Fiberglass vs Vinyl Windows: Why Vinyl Wins

Windows are an extremely important part of the look of your home, but you may not know much about your choices. The first choice you will have to make is what material your new window frames will be made out of. Two of the most popular options when it comes to windows are fiberglass and vinyl.

fiberglass vs vinyl windows

They are both extraordinarily similar, so how do you make a decision? Well, there are a number of factors to consider. Ultimately, when you weigh out the options, you will find that vinyl will provide you with the best value.

Longevity and Durability

Fiberglass windows generally last longer than vinyl windows. While vinyl windows usually last for at least thirty years, fiberglass windows will usually last for fifty years.  Neither window is in jeopardy of warping like wood windows, so both options are a safe bet against the elements.

Vinyl does have a lower impact rating than fiberglass which may affect your decision if you live in an area that gets a lot of hail, because vinyl will get dented more easily than fiberglass.  They also may be affected by extreme temperatures more easily than fiberglass. With this being said, vinyl windows are still very durable.

Finally, when vinyl does require fixing, it’s not an easy fix. The entire window frame usually needs to be replaced. The window shouldn’t need repair unless it experiences severe force.

Maintenance

Both options require very little maintenance. In fact, you simply have to wash off the windows with a sponge or hose for regular cleaning when they get dirty or accumulate a small amount of mold or mildew. Like most other items in your home, regular cleaning will keep any problems from building up. Since it doesn’t use paint, vinyl will never crack or chip, and the color will not fade much.

Efficiency

Generally speaking, fiberglass is more energy efficient than vinyl. It also allows for more glass space, meaning more natural light. The extra glass space is minimally significant at best, though. It’s also important to remember that the window frames make up a very small portion of how energy efficient your home is.

Also, new vinyl windows have been infused with foam or have chambers for trapped air. Vinyl windows are generally welded together, but fiberglass windows are fastened together at every joint, and these fastens can weaken with time. The welded vinyl will maintain its strength longer.

A more important factor when it comes to how energy efficient your windows are will be the window pane. To do your part for the environment and your bank account, opt for double paned windows and products with the Energy Star logo.

Fiberglass does generally offer more energy efficiency. Additionally, fiberglass keeps noises out better. For people that live in a noisy area, this can be helpful.

Appearance

The appearance of your window frames may be very important to you. Fiberglass has the option to look more like wood. It also has the option to be painted. Vinyl will not be as convincing if you’re looking for a wooden look, and it cannot be painted. While vinyl can’t be painted, that also means you won’t ever have to repaint it.

Vinyl also comes in a variety of colors that will likely compliment your home very well.  While fiberglass does win when it comes to color options, it might not be necessary for your desired look. You may be surprised what looks you can accomplish with vinyl. Simply talk to your local window replacement company to see what color options they have and any samples of designs that would fit with your home.

vinyl windows vs fiberglass

Fiberglass does have the added benefit of being able to change the look by repainting it. For someone who might want to change the look of their home at some point or sell to someone who might, fiberglass might be a better option.

Installation

Fiberglass requires more extensive installation. Alternatively, vinyl window frames can be made to expand and fit the glass better than the rigid fiberglass.  Vinyl windows usually take two hours to install while fiberglass will take about three and a half hours. This means that the installation costs more, and it will require professional installation instead of possibly being a DYI project.

Because the fiberglass windows are more difficult to install, there are fewer options when it comes to size.  You may be required to opt for vinyl windows if you need a custom design or if you have oddly shaped windows. Fiberglass will also take longer for the manufacturer to deliver.

Most places don’t have them in stock as readily as vinyl, so the installation will not only cost more, but it will take longer for it to be completed as well. The installation costs truly add up with the amount of windows, so vinyl windows are an especially good option when you have to install or replace multiple windows.

Cost and Value

Vinyl is cheaper than fiberglass. In fact, vinyl is 30% less expensive than fiberglass in most cases. Fiberglass generally does provide a higher resale value, it’s a very small factor when determining the cost of a house if it’s a factor at all. If you’re looking to increase the resale value of your home, new windows will help.

It won’t matter much if the new windows are vinyl or fiberglass. It’s best to go with the vinyl if you’re reselling the home because of the high cost of fiberglass installation. Because of how similar they are when it comes to strength and longevity, it’s simply smarter to go with the cheaper vinyl windows in the long run.

Both fiberglass and vinyl are good options. Fiberglass may last slightly longer, but when you look at the value, vinyl generally comes out on top. There’s a reason why 2/3 of windows in the country are made out of vinyl instead of fiberglass. Vinyl is strong, attractive, and it holds its value. If you’re looking to replace or build new windows, call your local window company today to get an estimate on vinyl windows.

For vinyl window replacement, the only company you can trust is Feldco. Join over 350,000 delighted customers across the Midwest. Our vinyl window replacement windows have the durability, energy efficiency and appearance to fit your home. Speak to a professional today and get a free quote on your vinyl window replacement today!

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