Wood VS Vinyl Windows

When it comes to windows, both wood and vinyl have their places under the sun. For the last two and a half decades, vinyl has been replacing wood. The former is getting the hard sell. The truth is, both types of materials come with their own strong points.

wood vs vinyl windows

Wood windows generally have wood within, typically Douglas Fir or Pine, and the exteriors have wood covered with fiberglass, PVC or extruded aluminum. Vinyl windows are made primarily of superior extruded PVC (polyvinyl chloride), with some other kind of plastics and metal being used for their sash system.

While wooden windows have a traditional and aesthetic charm, the affordability of vinyl makes it a top pick.


Vinyl windows come in a wide range of colors, other than simply tan and white, and are regarded as more beautiful than in the past. However, the point of keeping wooden windows is to generally keep the interior stained or natural, with the sealer atop.

This can ensure that the wood grain remains noticeable. This cannot be duplicated by vinyl. However, if you want to enjoy the appearance of solid colors, you may try painting wood.

Finishes and Colors

With wood windows, the main value is that the inner frames can retain a natural wood color – if needed. The interiors and exteriors might be painted in any type of color.

Where Vinyl windows are concerned, manufacturers have been able to achieve dark, rich colors that look similar to wood but do not fade easily. However, the cost is not as high as that of actual wood.


Wooden windows need to be sealed and painted during installation, as well as through the lifetime. It is a demanding job to pain wood-exterior windows, and has to be done often.

Wooden windows that have aluminum cladding, however, do not need to be painted. Vinyl replacement windows, on the other hand, do not have to be sealed or painted.

Insulating Factor

Vinyl is a bad conductor of heat, which makes it perfect for the summer months. However, often the frames are hollow and cold air tends to pass all through these spaces. This is where wood windows stand as better choices.

These reduce the transmission of heat or cold from the outside. Thus, wood helps save more energy.


Going by only the window cost, and not the labor cost, Vinyl windows have 25% less cost than wood windows. Wooden windows are more expensive, due to the aesthetic charm, the law of demand and supply etc.

Resale Value

When wood windows are maintained well, they can attract buyers’ attention. In a proper context, vinyl windows can attract buyers and be a part of the house.

If you will be content with a simple, functional window in a small number of colors, you should go for vinyl – which comes in many arresting looks. Wood comes at a higher cost but boasts of a high resale value.

Which one should you go for? It actually depends on your needs as well as the budget that you have.