Black Window Frames Are Available
You might have noticed kitchen remodel trends shifting recently, with open shelves replacing upper cabinets and bright colors replacing pale neutrals. Bathroom trends have shifted, too, moving away from pale colors to an abundance of natural textures and more luxury spa features.
Major trends in home improvements and remodeling shift several times each decade, and windows are no different.
The newest hot trend in Arizona? Black windows.
Depending on the material used, such as vinyl, wood, or fiberglass, windows are generally available in multiple colors, with the most common being white, almond, clay, bronze, or the normal assortment of wood stain colors. However, black frames are entering the market in a major way, now available in almost every frame material.
Every manufacturer is racing to provide product in this color, with varying methods of accomplishing it. Fiberglass, wood, and aluminum-clad wood are all available with black exteriors, and either a black or white interior. However, for America’s most popular product, vinyl windows, it’s not yet possible to infuse the vinyl with black during the extrusion process, which is the normal method of mixing color into product.
Instead, some are offering factory-painted frame exteriors to meet demand for the black window trend.
One manufacturer is also offering something called a capstock frame, which includes a black acrylic layer extruded over the vinyl. While it’s less prone to scratches than a painted finish, both the capstock and painted options include only a 10-year limited warranty from this manufacturer, instead of the standard lifetime warranty it normally offers.
This type of shorter, limited warranties is a compromise that comes with selecting a black vinyl window from almost any manufacturer.
So is an added price increase.
“Since it’s an additional step in manufacturing for both painted and capstock windows, there’s typically an upcharge of 20-40% to cover those costs,” says Sal Sucato, owner of DunRite Windows & Doors, a Rosie on the House certified partner. “They’re using a specialty paint that’s been tested in hot climates like Arizona and includes warranty coverage against peeling and blistering.”
He wants people to make sure they purchase black windows from a reputable window brand, since not all vinyl windows are created equal. You generally get what you pay for. Since black absorbs heat on the outside of the home, instead of reflecting it like the paler colors, the sturdiness and durability of the window must be able to handle and disperse that warmth. Otherwise, issues like warping and sagging frames can occur. The black paint or capstock must also include an additive that reflects heat, to avoid the black paint from bubbling, blistering, or peeling. Finally, if the window is vinyl and made with a mix of virgin and recycled vinyl, homeowners should know the softer blend is more prone to issues than a window made of 100% virgin vinyl.
Sucato urges them to read the warranty closely before they make a purchase, since it’s usually a shorter coverage term than what’s offered on the infused vinyl products. It’s important to read the fine print for the specific product line you’re considering, not just the overall manufacturer, since coverage depends on the types of materials used in the window.
“Homeowners should not paint their existing windows black without talking to the manufacturer,” adds Sucato. “It can void the warranty, block energy efficiency, and lead to a maintenance nightmare of having to repaint annually. Plus, homeowners often end up blocking the windows’ weep holes, which are critical for drainage and preventing water damage, or paint hardware and tracks in a way that makes the window difficult to open and shut.”
If it’s painted at the factory, the black paint is sprayed onto the frame and sills before glass and hardware are added, which bypasses common issues. The paint also includes special additives that prevent issues related to weather conditions and climate. Aftermarket paints don’t always work the same way, even if they’re formulated for vinyl—especially when it comes to the dark colors.
If a painted vinyl product isn’t what you’re looking for in a black window, then vinyl windows might not be the right choice. You might consider looking at other materials, such as aluminum, aluminum-clad wood, or fiberglass. It’s certainly something that can be discussed in an appointment when salespeople arrive to provide estimates.
The hottest trend color of windows is black. Before you think that dark color generates heat, Sal Sucato of DunRite Windows & Doors explains how advances in the frame and glass have made it possible. Plus other things to consider when replacing windows besides energy efficiency. Warranties, sound reduction, the right way to position sunscreens, detailed explanation about the glass and more!
SPONSORED BY: DUNRITE WINDOWS & DOORS
DunRite Windows & Doors is a family-owned business located in Scottsdale, Arizona. They’re a Rosie on the House Certified Partner, a 2021 BBB Torch Award finalist, and a seven-consecutive winner of the Angi Super Service Award. Visit AZwindowReplacement.com to schedule an estimate today!
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