Today, most San Diego homes still have the aluminum-framed, single pane windows that were installed when the home was built. Aluminum windows and doors were commonly used by San Diego builders starting in the 1930’s and through the 80’s. Aluminum-framed windows or doors are very energy inefficient because they conduct both heat and cold. In addition, the glass is usually quite thin and often allows the heat or cold to pass right through it. Aluminum windows also have issues with collecting condensation, which can cause further damage to the home.
When you decide to replace the windows and doors in your San Diego residence, the first step is to choose a type. That is, the material your windows are made out of. There are basically three material categories to consider.
- Vinyl – Vinyl replacement windows will always be the most cost-effective option. Vinyl windows carry the best warranty – usually a lifetime warranty – and they will be the most energy efficient.
- Fiberglass – Fiberglass windows are about 40%-50% more expensive than vinyl. They are usually bulky due to the need for massive frames. Unlike vinyl windows, fiberglass windows are paintable. This may be the only possible advantage to fiberglass windows. However, vinyl windows are available in various colors, so painting is much less common.
- Wood – Wood windows are definitely the most expensive option, they require extra maintenance and usually carry only a 15-20 year warranty.
Notice that we didn’t include aluminum windows as one of the three primary options. There are a few reasons for this. First, there are only a handful of companies that still produce aluminum windows, as they are outdated. Secondly, aluminum windows don’t perform as well as vinyl, but often cost more. Lastly, aluminum windows are generally only used for very special circumstances and where required by law. Designated California Wildfire Zones may require the use of aluminum windows and doors for new construction projects. Additionally, some commercial buildings require aluminum.
The vast majority of dwellings are not required to use a particular window material. We’ve built BM Windows by providing high performing, energy efficient windows and doors at affordable prices. And that means vinyl. We sell and install top quality replacement vinyl products and we serve all of San Diego. We’ve completed hundreds of retrofit window projects and we’re confident we can help you. Contact us to day to learn more and for a free in-home consultation.