Research shows that in the last 25 years, wood windows dropped significantly from accounting for half of all windows sold to less than 20%. Vinyl windows are taking its place and are produced from high quality extruded polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Wood windows on the other hand are produced from pine or douglas fir on the inside while the exterior is wood covered with PVC or fibreglass. Vinyl replacement windows do not require paint or sealing while when wood window repairs are done, the exterior wood needs to be painted and sealed even after installation.
Advantages and disadvantages of Vinyl windows
The following is a list of a few advantages and disadvantages of vinyl windows:
- uPVC which is the material used to make vinyl windows, is safe and stable. It will not ware out, flex or bend.
- They are available in a woodgrain finish that would last a lifetime. They also come in light oak, cherry and walnut look alike.
- It will not tarnish, rust or rot.
- It is weather resistant, even in extreme weather conditions.
- If you have a scratch, it can be polished with little effort.
- uPVC is easy to maintain and is known as the world’s lowest maintenance materials in construction.
- More economical than wood windows.
- Over time, uPVC has a tendency to become brittle and could break.
- Even though it is fire resistant, it will melt if exposed to extreme flame.
- It isn’t actual wood.
Advantages and disadvantages of wood windows
The following is a list of a few advantages and disadvantages of wood windows:
- Wood adds value to anything that it is use don
- Wood is better at reducing noise
- Wood looks much better and is more aesthetically pleasing.
- Wood windows are costlier
- Maintenance and repairs of wood windows costlier than vinyl
- Upkeep must be done every 2-3 years
- Wood tends to stain and swell
- More difficult to insulate
- Wood is difficult to work with as it is much heavier
- Wood will burn in a fire, rather quickly
- It may be difficult to locate replacement windows
Vinyl windows are a poor conductor of temperature, but vinyl frames are hollow and will allow cold air to pass through freely. Wood windows are excellent at insulating and wood frames inhibit the transfer of cold and heat from outside your home.
It is estimated that vinyl windows are 25% cheaper than wood windows. This could be due to fewer companies manufacturing wood windows.
Vinyl windows have a good resale value. Buyers are aware of and accept that vinyl windows are part of the home. Wood windows if maintained well, tend to attract buyers to the home.
Vinyl windows may not be as attractive as wood windows however it is low maintenance and ideal for people who are okay with basic functioning windows. Wood windows, although more expensive, maintain a higher resale value and are ideal with historic and modern homes alike.