31 Oct Choosing Vinyl or Fiberglass Windows for Your Home
When you own a home, you want your windows to last a long time with very little maintenance. Most homeowners prefer to avoid upkeep, repairs and replacement as much as possible. When it comes to less maintenance, vinyl and fiberglass windows are generally the most popular window options. While both are better for maintenance than the old wooden windows your grandparents grew up with, there are a few key differences that may influence your buying decision. Here are a few of the main ones.
Overall Strength: A good fiberglass window is up to eight times stronger than typical vinyl so you’re less likely to see breakage with fiberglass. Fiberglass also holds form better while bending and flexing to reduce the likelihood of breaking under stress.
Long Lasting Finish: While both hold their finish much longer than wood, fiberglass windows often use an acrylic finish which allows them to maintain a smooth, glossy, new-looking finish longer. You also get more color and texture options with fiberglass.
Expansion: Fiberglass doesn’t expand and contract nearly as much as vinyl or other materials. This means your windows will maintain a better seal and are less likely to cause leaks and cracks. Less expansion also reduces the likelihood of warping.
Overall Value: While fiberglass windows will cost more to purchase, you’re almost certain to save money over time. Fiberglass windows will cost 20 – 30% more but are more energy efficient and generally last 30 – 40% longer than typical vinyl windows.
The major deciding factor generally comes down to time. Fiberglass is far more durable and is less likely to break, leak or corrode. It also resists rot better and resists expanding and contracting as temperatures fluctuate to minimize potential damage. For the long term, fiberglass is almost always the better value for looks, function and durability. If you’re only thinking short term, vinyl may be the more reasonably priced option provided you’re willing to accept higher heating and cooling costs and more frequent repair and replacement expenses.