The materials you choose for your windows and doors are important both to the look of your home and the strength of the product. But with so many options on the market, which is right for you? Maybe you prefer the smooth look, affordability, and efficiency of vinyl doors and windows, or maybe you’re still holding on to that traditional look of wood. Maybe your coworkers just had fiberglass windows installed and their constant praises makes you second guess the choice you already made.
Fortunately, it’s easy to break down the pros and cons of each popular window and door material.
Fiberglass is one of the newer window and door materials, and it’s become increasingly popular. Not only are they known for their energy efficiency and insulation, they can imitate the look of wood. In terms of style and efficiency, fiberglass seems like a win-win, and it is…for a price. Fiberglass windows aren’t as expensive as wood, but they’re much more expensive than materials like vinyl — sometimes over 50% more expensive. And while they are very efficient, high quality vinyl offers at least as much for less cost, if not more, because vinyl windows have fusion-welded edges that fiberglass windows lack.
However, this is mostly in terms of windows and patio doors. Entry doors are another story. Fiberglass is exceptionally strong, which makes it ideal for boosting the security of your home through your entry door. Not only can it stand up to the weather, but it’s much more kick-proof than wood. It’s also more insulating than wood. That’s why we offer ProVia fiberglass entry doors, as well as fiberglass reinforcement on our Lotus windows. Keep in mind that when it comes to both windows and doors that fiberglass does need to be painted and is not maintenance free, so that should be taken into consideration with the cost.
Wood windows and doors have maintained their popularity throughout technological advancements because, well, it’s hard to beat the look of wood. Wood windows and doors give off a warm and traditional vibe, home-like. You can be certain that wood windows and doors will never go out of style, and it’s just easy to picture them. However, the cost of wood has many homeowners looking for more modern options. Wood is the most expensive window material available, often costing over $1,000 per window. In terms of entry doors, they can be about as expensive or more than fiberglass doors.
There’s also upkeep to consider. Wood doesn’t hold up to the elements very well on its own. Moisture causes it to swell, rot, or warp, especially combined with heat. Wood can be treated in such a way that it resists these effects, but it will need to be retreated frequently. It also needs to be sanded and repainted regularly because it’s easily scratched and paint will chip. Wood doors have a great look in the beginning, but it’s a hefty cost to keep up that look.
When we think of vinyl doors and windows — primarily patio doors when it comes to doors — it’s important to keep in mind that there are two different types of vinyl. There’s low quality vinyl and high quality vinyl. Low quality vinyl is remarkably cheap, especially when compared to the competition. And vinyl has a great natural thermal performance which makes it efficient. However, cheap vinyl is typically cheap quality. It’s easily damaged and lets too much air through, so it’s not much better — and in fact perhaps worse — than wood windows and doors.
High quality vinyl is considerably more expensive than low quality vinyl but is still much less expensive than wood or fiberglass. It’s efficient, with fusion-welded corners and excellent thermal performance that will help save money on your energy costs. It’s durable, lasting for decades without needing to be painted or touched up. It also looks sleek and smooth, boosting your curb appeal. In fact, vinyl is probably your best choice when it comes to patio doors.
But other than price, how can you tell the difference between high and low quality vinyl? One way to tell is by checking the NFRC label. The better the energy performance ratings, the better the quality of the vinyl.
There are several choices in the doors and windows market today, but high quality vinyl just makes the best investment. To learn more about high quality vinyl doors and windows for your home, contact Zen Windows Nashville today.