Vinyl vs. Fiberglass Windows: What’s Best for Your Home?
Every homeowner, new and experienced alike, is painfully familiar with the tedious task of updating a house. Older homes have their charm, but the money a homeowner must shell out to bring their beloved house into the 21st Century can be tremendous. Often times, people tend to deal with these archaic features, especially if it doesn’t directly impact their day-to-day life or the aesthetic value of the house.
Windows absolutely fall into this category, particularly for newcomers to the home improvement world because they’re never told about energy savings that come with new windows. For a typical home, an Energy Star Certified window can save the average home $126-$465. Modernizing windows creates an abundance of positive effects: cost and energy efficiency, a cleaner look, and keeping out the the cold temperatures.
For beginners, the world of window choices can seem daunting. Once the style and features have been selected, there’s only one decision left: material. Considering the two most popular materials used in new windows, the question on everyone’s mind is vinyl vs fiberglass windows?
Fiberglass Windows: Why They Aren’t the Best Choice
The first thing you should know about fiberglass windows is their hefty cost. Fiberglass window installation can cost upwards of $300 to $500, depending on the contractor, quality of materials, and location’s general cost of living. The cost difference between fiberglass and vinyl is an astounding 50%.
Another negative of fiberglass is that their color tends to fade from direct sunlight, so homeowners are faced with the dilemma of upkeep down the road. Although there are several colors available for fiberglass windows, there’s a limitation and, if the color you desired is not offered, you’ll have to get out your sandpaper, brushes, and paint them yourself.
Also, depending on where you live, the materials, similar to certain color choices, may not be readily available. Many homeowners looking to update their windows are faced with this issue who don’t have the privilege of living near or in large cities. For rural homeowners, options can be severely limited, especially with fiberglass.
Is fiberglass worth the price tag? The answer is really up to the homeowner. Fiberglass windows will last a long time, but many homeowners don’t want to worry about painting or touching up the color when it fades. There’s energy savings but what’s the return investment on installing a premium material into a house that isn’t a “forever home?”
Vinyl Windows: A Much Better Option
Vinyl windows share many of the same positive features as their fiberglass counterpart, but at a fraction of the cost. Installing vinyl windows cost much less, and will certainly help cut this cost down while still receiving the same durability, strength, and noise insulation that fiberglass offers.
Vinyl does triumph over fiberglass in a few different categories. The first perk with vinyl is that the color doesn’t fade in sunlight, unlike fiberglass. For the homeowner who choses vinyl windows, this also means that it doesn’t require periodic painting. Due to its popularity, vinyl comes in many different colors. Fiberglass windows have the risk of a future paint job but with vinyl, once the installation is complete, a homeowner is set for life.
Plus, the energy savings between vinyl and fiberglass are relatively equal. The design of vinyl windows includes hollow pockets filled with insulating foam, allowing for maximum efficiency for heating, cooling and protecting your home against rain, snow, wind and extreme temperatures. Replacing old, drafty windows with energy efficient ones can lower household energy bills by an average of 12%.
Since vinyl is a popular choice for windows, installation is more affordable and the material is readily available. The high demand for vinyl allows for contractors to have easy access to it. The popularity of vinyl also lowers the cost to install it, and because vinyl has been around for a long time, the installation process is quick and easy for experienced professionals.
Selecting vinyl over fiberglass is a great choice for a homeowner stuck with old windows looking to not go broke trying to replace them.
Conclusion: Which Window is the Better Choice?
There are a few questions homeowners need to consider before making this big decision, such as how much money they’re willing to spend, do they want to be faced with having to upkeep and maintain their windows and how long are they willing to live in the house to see a worthy return investment?
Old homes are charming and quirky, and Americans continually purchase them to enjoy the little idiosyncrasies and trends that were popular years ago. Sometimes this means having to compromise historical nostalgia with practical modernity.
In our opinion, vinyl windows are the clear winner. Vinyl has the same hardy qualities that fiberglass has, the ability to be energy efficient and is more readily available with a quicker, simpler installation process. Vinyl windows have a well-documented track record because the material has been around for ages. As of 2017, reports indicate that vinyl windows have a return on investment of about 74%.
Choosing vinyl windows in a home has many advantages but most importantly, is that for half the cost of fiberglass, vinyl will do the job of saving money, having a long lifetime, being maintenance free with no future upkeep required and is conveniently obtainable.
Updating windows will always be a smart choice for any homeowner, and there’s no reason to spend an arm and a leg to increase the resale value or cut down on energy waste when making that choice.
If you’re looking for replacement vinyl windows, you’ve come to the right place. Feldco has been serving the Midwest for over 40 years and have helped over 400,000 homeowners with their home improvement needs. Get a free quote now and see why so many homeowners have trusted us.