Are Vinyl or Wood Windows Better?

Vinyl vs. Wood

Battle of Window Frames

Say you’re doing your budget, deciding which projects you want to do, which trips you want to take, etc. You decide it’s time to replace your windows, but you’re having trouble deciding between the Classic Wood window or the New Vinyl window. We get the predicament you find yourself in, and we are here to help.


Wood Vinyl
Durability Replace every 20 years with regular upkeep

Can chip, peel, crack, warp, or rot

Replace every 40 years

Difficult to damage

Maintenance  Annual damage check from pests, weather, or rot

Refinish every 3-5 years

Just wipe down with a wet towel when you clean

No refinishing

Cost $700 – $1300 $500 – $1000
Visual Appeal Generally seen as more appealing It comes in a variety of colors and finishes
Resale Value


Seen as a project for the future

Exception: Historic Preservation areas prefer to have wood windows


Most home buyers prefer Vinyl


Thermal Efficiency Great Hollow Core Vinyl: Okay

Window Source Fusion Welded with Warm Spacer Technology: Better

Environmentally Friendly Yes, easily recyclable No, not so easily recyclable
Availability Some manufacturers don’t regularly carry Most manufacturers regularly carry

*ROI = Return on Investment


Window Durability Test: Vinyl Wins

Window replacement is an investment into the future. It is important to remember that this is a project that will eventually need to be redone, and as responsible homeowners, it is vital that we choose to properly care for our homes. Now that means different things for different owners of different homes. If you live in the historical district, putting vinyl windows in is kind of a faux pax, so you should probably go with Wood windows. However, vinyl windows now come in so many finishes that, that is changing. 


Wood windows need to be replaced about every twenty years or so. They require more maintenance than the Vinyl window. Regularly scheduled damage checks are first on the list. This damage check with wood windows is where you’ll hire someone to make sure they aren’t chipping, cracking, peeling, or rotting from pests, weather, and eventually old age.


Vinyl windows need to be replaced roughly every 40 years and require little maintenance. If you live a busy life and just do a quick wipe down to clean, this is the window for you. These windows also don’t require regular maintenance appointments.


Window Cost Test: Vinyl Wins

If you’re anything like me before I got into this window business you probably would think that wood windows would be less expensive. They don’t have to make the material in a factory. 

They’re more natural. You probably even think that they don’t require tons of maintenance, but then you come across Window Source of Augusta, and they’ve opened your eyes to the window world. 

You realize Wood windows cost more than Vinyl. Not only that, but they require annual maintenance: that yearly check-up, the sanding, the repainting, or staining, and the resealing. All that adds up. Whereas with Vinyl you wipe the frame with a wet towel and Windex the glass.

That is the stuff you already have on hand.


Home Resale Value Test: Vinyl Windows Win

Resale value has a few factors. One is the visual appeal. Personal preference is always going to play a part, as well as which area you’re in. Most people prefer the look of wood windows over vinyl. Most vinyl windows come in white. We here at Window Source have a variety of colors, but more often than not people don’t think “Oh, I can get that in a color!” When they do find out they’re ecstatic. 

Factor number two is whether the buyer is willing to take on the wood window project explained above. Most are not and would prefer the Vinyl window easy-clean.

Lastly, factor number three is your return on investment percentage. Wood windows get an ROI of around 70% in some markets a little lower, whereas Vinyl windows get an average ROI of 74%.


Thermal Efficiency Test: Wood Windows Win

Now anytime we have a hole in our home we want to make sure it is thoroughly sealed off, this includes the less dramatic holes that are windows and doors. We want the outside, outside, and the inside, inside. So when July and August roll around and that heat wave rolls through; the temperatures hit in the high 90s and it feels like we are walking through a hot spring, we have a home to walk into that’s a nice 70-75 with no humidity. 

To be real with you, you do not want a regular hollow frame Vinyl window, though they do work and are thermal efficient to a degree there are better options. Though Vinyl is made to be less absorbent of its surroundings it will happen. It will get hot and it will get cold.

Then there’s the wood frame window. This is a great option for thermal efficiency. It is completely solid and does the best job of keeping the weather outside and locking in the nice indoor environment. 

Lastly there’s Window Source Vinyl windows. These custom-made windows all come equipped to be as thermally efficient as possible. The extra thick glass, and the multichambered frame with thermal spacer technology, all combine to make this another great choice.

And the Winner is….

Overall, we think vinyl windows are definitely the way to go. So let’s get crack-a-lackin’! Once you’ve made your decision, let us at Window Source help you with your project. Call us at (706) 310-5083 and one of our staff would be happy to help you!

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