One of the areas where your home loses the most energy is through your windows

Picking the right window frames is an important decision, and there is a lot you have to consider before you make the final choice. But when it comes to wood vs vinyl windows, which option is better?

There isn’t an easy answer to that question. We’ve put together this guide to walk you through the pros and cons of both wood and vinyl windows. 

So let’s get started! 

What’s the Different Between Wood and Vinyl Windows?

Wood is the traditional window frame material, but in more recent years, vinyl has jumped into the market. Vinyl window frames were designed to compete against their wood counterparts, so while they do the same thing, there are a few major differences you need to know. 

Before you start window-frame shopping, you need to consider the following things. 


Wood is more expensive than vinyl windows—and not just by a little bit. It costs manufacturers a lot of money to create wood windows, so many manufacturers have switched to vinyl windows instead. 

Because of this, you won’t have as many options to choose from when buying wood windows, which also drives up the price. 

And you also have to consider the installation cost. Vinyl windows aren’t just cheaper to buy, they’re also cheaper to install. If you have a tight budget, you might want to stick with vinyl windows. 


While vinyl windows are more affordable than wood windows, they don’t last nearly as long. For example, vinyl windows have an average lifespan of 15 years, but wood windows can last well over 30 years. 

But that’s only if you upkeep them. 

Wood windows will rot, warp, or wear out without the proper maintenance. Vinyl can also start to rust if you live in a wet environment. 

With the right maintenance, you won’t have to worry about these things. However, you will have to replace vinyl windows a lot sooner than wood ones. This can balance out the initial cost difference. 

Energy Efficiency 

Wood is one of the best energy-efficient window materials. It prevents both hot and cold air from leaking in or out of your home. 

Vinyl windows are often hollow. This means small amounts of hot or cold air can find its way through your windows. 

Because of this, wood is the better choice for energy efficiency. 

But if you can’t afford wood windows, you may be able to get foam-filled vinyl windows. These windows are full of foam, which increases their insulation abilities.


If you choose wood windows, you’ll have to be prepared for some in-depth maintenance. Wood is susceptible to weather and pest damage, so you’ll have to restain or repaint your frames every three years or so. 

This can be an expensive process. 

Vinyl windows don’t need as much maintenance as wood windows, but they do need it more often. You’ll have to wash your vinyl windows at least once a year. 


There are no two ways about it. Wood windows look better than vinyl windows. 

The natural appearance of wood is beautiful, and you can paint or stain it almost any shade in the book. Vinyl windows are made of a plastic material called PVC, and that’s the thing about vinyl windows. They look like they’re made out of plastic.

There are more color options out there for vinyl windows than there used to be, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have a lot of options to choose from. On top of that, you can’t paint over vinyl windows. Once you install your vinyl, you’re stuck with it for the next 15 years. 

If you have a rustic or traditional home, wood windows are the better choice. 

Resale Value 

Both wood and vinyl windows have good resale value. Buyers won’t turn away from a home if it has vinyl windows—at least not in most cases. 

However, wood windows have excellent resale value. Most homebuyers prefer wood windows. But that’s only true if you’ve maintained the wood windows. Otherwise, buyers might turn away. 

Replacing wood windows can be a long and expensive process, and they may not want to deal with it right after moving into their new home. 


Want to DIY your windows?

Then you’re better off sticking with vinyl windows. These windows are thinner and lighter than wood windows. Because of this, they’re easier to move around and install. 

Remember, vinyl is also cheaper than wood. If you make a mistake during the installation, which is a high risk, it’s easier to buy replacements. 

If you want wood windows, it’s a good idea to hire a professional for the installation process. This will give you better (and faster) results. 

Wood vs Vinyl Windows: Which Is Better for You?

So what’s better for your home? 

Well, when it comes to wood vs vinyl windows, it depends on your needs and your personal preference. 

How big is your budget? How much maintenance are you willing to take on every year? Which one do you like better?

The best way to pick the right material for your home is to ask yourself these questions. And spend some time doing your research and shopping around. This will ensure you understand all the pros and cons of each choice and get the best deals. 

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