The quality of your windows has an undeniable impact on the safety and beauty of your home. Whether you are getting started with a new construction project or preparing for renovations to upgrade your current property, window installation is an excellent way to ensure optimal results.
Not only will new windows make your home look great, but quality windows help with energy efficiency, home security, and more. These benefits make it easy to see why many homeowners set aside part of their budget to invest in high-quality windows.
In addition to choosing from different styles and features, it is also important to consider how the windows are made. These materials impact the performance and durability of the windows. Two of the most popular types of windows include vinyl and fiberglass.
Benefits of Vinyl and Fiberglass Windows
Both vinyl and fiberglass are excellent choices for window installation. These materials are durable, strong, and easy to use. Plus, they hold up well against harsh weather conditions because they are made with water-resistant materials.
When you compare vinyl and fiberglass with wood, the choice is easy. Many homeowners are staying away from real wood window frames. Even though the wood looks nice and offers timeless beauty, it comes with a lot of maintenance. Wood is prone to wear and tear, so you must be proactive about sanding and refinishing (or repainting) the wood regularly.
Many homeowners don’t want to worry about these home maintenance projects. So, instead of wood window frames, they choose more durable materials – such as fiberglass or vinyl. These materials are maintenance-free and will hold up for many years with a hands-off approach.
As you are narrowing down your options for window installation, it can be helpful to compare vinyl windows and fiberglass windows side-by-side to see how the two stack up:
Vinyl Windows: Pros and Cons
Vinyl is a nickname for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a form of plastic. The materials are easy to source and simple to manufacture, which means that vinyl windows tend to be some of the cheapest options in the industry. If budget is a big concern, then vinyl might be the right answer for your project.
Not only is vinyl cheaper compared to wood-framed windows, but it is also cheaper than fiberglass. But just because the cost is lower doesn’t mean that you will sacrifice the quality of the windows.
One drawback with vinyl windows is that the texture is smooth, so they can’t be designed to look like real wood. Additionally, there isn’t a way to change the color or appearance after the window frames are installed. You can’t paint vinyl window frames. So, be proactive about picking a color that you love because you will be living with that color for the lifespan of the windows.
Fiberglass Windows: Pros and Cons
Windows that are manufactured with fiberglass materials contain glass that was melted using very high heat, then the melted glass is pulled into thin fibers. These glass fibers are woven together to create a solid, durable construction and shaped into window frames. During the manufacturing process, the fiberglass is infused with different types of resins to allow the molding process to take place.
One of the notable benefits of choosing fiberglass windows is that there are more options in terms of the appearance of the windows. You can choose from a variety of colors and designs to ensure that your new windows look great.
Fiberglass window frames are strong, which allows them to be thinner compared to other types of window frames. As a result, more glass is exposed, which maximizes the amount of natural light that will come into the room.
Also, if you decide to change the color or appearance of the window frames in the future, you have the option to paint fiberglass window frames. In addition to creating a different color, these frames can be textured to look like real wood.
If you are prioritizing insulating features, then fiberglass is a great choice. In fact, this material was created in the 1920s as a form of insulation. Then, manufacturers discovered new ways to use fiberglass, including shaping it into window frames. It’s estimated that fiberglass windows offer 15% more energy efficiency compared to vinyl windows. Not only can you insulate against temperatures, but these windows also insulate against sound – helping your home to be free of the noise and traffic outside.
How Long Do Vinyl and Fiberglass Windows Last?
Durability is a priority, and vinyl windows offer the long-term results you deserve. These materials usually last around 30 years or more. They can withstand the heat of the summer and the sub-zero temperatures in the winter. Keep in mind that vinyl can contract and expand as the temperatures fluctuate outside, which can affect the seal between the glass plan and the window frame. As a result, the insulating features of the window can be affected over time.
If you want a longer lifespan, then fiberglass is the way to go. This material is very durable and can last more than 50 years after installation. Fiberglass is stronger than vinyl, meaning it can last longer. Fiberglass is beneficial because it resists warping, even under extreme and prolonged weather conditions.
Which Is Better: Vinyl or Fiberglass Windows?
You can’t go wrong with either fiberglass or vinyl windows. Both materials are durable and offer a low-maintenance solution for window installation. This decision ultimately depends on your budget and the specific features you want to include in your window design.
When budget is a high priority, then vinyl is often the recommended choice. When style and quality are the highest priority, then fiberglass is often the preferred choice.
If you would like personalized recommendations, then we invite you to reach out to our home improvement team in Menomonee Falls, WI. At Better View Home Improvements, we offer window installation, as well as many other home improvement services to help you create a safe and comfortable home for your family. We are just a phone call away. Contact us when you are ready to book a consultation: (262) 415-7011.