Window Material Options: Wood vs. Vinyl – PART II: Comparing Wood and Vinyl

Window replacement can definitely impact your home through improved aesthetics and energy performance, among other aspects. However, if you wish to maximize your investment’s potential, you must be able to identify and acquire the right type of windows according to your home and personal requirements. To help you do just that, we’ll be talking about two leading window frame materials: wood and vinyl.

Wood: An Oldie But Goodie?

One of the oldest building materials available, wood has the natural ability to resist heat and cold transfer. It also offers great insulative value and is undeniably beautiful, durable and long-lasting when properly maintained. It can drastically improve a home’s appearance and value but it is not without its disadvantages.

To preserve the natural and elegant look of wood windows, you will need to spend a sizable amount of time and money for routine care and maintenance. Typically, periodic yet regular painting and staining will be required. Not to mention that wood windows have to be treated to protect them from moisture and rot, which can give rise to pest infestations or compromise the structural integrity of the window. Wood also contracts and expands when the temperature changes, wearing out seals on a window, reducing energy efficiency in the home. Plus, the material’s charm and beauty comes at a steep price.

Vinyl: The Humble Contender

Vinyl windows have become one of the most popular choices among homeowners for a number of good reasons. For starters, they can look as attractive as wood. There’s still nothing like wood windows but vinyl windows offer comparable appearance such that it’s difficult to tell one from the other. But where wood’s beauty will cost you a lot, vinyl steps up by being the more affordable alternative.

Aside from cost, however, vinyl windows is also more manageable than wood in terms of maintenance. In fact, all it needs is routine cleaning and it will be good as new. With lower upfront and maintenance costs and good insulation values, vinyl windows are undoubtedly a practical choice.

So, should you go for wood or vinyl windows? Head on over to Part 3 for a rundown of considerations to help you make that final decision.

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