Are Fiberglass Windows Worth the Cost

Kevin Brown

Fiberglass windows are durable and low-maintenance but pricier than vinyl. When shopping for windows, selecting the right frame can be as difficult as choosing a style. Options include vinyl, wood, fiberglass, and aluminum.

While each type has its advantages and disadvantages, fiberglass is considered one of the top choices. Here’s why:

Fiberglass windows are made from a composite material that consists of fine fibers of glass embedded in resin. This combination produces a frame that is exceptionally strong and resistant to warping, cracking, or rotting. Fiberglass also expands and contracts at the same rate as glass, which minimizes the risk of seal failure and prevents air or moisture leaks.

In addition to its durability, fiberglass offers other benefits. It is a low-maintenance option that requires little upkeep. Unlike wood, it doesn’t need to be painted or stained regularly, and it won’t decay or be damaged by pests.

Fiberglass windows also provide excellent insulation, helping to reduce energy costs and improve indoor comfort. They have a high insulation value and are effective at blocking noise, making them ideal for homes in noisy or busy areas.

Moreover, fiberglass windows are available in a wide range of styles and finishes, allowing homeowners to find the perfect match for their home’s aesthetics. They can be painted in various colors or even stained to mimic the appearance of wood.

While fiberglass windows have numerous advantages, it’s important to consider the higher price tag. They are generally more expensive than vinyl or aluminum windows. However, many homeowners find that the long-term benefits of fiberglass, such as its durability and energy efficiency, outweigh the initial cost.

To conclude, fiberglass windows are worth the cost due to their strength, low maintenance requirements, insulation properties, and design options. While they may be more expensive upfront, their long-term benefits make them an excellent investment for homeowners seeking quality and longevity in their windows.

Are Fiberglass Windows Worth the Cost

Fiberglass is made from glass fibers and resins using the pultrusion process. Different manufacturers have their own variations in manufacturing techniques and coatings, resulting in durable fiberglass frames that are resistant to warping, rotting, and decay.

Because of its strength, fiberglass allows for thinner window frames, which is ideal for those who prefer slim vinyl frames.

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There are three main types of fiberglass windows:

– All Fiberglass: These windows have fiberglass frames, sashes, and sills both inside and outside. They come in options that resemble wood or in solid colors.

Fiberglass Exterior, Wood Interior – This window is ideal if you prefer the look of a wood interior. Its fiberglass exterior offers protection, while the interior provides the warmth of natural wood.

Fiberglass Sash – A hybrid window with a fiberglass sash that holds the glass in place and has a low profile. The interior is wood, and the exterior can be aluminum-clad wood or composite.

How Much Do Fiberglass Windows Cost?

Fiberglass frames are mid to high-priced, but they offer more benefits than most window frames, including expensive ones.

Expect to pay 10-30% more for a fiberglass frame compared to a vinyl one. Generally, fiberglass is cheaper than wood, but this pricing varies by brand.

Why Aren’t Fiberglass Windows Popular?

Fiberglass windows have evolved significantly in the past decade. Previously, they only came in white and would develop a chalky appearance when exposed to excessive UV radiation. Nowadays, fiberglass windows are available in a broader range of styles and colors and feature coatings that enhance their durability against the sun’s rays.

However, due to the more complex molding process compared to vinyl or wood, fiberglass windows offer fewer style options. Additionally, fiberglass windows may be harder to find as not all window companies offer them.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of fiberglass windows:

Pros:

– No expansion or contraction: Unlike other materials, fiberglass windows do not expand or contract with temperature changes. This eliminates concerns about air leaks or loose frames.

Fiberglass is moisture resistant, won’t split or crack, has a thin frame, is energy efficient, and requires low maintenance.

On the downside, there are fewer color and design choices, and fiberglass frames can turn chalky without a UV-resistant coating.

Vinyl windows are the more affordable option compared to fiberglass windows. If you have a tight budget, choosing vinyl windows is your best bet.

While it is possible to paint fiberglass windows, some manufacturers advise against it. For instance, Pella recommends against painting any of their fiberglass products.

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If you decide to paint your fiberglass frames, make sure to use high-quality exterior acrylic latex paint. For the interior, use interior paint instead. Never use exterior paints inside your home.

Maintaining fiberglass windows is simple – just clean them as needed. You can use a glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth to clean the windows. For the frames, use mild soap and water.

Avoid power washing your fiberglass windows.

What’s the Difference Between Fiberglass and Composite Windows?

Differentiating between fiberglass and composite windows can be tricky, as fiberglass is a composite material. The key difference is that fiberglass window frames are always made of glass fibers and resin. Conversely, composite windows can contain various materials but typically include wood fibers.

Composite windows are an ideal choice if you want the look of wood combined with the advantages of vinyl. Fiberglass window frames can resemble vinyl or wood but have a sleeker modern design with a thinner frame.

In terms of pricing, both options are more expensive than vinyl but less expensive than wood. Some brands price their composite frames higher than fiberglass, while others do the opposite.

Since composite window frames haven’t been around as long as fiberglass, it’s hard to say how well they hold up.

Fibrex is Andersen Window’s composite frame made of wood fibers and thermoplastic polymer. It’s a top choice for energy efficiency and weather resistance -the material won’t rot, fade, flake, blister, or peel.

Fiberglass windows offer the same benefits – they are durable, weather-resistant, and won’t rot. Fiberglass is also one of the strongest materials and doesn’t shrink or expand as temperatures fluctuate, making it energy efficient.

Fibrex and fiberglass windows have similar features, but you can only get Fibrex material from Andersen’s A-Series and 100 Series. You can find fiberglass frames from many top manufacturers, including Andersen, Pella, Milgard, Marvin, and more.

Which Brands Make Fiberglass Windows?

Not all manufacturers carry fiberglass windows, but some top brands do. Here’s a look at which brands make fiberglass windows:

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You can also find Pella fiberglass windows at Lowes.

Why are Fiberglass Windows Better than Vinyl?

Vinyl windows are known for their durability and affordability. But fiberglass is the way to go if you want to improve your home’s energy efficiency and prefer a slimmer frame.

Unlike vinyl, fiberglass can withstand extreme temperatures without warping, chipping, or peeling. And since fiberglass resembles glass, it doesn’t expand or contract, maintaining a tight seal and preventing air leaks. In some cases, a fiberglass window will last twice as long as a vinyl window.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Jeld-Wen doesn’t make fiberglass windows. They offer vinyl, wood, aluminum, hybrid vinyl, and clad-wood frames. Quaker doesn’t have fiberglass windows.

They offer vinyl, wood, and aluminum frames. The main difference between Marvin Elevate and Essential is the interior frame material. Marvin Elevate has a fiberglass exterior and wood interior that can be stained or painted.

Marvin Essential has a sleek fiberglass frame on both the inside and outside.

If you’re wondering if fiberglass windows are worth it, they are. Fiberglass is a strong window frame material but is midline priced. While it’s more expensive than vinyl, most fiberglass windows will last longer.

Fiberglass is weather resistant and great for all climates. It holds up to extreme temperatures, doesn’t expand or contract, and won’t rot, chip, or fade. The biggest downside is that there aren’t as many design or color options for fiberglass frames as for vinyl and wood.

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