Choosing Between Vinyl and Fiberglass Windows
Once you decide that you need new windows for your home the next step is choosing the frame material. the material you choose will have a significant impact on the appearance of your home, as well as the overall cost. Most customers will contact us when trying to make this decision to get additional information, and ask as many questions as they can. This is highly encouraged, and we are here to help you make that decision.
Vinyl windows are one of the most economical option when it comes to windows. They are essentially maintenance free, will outlast wood frames, and, in combination with our honeycomb design, maintain an airtight seal. Vinyl windows are also selected because they are an economical choice. Vinyl windows are cost effective when replacing windows and are still an upgrade to the curb appeal of you home. The only drawback with vinyl windows is that they are a little bulkier than traditional wood windows but the benefits of efficiency and low maintenance heavily outweigh the drawbacks.
Pultruded fiberglass is an engineered material that is created through a process where strands of glass and glass matting are pulled through a heated die. The glass is bonded together with a matrix of “heat setting” resins as it passes through the die, at extremely high temperatures. The resulting lineals (customized to specific window component requirements) are cut to length and shipped to dedicated window manufacturers. Pultruded fiberglass lineals have a finish topcoat applied “in-line” during the pultrusion process or “off-line” at a later stage to suit the color/finish required.
Consider these important factors and compare the advantages of Pultruded Fiberglass:
Stability / Predictable Performance
The material characteristics of pultruded fiberglass includes very low rates of expansion and contraction. This characteristic provides an excellent advantage in maintaining good seal contact in hot or cold weather due to reduced relative movement of frames, sash and glass relative to each other.
Fiberglass features the lowest embodied energy (low energy consumption in lineal production) when compared to other common window frame materials, as well as providing the longest life expectancy.
Strength / Durability
A well-engineered fiberglass window demonstrates vastly superior strength characteristics when compared to other windows, like PVC. Fiberglass provides eight times greater sheer strength when compared to PVC.
Energy Efficiency / Low Conductivity
Pultruded fiberglass materials have MUCH lower conductivity than materials such as aluminum. Insulated frame and sash components reduce the conductivity, allowing for the creation of some of the most energy efficient details in the world.
Fiberglass is an extremely stable material. It provides an ideal base for a full range of finishes – ensuring unbelievable durability. Fiberglass will withstand extremes from Arctic cold to blazing desert heat or the rugged seacoast!
The non-corrosive characteristic of the material is an advantage when considering coastal applications, especially in hot or cold climates.
Choose Your Style of Window
Double Hung Windows
Double hung windows are the classic style of windows. You see this design on the majority of homes throughout the midwest but the design appears different on almost all homes. Double hung windows are the vertical opening windows that feature two different windows that can slide past each other. these windows are extremely functional and are one of out most popular options.
Unlike typical windows that slide up or sideways to open, casement and awning windows open outward. Casement windows have two panes which open outward from the side, while awning windows open outward from the bottom. Both have slim profiles and a European feeling. Visit us to see our full selection.
Slider windows are much like double hung windows but operate by sliding sideways instead of vertically. Homeowners often choose slider windows because they are easier to open than double hung windows. Gilkey slider windows feature the same honeycomb frame, for longevity and strength, but they do only come in vinyl or wood.
Bay windows create a nook or “bay” that’s perfect for a little extra decorating or sitting space. They extend out from your home a lit tle, but they also give you the opportunity to add decorative dormers above each of your windows. As a result, your home will exhibit so me Old World charm both inside and out.
Our multi chamber design reduces thermal exchange and, with more enclosed air space than other patio door brands, increases insulation values—without the addition of costly, less recyclable insulating material.