Window Features that Make a Difference

When faced with the decision between fiberglass replacement windows and vinyl windows, a variety of facts need to be considered in order to make the best overall selection for your needs. Most homeowners are looking for energy efficient windows, installed by a reputable company, that can both lower their monthly utilities and decrease noise intrusion.

A Closer Look at Fiberglass vs. Vinyl Replacement Windows

Replacement windows are a significant investment and will last you for decades, so it pays to make the window material decision armed with facts about your options. Both fiberglass windows and vinyl windows are popular choices among homeowners and contractors — especially Marvin windows which solve common problems for DC homeowners. Here are some highlights that may help narrow your search when considering fiberglass and vinyl windows.

Appearance

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—Fiberglass windows can mimic the look of wood windows, and they offer a variety of choices when it comes to style and color. They closely resemble wood’s overall look, and can even mimic different kinds of wood based on what they are painted with. They can be painted if you prefer a specific color over the look of natural wood.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Vinyl windows have a joint line at their corners which can be pretty obvious and unsightly. When it comes to color, “when it’s vinyl, it’s final.” Vinyl windows maintain their color and won’t fade, peel, or require repainting. They are only offered in a limited range of colors.

Durability

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—Fiberglass (think hard hats and canoes) is known for its durable makeup. It’s eight times stronger than vinyl, so it will last significantly longer. Fiberglass windows are expected to last up to 50 years! And they maintain their structure in spite of the heat.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Vinyl windows can last up to 30 years. Unfortunately, vinyl replacement window frames can weaken in the sun because they expand and contract with the heat, and vinyl frames can warp, shortening their lifespan.

Energy Efficiency

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—Fiberglass windows are up to 15% better at insulating than vinyl. They don’t expand or contract with the heat or cold due to the glass fibers in the frames. As a result, they offer better insulation than vinyl and provide energy savings on your utilities.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Because vinyl windows expand and contract, their seal can sometimes become compromised and cause air to leak into your home, increasing your utilities, and decreasing your indoor comfort level.

Noise Intrusion

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—The glass fibers in fiberglass windows cause them to be superior at keeping street noise, aircraft noise, and heavy equipment noise from intruding into your home interior. Enjoy peace and quiet inside with the trustworthy fiberglass windows.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Outdoor noise passes through vinyl windows more readily than fiberglass.

Installation

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—Fiberglass windows shouldn’t be installed by anyone but a professional. They are rigid and won’t expand or contract like vinyl windows. They can be challenging to fit into your window opening, yet worth it once they are installed by a window replacement contractor.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Vinyl windows can be installed faster than fiberglass windows. They’re flexible, and the window frames can be made within 1/8-inch of your window size. They are best installed by professionals, but some DIY enthusiasts may install them as well.

Cost

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—In general, fiberglass windows are a greater investment than vinyl windows, and their installation costs are higher as well due to the nature of their makeup. Stronger than wood, fiberglass windows are priced between vinyl and wood, making them a popular choice with homeowners.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Vinyl window replacement offers a more cost-effective initial investment for homeowners.

Maintenance

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—In general, both fiberglass and vinyl windows are low maintenance, yet both require minimal upkeep to keep them performing at their best. If fiberglass windows are painted, they may fade over time, or peel in some areas, and need to be repainted. Fiberglass windows are anchored tightly in their frame and won’t leak—ensuring your utilities stay low and your indoor comfort stays consistent throughout your home.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Vinyl windows can tend to warp, and in order to reseal them you need to caulk them periodically.

Eco-friendliness

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—Fiberglass windows are the greener choice when it comes to replacement windows. They insulate better than vinyl and they don’t leak. They last up to 50 years, making them a fantastic choice for homeowners.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Vinyl windows can tend to warp and leak air into your home, and they last up to 30 years.

Makeup

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—Fiberglass is made when polyester resins are activated by a catalyst and then pulled through a heated die. Glass strands are included, and the finished product can be shaped easily. Fiberglass is used to create super strong items like surfboards and skis, so you can picture how much their strength adds to your window replacement.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Vinyl windows are made from extruded polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and they may include metal internally to stiffen up the frames. They can be made to fit any size of window opening in your home.

Frame Size

Fiberglass Replacement Windows—Fiberglass can accomplish the same energy efficiency with smaller frames, giving you a low profile frame option that complements your home perfectly. They are an ideal choice for contemporary homes.

Vinyl Replacement Windows—Vinyl windows are bulkier than fiberglass and are easy to spot from outside your home due to their thick frames.

Alco Products for Premium Window Installation

At Alco Products, we understand how important window material selection and installation is to your long-term enjoyment of your replacement windows. We offer premium replacement windows and precision installation for your DC metro home.

Learn more about replacement windows Looking for the right replacement windows for your DC home? Check out our comprehensive window buying guide so you can make the best choice for your unique needs.