Vinyl and Fiberglass Window Replacements

Vinyl vs. Fiberglass Windows

Windows are a fundamental part of every home. Not only do they provide protection from the elements and allow sunlight into your space, but they also enhance your home’s aesthetic and could potentially raise its curb value. However, not all windows are created equal. Certain windows won’t provide the same benefits for every home, and each type of window comes with its fair share of pros and cons that homeowners should be aware of before making any major renovations or purchases.

Thinking of Replacing Your Windows? You Have Choices

There are plenty of window materials out there, from vinyl to aluminum to wood. Perhaps the two most popular styles found on modern homes in the U.S. are vinyl and fiberglass. If you’re considering upgrading your windows soon, it’s fair to question which material will best fit your home. Some factors to consider are strength, durability, cost and energy efficiency, among others.

Appearance

You may not think much about window appearance – the whole point is to look through them, after all – but fiberglass and vinyl windows have some aesthetic differentiators worth noting. Fiberglass windows can be painted, customized upon purchase and can closely mimic the appearance of wood windows. Vinyl windows, on the other hand, cannot be painted and tend to have a “plain” look.

Fiberglass windows also have more glass surface area than vinyl. This is because vinyl materials aren’t as strong, so more material is needed to construct the frame, resulting in less glass space. If more natural light and more versatile appearance options are important to you, consider fiberglass over vinyl.

Price

Vinyl windows are more affordable because the material is less expensive and installation tends to be less labor intensive. Prices will always vary depending on the window size and installation job, but overall, you can expect to pay about 10 to 30 percent more for fiberglass windows than vinyl.

Part of the price difference is attributable to the fact that fiberglass windows must be professionally installed and cannot be purchased from a home improvement store. On the plus side, this should provide some peace of mind because you’ll be getting the best possible product as well as installation with an expert’s touch.

Durability

Home builders today commonly use vinyl windows because they’re more affordable, readily available, easier to install and nearly maintenance-free. Another plus is they’re often made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers, so they won’t fade in the sun or rust. Most vinyl windows should last up to 30 years on average.

Fiberglass windows are also very durable, with an estimated lifespan of about 50 years. Because the frame is reinforced with glass fibers rather than just plastic, fiberglass windows are more resistant to expansion and contraction in high or low temperatures, frame warp, and general distortion. Homeowners who choose to paint their fiberglass should know that they may have to re-paint it at some point if peeling occurs.

Energy Efficiency

Overall, both vinyl and fiberglass tend to be energy-efficient choices, especially when compared to outdated or damaged windows. However, the hollow frames and air gaps that can develop in vinyl windows make for less-than-ideal insulation. If contraction occurs in a vinyl window, gaps and seal leaks can develop and lead to window fogging and the buildup of moisture in between the panes. Fiberglass windows are better insulated and will not shrink or expand.

Resale Value

If you’re looking to add resale value to your home, you really can’t go wrong with either choice. A recent estimate pinned an ROI of 74 percent on vinyl windows.1 Less resale value data exists for fiberglass windows because they’re a relatively new product. However, many experts believe they will potentially have a more significant impact on resale value because of their durability, energy efficiency and versatile appearance.

And the Winner Is…

At Gravina’s Window Center of Littleton, we recommend our customers choose the Infinity from Marvin because it’s simply the best fiberglass window on the market. The Infinity’s Ultrex® fiberglass is tough, energy-efficient and completely customizable to fit your aesthetic needs. If you’re ready to make the upgrade to fiberglass windows in your Denver-area home, contact Gravina’s Window Center by filling out an online form to receive a FREE estimate today!

1 http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/window-replacement-vinyl-upscale?y=2017

 

Replacement Windows in Denver

Top Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Windows

Whether your home is brand new or you’ve been living there for decades, the need for window replacement can arise at any time. People often wonder how they can tell when it’s time to replace their windows. In some cases, the signs are clear, while others can be difficult to detect, rendering the adage “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” not very useful. In any case, it’s important you know what signs to look for so you can accurately determine when it’s time to replace your home’s windows.

Poor Appearance 

If your windows have accumulated moisture in between the panes, are faded, dim or discolored, it’s recommended you replace them. Though they aren’t necessarily broken, windows with a poor appearance can reduce your home’s value and often can’t be returned to their original clarity. Plus, if your windows experience heavy condensation, their seal is likely compromised, reducing efficiency.

