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Shopping for Windows: Wood, Fiberglass or Vinyl

Shopping for Windows: Wood, Fiberglass or Vinyl?

Learn about the materials that make windows work harder.

If you’ve started the process of shopping for windows, you’ve probably run into a lot of questions. How important is energy efficiency? Which window is best for my home – casement or double-hung? (Or something else?) What do the numbers on the label mean? And so on and on … and on.

One of the most important questions to consider as you shop for windows is this: Which material is best for my home? Wood, fiberglass and vinyl are the most common choices, and each has its own unique attributes and distinctive styles.

And keep in mind, all three materials offer the energy-efficient options that will meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® guidelines in all 50 states.

So, how do you make the decision? First, think about the features and benefits that are most important to you. Then select an options that works within your budget, lifestyle and climate.

Consider wood for:

  • Beauty that comes from the natural look of wood.
  • The most design options inside and out – products can be stained or painted to complement your home.
  • Low-maintenance aluminum-clad exterior with a durable finish that resists fading and helps protect you from the elements for years.

Consider fiberglass for:

  • Exceptional strength and durability.
  • Ability to withstand extreme heat and subzero cold.
  • Low-maintenance powder-coat finish for the quality look of painted wood that stays looking great for years.

Consider vinyl for:

  • Easy-care frames – no painting, staining or refinishing.
  • Multi-chambered frames and fully welded sashes that adds strength and durability.
  • Affordable quality that’s easy on your budget.

Before you make a final decision, be sure to see the different materials in person. There might be some aspects of a material’s appearance, style or construction that you like – or dislike – more than another.

If you need help figuring out which material is right for your home, ask your local window expert. He or she can give you insights on the advantages and disadvantages of different materials for your preferences, budget, neighborhood and climate.