Cladded Windows And Doors: Everything You Need To Know

It’s easy to understand why more and more homeowners and architects favor slim profile windows and doors. However, windows which combine functionality and style with elegant, slim profiles aren’t always the easiest to find. This is particularly true for those who prefer wooden windows and doors. With its natural beauty, wood can provide a specific look or warmth, particularly inside the home, that materials such as metal or vinyl simply cannot. To solve this problem, cladded windows were developed to provide all of the natural beauty of wood with the strength and durability of metals such as aluminum, copper, and bronze.

If properly maintained, wood can last for decades, if not centuries, but it will need regular maintenance. Going between the extremes of harsh winters and hot summers, wear and tear becomes evident on wooden windows. This is why if you’re looking for truly ultra-slim wooden windows that will last, you should consider the benefits cladded windows can offer.

What Exactly Are Cladded Windows?

Cladded windows are, without a doubt, one of the most important innovations in the history of windows. Cladded windows are wooden windows which have been fitted with a metal, or occasionally vinyl covering on their exterior. The covering, or cladding as it is known, provides an additional degree of thermal insulation and weather resistance for the windows.

Cladding effectively protects the wooden windows from the elements and maximizes their longevity. Essentially, this means that you get to have all of the benefits of a durable material such as aluminum (or copper or bronze) on your home’s exterior as well as being able to enjoy the look and feel of wooden windows inside your home.

To achieve maximum longevity with our cladded windows, we use extruded aluminum which is welded onto the frame prior to powder-coating. This allows for a uniform, flush, and exceptionally slim and durable window profile. This is in contrast to roll-form aluminum which is much cheaper but significantly less robust.

What Are The Benefits of Cladded Windows?

Ultra-Slim Profiles

Perhaps the most sought after  benefit of cladding is how it can be used to create exceptionally slim and completely flush profiles on windows and doors.

Take our own sliding door system, for example. The OPEN m40, is comprised of cladded wood-aluminum. Its beautiful 1¾” wooden frame contains a robust, supporting internal aluminum frame. The wooden exterior provides all of the natural beauty of wood while aluminum offers additional strength and durability.

As a result of this, the aluminum cladding will ensure that the door needs little or no maintenance and will be watertight and perfect for all seasons.

To learn more about it, read our article on it here.

Cladded Windows Are More Efficient

Wooden windows already have a relatively high level of thermal insulation. However, alu-clad windows have a thermal break between the wood and the aluminum. This means they are significantly more thermally effective. The layer of cladding will help stop any unnecessary drafts or ‘cold spots’ within the home. As a result of this, your home will be more energy efficient. Cladded windows will often have a lower U-Value which means optimal comfort for you and your home. Another aspect of their efficiency is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you won’t need to constantly maintain cladded windows. 

Below you can take an in-depth look at a recent alu-clad project we worked on in Tribeca in Manhattan. Open Architectural Windows and Doors supplied hundreds of windows and doors for this new build project. The oversized, cladded windows and slim profiles offer unbroken views of the city. In keeping with the aesthetic of the neighborhood, Open AWD supplied oversized arch-top windows for the top floors of the complex.

Improved Durability

Pictured inset: Exterior of Alu-clad curtain wall system which OPEN AWD for a development in Tribeca, Manhattan.

Cladded windows are some of the most durable windows available to buy. Whether it’s a simple residential project, or a larger, more high-value project, cladded windows have an almost unmatched longevity. They are an investment in your home’s future. By investing in them, you are ensuring that your home’s exterior won’t depreciate as quickly as it would with standard wooden windows.

As we mentioned above, wood requires more-or-less annual, if not seasonal, upkeep. This often includes staining, sealing, or re-painting. This is particularly true in harsher climates. But this is simply not the case with cladded window, which need no maintenance because they are weather-resistant. The fact that the materials we use (aluminum, bronze, and copper) are completely non-porous (unlike wood) the windows suffer significantly less wear and tear over time.

Pictured: Alu-clad custom window and curtain wall system. Click to enlarge.

Improved Aesthetic Possibilities

Aesthetically, cladded windows have a major advantage over standard wood and even standard aluminum windows. Cladded windows are custom-made to suit each home.

This means you get the best of both worlds. The look and feel of wooden windows within your home’s interior, as well as a robust, high-value metal to suit your home’s exterior.

Whether your home’s facade is brick, concrete, wood, or siding, cladded windows can be made to complement any exterior. They can be made to a wide range of different shapes and sizes.

Pictured: copper-clad windows at The Fitzroy, Manhattan.

Case Study: The Fitzroy, Manhattan

Below, you can see some pictures from a project Open Architectural Windows and Doors worked on two years ago in Chelsea in Manhattan.

The striking copper-clad oak windows bring the building’s façade to life. It added a distinguished look to the building’s exterior and complemented the unique terra-cotta brickwork. 

This large-scale project boasts over 200 custom copper clad windows, and numerous other copper finishes. The beautiful copper-clad windows  are a perfect marriage of functionality and style. The double and triple glazed glass and superior installation ensures that the windows are soundproofed from the busy exterior, and allow for energy efficient heating and cooling.

As you can see from the picture, copper-clad window age gracefully over time as their patina becomes more and more pronounced.

To learn more about this project, click here.

Pictured below: Copper-plated bronze clad windows and doors at The Fitzroy. Click to enlarge.

Contact Us Today

If you would like to learn more about cladded windows, please contact us today at 718-403-0300 or send us an email us here to set up your free consultation.

We know that no two people have the same tastes which is why all of our cladded windows are completely customizable. 

OPEN Architectural Windows and Doors: Making your architectural plans a reality.