Are you thinking of upgrading your old windows to something more modern? But, what are the vinyl windows’ pros and cons? Many homeowners opt for the benefits of vinyl windows for energy efficiency, clean look, and ease of use. This article will discuss premium vinyl windows and wood windows. For more on what a premium vinyl window means check out our article Premium Vinyl vs. Bargain Vinyl Windows.

Pro: Energy Efficiency – Save Money

Vinyl windows have excellent thermal performance ratings so that you will be saving on energy in the long run. Vinyl has been around a long time, and manufacturers such as Harvey have perfected the designs of their windows to be both airtight and operate smoothly and efficiently. These perfections mean that there won’t be significant gaps between the window and the frame so that you won’t experience air leakages due to poor design. Vinyl is also significantly less likely to warp like wood or dent like metal. Vinyl is the best material at limiting airflow. Contrary to popular belief, vinyl windows are not bad or dangerous to our environment. For more on this see our Truth About Vinyl – Myths Debunked article.

Pro: Low Maintenance

One of the most significant benefits of vinyl windows is that the sashes are easily removed from the frame. Therefore, they are easy to clean and replace. Also, once installed, you should be able to replace the window by yourself in the case that a panel is damaged. Vinyl isn’t sensitive to any of your everyday household cleaners. And you can wipe away with a rag, and you’ll have clean windows instantly. Vinyl windows (and vinyl patio doors) are also more durable than many other materials. You won’t need to repair or replace window components as much as you would with metal or wood.

Con: Fewer Color and Trim Options

Vinyl windows come in a variety of colors and styles, but nothing can compare to the color options with wood. And some of the specialty metal work you can get for decorative windows provides more custom options. Wood windows come with more options for trim and casing. Wood can be stained and colored to your heart’s desire. Limited vinyl styles can be a turn off for homeowners who are following a specific design plan.

Con: Less Flexibility with Design

If you install wood windows in one color, you can paint over the frames a few years later if you’re renovating your home. With vinyl windows, however, you’ll have to completely reinstall if you want a new color because the material isn’t easily painted. Homeowners looking for the flexibility to change their mind may choose not to install vinyl windows. However, for those who prefer the standard white, or do not foresee the need to re-color or stain flexibility with color isn’t an issue. But, it’s also hard to beat the elegance and upscale look of wood windows, especially when paired with a traditional or vintage home. Owners of these homes would usually opt-out of vinyl as well, but at a higher price point.


Vinyl windows’ pros and cons lists will look different based on needs and wants. But, when it comes down to it, there are many benefits of vinyl windows for any modern home. Even if you’re looking for a classic style, there are vinyl windows in neutral colors with traditional grid accents. When choosing your windows, you should make a list of your priorities. Where do energy efficiency and low maintenance land on your list? If they’re near the top, vinyl windows are definitely for you. Need color, stain, and design flexibility for your upscale or vintage home – wood windows are likely best for you.

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