Vinyl vs Fiberglass Windows: Which is the Better Option?

fiberglass windows

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Choosing the material of your new windows can be a surprisingly difficult. There are many different window brands and materials to choose from. Since replacing your windows is an expensive and rare project, you want to make sure you’re choosing the best windows for your home. Thermal King Windows offers high-quality vinyl and fiberglass windows. We’ve been a trusted window replacement contractor in the Overland Park and Kansas City area for over 20 years. We want you to have all the information necessary to make the decision about what type of window would be best for your home.

There are more window options beside vinyl and fiberglass – although in this article we’ll just be comparing those two. The answer for what is best for your home comes down to your project goals, budget and unique home needs.

In this article, we’ll give you an honest assessment of vinyl and fiberglass windows. We’ll explain the differences in cost, durability, energy efficiency and aesthetic. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of which window would work best for your home and budget.

Vinyl vs. Fiberglass Windows – Cost

It’s important that your new windows fit your budget. Vinyl windows will likely be the most affordable option – but that certainly does not mean they are cheap. We give you a rough cost estimate including installation below, although your exact price will vary based on your unique window replacement. We want to provide you with an average though, to help set your expectations!

  • Vinyl Windows: Vinyl windows are usually the most affordable type of window – but that does not mean they are cheaply made. Sure, you can purchase a cheap vinyl window at a home goods store for a few hundred dollars, but a nice quality, 3ft x 5ft vinyl window with professional installation will cost around $800-$2,000. If you’re looking to make a decision solely based on price, a high-quality vinyl window is a great option.
  • Fiberglass Windows: Fiberglass windows are slightly more expensive – and for good reason. Fiberglass windows are made of more durable and stronger material. A high quality 3ft x 5ft fiberglass window will typically run about $2,000-$3,000 including professional installation. They are slightly more expensive than vinyl windows, but depending on your project goals, they may truly offer you the best value.

Vinyl vs. Fiberglass Windows – Durability

Durability is a top consideration when choosing a window material. You want to make sure the investment in your new windows is a smart one, that will protect your home for decades to come.

  • Vinyl windows: Vinyl windows are polyvinyl chloride or PVC. They will not rot or rust (like a metal or wood frame) and they are extremely scratch resistant. The biggest downside of vinyl windows is they can become misshapen over time in climates that experience hot and cold swings – like Kansas City. The expansion and contraction of the frame due to weather can cause the window to chip and crack over time. Additionally, if vinyl windows are located in an area of your home that gets a lot of sunlight exposure, they may lose their color over time. Vinyl windows offer a good balance of affordability and durability, but they are certainly not as durable as fiberglass windows.
  • Fiberglass windows: Fiberglass windows are extremely resistant. Fiberglass windows are made with interwoven fiberglass fibers and cured in resin. They will not rot or rust like steel and wood windows, nor will they become misshapen from fluctuating temperatures. If you are wanting a window that you likely won’t have to replace again – fiberglass is a great option.

Vinyl vs. Fiberglass Windows – Energy efficiency

Windows are a very important piece to insulating your home. New windows will boost your home’s energy efficiency and even help lower your home’s energy bills.

  • Vinyl windows: Vinyl is a thermal insulator, which means it will properly keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. However, the performance of any windows relies on its seal. If a vinyl window is misshapen or is not sealed properly, its energy efficiency is severely compromised. This is why professional installation from a trustworthy contractor is critical. Also, overtime, the energy efficiency of a vinyl window may be decreased if the frame becomes misshapen.
  • Fiberglass windows: Fiberglass windows are less susceptible to seal failure because they will not warp over time because of weather. Fiberglass and vinyl windows have similar insulating properties, but there is a difference in the type of glass they can hold. Vinyl windows may be purchased in triple or double paned, while fiberglass is only available in double paned. The more layers of glass a window has, the better its insulation will be. Window frame material is important for determining the energy efficiency and longevity of the window. However, both vinyl and fiberglass window frames have great insulation. The type of glass you choose for your window, as well as if you choose double or triple paned glass will have a large impact on the energy efficiency of the window.

Final Thoughts

There is no simple answer for ‘what window is ‘best’. Ultimately, it really depends on your goals, your unique home and budget. Vinyl windows tend to be more affordable and come in a variety of colors and styles. Fiberglass windows, on the other hand, are more durable and able to withstand extreme temperatures. They also tend to be more energy efficient than vinyl windows.

Hopefully now you have a better idea of the differences in cost, durability and energy efficiency between fiberglass and vinyl windows. Choosing the type of window you want is important – but, the most important part of your window replacement project is hiring a trustworthy window replacement contractor. Expert window installation is critical to ensuring your new windows function properly and stand the test of time.

Next Steps – Window Replacement in Overland Park and the Kansas City Area

If you notice your windows are foggy, difficult to operate, or are damaged – it may be time to replace them. Getting a free quote from a trustworthy Kansas City window replacement contractor will give you a better idea of your project cost and options. We would love to see if Thermal King Windows would be a good fit for your project. We’ve been serving homeowners for over 20 years and are proud of the stellar reputation we’ve earned!

If you’re ready to get started on your window replacement – contact us today to set up your free, no-hassle consultation.