Even though wooden windows were the only option in the past, it has changed over time. Nowadays, you can find many other options, but most homeowners have a dilemma about what type is better, vinyl windows vs. wood. Both window types are excellent, but their crucial features are different.
For instance, you should buy wooden windows if you prefer traditional values and enjoy the classic charm of wood. On the other hand, vinyl windows are an affordable and maintenance-free option. Whatever you decide, you can be sure that you have chosen durable and long-lasting windows.
Vinyl windows are an excellent choice for homeowners who look for a quality product at an affordable price. This type has numerous advantages, but the downsides sometimes make it an undesirable option.
- Vinyl windows are a durable, attractive, and highly energy efficient option that comes in various colors
- Vinyl is a fire-, pest-, and rot-resistant material
- They are easy to maintain without the necessity to re-paint them
- Vinyl windows can successfully mimic a wooden look but are about 25% cheaper than wood windows
- These windows will improve your home’s resale value by approximately 68.6%
- Vinyl is not an impact-resistant material
- Lower-quality vinyl will fade at extreme heat, and you can’t easily paint it
- Vinyl is not biodegradable material, making these windows non-environmentally friendly
- Vinyl windows are inexpensive to mass produce but are pretty pricey to customize
Wood windows are a highly desirable option for homeowners because they are durable, energy-efficient, and the most beautiful option you can find on the market. However, they come with a few downsides you shouldn’t ignore.
- Beautiful and durable wood windows will bring a stylish traditional appearance to your home and fit into most home designs
- They are energy-efficient and insulate houses 1,800 times better than aluminum windows and 400 times better than those made of steel
- Wooden windows provide an excellent sound barrier
- You can paint these long-lasting windows in any color you choose
- You can install them yourself if you are skillful and increase the home value by about 67.4%
- Wooden windows are not fire-resistant and are prone to insects infestation, salt, moisture, and rot
- Wood will chip, warp, deform, and crack over time
- They require high maintenance, including regular sealing and re-painting, and don’t enhance your home security
- These windows are expensive
Wood vs. Vinyl Windows
Traditional wood windows are an appealing option for homeowners who look for an elegant and stylish solution for their houses. You can choose among numerous wood types.
On the other hand, your options are a bit limited with vinyl windows, but they offer some other features, including a low price.
Wood vs. vinyl windows
|Feature||Wood windows||Vinyl windows|
|Colors and finishes||Natural wood color, but you can re-paint them whenever you want||Several customized, besides traditional white and brown|
|Durability||At least 30 years||15 to 25 years|
|Installation||Require professional installation||Moderately hard|
|Price||Expensive, approximately $300 to $800 per window||Inexpensive, approximately $150 to $400 per window|
Wood windows – Windows made of wood are traditionally more beautiful than any other option available. They are elegant, stylish, and look expensive. Since their design is highly customizable, you can pick out the wood type you like the most. Plus, painted wood won’t fade quickly.
Vinyl windows – With new color options available, vinyl windows have become more attractive for homeowners. Even though they can’t reach wooden windows’ elegance, they are an excellent option for modern residential and commercial buildings.
Wood windows – You can find windows with wood frames or those featuring interior wood and an exterior coat made of fiberglass, PVC, or extruded aluminum.
Vinyl windows – This type comes with a plastic frame and metal operating mechanism.
Colors and finishes
Wood windows – The best thing is that wood window frames can remain a natural wood shade after varnishing. However, you can also paint them in any color you like and re-paint them when needed.
Vinyl windows – Most vinyl windows typically come in white and brown colors, but you can also find customized options. Unfortunately, they will cost significantly more. Painting this window type can be tricky, and you probably won’t be satisfied with the result.
Wood windows – Wood windows can last at least 30 years, but regular maintenance can prolong that period to 50+ years.
Vinyl windows – Vinyl is not the best option for harsh environmental conditions and can last only 15 to 25 years.
Wood windows – Wood windows are highly convenient for customization. You can purchase a variation you like the best and then re-paint frames when needed or desired.
Vinyl windows – Painting vinyl windows is challenging, and most experts don’t recommend it. Therefore, you should pick out the right color on time. The problem is that vinyl typically comes only in white and brown colors, while other available options are still expensive.
Wood windows – Wood windows are demanding and expensive for maintenance. It is necessary to clean, re-paint, and seal them regularly.
You should re-paint your frames once in 3 to 4 years. The crucial thing is the necessity of thorough cleaning and sanding of old finish before each painting, which is demanding.
Vinyl windows – Vinyl windows are almost maintenance-free since they don’t require re-painting or sealing. It will be enough to wash them occasionally.
Wood windows – Wood-framed windows are highly energy efficient and are excellent insulators. Choosing them means lower electricity bills.
Unfortunately, wood loses these features when poorly maintained. Once the wood frame becomes damaged or starts rotting, its insulation properties will disappear.
Vinyl windows – Vinyl is a poor temperature conductor, making windows made of this material good insulators and an energy-efficient option. Always look for models with foam-filled frames to achieve better thermal insulation properties.
Wood windows – You should pay $200 to $300 for labor per wooden window since they are heavy and difficult to install. Since each one weighs approximately 20 to 30 pounds (9 – 13.6 kg), installing them is not an easy job for a DIY project.
Vinyl windows – Many homeowners decide to install 8 to 12 pounds (3.6 – 5.5 kg) heavy vinyl windows themselves because it is less costly. However, a professional installation is also affordable.
You should set aside $150 to $250 for labor per vinyl window. It is a better option if you are inexperienced since vinyl tends to bend during installation.
You should set aside about $300 to $700 per unit, whether you want to replace a wood or vinyl window.
Wood windows – These windows replacement is a complicated and demanding task that sometimes requires additional modifications. You should also count on possible finishing work, including sanding and painting.
Vinyl windows – Vinyl windows replacement is quick and less demanding, without additional tasks. Professionals consider vinyl the less complicated material to replace compared to wood.
Wood windows – You can redecorate and re-paint wood windows whenever you want and in any desired color. It depends on your taste and current desires, and you can do it whenever you want to change the design or your home appearance.
Vinyl windows – You can’t redecorate vinyl windows after installation. Some homeowners re-paint them, but the results are poor and aesthetically inadequate.
Repairing both window types, including broken pane fixing, typically costs $150 to $500. Wood frame repair price ranges from $200 to $600, but you need to replace a broken vinyl window.
Wood windows – Wooden windows are expensive, and you should set aside $600 to $1.100 per window, depending on the wood type.
However, you should also calculate the additional maintenance costs required over the years. In most cases, labor costs are pretty high since the installation process is time-consuming.
Vinyl windows – On average, vinyl windows are 20% to 30% less expensive than those made of wood, and Their prices range from $150 to $400 per window. Their installation is effortless, and labor costs are affordable.
Wood windows – Since wood windows are not a priority for most manufacturers, you should wait on delivery for a while.
Vinyl windows – Since vinyl windows sale is higher and stock always full, you can expect fast delivery. Plus, you can find numerous manufacturers and choose the one that offers the best price and warranty.
Wood windows – Wood windows come with a 67.4% resale value, or slightly lower than those made of vinyl. Many homeowners like wood windows’ visual appeal and the possibility of re-painting them in the desired color.
Vinyl window – Installing new vinyl windows will significantly increase your home’s value. Return on investment for vinyl is about 68.6%.
No one can say whether wood or vinyl windows are better for your home because it depends on your needs. Wood is a natural material you should paint and maintain regularly, while vinyl is maintenance-free. Both are beautiful, energy-efficient, and durable options, but some people avoid vinyl as an artificial material.