Vinyl vs. Wood Windows: Weighing the Pros and Cons

July 17, 2010

Many homeowners find themselves in a quandary when deciding whether to use vinyl vs. wood windows for their home remodel. Both materials have pros and cons, and sometimes it's a toss up.

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Advantages and Disadvantages: Vinyl vs. Wood Windows

  • Maintenance. Vinyl replacement windows are a homeowner's dream if owning maintenance-free windows is the goal. Occasionally the seal on a double-pane window leaks moisture in between the panes and results in a foggy appearance but this is easily correctable by slipping in a new window panel. Wood windows require a lot more maintenance. Wood frames require sealing or painting several times over the life of the windows.
  • Reasonable Expense. Vinyl takes the day in providing more new windows than wooden for the same amount of money. If cost is the deciding factor then vinyl windows are the way to go.
  • Inherent Durability. A properly maintained wood replacement window should last as long as a vinyl window. Both wooden and vinyl windows have excellent prospects for longevity.
  • Desired Appearance. The dramatic difference in appearance when the choice comes down to vinyl versus wood windows is important when historicity and style are an issue. Historical homes demand wood windows that duplicate the original style and flavor of the structure while vinyl windows are completely acceptable in newer houses. Vinyl is well suited to most modern home styles. Wood replacement windows are excellent for providing historical authenticity.
  • Increased Aesthetic Appeal. Vinyl windows are tough but they're relatively plain and simple. These windows look great in most modern homes. Wood windows really shine in the aesthetic appeal category and are the thumbs-up favorites of homeowners looking for replacement windows to complement their older and historic homes. Wood brings out the best in older homes and in many new ones. Replacing windows with wooden counterparts creates a natural appearance in rural settings and adds richness to peacefully landscaped and quietly dignified homes.

Vinyl and wood replacement windows each have several pros and cons. Homeowners must factor in their unique needs and the overall affect they desire. They are both excellent options and each can be the clear window of choice in specific circumstances.

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