What is the Right Material for Your Windows and Doors

There are many things to consider when choosing the right materials for your replacement windows and doors. You know you have to work within your budget, as well as consider factors such as climate, energy efficiency, and your home’s design aesthetic to determine the best options for your project.

Here in Houston climate challenges present themselves in terms of heat, humidity, and hurricanes. We are fortunate to have largely mild winters, with just a handful of days that drop below freezing, but hot, humid summers and a long hurricane season dictate a careful look at how these factors affect our homes.

Materials: Your Options

The most popular materials for replacement windows and doors are wood, vinyl, and fiberglass. In addition, some wood windows are available with aluminum-clad exteriors, which resist the elemental damage of chipping and fading, and are lower-maintenance; our line of Hurd Windows and Doors offer aluminum-clad options for homeowners. Any material has pros and cons, so it is important to weigh your options against your needs to determine the best fit for your home.

Pros & Cons of Wood

•Pros: Wood windows are more effective at maintaining a historic and/or architecturally accurate look; homeowners in an historic district, or with older homes may wish to maintain the look of their home with wood windows. While not quite as energy efficient as their fiberglass counterparts, wood windows are still relatively energy efficient.

•Cons: Wood is more susceptible to heat and moisture, which can cause expansion and contraction to wood. Wood windows also require more maintenance, requiring painting every few years; this also increases the cost over the life of the window.

Pros & Cons of Fiberglass

•Pros: For residents in warm, humid areas in particular there are many “pros” to fiberglass: high energy efficiency, low maintenance, strength and integrity (resistant to heat and moisture), excellent resale value, and since fiberglass is made from about 60% glass—a recyclable material—fiberglass windows are also environmentally-friendly.

•Cons: Compared to vinyl, fiberglass windows are more expensive but they are comparable to wood in terms of cost.

Pros & Cons of Vinyl

•Pros: Vinyl is extremely affordable, have a good level of energy efficiency, and come in a wide range of styles for use in both residential and commercial applications. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is more energy efficient than wood and resists rotting, molding and other water damage from the elements.

•Cons: Vinyl does not paint well, and thus are not as customizable as wood or fiberglass.

At Renaissance Windows and Doors we understand that every client has individual needs, and we strive to help you make the right decision for your home renovation project. Stop in to our showroom today and learn more about the materials for your replacement.