Draftiness

Windows are designed to keep the outside from getting in. Over time, however, window shapes and structures can become damaged or misaligned, which allows drafts, moisture or even insects to infiltrate your home through naturally occurring gaps or cracks in the window.

They’re Outdated

For those who have older homes, remember that your windows age along with everything else. Not only do outdated windows often look tacky, but they have a greater chance of developing structural issues like warping or gaps. Keep in mind, the average window’s lifespan is just 15 to 30 years.1 Upgrading to modern vinyl or PVC energy efficient windows will also boost your home’s value tremendously and can put a stop to drafts and unsightly damage.

High Energy Bills

Have you recently noticed higher energy bills but were unable to pinpoint the cause? It may be your windows! Drafty, outdated or single-pane windows can drastically reduce your home’s energy efficiency by causing your HVAC unit to work much harder than it would need to if you had good windows. To decrease your energy costs, install windows with multiple panes, low-e coating and modern glazing. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates a low-e coating can reduce energy loss by 30 to 50 percent.2

Rotting Trims

Window trims, especially wooden ones, are highly susceptible to rot, deterioration, corrosion and other physical damage due to being constantly exposed to the elements. If you notice any kind of physical damage to your windows, it’s a good sign they need replacement. Not only does it look unsightly, but it could also negatively impact the window’s functionality or result in gaps and other structural issues.

Difficulty Staying in Place, Opening or Closing

If you’re having to use a lot of force to open or close a window, or it simply won’t stay in place, it’s usually a good sign the window needs replacing. Windows that don’t function properly are a safety issue if you can’t trust them to firmly shut and stay in place. Malfunctioning windows also causes poor efficiency. The increased force necessary to open or close a faulty window also increases the likelihood of cracking the glass or damaging frames.

You Want to Sell Your Home

Maybe your windows are in fine shape, but you’re planning on selling your home soon. That alone can be a great reason to replace your windows. It’s been calculated that new windows can increase a home’s asking price by nearly $9,000.3

You Can’t Sleep at Night

Are you a light sleeper? Do you live in a noisy area? Upgrading your windows is an excellent way to reduce the nuisance of outdoor noise from infiltrating your home. Rather than block out the sound, modern windows absorb the sound vibrations better than older or single-pane windows, reducing the overall noise level inside your home.

Window Replacement in the Denver, Colorado Area

Have you decided it’s time to replace those outdated or inefficient windows? To prevent these issues from resurfacing, it’s important you work with a trusted, professional window installer who will install a great product and do it the right way. At Gravina’s Window Center of Littleton, we’ve been providing window and door replacement services as a family-owned and operated business since 1973!

Contact us for a FREE estimate by filling out our online form or by calling 303-794-0490.

1https://www.interstatebrick.com/sites/default/files/library/nahb20study20of20life20expectancy20of20home20components.pdf

2https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/window-types

3https://www.cnbc.com/id/48692031

A look inside Marvin Windows

Beginning in 1912, Marvin Windows and Doors has dedicated to providing the finest tailor-made wood window and door in the industry. But the commitment doesn’t start and stop with the production, Marvin staff work on architectural support, customer service, product support, research and development, sustainability and more.

Best of Houzz 2017

What are the different window types for my home?

 

Marvin window types

 

What are the different window types available today? Why does it matter?

When homeowners need advice on window replacement products it's nice to have an idea of the basics.

When it comes to replacing residential windows, the rule of thumb is to keep the same layout as your existing windows. What I mean by that is if you have a sliding window in the kitchen, replace it with a gliding window again. If you have a casement window in the bedroom, keep it the same. There are several reasons for this:

different window types

  • Continuity - When replacing your windows, you want to maintain the original architectural plans of the home if possible. Unless you want to do something drastic, keep the windows the same type.
  • HOA - Sometimes the dreaded "Homeowner's Associations" require homeowners to keep their home the same as when they bought, so as to maintain the neighborhood aesthetics similar as originally planned.
  • Egress - Sometimes, when a homeowner wants to change the design of their windows, they may want to change a casement window into a double hung. Maybe they got tired of replacing the frame hardware over the years and thought when they buy replacement windows they will switch that window to a double hung. Sounds harmless, unless it is in a bedroom and it should meet safety code for a fire escape. This is an example of egress and cannot be modified, even if you want that double hung.

There are more reasons than this, of course, but this gives you a general idea what needs to be clear before choosing what window "types" are available. Choose wisely so that you are not forced to buy another window if you should choose the wrong type of your home.

What are the different window types for my home?

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