Understanding the Wood vs Vinyl Replacement Window Decision
It's as inevitable as death or taxes: if you own a home, sooner or later, you'll need to look into replacement windows. The good news is that the purchase of new windows can greatly improve the appearance of your home's exterior, since windows are the one of the most important architectural features of any home. In addition, new windows can help to reduce your costly monthly utility bills, as improved insulation helps to keep your home cooler during the hot summer months and prevent as much cold air during chilly winters from seeping inside.
One of the major decisions that homeowners face when contemplating new windows is the common wood vs vinyl replacement window dilemma. Both wood and vinyl have advantages and disadvantages as materials for windows, so the decision becomes an exercise of weighing the importance of each factor in order to choose the best windows for your home improvement project.
For many homeowners, the temptation to put the primary focus on the initial window cost is strong. While initial costs should be a part of the decision process, it's equally important to look at ongoing costs related to maintenance and upkeep, as well. While the initial purchase cost favors wood windows in the wood vs vinyl replacement window decision, the ongoing costs will be lower with vinyl windows. This is due to vinyl's superior durability and ease of care. While natural wood is susceptible to splitting, cracking, and peeling, the process by which vinyl windows are made ensures that the final window resists this type of damage. In addition, the potential damage caused by moisture should be considered when debating wood vs vinyl replacement window issues; wood windows are prone to swelling and to mold and mildew when exposed to moisture, while vinyl is impervious to moisture. One additional consideration in the wood vs vinyl replacement window debate is insect damage. Wood windows are notorious for attracting insect pests, while the composition of vinyl windows renders them unattractive to insects and other pests.
Wood windows require regular applications of paint or stain to keep them looking their best. In contrast, the pigment that gives vinyl windows their color is added during the manufacturing process; this ensures that the initial color will never crack, flake, or peel as can the color applied to wood windows. For homeowners who dislike painting, this factor is clearly on the side of vinyl when considering the wood vs vinyl replacement window decision.
Ready to learn more about the many advantages of vinyl windows for your window replacement project? Access information here.
There are many wood window manufacturers in the marketplace and their products vary widely. It would be good to see an older job with the product you are looking to purchase to see if there was a major design flaw such as the wrong glue used on scissor joints or twisting or expansion problems. At their best, wood windows are wonderful to behold and prettier than the best vinyl window.