Are you in the process of window shopping (that is, literally shopping for windows)?
If so, you have undoubtedly been bombarded with all sorts of things to consider—including the materials that make up window frames.
Understanding how these materials compare can give you a good idea of which option is best for you. In this blog, we look at the merits and features of fiberglass versus vinyl windows.
Durability and strength
Both fiberglass and vinyl are strong materials that can last for decades. Fiberglass is significantly stronger so if properly maintained, these windows can survive up to 50 years.
But that doesn’t dismiss the durability of high quality vinyl frames, which can last up to 30 years. As a tip: not all vinyl is created equal, so if you are looking for higher quality vinyl windows, look for certain indicators of durability such as welded corner seams.
Because of its strength, a fiberglass window can have thin frames surrounding the pane. This allows it to feature a bit more glass space than vinyl window frames, which are slightly thicker.
Fiberglass frames can be made to mimic natural wood frames, which can create a pleasing aesthetic for the inside of your home. Because they can be painted, fiberglass windows come in a wide variety of styles, colours and finishes.
Vinyl frames cannot be painted so they come in a smaller range of colours. However, they can be custom-made to any colour you please.
Costs and resale value
Both fiberglass and vinyl windows are less expensive than wood. However, fiberglass is considerably more expensive than vinyl.
The good news is that whatever material you choose, doing so will increase the value of your home if you decide to resell. Your return on investment (ROI) for all types of replacement windows is at least 70% when it comes to resale value—with vinyl itself offering a ROI of roughly 74%.
Both fiberglass and vinyl are efficient in terms of insulation and slowing the transmission of thermal energy.
When shopping, look for products with the ENERGY STAR® label. This label provides specific information about the energy efficiency of each window. You can also ask about double- or triple-glazing, which can further increase the efficiency of your chosen windows.
Fiberglass and vinyl windows are both low maintenance and require little more than scrubbing with a sponge and warm water to keep them clean.
There is one main difference regarding upkeep. Fiberglass windows will eventually experience fading and peeling, so they will require occasional touch-ups of paint. Vinyl is not painted so it will never fade or peel, nor require repainting.
Vinyl windows are much more readily available than fiberglass. This is because fiberglass windows are still a relatively new option for your home. Fewer manufacturers make them, and contractors are not as likely to have fiberglass in stock as they would with vinyl windows, which are currently a more popular option.
Ease of installation
Because of its rigidity, fiberglass is quite challenging to install into a window opening, and therefore will take longer. Conversely, vinyl is a flexible material, which means they can be installed much faster.
Regardless of your choice, be sure to seek the services of an expert who can install your window(s) to enable optimal performance.
Reach out to the experts
Still need help deciding which material to go with? Consult a professional window installation company for advice. They can ask you the right questions to identify the best type of windows for your unique needs, and ensure your windows are measured and installed to perfection.
At Weaver Exterior Remodeling, we specialize in vinyl windows and are so confident in their performance that we are proud to offer a lifetime warranty on all our products, fully transferable and at no additional charge.
Having earned the trust of our customers over 30 years in the industry, Weaver Exterior Remodeling has been named one of the three top window installation companies in Barrie.
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