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Compare Types of Replacement Windows in Washington, DC & Maryland

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A DC Homeowner’s Guide to Replacement Window Materials

New windows can be a significant investment for your home in the DC area, so it’s important to have a good idea which type of replacement window is best for your needs. Wood, vinyl, and fiberglass windows are the most common, and each type has its advantages.

At Zen Windows DC, we strive to provide accurate information about your replacement window options so you can make an informed decision.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about our windows and our installation process, and we serve customers throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the Washington, DC, area.

Need help finding your ideal replacement windows? Talk to our experts at Zen Windows DC today by calling (301) 337-5656 or contacting us online.

We offer free, no-obligation quotes for all your window replacement needs.

Weighing the Pros & Cons of Vinyl, Fiberglass & Wood Windows

Ideally, replacement windows should last for decades with minimal maintenance while keeping your DC home comfortable and energy costs as low as possible. Some types offer better performance than others. This guide can help you find the right replacement window for your home and budget.

Wood Windows

Pros: Wood windows feature classic looks and styling, and they’re quite attractive when new, adding a distinctive charm and warm, natural colors.

Cons: Wood windows cost more than vinyl or fiberglass, and they require constant maintenance to keep them looking and functioning at their best, starting with full refinishing or repainting every few years. Wood windows can also:

  • Twist, rot, or warp with exposure to moisture, causing potential frame and glass damage
  • Attract destructive insects like termites or carpenter ants
  • Expand and contract with temperature or weather changes, making them drafty or hard to operate

Wood windows are pricier, and with the amount of maintenance required and their susceptibility to damage, they’re not a good value for most applications.

Fiberglass Windows

A wall of fiberglass windows on the back of a homePros: Fiberglass windows offer the look of wood without many of its drawbacks, such as the tendency to warp or twist. They feature strong, durable materials with a similar service life to high-quality vinyl.

Cons: Fiberglass replacement windows aren’t as pricey as wood windows, but they’re still priced higher than vinyl, even though they offer similar performance and efficiency. Other downsides of fiberglass include:

  • Sashes that are fastened together with screws, creating a weak spot that’s prone to corrosion.
  • Some fiberglass windows feature a painted finish, which will require maintenance every few years.

Although fiberglass windows offer great performance and efficiency, they’re costly and may require more maintenance than vinyl.

Low-Quality Vinyl Windows

The term “vinyl” encompasses several types of material, from low-quality recycled vinyl to durable, high-quality vinyl made from all new materials.

Pros: Low-quality vinyl windows are inexpensive and can work well in applications like rentals, where looks are not a priority.

Cons: Vinyl made from recycled materials can have an overly plastic look compared to higher quality vinyl, plus it won’t be as durable or long-lasting. Other drawbacks include:

  • A finish that can fade or chalk with time, reducing your home’s curb appeal
  • Reduced efficiency and performance compared to high-quality vinyl or fiberglass

Although low-quality vinyl windows may be affordable, their poor quality and low efficiency make them a bad value for most homes.

High-Quality Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows in a new homePros: High-quality vinyl windows feature a low-maintenance finish in a variety of colors, including realistic faux wood finishes, and they feature fusion-welded sashes that are more durable than fiberglass, along with frames that resist warping and twisting.

Cons: They’re more costly than low-quality vinyl windows. Other cons include:

  • Frames that can expand and contract slightly with temperature changes, though not enough to hinder operation, typically.
  • Finishes that are difficult to paint if it’s necessary to change colors.

High-quality vinyl windows are energy-efficient, cost-effective, and nearly as durable as fiberglass. They’re a great value for many applications in Maryland or the DC area.

Which Replacement Window Should You Choose?

Wood windows can be costly and hard to maintain, and fiberglass is quite strong, but in many cases, the best value for your money will be a high-quality vinyl window. It combines many of the best qualities of the alternatives with a great price point.

If you’re considering vinyl replacement windows for your home in Maryland, Virginia, or the DC area, turn to our team at Zen Windows DC. We offer high-quality vinyl replacement windows with professional installations, flexible financing options, and a double lifetime warranty that covers labor and materials.

When you want the best windows in the DC metro area, choose Zen Windows DC.

Call (301) 337-5656 or contact us online to start your free, no-obligation window replacement quote today.

We offer dozens of window styles and options so you can find the perfect replacement windows for your DC home.

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