Materials Matter When Considering New Window Installation for Your Brick HouseWhen it comes to pro tips for window replacement or installation, I always say that the place to start is with picking the type of windows you want and need. Just like for traditional wood or stucco houses, double-pane windows will increase energy efficiency in your brick home and triple pane windows may be worth the extra cost, depending on your unique circumstances. The most important choice you’ll likely make, then, when undergoing a new window installation for your brick house is concerning the frames. Brick has a traditional style that can clash visually with some frame materials that boast a more modern look. Also, keep in mind that we do live in Northern California where our Mediterranean climate brings pretty intense sun throughout the summer months. Whether or not frames conduct heat easily is something you must consider. With all of that in mind, let’s take a look our options:
- Aluminum or metal frames: I recommend disregarding aluminum or metal frame options. They’re strong and light, which is a benefit, but when hit by direct sunlight, they rapidly conduct heat into your home, raising the temperature and making your AC run longer and less efficiently. This is bad news in sunny Northern California where power rates are rising. They’re also considered to be a poor pairing with brick because aluminum and metal frames tend to have a more modern look that clashes with a brick home’s traditional aesthetic.
- Wooden frames: Wooden frames are a great complement for brick veneers given their classic nature. They also provide much better insulation than metal ones, as they don’t conduct heat well. They are, however, problematic with brick because they tend to expand and contract as the outside temperature changes throughout the year. These frequent changes in size can lead to breaks in the seal, which is a concern with brick in particular because you can’t easily modify the size of the opening without extensive work. Brick just isn’t all that flexible. I mean, there’s a reason the big bad wolf couldn’t blow it down, after all.
- Fiberglass frames: Fiberglass window frames get my strongest recommendation for residents of Northern California having windows installed in brick houses. Fiberglass makes for a stable frame that includes an air cavity that can be filled with insulation material that doesn’t require modifying the actual size of the opening. I suggest working with an experienced window installation expert who can make sure you get the perfect window-insulation combo for your home.