Truth be told, while vinyl windows have dramatically increased in popularity over the last couple decades, wood windows continue to maintain their strong points. This article will look at wood vs. vinyl windows in a simplified bullet point by bullet point comparison of the major factors which should be considered – colors & finishing, overall maintenance requirements, affordability, general appearance and accessibility.
Vinyl windows are almost exclusively made using PVC material, or high-quality polyvinyl chloride. Interior wood windows (pine, douglas fir, etc.) on the other hand, are, as you might’ve guessed, made largely of wood. When it comes to exterior wood windows though, they’re often enforced or complemented with metals, PVC, or fiberglass.
The Pros & Cons Of Each Material
- Colors & Finishing: Of course white/tan vinyl windows are still extremely popular because for a while darker more extravagant and premium colors have been difficult mountains for manufacturers to climb. Wood, however, is great whether it’s kept natural or painted.
- Overall Maintenance Requirements: Vinyl siding is low maintenance which means there is no painting, staining or sealing to worry about. On the flipside, exterior wood windows require all three both at the time of installation and as part of regular maintenance.
- Affordability: Real wood is almost always going to cost more than vinyl because of global market forces impacting the not-so-easily renewable resource. Consumers also pay a premium for the natural beauty wood provides over PVC. Furthermore, there are fewer brands focusing specifically on wood windows today than twenty years ago, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t accessible for the right price (more on this in a moment). With vinyl there are tons of options, but with wood consumers really need to shop around and do their homework to get the best deals.
- General Appearance: While wood is more expensive, when it comes to appearances it’s definitely hard to beat! Vinyl can’t compete with the natural stain of wood, or the fact that wood can be painted over with solid colors. On the other hand, as more colors of vinyl have come around (besides the age-old white and tan options mentioned above) they’ve increased their own flavor of domestic allure.
- Accessibility: Again, vinyl windows are easy to come by and on schedule for any home improvement project. Manufacturers are plentiful along with retail brands in moderate to large cities (or towns with a brand like Lowes around). Wood is increasingly more difficult to manage unless you’re working with an experienced more localized company. Outside niche brands, the larger market share of wood is dwindling so there’s a lack of prioritization. This means wood windows are harder to find and slower to obtain in most cases.
So, in the vinyl vs. wood windows battle, both sides are fairly evenly matched when everything is taken into consideration. Don’t forget about the insulating factor with solid wood outperforming hollow vinyl. What it comes down to is the unique cost-benefit of analysis of buyers and what their long term needs are for the space involved.
Contact Us Today
Whether you’re in search of vinyl or wooden windows, our team at Oceanside Exteriors is ready to assist! Reach out to our team today by calling us at (207) 310-7659 or by filling out our online contact form! We look forward to assisting with your window replacement needs!