Should you buy vinyl or wood windows?
With the multitude of window options available it can be difficult to sift through all of the information and figure out what windows are right for you. One of the greatest challenges, and the biggest decision to make, when buying windows is deciding which window material is right for your home.
To help you get started we’ll compare the pros and cons of the most common window frame materials, vinyl and wood. Are wood windows better than vinyl windows? What are the differences between vinyl and wood windows? And what exactly are vinyl clad wood windows? We’ll discuss the different aspects of these window materials so you can make an informed decision.
Are vinyl or wood windows more energy efficient?
If you had to make a decision on which window material to use solely based on energy efficiency, it would be a tough decision to make. Vinyl and wood windows actually perform similarly when it comes to energy efficiency. Fortunately, though energy efficiency is an important factor to consider when buying windows, it isn’t the only factor, so this decision becomes less difficult.
There are three other major factors that set vinyl and wood windows apart: window maintenance, window customization options, and the price of replacement windows.
Upkeep for vinyl vs wood windows.
Wood windows require more maintenance than vinyl windows. Wood should be re-painted or re-stained every 3-4 years to help protect them from the elements.
Unlike wood windows, vinyl windows require very little upkeep and maintenance after they’re installed because they never need to be re-painted or re-stained. Simply wash your windows once a year and give your windows a quick checkup to make sure they’re performing the way they should.
How do you give your windows a checkup? Watch the video below for the five things you should check on your windows each year.
Custom options for vinyl and wood windows.
It’s true. Wood windows are more easily customized than vinyl windows. This is because they can be painted or stained.
Unlike wood windows, vinyl windows can never be painted. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t be customized. Most homeowners think when you buy vinyl windows, you’re stuck with plain white windows. This is not the case. Vinyl windows can come in a variety of colors and finishes to match your home’s décor.
Do you like the look of wood windows? Vinyl windows can also be outfitted in a woodgrain laminate that can be color matched to match your wood floors and cabinets. Realistic looking wood laminates are available in a variety of woodgrains such as oak, cherry, and maple.
What is the cost of wood windows vs vinyl windows?
According to the 2016 Cost vs Value Report, vinyl windows are a better buy. Not only do vinyl windows cost $4000 less than wood windows cost, but they also recoup more of your investment in the long run. Wood windows recoup around 72.1% of their cost, while vinyl windows recoup 73.3% of their cost.
Keep in mind, every replacement window project varies in cost based on a few major factors:
- Window style
- Custom options, such as color, grids, and window hardware
- Quantity of windows
- Contractor or installer you choose
To learn more about what can affect the cost of replacement windows visit Simonton’s website HERE.
What are vinyl clad wood windows?
A vinyl clad wood window is comprised of both vinyl and wood. The base of the window frame is made of wood and vinyl is wrapped around the exterior of the window. This makes vinyl clad wood windows a more attractive option than wood windows because there’s less maintenance on the outside of the window. However, they still require a significant amount of upkeep compared to vinyl windows.
How to replace wood windows with vinyl windows.
Should you repair your old wood windows or replace them with vinyl windows? If you have drafty old wood windows with single pane glass, it’s a good idea to make the upgrade. New vinyl windows will be more energy efficient, save you money on your energy bills, and are less expensive than new wood windows.
Replacing wood windows with vinyl windows is an easy task for any professional window installer. Check out this step-by-step guide from Family Handy Man on how to replace a window.
In summary, are vinyl or wood windows better?
The answer depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance and cost-effective option, vinyl windows are best. If you want to change the color of your windows from year to year, wood windows are the better option. Either way, both vinyl and wood windows will give you the energy efficiency you and your home needs.
Ready to add vinyl windows to your home?
Find the windows and patio doors your home needs with Simonton’s “My House” tool. “My House” allows you to organize the number of windows and window styles you want by room. And after you’re done choosing the windows you want you can easily send your window choices to your contractor, so they will know exactly what you’re looking for before they even see your house. Get started with your replacement window project here.