Wood vs. Vinyl Windows: How to Choose
Whether you’re building a brand-new home or replacing old windows, you now get to decide whether to install wood or vinyl windows. Which one is right for you depends on your home, budget, personal preferences, and long-term plans for the property.
To help you choose, consider some pros and cons of wood and vinyl windows:
Pros of Wood Windows
- Wood is natural, eco-friendly, and biodegradable. Often manufactured from Douglas fir or pine, more luxurious wooden windows may be made from cedar or mahogany.
- You can change the color of your wood windows as frequently as you desire by scraping and repainting.
- Wood replacement windows provide a good return on your investment of 61.5%.
- Properly installed wood windows with multi-paned glass are energy-efficient and durable.
- Buildings on the National Register of Historic Places may require you to replace wood with wood to preserve the original style of windows.
Cons of Wood Windows
- Wood windows cost about 20% more than vinyl windows and because they weigh significantly more than vinyl, they are often more difficult and costly to install.
- Wood windows require regular maintenance and periodic painting to protect against the elements and avoid deterioration.
- Although wood itself is biodegradable, to prevent termite and other insect infestations, manufacturers often treat wooden windows with toxic chemicals.
Pros of Vinyl Windows
- Vinyl windows are more affordable than wood.
- Vinyl windows are durable, lightweight, and require very little upkeep. They never need scraping, painting, or sealing, and can be cleaned with a cloth and warm soapy water.
- Vinyl replacement windows provide a good return on your investment of 68.5%.
- Vinyl windows last longer and often come with longer warranties than wood windows.
- Quality vinyl windows with multi-paned glass, the Super Spacer® window system, and Neopor GPS insulation are more energy-efficient and durable than wood window systems.
- Although vinyl is not biodegradable, it is recyclable. And responsible vinyl window manufacturers make extra efforts to conserve energy and water, reduce greenhouse emissions, and send less waste to landfills.
Cons of Vinyl Windows
- Some vinyl windows may yellow or fade over time.
- Cheaper, hollow-framed vinyl windows do not offer proper insulation or airtight seals. Look for insulated window frames that are Energy Star-qualified and verified by the National Fenestration Rating Council.
- Vinyl windows should not be painted. While there are many color choices for vinyl windows when you place your order, once you install them painting is discouraged.
Still not sure what kind of windows are right for your home? There is a third option. Many homeowners find that wood-clad vinyl windows offer the best of both worlds. They are made with a durable, weather-resistant vinyl exterior that requires little to no maintenance. For the interior of your home, they have the visual appeal of wood, and are built with a wooden core for thermal efficiency.
At NOW Remodeling, we customize your windows to fit your needs, tastes, and budget. A proud Preferred Contractor for ProVia Windows, we install quality American-made windows that are beautiful and durable. ProVia has a long-standing commitment of protecting natural resources by recycling, reusing materials where appropriate, and reducing pollution emissions. In 2021, it added solar panels to its stone manufacturing facility, to reduce electrical power consumption by up to 60% and to prevent emission of more than 1,400 tons of CO2 annually. Sustainable product development is important to ProVia—and it’s important to NOW Remodeling.
Want good products, at fair prices, from a company that cares? Request your free quote today.