The market for windows has expanded greatly in the last couple of decades, in particular with the advent of vinyl windows. While wood frames remain the traditional method of window manufacture, the fact remains that vinyl is a viable alternative. Which is best for you?
That is the question we are going to try and answer in this article which will compare vinyl and wood windows, and the benefits and drawbacks of each. If you want more details on available windows, we recommend you check out Mikita Door & Window which is a reputable installer. Let’s start by talking about vinyl windows.
All About Vinyl Windows
While vinyl or uPVC windows have been around since the end of the 1950’s, improvements in manufacturing and the materials used make them more popular today than ever. In the early days of vinyl customers found that the frames would become discolored and mis-shaped quite quickly. Modern vinyl windows are made to a higher quality standard and will last many years.
There are two main types of vinyl window: Recycled, and Pure Virgin. The latter is a robust and new window that has been manufactured from the scratch, while Recycled is as it says, and is cheaper than the alternative. For the longest life we suggest you look at the Pure Virgin example for better quality. So, what are the pros and cons of choosing vinyl over wood for your new windows?
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Windows
Let’s begin with the benefits of vinyl windows:
- Cost effective Vinyl windows are cheaper than wood alternatives by quite some margin. However, there are differences in price between the top-quality options and the more budget-friendly choices. This is why we recommend you talk to an expert window company who will be able to recommend the best option for your available budget.
- Energy efficient vinyl windows are far more energy efficient than wood frames. Once again, there are differences to look for. Windows come with a star rating and if you can stretch to it we suggest looking for models that are filled with argon gas for the ultimate in energy conservation.
- Cheap to install installation of vinyl frames is simple for the trained personnel. The frames come ready made to precise size and should be fitted quickly.
- Low maintenance keep your windows clean by wiping them down once in a while and that’s about all the maintenance necessary.
- Custom made you can have vinyl windows made in just about any color and size or shape as they are made to order.
To balance the question, here are the downsides of vinyl:
- Impact on the environment while vinyl windows are energy efficient the manufacturing process is all about chemicals, and some are not particularly pleasant. Things have improved but there is still plenty to do to get to a satisfactory point.
- Looks while a modern home will not look out of place with vinyl windows, they are not a great look when compared to wood in older traditional homes.
- Quality variation as mentioned above there is considerable variation in quality largely due to these being the most popular type of window and a competitive market. You need to ensure you are getting at least a 20 year or more warranty.
Now it’s time to talk about wood windows, and what you need to know.
All About Wood Windows
We don’t need to say much to introduce wooden windows as they have been with us for hundreds of years. Wood is beautiful, natural, and also durable – if maintained correctly. Let’s move straight on and look at the positives with wooden windows.
Pros and Cons of Wood Windows
Some of the pros of wood windows are:
- Thermal efficiency though vinyl windows are intrinsically more energy efficient the fact remains that wood offer a level of such not far away.
- Paint in any colours wood can be painted and sealed to protect it against the elements so it is easy to change the color of wooden windows whenever required.
- Attractive to look at wood as a natural material is lovely to look at, and craftsmen creating wood windows can make them practically an item of furniture.
- No chemicals involved unlike vinyl windows wooden examples are free from toxic chemicals and are entirely ‘’
- Added value there is no doubt that a home with wooden windows will fetch a higher price than an identical one with vinyl examples.
- Long lasting wooden windows can last a long time – as long as vinyl, in fact – with the right care and maintenance.
That’s the main attractions of wooden framed windows, so where are the drawbacks to this traditional type of window? Following are some of the things you should consider when deliberating between wood or vinyl.
- Expensive wooden windows are easily more expensive than vinyl or any other alternatives, as the wood needs to be of a high quality and from sustainable sources.
- Prone to rot wood exposed to the weather can rot, especially if it is not protected properly.
- Needs regular painting the paintwork on wooden windows will be come tired and untidy after just a few years and hence require repainting and a protective coat added repeatedly.
Those are the main downsides to wooden window installations, yet the fact remains that this is the type of window that looks best for traditional homes and other buildings. To conclude, let’s have a summary and see if we can answer the question in the title.
Should you but vinyl or wooden windows? The answer is simple: it’s your choice. As we have shown above, each has its merits, and both have a downside. A big influence will be your available budget, as wood will cost more than vinyl. We recommend you talk to window companies about the available options, and they will happily advise you as to the right way to go for the best results.