What are my options for Black / Dark Frame Replacement Windows?

sforscarletNovember 10, 2010

Wanting to replace my old 70's aluminum single pane windows with something more energy efficient and modern.

I think black frames look very slick and have seen them on similar modern-style architecture buildings in Chicago, as well as magazines I read like Dwell, Objekt.

Problem is I can't seem to find any vendor that sells them. All I'm able to find is brown or some dark beige but that doesn't quite give the effect I want.

I also like something that looks very minimal with regards to framing and border of the window to maximize the glass in the opening.

What are my best options here?

Anybody else with similar taste find something that works for them?

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Here's some pictures to give you idea of look I like...

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 3:25PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Marvin Infinity in their bronze is almost black.

After that, you are looking at aluminum windows.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:51PM
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Thanks for that. I did actually check out the Marvin Windows site and they even have an Ebony color that is black. However, that only applies for exterior view, interior and I've only got stained wood choices.

Didn't see Infinity on their site only Ultimate.

You seem to be right about the Aluminum also. I did come across Milgard site and they have aluminum windows in anodized bronze that look black on the site swatch. And that color is same on interior and exterior.

If those are really that dark, it might be what I'm looking for.

Don't hear too much about people getting aluminum windows. Something wrong with them I'm missing?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 10:56PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Nothing wrong with aluminum as a material choice, just that it does not meet the current Energy Star Criteria.

You aren't getting a product installed by the end of the tax credit year anyway so you might as well wait until next year and see what is available.

You can get the black in a Marvin Ultimate but it is going to be thicker than the aluminum that you are looking at.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 11:40PM
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Not going to use the tax credit for the windows, as I'm exhausting it for a new Central AC.

However, I don't understand why they wouldn't qualify.

EnergyStar.gov site says that only qualification are a window that is rated The Milgard Aluminum seem to have SunCoatMAX option that has rating of 0.27 and 0.29 for SHGC and U-factor respectively. Seems like that would fit requirements.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 11:58PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

That number you are quoting is likely on the glass. Even thermally broken aluminum does not have a U-factor that is 0.30 or less.

Looks like 0.36 is as far low as it gets.


Here is a link that might be useful: NFRC data

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:40AM
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Good catch. Must be just the glass.

Didn't know the rating took in the account the whole window itself, not just the glass.

Surprising that the frame makes that much of a difference.

Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 12:10AM
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Yes, a lot of newer commercial buildings have black windows. I recently installed a Marvin Integrity window in my bathroom which is fiberglass black on outside and white on inside. It is an awning window that is 3' wide by 2' high.

I trimmed the outside of the window with white azek...that is called contrast...ie black next to white. The white almost glows in the dark at night.

It is very modern looking.

This was just a test window...but we are planning on replacing all of our windows with the black integrity windows trimmed with azek with fiber cement siding.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:33PM
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We installed Milgard dark bronze aluminum in our modernist house a couple of years ago. They really do look black. We like the look, and they work well.

As others have said, aluminum frames are not as energy efficient as other choices, but some vendors do have thermally broken frames to help. Ours do not have thermally broken frames. (For some unknown reason, Milgard did not offer them in California at the time.) You can put your finger on the frame and glass on a hot/cold day and certainly tell the difference in temperature.

It is important to note that since aluminum is stronger than other choices, the frames are correspondingly thinner. So this mitigates some of the thermal concerns since there is less frame area and more glass area.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 5:41PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

It does mitigate some of the frame conduction but not nearly enough.

There are instances, yours for example, where aluminum is the proper choice.

The Milgard Bronze is basically black as you have noted.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:04PM
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Milgard Ultra Fiberglass offers a matte black on the interior and exterior.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Western Windows (commercial windows) - longish lead time. I think that is what is in the pics you showed.

Steel: Hope or Crittal

We have a crittal window going into our new house and the lead time is quite long because it comes from England. i think hope is made here in the US but it tends to be more expensive.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 11:15AM
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:Thought I'd chime in here. I'm also looking for alternatives in color. I hope that those who answered you don't represent the collective experience on this forum. Perhaps they just are aware. The vinyl windows I'm looking at come in all kinds of colors, including black. I am looking at either very dark brown or burgundy. They are called Solaris and made in Canada, but are pricy.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 7:52PM
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Here's Milgard Ultra's colors:

I just got the brownstone which is very dark. As someone mentioned above it comes in Matte Black too.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 11:19PM
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