When the time comes to upgrade your windows, many of our customers end up overwhelmed by their options for window materials. You can choose a style of window based purely on aesthetics or function—glass often has a linear relationship between budget and efficiency, but at-a-glance materials have their own pros and cons even beyond the often-subtle aesthetic differences. At Nex-Gen, we’ll help you look at your options for window materials, what each does and doesn’t offer, and how to make a final decision you’ll be happy with.
For most modern window installations, you’re going to be looking at four or so broad material options, though within those general categories you can have significant practical differences. Those options are:
- Vinyl/Wood Composite
Fiberglass windows are hard to argue with from a technical specs standpoint; strong, stable, and durable, fiberglass will hold up far longer than most alternative materials, albeit with a cost to match. This doesn’t necessarily make them the best possible option for every home, of course, as aesthetic preferences can shape your final decision as much as specifications—but something like the Infinity Ultrex fiberglass material, with its proprietary acrylic finish, can look incredible in a completely different way than wood or wood composite.
If you want great-looking windows you won’t have to worry about for a very long time, even in the face of extreme weather and frequent usage, and you’re willing to invest in quality, Infinity’s Ultrex fiberglass is probably the right material to choose.
Vinyl windows are a simple, effective option for many homes. Vinyl windows are the budget option when it comes to window materials, and while they can still look great, you do face a higher risk of cracking, shifting, and warping than you would with higher quality materials.
Wood windows are, in most cases, a nice step up from vinyl, with some caveats. Your average wood window is stronger, more stable, and—depending on taste—more aesthetically pleasing than your typical vinyl installation. In exchange, you need to put more effort into maintenance and upkeep for them to stay that way; if you have any other wooden structures outside of your home, you’re probably already familiar with the attention wood structures require.
Vinyl/Wood Composite Windows
Vinyl/wood composites are composite materials made by infusing vinyl with wood fibers, i.e., sawdust. This results in a somewhat more expensive material that shares traits with both of its root materials, with lower maintenance requirements and an appearance and durability akin to wood. The quality of these composites can vary significantly, however, so choosing a reputable brand goes a long way in assuring you get the quality you want.
Making Your Choice
As you can see, each material has its own niche where it might make sense for a homeowner to choose. Fiberglass products like Infinity by Marvin’s Ultrex may be the standout premium option, but vinyl might make more sense on a tight budget, and wood or composite can make perfect sense if you have a love for that aesthetic or don’t quite want to go all the way to fiberglass.
If you’re having trouble assessing your options or figuring out what makes sense for your home, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. The team at Nex-Gen Windows & Doors is always happy to help residents in the Fort Collins and Colorado Springs areas figure out the next move on new or replacement windows.
If you need help making a decision, or you’re ready to take the first steps towards new windows, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call Nex-Gen or contact us online to get started.
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