Vinyl vs. Wood Windows

What is the difference between vinyl and wood windows? Should I install vinyl or wood windows?

These are common questions that we often receive, so we are going to address the many ways in which our vinyl and wood windows are similar and how they are different.

Wood vs. Vinyl Materials

Wood and vinyl are both natural insulators making them excellent energy efficient solutions when replacing the windows in your home or business. Wood is one of the oldest building materials in the world – and for good reason. Wood has excellent aesthetics, great insulation properties and extreme versatility. Vinyl on the other hand is relatively new, only coming about in the latter half of the 20th century. Vinyl, like wood, is an insulating material, so it too offers excellent energy efficiency, but on its own is generally considered less aesthetically pleasing than wood. Fortunately for replacement window shoppers, Weather Shield offers wood-clad vinyl windows that combine the benefits of vinyl windows with the aesthetics of wood!

Vinyl vs. Wood Windows – Energy Efficiency

As we’ve already mentioned, vinyl and wood are both energy efficient materials. Both materials have similar insulating values (also known as R-Values). Either is a very good option with perhaps a slight edge in favor of vinyl windows.

Edge: Tie (slight vinyl lean)

Vinyl vs. Wood Windows – Aesthetics

We offer several different styles and features for both our vinyl and wood window options, giving you flexibility in design. Historically, vinyl windows have never been noted for their aesthetics, but our wood-clad vinyl windows now give vinyl windows the same elegance and beauty commonly associated with wood windows. You no longer have to compromise aesthetics for durability! Despite this, traditionalists still prefer true wood windows to wood-clad windows.

Edge: Wood

Vinyl vs. Wood Windows – Maintenance

Maintenance is one area where vinyl windows really stand out in comparison to wood windows. Vinyl windows are extremely low maintenance. In fact, they’re almost maintenance-free. Vinyl windows can be cleaned with only soap and water and never require painting or sealing.

Wood windows, on the other hand, require more frequent maintenance to maintain the look and beauty they have when new. To keep your wood windows looking fresh, they will need to be painted or stained to prevent decay as the wood is exposed to the elements.

Both wood and vinyl windows can last for a very long time if properly maintained, but wood windows will require a greater level of maintenance to extend lifespan.

Edge: Vinyl

Vinyl vs. Wood Windows – Value

All wood windows typically cost more than vinyl windows with similar energy efficiency and performance. Due to their lower cost, vinyl windows have gained a very large market share in the last decade and due to their success, they have become the near standard in the homebuilding industry, meaning they do little for your home value. Wood windows today are highly sought after for their aesthetics and classical appeal. Although they cost more than vinyl windows, their classical elegance and relative scarcity in the marketplace can significantly improve the value of your home to the right buyers.

Edge: Tie

So Which is Better? Wood Windows or Vinyl Windows?

Although they vary in many ways, it is difficult to say that one type is necessarily better than the other because they each have their own advantages, and they are often purchased to serve different purposes for different people. All our wood and vinyl windows are built with the same level of craftsmanship right here in the USA and come with a 20-year warranty! Regardless of the choice between wood and vinyl, we are confident that you will love our windows.

Vinyl & Wood Window Installation

If you are looking to replace the windows in your home, Weather Shield’s vinyl and wood windows are an excellent way to improve the aesthetics, energy efficiency and value of your home. To learn more about our vinyl and wood window selections, contact us directly, or find a Weather Shield dealer near you!