When you are looking for new or replacement windows, tons of window frame materials are available. Vinyl windows and fiberglass windows are two of the common options that you are bound to come across. But which of these two options is the right choice for your home? Let’s compare vinyl and fiberglass windows below.
If you are looking for cheap window frames, vinyl is your best bet as it is cheaper than fiberglass. A 48-inch vinyl window will cost about $650 while its installation can be around $250. A fiberglass window of the same size will cost around $1,200 whereas you will spend around $300 to install it. Comparatively, fiberglass will cost hundreds of dollars more than vinyl windows.
Your new construction or window replacement project must be able to add to the overall beauty of your property. Therefore, it is important to consider appearance before selecting a window type. Generally, both types of window frames have a similar appearance. But fiberglass windows look like wooden frames.
Also, fiberglass frames are available in different colors and styles. Hence, they tend to be slightly more beautiful than vinyl windows. However, vinyl windows require lesser maintenance than fiberglass frames.
Another important thing to consider for window replacement is durability. Basically, fiberglass windows are around eight times stronger than their vinyl counterparts. This is because fiberglass can withstand sun and other extreme weather elements. So, if you can take care of your fiberglass frames properly, you are bound to use them for a longer period. While you can utilize high-quality fiberglass for over 50 years, premium vinyl windows will need replacement after about 30 years.
Since vinyl materials are capable of contracting and expanding, they tend to be more flexible than rigid fiberglass frames. Resultantly, it is usually easier and quicker to install vinyl materials than fiberglass frames. While you can install some kinds of vinyl frames yourself, you are advised to hire a professional for the installation of both types of window frames.
Also, fiberglass frames are relatively new in the market and only a few manufacturers often have them. Therefore, the installation of your new windows may take a long period as the materials may not arrive on time.
When compared to wood frames, both vinyl and fiberglass frames are easy to maintain. While you may need to repaint peeled or faded fiberglass frames, you need to refill the air seal of vinyl windows with caulk.
Due to the flexibility of vinyl frames, they are usually easier to repair and replace than fiberglass windows.
· Energy efficiency
Since fiberglass windows don’t contract and expand, they don’t allow cold or heat to pass through them easily. Resultantly, they are a great insulator that can improve the energy efficiency of your home. As an insulator, fiberglass frames are about 15% better than vinyl windows.
Based on this comparison, you can now understand that these two types of window frames have their merits and demerits. So, if you need window replacement, consider these factors before selecting any window frame.