Wood vs. Vinyl Windows: Which Is Better?

Updated:  January 24, 2020

Wood vs. vinyl — with so many factors to consider, choosing the right type of windows for your home can feel intimidating. Two of the most popular and durable window materials on the market are wood and vinyl. But how do they compare? How can you ensure you’re making the best decision?

Window installation is a big investment, so it’s important to understand the properties and benefits of wood vs. vinyl before purchasing. To help make your choice easier, we have provided a comparison of both materials.

Upfront Costs

Without factoring in labour and installation costs, wooden windows are generally more expensive than their vinyl counterpart. This is due mainly to a more complex manufacturing process associated with wood. Conversely, vinyl windows present a lower-cost alternative because they are easier to produce—which ultimately leads to cash savings for you.

Keep in mind that this is just the upfront cost: over the course of your windows’ life, you may need to pay extra for their upkeep (see “Durability And Need For Maintenance/Repairs” below).

Wood Vs. Vinyl Windows-Upfront Cost-Weaver Exterior

Labour And Installation

Wood is quite heavy and involves a rather complex installation process that may require modifications to make your windows fit. Labour may also include finishing work such as sanding, staining or painting.

Vinyl is significantly lighter than wood. It is also a much easier type of window to install, and no modifications or painting are necessary.

Ultimately, the cost for installing wood windows is higher than for vinyl windows.

Wood Vs. Vinyl Windows-Labour And Installation-Weaver Exterior

Durability And Need For Maintenance/Repairs

Both wood and vinyl windows can live long lives.

If you take good care of your wood window frames, including sealing them as required, they can last for as many as four decades. However, wood is vulnerable to damage caused by pests and weather, which can cause your frames to chip or break. Wood is also susceptible to excessive rot—and if that rot goes down deep into your frames, you will require a complete replacement of your windows.

Vinyl windows are much more resilient to the elements, they never require sealing, and are significantly less likely than wood to crack or dent. If you ever need to do any repairs, it will most likely be the hardware such as handles or window locks. Otherwise, vinyl windows require very little maintenance: give them a good cleaning about once a year, and you’ll see them last up to 20 years.

Wood Vs. Vinyl Windows-Durability-Image Of Old Peeling Wooden Window Frame-Weaver Exterior

Colours And Customization

If you have wood frames and want to maintain their appearance, you will need to repaint or stain them every few years. If you like to change up your home’s interior and exterior appearance every so often, wood frames give you the opportunity to switch up your colour palate as you please.

Vinyl cannot be painted. But never fear: vinyl windows retain their original vibrancy over their lifetime. They are also available in a range of colours.

Wood Vs. Vinyl Windows-Colours And Customization-Weaver Exterior

Make Your Decision With Expert Advice

Whether you are shopping for windows as replacements or for new construction, you want your installation to last for decades. A professional company can guide you on the perfect material to meet your needs, and ensure your windows are measured and installed properly. As one of the three top window installers in Barrie and with 30 years in the business, Weaver Exterior Remodeling specializes in vinyl windows of all types.

Let us help you: get started by setting up a free quote or browse our online gallery of past work.

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Weaver has over two decades of experience and provides comprehensive installation services for windows, doors, and aluminum in the Barrie region, making it a convenient option for all project sizes.