It’s always a good practice to start at the beginning, and the beginning for windows is the material used to fabricate them. Today’s most popular replacement windows are made from one of three materials: Vinyl, Fiberglass & Wood. Which is best for you?
Vinyl-framed windows are the most popular. They’re durable, highly energy-efficient, never need painting. They are the most popular, economical option.
Milgard Tuscany vinyl in custom color
Before you think of the “flexie,” “rollie” vinyl used in flooring (or worse — upholstery fabric) know this: Window-grade vinyl is solid, sturdy and engineered for structural integrity. It is heat resistant so it holds its form under the hottest conditions. Direct, sweltering desert sun, day after day, year after year — bring it on! No problem. It can take the heat — and dissipate it. Even more impressive, vinyl doesn’t radiate heat, making it one of the best materials to help protect you from higher heating and cooling costs so you live in climate-controlled, efficient comfort all year round. Vinyl-framed windows never need painting. Many styles can be manufactured in custom exterior colors, though the interior surfaces will remain white or tan.
Fiberglass-framed windows are as durable and highly energy efficient as vinyl since they share the same energy dissipation qualities (even when exposed to hot, relentless desert sun). They can be painted any color or left with the original factory finish. Many models offer a wood surface on the inside providing a “best of both worlds” option.
Wood-framed windows offer a traditional touch of beauty and warmth to a home. Made of either pine or Douglas Fir, they, too, are as energy efficient as vinyl or fiberglass windows. They can be painted or stained any color (by the owner). They do require the typical periodic care and maintenance that comes with natural products in order to retain their beauty and functionality.