Which Will Be Victorious? Wood Windows vs. Fiberglass Windows
When contemplating which type of replacement windows to purchase, you have no doubt heard the many options. Vinyl, Wood, Fiberglass, and Aluminum to name a few are all widely available. But today, we are looking at wood and fiberglass windows. Which have greater benefits? Which are the most cost-effective? With so many questions, it can be difficult to know for sure which is the best, without a little research. Luckily, we have taken the guesswork out of window shopping. If you have been trying to decide between wood windows vs. fiberglass windows, then read on, for all the information needed to make an informed decision for your next home improvement project.
Comparing Cost of Fiberglass Replacement Windows Versus Wood Replacement Windows
The price of materials is always a huge concern for homeowners looking to update, and the cost of windows is no different. In this category, you will find that wood and fiberglass are pretty evenly matched. While it does depend on the brand you choose, the estimated cost of windows, including the window and installation will run:
Again costs will vary. The prices listed are averages for double hung windows with the typical dimensions of 36×60. For smaller windows or picture windows like those in a bathroom, one should expect to pay less overall for the window and installation fees.
Both wood and fiberglass windows look simply hands down better than any other option on the market. However, if you want your home to have a more organic feel, nothing replaces real wood. While fiberglass is a close second and can mimic wood, it just doesn’t have the exact texture, grain, and appearance. There are some similarities because fiberglass and wood windows can both be painted. But wood window frames can be stained which is a genuinely stunning option for a classic more organic window choice.
The outlook for wood and fiberglass is both pretty good. However, there is some controversy about how long wood will last without issue. Some regard wood as a permanent option for windows, which could be true. But you have to perform maintenance and ensure that the wood is protected from things like rot, warping, and insects. This means you will need to keep the wood protected with a stain or paint. On the other side of lifespan, those that invest in fiberglass can expect to get about 50 years without too much maintenance. You will have to repaint at some point, but other than that, there isn’t much else you need to do.
Installation does deserve some consideration. Because the difficulty of installation will determine the cost to do so. The good news is that wood is a relatively straightforward installational that is easy to do, which keeps the total cost slightly lower. On the other hand, fiberglass is more difficult, which increases the amount it takes to install. Having a professional install new windows is the best solution to your home improvement to guarantee the best results. While it does carry a heftier price tag, it is well worth the investment
The Best Fiberglass and Wood Window Manufacturers
Would you be surprised to learn that the not every top window brand carries every type of window material? But that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find great quality products by the brands you may favor. Pella, Milgard, and Jeld-Wen both make several lines featuring fiberglass material. As you will find with many of the brands there is typically the option for good, better, and highest-quality products. When choosing fiberglass window replacements, it is encouraged to go with the best one that is within your budget to ensure long-lasting results. Often times you will find that the manufacturer will back certain lines with incredible warranties that can help you save a bundle if you find you’re needed to replace them within that window of time. No pun intended.
Just like fiberglass, wood has some stand out companies to choose from. The Pella Architect Reserve line and Marvin Ultimate line are the standouts for the best wood windows on the market. While they do carry a higher premium than other wooden windows, the quality is unsurpassed. Anderson also has a line of wood windows made from pine that are considered more affordable, but still boasts a beautiful appearance.
Maintaining Wood Windows vs. Fiberglass Windows.
The maintenance of wood and fiberglass windows is quite similar. However, there are some significant differences. Wood, after a while, will need to be touched up or repainted if the paint was used instead of a stain. Even if you stain wood, you may need to reapply after a few years because of sun fading.
Energy Efficiency of Fiberglass vs. Wood Windows
Being energy efficient is at the forefront of most homeowners minds, especially when it comes time to make home improvements like replacing windows. One of the easiest ways to shop for new windows is to look for the Energy Star logo. These windows have passed a series of tests for the specific region in which you are purchasing. When it comes to which is more energy efficient fiberglass or wood, wood triumphs. While fiberglass models can have a slue of insulation qualities within the frame, it can not compare to the solid wood or clad-wood options on the market. When you pair a wood window with a double pane, argon-filled glass, you will get getting the maximum energy saving benefits.
However, even though wood is spectacular at keeping energy costs down, fiberglass windows aren’t far behind. They have come along way in recent years and offer outstanding energy saving benefits, and edge out other competitors like vinyl. Fiberglass has insulation in the frame as well as glass benefits that can be customized even to improve the percentage of energy co-efficient and decrease heat-gains.
Below we have condensed an easy to follow pro/con list for fiberglass and wood windows. This may help you decide once and for all which window is the best fit for your home and your budget.
-More glass, with a thinner frame
-Better noise control
-Can increase home equity
-Long lasting- up to 50 years
-Installation more difficult
-Will need to be painted periodically
-Can fade in with sunlight exposure
-Easy to install
-Typically last ten years before needing repair
-Will need to be painted or stained periodically
wood windows vs. fiberglass windows
-If not maintained can warp or rot
-Vulnerable to insects
-Typically the most expensive