So you’ve decided to take the plunge and replace your home’s windows – great! Your worn-down, water-leaking drafty old window is one step closer to being swapped out for a superior window.
But there’s one thing you’re likely chewing over- which type of window material to go with: wood or vinyl? It’s not an easy choice, but there are some key points to remember for each window type. Wood windows may appear to be the perfect match to your house. They provide a look that appears more traditional than modern windows. But keep in mind that wood has its downsides. Meanwhile, vinyl windows come in a good range of styles and offer several things that wood windows don’t.
Wood windows may seem more historic, and have a timeless look. They can add a warmth or richness to a room. Condensation is also minimal with wood windows, and they offer good insulation against the elements. But they require a much higher level of maintenance than vinyl.
Wood windows, for example, are guaranteed to crack and chip as time goes by. This means that you’ll need to regularly paint wood windows, and reseal their inside frame. This isn’t always the easiest thing to do, depending on the shape of the windows and where on the home they are placed.
Wood windows also need another bit of regular physical maintenance: painting or staining. And if you don’t keep up with the regular upkeep of a wooden window, there can be major consequences: rotting and weathering. In addition, wooden windows can absorb moisture into their materials. As a result, they can swell up, making them very tricky to open or shut.
Vinyl windows are the solution for those looking to do minimal maintenance. Unlike wood, vinyl windows are largely self-maintaining, though in need of some minor care once in a while. Unlike wood windows, the material vinyl doesn’t crack, meaning they don’t need regular painting after they’re installed.
Vinyl windows are also available with an insulated core, which adds superior protection against heat transfer, and blocks out exterior sounds. Those looking for a high level of energy efficiency should seriously consider going with vinyl.
Unlike wood, vinyl windows are not prone to damaging condensation, with properly designed vinyl windows not susceptible to being infiltrated by moisture. Depending on the type of window frame, vinyl makes tilt-in cleaning easy, keeping your view of the outside clear.
That being said, there are a few minor points to keep in mind with vinyl windows.
Though they don’t force a homeowner to constantly maintain them, such as with wood, they do need a bit of loving care from time to time, with their hardware generally requiring a bit of spot lubrication occasionally.