Vinyl vs Composite Windows: Which is the Better Choice?

vinyl vs composite windows

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Windows add so much to the aesthetics and energy efficiency of your home. And, like most fixtures in your home, they will eventually need to be replaced. Many decisions go into your replacement windows including the frame material, pane count, glass type, coatings, style and more. One common dilemma homeowners face when choosing replacement windows, is deciding between vinyl vs composite windows. Both options offer unique advantages and considerations for homeowners.

At Thermal King Windows, we take great pride in helping Kansas City homeowners choose the perfect windows for their home. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of vinyl vs composite windows to help you make the best decision for your home and budget.

Understanding the Basics of Window Materials

Before diving into the specifics of vinyl and composite windows, it’s important to understand the basics of these materials.

The frame of a windows is made from different materials, including wood, aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl and composite. Vinyl and composite windows have gained significant popularity in recent years due to their durability, energy efficiency, aesthetic appeal and affordability.

What are Vinyl Windows?

Vinyl windows are made from a synthetic material called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This material is known for its durability, low maintenance requirements, and energy efficiency. Vinyl windows are available in a wide range of styles, colors, and designs, making them a versatile choice for any home.

Vinyl windows are a great choice for homeowners who do not plan to own their home long term or for rental properties. Vinyl windows are an affordable option, but as we’ll discuss more in depth, composite windows offer energy saving and durability advantages.

What are Composite Windows?

Composite windows, on the other hand, are made from a combination of materials, typically including wood fibers and thermoplastics. This blend of materials provides composite windows with exceptional strength, durability, and thermal efficiency. Composite windows often mimic the appearance of traditional wood windows while offering the many benefits of modern materials.

Composite windows give homeowners the unique, elevated aesthetic at a fraction of the cost when compared with wood windows. Composite windows are extremely durable and energy efficient. If you plan to live in your home long term, composite windows are an excellent choice.

Key Features of Vinyl and Composite Windows

Durability and Maintenance

Both vinyl and composite windows offer excellent durability. Vinyl windows are resistant to rot and fading, making them a low-maintenance option. Composite windows, with their blend of materials, are also highly durable and require minimal upkeep. Regular cleaning and occasional painting can help maintain their appearance and extend their lifespan.

Most vinyl windows are rated to last 20-30 years. This is dependent on many factors, including climate, location of the window and more. Composite windows on the other hand are rated to last 30-40 years with some manufacturers even claiming 40-60 years. Composite windows are made of a more durable material than vinyl windows and are less likely to fade, warp or crack over time.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency plays a significant role in the selection of replacement windows. Vinyl and composite windows both provide excellent thermal insulation, reducing energy loss and improving the overall comfort of your home. However, composite windows, with their higher insulation values, offer better energy efficiency compared to vinyl windows.

Frame material is not the only contributing factor to a window’s energy efficiency. Pane count and glazing can significantly impact the energy efficiency of your windows. Adding double or triple glazing as well as opting for triple glass will greatly improve the insulation of your new windows. If composite windows are not in your budget, you may explore pane count and glazing as possible ways to increase the energy efficiency of your window in a budget friendly manner.

Aesthetic Appeal

When it comes to aesthetics, both vinyl and composite windows have their unique charm. Vinyl windows offer a clean, modern look and are available in various colors and finishes. Composite windows, with their wood-like appearance, provide a classic, timeless appeal that can enhance the overall aesthetic of your home. The choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and the architectural style of your property.

Furthermore, the customization options for vinyl and composite windows extend beyond just colors and finishes. You can choose from different hardware styles, grid patterns, and decorative glass options to create a truly personalized look for your windows. Whether you prefer a sleek, contemporary design or a more traditional, elegant style, both vinyl and composite windows can be tailored to complement your home’s unique character and elevate its curb appeal.

Cost Comparison: Vinyl vs Composite Windows

Choosing the right windows for your home involves weighing various factors, with cost being a significant consideration.

How much do Vinyl Windows Cost in Kansas City?

An average price for a 3ft x 5ft vinyl window replacement in the Kansas City area ranges from $800-$2,000 including installation. Vinyl windows are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and are often the most affordable window material.

The price of vinyl windows can vary based on factors like size, style, and any additional features you may choose.

How much do Composite Windows Cost in Kansas City?

The average cost for composite windows in the Kansas City area is $2,500-$3,500 for a 3ft x 5ft window installed. Composite windows are made from a mixture of wood, aluminum, vinyl and plastics to create a very sturdy and durable frame. Composite windows imitate the look of wood windows without the upkeep.

Despite the initial higher cost, composite windows are known for their exceptional durability and energy efficiency, potentially offering greater long-term value. Composite windows, boast impressive durability and can elevate the overall value of your property.

Wrapping Up – Reliable Window Replacement in Kansas City

The choice between vinyl vs composite windows depends on various factors, including durability, energy efficiency, aesthetics and cost. Both options offer unique advantages and considerations, so it’s essential to assess your priorities and consult with experts to make an informed decision. Whether you choose vinyl or composite windows, investing in high-quality materials and professional installation will ensure long-lasting performance and enhance the comfort and value of your home.

We hope this article has helped you refine your choices for window replacement materials and will help you budget for your window replacement project. Thermal King Windows has completed over 10,000 window replacement projects in the Kansas City area. We’d love to see if we would be a good fit for your project. Contact us today to get started!