When it comes to window materials, homeowners have more—and better—options than ever before. In the past, wood and vinyl were the top picks, while fiberglass windows were rarely used. Fifteen years ago, fiberglass windows were only available in limited sizes, were only offered in white, and developed a chalky texture after being exposed to sunlight. As a result, fiberglass windows weren’t very popular. Fast forward to today, and wood and fiberglass are the among the highest-performing window materials available to homeowners. Metal and vinyl windows, while prized for their affordability, simply can’t measure up in terms of performance.

many choices of window materials

Vinyl Windows

While vinyl remains ubiquitous and low cost, it has inherent shortcomings, so vinyl does make for the best windows for NJ homeowners. Why? Vinyl is not as durable as other window materials, and it doesn’t offer the same insulative properties as wood or fiberglass windows. It can become warped or brittle when exposed to temperature extremes. In addition, these windows are simply not as aesthetically appealing as other types of windows. Frames come in a limited range of colors and cannot be painted.

Metal Windows

Metal windows, such as those made from aluminum, are more expensive than vinyl, but they are also lightweight, low maintenance, and durable. Because the metal is highly malleable, metal can be used to create a wide variety of frame shapes. Unfortunately, metal has very poor insulative properties. In fact, it actually acts a conductor, sending indoor heat right outside in the winter and drawing heat indoors in the summer. Thus, metal windows are only appropriate for mild climates.

Wood Windows

Wood has been used to make high-quality windows for centuries, and with good reason. Wood windows not only look great, they perform extremely well, too. Its excellent insulative properties make wood a suitable choice for harsh climates, though it does require more maintenance than vinyl or metal windows. Despite its highly desirable properties, wood has its drawbacks: it’s inherently prone to warping and rotting. Temperature fluctuations can cause alternate swelling and shrinking, which ultimately can cause seal failure and make windows difficult to open and close.

More recently, manufacturers have worked to minimize these drawbacks by wrapping the frames in vinyl or aluminum, known as clad-wood windows. These combine a low-maintenance exterior with the advantages of wood. Unfortunately, they are still prone to rotting and leakage, and cost significantly more than fiberglass windows.

Fiberglass Windows

When homeowners are selecting the best windows for their NJ homes, it often comes down to choosing between wood and fiberglass windows. And more and more often, fiberglass is coming out on top.  Why? Fiberglass windows are now available in a wide range of options, and without that pesky proneness to developing a chalky look and feel. Today’s fiberglass windows are extremely durable, with the ability to temperature fluctuations without shrinking, expanding, warping, or becoming brittle. As a result, they are much more able to maintain their structural integrity than wood or vinyl. Fiberglass won’t rust, splinter, or rot, so it will not only last for decades, it will continue to perform well, too. Fiberglass also acts as an excellent insulator, and its insulative properties won’t abate over time.

What else is great about these windows? Fiberglass windows are aesthetically flexible; their frames take paint well and are available in a range of styles and shapes with many customization options. They can be even be clad in stainable or faux wood, enabling you to enjoy all the benefits of fiberglass along with the warmth and pleasing appearance of wood. Still deciding whether to choose wood or fiberglass windows? You should know that, like wood, fiberglass windows are highly environmentally friendly, since they’re made from sand, a sustainable resource. Unlike wood, however, fiberglass windows are truly maintenance free.

Choosing the Best Window Materials

Now that you’ve learned all about the various types of windows available for your home, you might still have questions—or perhaps you’re even ready to get a quote on replacement windows for your home! If you have questions about window materials, or you aren’t sure what the best windows are for your NJ home, give us a call. We have wood and fiberglass windows from top manufacturers, along with vinyl and metal options to suit a wide range of needs and budgets. Give us a call today at 973-927-0963 and we’ll be happy to come out and offer you a free consultation and estimate!