When it comes to choosing windows for your home, the options can sometimes be overwhelming. Choosing a window frame material has a big impact on the price, durability and energy efficiency of your replacement windows. Two popular choices on the market today are composite windows and fiberglass windows. Both materials offer unique benefits and features, but how do they compare?
We’re here to help you navigate your window replacement selections so you can choose the best option for your home! WindowPRO has proudly served the Troy and Southeast Michigan community since 1923. We provide homeowners with a best-in-class window replacement experience and want to help you make informed decisions about this investment in your home.
In this article, we will explore the basics, features and cost as well as pros and cons of composite and fiberglass windows. By the end, you will have a better understanding of which option is the better choice for your needs.
Understanding The Basics Of Window Materials
Before delving into the intricacies of composite and fiberglass windows, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the frame materials themselves. Both composites and fiberglass are known for their durability and strength, but there are distinct differences between the two.
What Are Composite Windows?
Composite windows are made from a combination of materials, typically a mixture of wood fibers, aluminum and thermoplastic resins. This unique combination creates a window frame that offers the aesthetic, strength and stability of wood with the low-maintenance benefits of vinyl. Composite windows are known for their resistance to warping, rotting and insect damage.
One of the key advantages of composite windows is their ability to mimic the look and feel of traditional wooden windows. This makes them a popular choice for homeowners who want the aesthetic appeal of wood without the high maintenance requirements. Composite windows can be painted or stained to match the existing decor, providing a seamless and cohesive look throughout the home.
In addition to their visual appeal, composite windows also offer excellent energy efficiency. The combination of wood fibers and thermoplastic resins creates a strong barrier against heat transfer, helping to keep the interior of the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This can lead to significant energy savings over time, making composite windows a cost-effective choice for homeowners.
What Are Fiberglass Windows?
Fiberglass windows, on the other hand, are constructed from glass fibers embedded in a resin material. This creates a strong, lightweight and energy-efficient window frame. Fiberglass windows are known for their exceptional durability, resistance to weathering, and thermal efficiency.
One of the key advantages of fiberglass windows is their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. Unlike other materials, such as wood or vinyl, fiberglass does not expand or contract with changes in temperature and humidity. This means that fiberglass windows are less likely to warp, crack or distort over time, ensuring long-lasting performance and durability.
Fiberglass windows also offer excellent thermal efficiency. The glass fibers in the frame act as a natural insulator, helping to reduce heat transfer and improve energy efficiency. This can result in lower heating and cooling costs, making fiberglass windows a popular choice for environmentally conscious homeowners.
Fiberglass windows are highly customizable, allowing homeowners to choose from a wide range of colors, finishes and styles to complement their home’s architecture and design. Whether you prefer a modern and sleek look or a more traditional aesthetic, there is a fiberglass window option to suit your preference.
Fiberglass vs. Composite: Comparing The Features
If you’re trying to decide between fiberglass and composite windows, there are a few features you’ll want to take into consideration. Both are great options for a window replacement, and the right choice truly depends on your project goals and preferences.
In terms of durability, both composite and fiberglass windows excel. Composite windows are highly resistant to warping, rotting, and pest damage, making them an excellent long-term investment. This durability ensures that your windows will withstand the test of time and remain in excellent condition for years to come.
Similarly, fiberglass windows are incredibly durable and can withstand extreme temperature changes without warping or cracking. The strength of fiberglass makes it an ideal choice for areas with harsh weather conditions, ensuring that your windows remain intact and functional.
When it comes to maintenance, composite windows require minimal upkeep. They don’t need to be repainted or stained regularly (unlike wood frames) and are relatively easy to clean.
Fiberglass windows are virtually maintenance-free, requiring only occasional cleaning to keep them looking their best. This convenience is particularly beneficial for homeowners who prefer a hassle-free window option that doesn’t demand constant attention.
Both composite and fiberglass windows are known for their energy efficiency. The insulating properties of these materials help reduce energy loss and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature year-round. By investing in energy-efficient windows, you can significantly lower your heating and cooling costs and create a more sustainable living environment.
However, fiberglass has a slight edge over composites in terms of thermal insulation. It offers better heat resistance, helping to lower heating and cooling costs even further. This enhanced energy efficiency can make a noticeable difference in your energy bills, allowing you to save money in the long run.
Appearance is perhaps the biggest differentiator between fiberglass and composite windows. In terms of aesthetics, both composite and fiberglass windows offer a wide range of styles and finishes to suit any home design. Composite windows have the advantage of mimicking the appearance of traditional wood frames while providing better durability and weather resistance. This means that you can enjoy the classic charm of wooden windows without the hefty price tag and the associated maintenance and susceptibility to damage.
Fiberglass windows, on the other hand, offer a sleek and modern look that can complement contemporary architectural styles. With their smooth and clean lines, fiberglass windows add a touch of sophistication to your home’s exterior, enhancing its overall curb appeal.
Whether you prefer the timeless elegance of composite windows or the sleekness of fiberglass windows, both options offer versatility in terms of design and customization. You can choose from a variety of colors, finishes, and hardware options to create windows that perfectly match your home’s style and reflect your personal taste.
Whether you prioritize durability, energy efficiency or aesthetic appeal, both options offer significant benefits that can enhance your home’s value and comfort. Take the time to explore the available options, consult with professionals and make an informed decision that aligns with your vision for your home.
Fiberglass windows tend to be more affordable than composite windows in terms of initial purchase and installation costs. This is because fiberglass materials are generally less expensive than composite. Additionally, the installation process for composite windows is often simpler and requires less specialized labor, further reducing the overall cost.
Specifically for composite windows, you can expect to pay around $2,500 installed for a 3 foot by 5 foot in Dearborn Michigan. An average price range for a 3 foot by 5 foot fiberglass window in Southeast Michigan would be approximately $2,000 installed.
Wrapping Up: Fiberglass vs. Composite Windows
Ultimately, the choice between composite and fiberglass windows boils down to your unique priorities and preferences. Both materials offer exceptional durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic options. By considering factors such as long-term maintenance, budget, and desired style, you can make an informed decision that suits your home and lifestyle.
Ready to replace your windows with a Dearborn contractor you can trust? WindowPRO has a great selection of high-quality Marvin and ProVia replacement windows and provides expert installation in Southeast Michigan. We’ve been serving customers since 1923 and are proud of the stellar reputation we’ve earned! If you’re ready to get started on your window replacement — we’d love to see if we’d be a good fit for your project. Contact us today to set up your free, no-hassle consultation.