When it comes to purchasing new windows, there are many great options to choose from, so much so that It can be a little confusing when researching what is available and what you can afford. The first, most basic decision you will need to make is identifying what kind of window materials will suit your needs best. There are pros and cons for each of the four major types. Let’s examine some of advantages and disadvantages of wood, fiberglass, aluminum and vinyl windows.
Criteria that you’ll want to assess:
- Budget – How much can you spend? You must consider this when you are analyzing the right windows for you.
- Lifestyle – What matters most for the way you live? Do you place greater emphasis on strength, style, durability, maintenance requirements or cost?
- Aesthetics – What windows will work for your home’s architectural style? Of course, you want your windows to match the style of your home.
- Climate, Geographical and Environmental Considerations – Florida has its share of climate challenges. Heat, storms, wind and rain are all important considerations for our area. Energy-efficient windows are always a good choice for environmental purposes, as well as for cost savings.
- Wood windows are generally considered classic and traditional. However, there are also many modern wood windows.
- They provide exceptional warmth.
- The Energy-efficiency ratings on these windows are high, likely the best you will find.
- They are long-lasting and will not rust.
- These windows look gorgeous painted or stained. This gives you more options to make changes to them as the years go by.
- These types of window can Increase your home value.
- Wood windows need regular maintenance of paint or stain for protection.
- If you don’t take the time to maintain them, these windows can warp or rot.
- They are vulnerable to termites.
- Wood windows can be more expensive.
- Fiberglass windows are very strong. They’re an excellent choice for high wind areas.
- They do not expand or contract.
- Fiberglass windows are energy-efficient, even more so than vinyl.
- There are numerous color options.
- Fiberglass can be painted (although it will take some prep work).
- They can be recycled, so are a good green product.
- These windows will also Increase the value of your home.
- Fiberglass windows are fairly new to the market. As a result, they are not as widely available, and you may find there is not as wide a selection as other types of windows.
- You will likely have to wait longer to get an order of these windows fulfilled.
- Fiberglass windows are more expensive than other options.
- Even though they are costly, fiberglass windows may not be considered as nice as wood windows.
- The colors can fade making the window frame look worn quicker.
- Aluminum windows are more durable than most other options.
- They provide good protection for your home.
- As aluminum frames come in different sizes and styles, there are more choices available.
- Traditionally, these are thinner-framed windows, which provide for a more modern style.
- Aluminum windows are recyclable and more environmentally-friendly.
- They can improve insulation.
- They increase the value of your home.
- Aluminum windows are not as inherently energy-efficient as some other window frame types, but there are enhancements available to improve energy efficiency.
- They are usually more expensive than vinyl.
- A concern for Florida homeowners is that these windows may lead to condensation, if it is much warmer outside than it is inside. Proper installation is key.
- There are not as many opportunities to alter the look after installed, as aluminum should not be painted.
- Many experts recommend vinyl for best overall value.
- Another energy-efficient option.
- There are a wide variety of styles and options to choose from.
- Vinyl can be painted.
- Exceptional long term performance.
- They are easier to install.
- Moderately priced & affordable.
- Just like other replacement window types, vinyl will increase your home value.
- Vinyl has the potential to expand, contract or warp.
- Not biodegradable.
Now that you understand more about window options and the pros and cons of various window frame materials, it will be easier to make an informed decision. HomeRite Windows and Doors offers a full selection of warranted, high-quality, energy-efficient replacement windows with professional installation and affordable financing. We serve all of Greater Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Call us at (904) 296-2515 for more information.