condensation. The interior relative humidity must be set correctly for the climate.

misterawesome
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Frame Material for Larger Window in Cold Climate

#5 Post by misterawesome »

TheWindowNerd wrote: Thu Mar 09, 2023 7:22 pm You could consider fiberglass. But the cost is higher and not as air tight.

What floor are the windows on?

Vinyl, painted exterior,foam filled frames and sash, option for triple pane to make sure you do not have condensation.

You can have the best windows and still have condensation or more condensation. The interior relative humidity must be set correctly for the climate.
The windows are on the first floor. The unit is a duplex-down, but all windows are at/above street level.

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TheWindowNerd
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Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Frame Material for Larger Window in Cold Climate

#6 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Are you concerned with adding any security in the glass?

Based on what you have shared I would suggest a high performance vinyl unit like the Okna 800 triple pane with argon or its equal.

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