Choosing the Right Window Type for Your Home: Wood vs Vinyl

May 9th, 2017 | Posted in Custom Home, Home Design, New Home Constuction

For decades, wood windows have been a sign of a quality built home while vinyl windows were thought of as a cheap alternative to wood.  However, with today’s technological advances, a good quality vinyl window can perform as good as, if not better than, a wood window. At a fraction of the price, today’s vinyl window warranties are on par with wood windows so the life spans are similar.

Style trends have led to the vast majority of new homes being constructed with a white-painted interior trim package.  A white vinyl window.  The vinyl window interior finish is very durable, hard to scratch, and matches perfectly with the interior trim. With a white painted trim package and wood windows, you would use a painted interior on a wood window.  The painted finish is easily chipped and scratched, and condensation can occur on the inside of windows during the winter.  If this is left to sit on the painted wood window, sashes, bubbling, or peeling will occur.  This isn’t an issue with alternative, and water has no effect on vinyl interior.

If you are planning to feature stained wood trim in your home, then wood windows are your best choice, aesthetically speaking, since the wood interior can be stained to match the window trim.  A traditional white vinyl window looks out of place on a stained trim interior.  An alternative is to use a tan colored vinyl window to soften the color contrast between the window and the stained trim. There are also vinyl windows that have a stained wood appearance on the inside of the window but they do not look as realistic as a stained wood window.

Deciding between the types of window to put in your new home is a big decision.  There is not right
or wrong answer.  Here is ProBuilt’s President and founder George Davis’ personal experience:

“I lived in the last home I built for 12 years.  I used a nationally known, quality wood window with a white painted interior to match my white trim.  Over those 12 years I experienced chipped paint on windows during the construction process which we touched up.  I had two dogs and their claws scratched the lower sashes in the windows where they rested their front paws on the window to see outside.  We also had plantation-type shutters in some of the windows, and during cold winters when we had the shutters closed, we experienced some condensation which caused paint to peel.  We were able to touch up paint
and fix all of the issues, but it did take significant time and effort.  

For my current home, I chose an upgraded vinyl window to match my white trim. I bid out a number of different window packages.  A good standard vinyl window package was $11,000 for my home.  The upgraded vinyl window I chose was $22,000. This upgraded vinyl window had a beefier frame and triple pane glass. 

A quality wood window with white painted interior was nearly $40,000.  Although the standard vinyl window was very good performing, I knew I was going to stay in this home for a long time, and so I upgraded to the more energy efficient triple pane glass and stronger frame. The wood window just did not make sense economically.  The energy efficiency was barely more than the standard vinyl
and less than the triple pane equipped upgraded vinyl.  Plus, with white painted trim, I would not have to deal with all the re-painting I had to do on my last home.” 

ProBuilt Homes is happy to answer and questions and provide our professional opinion. Contact us today with any questions.