If you’re planning to install replacement windows in your home, you may lean toward natural wood for its classic beauty and reliable insulation. However, there is just one problem with wood windows — they aren’t naturally waterproof and require high-maintenance upkeep.
Fortunately, there is a reliable way to protect your wood windows from the elements — window cladding. Cladding is made from durable materials, like aluminum or fiberglass, and protects the exterior of your windows from damage while allowing you to enjoy the beautiful, inviting appearance of wood frames inside your home.
FAQ: Window Cladding
Considering installing cladded windows, but still have some questions? No problem.
Read our answers to the most frequently asked questions about window cladding below. If you still have questions about replacement windows, check out our Replacement Windows Buying Guide for homeowners in Indianapolis, Indiana.
What is the difference between clad and non-clad windows?
A standard window, or a non-clad window, includes a frame made from solid wood — meaning the wood is not covered by anything.
In contrast, a cladded window includes an attached protective layer over the outside of the wood window, usually made from vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum, to protect the window from the elements. However, the inside of a cladded window remains uncovered — keeping the beauty of the wooden frame on display inside your home.
Is window cladding durable?
Cladding will undoubtedly help your wood windows last longer than they would without it — regardless of which cladding material you choose. However, it is worth mentioning that different types of window cladding are stronger than others.
For example, fiberglass cladding is resistant to cracking, warping, and corrosion, so it tends to last for decades with little to no upkeep. However, it is more expensive. On the other hand, vinyl is an affordable cladding option, but it’s more prone to thermal expansion, so it may develop cracks more quickly.
Are clad windows worth the cost?
If you value the timeless beauty of your wood windows and want them to last for decades to come — window cladding is a valuable investment. Yes, cladding will make your windows more expensive upfront, but it can add years to the lifespan of your windows!
Plus, when you add cladding to your windows, you get the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the classic beauty, insulation, and efficiency of wood windows while also benefiting from the durability and weather resistance of the cladding materials, such as aluminum or fiberglass.
Can I add cladding to my windows myself?
If you already have wood windows you love, you may think: “Well, if cladding my windows will add years to their lifespan, I’ll just go to my local hardware store, add some cladding to my current windows, and be all set for the next decade!”
Well, while you technically can clad existing windows — we certainly wouldn’t recommend it. It’s exceptionally challenging to clad windows appropriately, and you may cover up underlying issues, like wood rot or moisture damage, with your cladding.
It’s much better to purchase replacement windows that are fitted with the cladding by the manufacturer — like wood windows from Pella Windows, complete with EnduraClad aluminum cladding — than trying to add cladding to your current windows yourself.
Do clad windows have any problems?
If you install cladded windows from a reputable brand and trusted contractor, like JD Hostetter & Associates, you shouldn’t have any issues with your clad windows.
Some homeowners who install vinyl cladding may experience moisture leaks from the expansion and contraction during temperature fluctuations. That’s why we recommend aluminum or fiberglass cladding for homeowners in continental climates, like Indianapolis. These materials tend to be much sturdier and longer lasting.
Install Gorgeous Replacement Windows with JD Hostetter & Associates
Whether you decide wood windows with cladding are right for you, or you’re interested in another window material, like fiberglass or vinyl — our experienced team at JD Hostetter & Associates would love to help you complete your window replacement with Pella Windows!
As a Pella Elite Platinum Certified Contractor, our team has completed extensive training to offer you a lifetime warranty on your Indianapolis home’s gorgeous new windows. We know Pella Windows inside and out, and we follow all their guidelines to a tee. You can be confident we are committed to getting the job done right. Learn more about our window replacement services, and when you’re ready to start your installation, give us a call!