Going on the hunt for replacement windows can leave you wondering which decision is right for your home. Modern replacement windows come in many different materials, styles, and options. Not to mention, there is ever-expanding terminology a homeowner should be aware of when making a choice that is energy-efficient and long-lasting.
Wood, perhaps the most traditional window framing option, along with vinyl and fiberglass tend to be the most common window options on the market. But which performs the best and will keep your home looking impeccable and feeling comfortable for years?
As a window contractor, we choose to install Infinity fiberglass windows for their beauty, durability, and energy efficiency. But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s see how they hold up against other popular window options.
Fiberglass Vs. Wood and Vinyl Windows
The Ultrex fiberglass that comprises Infinity fiberglass windows is one of its greatest assets. It is 8 times stronger than vinyl and resists bending and flexing. It is the strongest window frame material available on the market. It does not swell and shrink with weather and heat, so it won’t warp or bow. Vinyl on the other hand shifts and flexes under even common weather conditions, and can melt or warp from extreme heat sources such as a grill or fireplace. Wood also swells and cracks as it absorbs water and undergoes temperature swings.
Over time, vinyl loses some of its hardiness. And wood will eventually wear down. However, fiberglass maintains its strength throughout the entirety of its life, making it one of the most durable window frames available.
Vinyl and fiberglass windows are designed to last for decades. But the durability of fiberglass and its customization to your home helps it last for decades longer. Vinyl windows typically see a 30-year lifespan, while fiberglass windows stretch up to 50 years.
Wood on the other hand has a greater propensity for deterioration. If properly maintained, wood frames can last for 20 years or more, but they will require continual painting or sealing to do so.
Wood frames are typically the choice to beat when it comes to aesthetics. The traditional look of wood frames is highly sought after for its texture and rich quality.
However, fiberglass windows mimic the look of wood impeccably. Frames can be designed with different looks and textures to help you achieve your desired appearance. They can be seamless and smooth, with thin frames for those seeking a more modern look. If having choices is a big factor in your search, fiberglass frames are a winner.
Vinyl tends to fall flat. While brand new vinyl windows can look beautiful, many homeowners’ qualm with the material is its cheap plastic look.
Beyond the frame, the view is a major factor of your window’s appearance. With the durability of Infinity windows, you’ll experience less frame and more pane than vinyl and wood windows. Enjoy a brighter home interior and more striking views.
All three window options have great insulating properties. However, vinyl and fiberglass tend to have hollow frames, which can be filled with insulation, pushing them past wood in efficiency.
Infinity windows are custom fit, giving them a much tighter seal than vinyl and wood frames. The fiberglass does not expand and contract easily. It does so at nearly the same rate as the glass, which means it won’t warp or gap and therefore won’t experience air leaks. Vinyl can easily warp, and wood frames tend to deteriorate and gap as they age. Neither can maintain the same air-tightness as Ultrex fiberglass.
Fiberglass overall tends to have a greater R-value than vinyl. But Infinity windows also contain low-E glass filled with insulating argon gas to help reduce unwanted airflow.
As a whole, vinyl of any kind was created to be a low-maintenance product. It is easy to clean and upkeep, and it does not need to be painted over its lifespan. Fiberglass, if painted, may need additional coats as the years pass. However, Infinity windows are designed with a fade-resistant finish to keep you from needing to paint as the years pass.
Wood, on the other hand, requires a great deal of maintenance. It will continually need to be painted or sealed to protect it from the elements.
The durability of Infinity’s fiberglass frames also reduces the number of repairs and replacements needed in the window’s lifespan. Such repairs are a big part of maintenance, and less maintenance means the more time you have for more important things.
Vinyl windows have been around for decades as a low-cost window frame option. They are easy to install, giving them an upfront lower cost than nearly any other window options. While fiberglass and wood can still fit within many budgets, they do cost more upfront than vinyl.
Fiberglass and wood are relatively similar in expense for material and installation. However, when you consider the need for repair, replacements, energy efficiency, possibility of air leaks, and maintenance, fiberglass windows cost less to maintain over their lifespans. And while it may not directly be dollars and cents, the time you save not having to maintain and repair fiberglass makes it invaluable to a busy homeowner.
If you’re not yet convinced of fiberglass’s outstanding performance merits, find out more about vinyl vs fiberglass windows.
Give Your Home the Best
If you’re looking to install a window that makes your home more beautiful, enjoyable, and valuable, our Lakeside Renovations and Design team is ready to install Infinity fiberglass windows.
We are an exclusive certified contractor, so you can feel confident in the work our team puts into your home. We get the job done right the first time so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary repairs or premature replacements. If you want to know what kind of investment will give your home impeccable windows, get a quote from our team today.