Fiberglass Vs. Vinyl Windows: Pros & Cons

Both fiberglass and vinyl windows are popular choices with homeowners everywhere. But which is better for you and your home? Let’s get down to business and discuss some fiberglass vs vinyl windows pros and cons.

Fiberglass Windows: Pros

  • Durable
  • The strongest type of window frame
  • Long lifespan
  • Energy efficient
  • Requires little maintenance

Fiberglass Windows: Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Less diversity in style and color
  • Sensitive to UV light


Vinyl Windows: Pros

  • Affordable
  • Require little maintenance
  • Available in lots of styles and colors
  • Energy efficient

Vinyl Windows: Cons

  • Can look bulky
  • Less insulating than wood
  • Can potentially reduce your home’s resale value

Cost Of Fiberglass Windows vs Vinyl Windows

Let’s look at which type of window might be the better bang for your buck.

Cost Of Fiberglass Windows

The cost of fiberglass windows obviously depends on several different factors like:

  • Location / Seasonality
  • Window type
  • Whether the window is being used for new construction or window replacement
  • Window frame type
  • How many windows are being installed

The average cost of fiberglass windows: $200 - $900 per window.

Cost Of Vinyl Windows

Here are a few different factors you’ll need to keep in mind when considering the prices of vinyl windows:

  • Window size
  • Installation costs
  • Glass pane quality
  • Any custom changes you might make
  • Type of hinges used

The average cost of vinyl windows: $150 - $2,000

As you can see, vinyl windows start off a little cheaper at a $150 per window minimum, but the fiberglass window doesn’t start much higher than that, coming in at a $200 per window minimum. And though they may start off cheaper, the average maximum cost of vinyl windows can reach up to $2,000, where the average maximum cost of fiberglass windows maxes out at $900 per window.

You can also take energy efficiency into account when considering costs. Both window types are highly energy efficient, which can help reduce the cost of your utilities. Over time, these windows might just pay for themselves!

Only you can decide which cost is right for you and your needs, but now you know what factors to take into consideration. For the most accurate pricing, check with a contractor in your area for a custom quote.

Durability Of Fiberglass Windows vs. Vinyl Windows

When installing new windows, you want to make sure you’re not going to have to repeat this process in just a few years because of durability issues with the windows you chose. Which windows are more durable: fiberglass or vinyl?

Durability Of Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass windows are among the strongest window types available, if not the strongest. With an average lifespan of 20-40 years, you know you can rest easy without worrying about repairs, replacements, or damage from harsh weather conditions.

Durability Of Vinyl Windows

While they are not as durable as fiberglass windows, they still come pretty close. Just like fiberglass windows, vinyl windows are made from substances that don’t rot or fall victim to termites. Still, because of their welded corner seams, they can be a little more susceptible to seal failure. They also have a lower lifespan than fiberglass windows, lasting an average of 15-20 years.

Vinyl Versus Fiberglass Windows: Maintenance Required

Which window type requires the most maintenance? Let’s find out.

Vinyl Window Maintenance

Vinyl windows require little maintenance and cleaning. They don’t even need to be painted! Any mold, dirt, or mildew that may accrue on these windows over time can be easily discarded with a water hose and sponge.

Fiberglass Window Maintenance

Fiberglass windows, like vinyl windows, require very little maintenance. While these windows can be painted, it’s not required, which cuts maintenance down a lot. They can easily be cleaned with warm water and a sponge to remove any dirt, mold, or mildew that shows up. The biggest difference in maintenance from vinyl windows is that fiberglass windows tend to be more sensitive to UV light. Because of this, fiberglass windows require a factory-applied coating to be installed.

Vinyl versus Fiberglass Windows: Resale Value

Even though windows aren’t a huge factor in determining a home’s sale price, this category still goes to fiberglass windows. Fiberglass windows tend to bring in higher resale values than vinyl windows, as they are considered the more desirable type of window since they provide more glass space and can be made to look more like natural wood than vinyl. Unfortunately, using vinyl windows can potentially reduce your home’s resale value even though they have many other benefits.

Conclusion

So there you have it: the low-down on the good and the bad of fiberglass vs vinyl windows. You can see that both fiberglass and vinyl windows have a lot to offer homeowners. They are both heavily durable and require little maintenance, and can often be among the more affordable options for new or replacement windows. While they both also have some negative factors to consider, they are still valid options for your home improvement projects.

Since both of these window types are so close with their advantages and disadvantages, make sure to consult a local contractor who can assess your specific home and situation. A contractor in your area will always be able to tell you exactly which window type works best for your needs.