What Are the Best Material Types for Minnesota Replacement Windows?

best minnesota replacement windows

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Is it time to call the professionals about Minnesota replacement windows? If so, you may have questions about what materials to use.

Today, professional window companies use three main material options.

These include:

  • Vinyl
  • Fiberglass
  • Aluminum clad

Vinyl Windows in Minnesota

Vinyl windows are considered the most popular replacement window option. This is attributed to the low cost of this window type. The entire frame and sash components are made of vinyl. Extrusions and glass are attached to the vinyl.

While vinyl is popular, there are some potential drawbacks, too. For example, vinyl isn’t the best Minnesota replacement window material to choose from. That’s because the styles and colors are limited.

When installing vinyl windows, it is usually more affordable to insert the vinyl window into the existing frame. To do this, the sashes are removed (these are the pieces that connect the window and make the parts move). Once removed, the new window is installed in the existing frame. The biggest disadvantage of this is that you lose some glass, and therefore viewing area since the glass is being put into the current frame.

Another potential issue is that since the existing frame is not removed, it is impossible to know if there is rot or other issues under it.

Aluminum Clad Windows in Minnesota

Aluminum clad is another option for Minnesota replacement windows. You can find aluminum extrusions from some manufacturers. Some are fully aluminum, while others are wood that is wrapped with aluminum on the outside to reduce maintenance.

This is the costliest material and offers more design flexibility. The frame and sash are stronger, which means aluminum-clad windows will last longer than other options.

One of the biggest drawbacks of aluminum-clad windows is that conduction will occur when it is cold outside. This means when the aluminum gets cold outside, it may wrap around the wood on the inside. As a result, this window is slightly colder than vinyl or fiberglass, which don’t conduct cold or heat.

Fiberglass Windows in Minnesota

In Minnesota, fiberglass windows are the best option. This material has been used for several years in other industries and will not contract or expand as much as vinyl does. Also, since it is made of glass and contracts and expands at the same rate as the glass connected to it, you don’t have as many issues with drafts.

Seal failures are also unlikely. Other materials are bonded to the glass, and the finish may fail with continued expansion and contraction.

Fiberglass windows can also be customized to unique shapes and sizes. This makes them a smart option for historical homes or homes with divided lights and other unique architectural designs. This material is also a “middle-of-the-road” option but is still more expensive than vinyl.

While fiberglass windows may not be the most popular material option today, they have a lot to offer modern and older homes.

Selecting the Best Minnesota Replacement Window Material

When choosing the best Minnesota replacement window material, it’s important to know your options. However, for most homeowners, the cost of the material will be an important factor too. If you have limited funds, then choosing vinyl may be the most suitable option. If you have a larger budget, then choosing fiberglass or aluminum-clad windows may be best.

You should also speak to a window professional who can help evaluate your needs and ensure you choose the right material. In the long run, putting time and effort into this important decision will pay off.

Ben Juncker


When Ben Juncker was sitting in his high school career planning class, siding installer was not on his list of potential career paths. As with most people in the construction industry, certain questionable life choices led to a point where they were wearing a tool belt, working with their hands. His path started just this way and he would not change a thing. Those early years in his business of scraping and clawing their way to profitability and stability, have helped him to build a culture of hard work and perseverance at Craftsman’s Choice. Ben started his company in 1998 and they installed their first James Hardie job in 2000. Since that time Craftsman’s Choice has become one of the nation’s top James Hardie Remodelers. They have won James Hardie’s prestigious President’s Club award every year since it’s inception in 2015.

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