When you’re choosing replacement windows for your home, it’s helpful to know which material will go best with your home. There are two types of windows that most people opt for. These are wood frame and vinyl. There are pros and cons for each type of window. Other than visually looking different, there are more differences between the two. The look of the windows on your home can make a big impact on the overall look. Both vinyl and wood windows greatly enhance any property. When making your decision, consider how the window will look in five to ten years and how much maintenance will be required.
Vinyl replacement windows are made from plastic or PVC. This is the definitely the most affordable option when it comes to windows. They won’t require the same long term maintenance that wood windows must have. If there is a budget involved in your window replacement adventure, PVC will help you stay within that budget. The insulation on this type of window is excellent and you will not be disappointed. You’ll be even happier once you look at your energy bill. PVC is no doubt very strong, but if strength is of the utmost importance to you, you may want wood windows.
On average, vinyl replacement windows last about a couple of decades. The color of the vinyl is permanent, so keep that in mind if you choose this option. Painting over vinyl windows may produce a less than satisfactory result. Vinyl or PVC windows rose to popularity in the 70’s because of its cost effectiveness. This type of window is easy to take care of. Simply wipe down and lubricate every so often to maintain it. If it’s too difficult to decide between the two, you can get the best of both worlds by choosing a PVC window that has an outer layer that makes it look like wood. It’s very difficult to tell the difference at first blush.
Wood replacement windows are typically made of pine or Douglas fir. Then an outer layer is added, which is either aluminum, fiberglass or PVC. The finish of the wood is the greatest factor of how the windows will look in the end. As you may know, there are a wide number of different finishes available for wood. The stains range in color from cherry to walnut and more. Of course, with painted wood, you can get pretty much any color your desire. However, paint chips and it is inevitable that you will have to have the windows re-painted at some point. Like the look of natural wood grain? You can also choose to keep it natural. The wood grain is still visible if you choose to add a stain. Wood windows require maintenance and you should keep that in mind before installation. Wood can decay, warp, and develop holes. All of these negative effects can be prevented with simple, regular maintenance.
Composite replacement windows are another option – one that combines several of the best qualities of wood and vinyl. Renewal by Andersen, for example, crafts windows out of a material called Fibrex; this material combines wood fibers with PVC. This yields a material that is strong, like wood, and maintenance-free, like vinyl. Renewal by Andersen replacement windows with Fibrex have another advantage over vinyl: They come in a wide range of colors, including dark tones that are not available in vinyl.
Each of these window types have energy efficiency and sound reduction qualities. Regarding the aesthetic of the windows, it really comes down to personal choice. For wood, there are a number of different species to choose from and even more options when it comes to staining. To ensure wood windows stay waterproof, prepare to re-caulk the window trim/wall joint area. Wood windows require more time to be manufactured. Choosing between vinyl, wood, or composite windows can be tricky, but ultimately you should let your personal style make the decision.