The Differences Between Wood & Vinyl Replacement Windows
Homeowners who have decided to replace the existing windows in their homes need to decide what type of window frames they will install. For many homeowners, the choice is between vinyl and wood replacement windows.
In the past, wood was the most common type of material used for windows and vinyl windows had a poor reputation. Today, the quality of vinyl windows has improved greatly and more and more homeowners are choosing to install them. Wood replacement windows are still popular with those who value a natural look and who are willing to spend money and effort to keep the wood properly maintained.
Advantages of Wood Frames
Wood window frames have the advantage of having a very natural look which makes them attractive for homes with traditional styling. Wood is a very strong material and if the wood is properly maintained, it will last a long time before it needs to be replaced. Extremely high quality wood frames will look more beautiful than most lower grade vinyl frames.
Advantages of Vinyl Frames
Vinyl frames are considerably lower in cost than wood frames and the vinyl material is particularly durable. Many homeowners today do not wish to repaint wood frames every few years in order to keep the wood from rotting. With vinyl replacement windows, there is virtually little or no upkeep required to keep the windows looking as good as new. They will resist rotting or corrosion and are not affected by termites.
Vinyl frames today are available in a variety of grades and finishes. This means that they can be customized to blend nicely with the style of your home. The main advantage of vinyl frames is that they will look as good as new for many years to come.
Disadvantages of Wood Frames
Wood requires a lot of periodic upkeep so the wood is protected from the elements. This means that every few years, the homeowner must paint or stain the windows. Changing weather conditions can also act on the window frame and make it swell and shrink unevenly. This can eventually cause the glass in the window to break.
High quality wood frames are very expensive to install. Wood frames will look attractive when they have been very recently painted or stained, but the effects of the weather will quickly take a toll on their appearance.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Replacement Windows
Vinyl windows are usually available in a limited range of colors such as white or tan. They cannot be painted after they are installed so the homeowner cannot change the color scheme to update the look of the home without changing the frames.
Modern replacement windows are usually made to be very energy efficient. While vinyl is a good insulator, it cannot match the insulation performance of wood.
Some high end homes with traditional styling look more attractive with wood replacement windows. However, vinyl frames are now available that resemble wood so closely that it is difficult to tell them apart. This offers the homeowner the attractive elegance of wood with the easy upkeep of vinyl.
Vinyl is Less Expensive
Vinyl windows are not only cheaper to purchase, they are also far cheaper to maintain since there is no need to keep painting or staining them. They will maintain their attractiveness for decades with no additional effort or expense.
Homeowners who value a traditional look and who are willing to keep paying a lot of money for upkeep may prefer to install wood replacement windows. However, increasing numbers of homeowners are choosing to install vinyl when their windows need to be replaced.