Last week on the blog we talked about choosing the right windows for your home based on architecture and style. This week we are talking about the importance of choosing the right materials. The two most popular materials for replacement windows are wood and fiberglass, and there are pros and cons to choosing each. By taking into consideration factors like environment, home design, energy efficiency, and your personal budget, you can make the best, most informed decision for your home. So let’s discuss Wood vs. Fiberglass:
Wood windows: Pros and cons
Sometimes wood is the only way to go, architecturally speaking. In a historic home they are often the only option from a style standpoint, particularly if you live in a historic district where you are subject to rules and regulations regarding home updates, maintenance and repairs. But assuming that you are free to choose between wood and fiberglass, here is a list of pros and cons regarding wood:
- Pro: Windows will more effectively maintain the historic and/or original character of a historic home than their counterparts. Homeowners in older homes may wish to maintain the total look with wood windows.
- Con: Windows require a great deal more maintenance. You will have to paint the windows every few years, and wood is more susceptible to the effects of weather heat and moisture.
- Pro: Windows aren’t quite as energy efficient but they are still rated highly energy efficient.
- Con: While the cost difference between the two is negligible—especially after factoring in maintenance and longevity considerations—a top-quality wood window does cost slightly more than its fiberglass counterpart.
Fiberglass windows: Pros and cons
Today’s homeowner is fortunate to have a variety of choices when it comes to replacement windows. Fiberglass windows are a wonderful option for homeowners who are looking for lower maintenance choices. Here is a list of pros and cons:
- Pro: Low maintenance! You can paint them if you want, but you don’t have to, and your windows certainly do not require the regular (every 2-5 years) painting that wood windows need.
- Con: Price is always a factor, and fiberglass windows are more expensive than say, vinyl. The good news is—as mentioned above—that the cost between wood and fiberglass is negligible, and so if you are only considering these two materials as options you won’t find a huge price discrepancy between them.
- Pro: Strength and integrity are a big “pro” when it comes to their construction. While wood windows will expand and contract due to climate (heat, moisture), fiberglass windows maintain their integrity, staying square within the frame.
Other pros include its excellent energy efficiency/thermal performance, its great resale value (better as compared to vinyl), and fiberglass windows are made with about 60% glass—a recyclable material—making it “greener” than vinyl or even wood.
If you are struggling with the decision between wood and fiberglass windows, come in and speak with one of our professionals about your options. And check back next week, when we talk about how you can get the best of both worlds—the look of wood without the maintenance—with Infinity replacement windows.