Windows, Part V: Composite Frames

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Only in use since the mid-1990’s, composite frames have proved to be a great competitor to other quality window frame materials.   They combine the best qualities of conventional wood frames (structural and thermal properties) and vinyl frames (moisture resistance and decay resistance).  Plus, the wood typically comes from waste sawdust and some manufacturers use recycled vinyl, or other recycled plastic materials, as well.

Composite frames can be stained or painted much like wood, require little to no maintenance, and are resistant to warping and rotting.  Of course these great characteristics come at a price.  They are not inexpensive (priced between wood and vinyl), but are long-lasting framing options.  Energy Star rated composites are available.

Sources:  The Efficient Window Collaborative and

Photo of Andersen composite windows courtesy of Tobin Homes

See my earlier posts about Low-E coatings, the NFRC label (useful in comparing windows), wood framed windows, and vinyl framed windows.

Tag(s): Energy, Green Building, Greening the Home, The Great Green Outdoors


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