A: We have people that ask us, “Dale, do you believe that fiberglass windows are better than vinyl windows in Houston?” Yes and no.
Do I think fiberglass windows are better than any vinyl window out there? By far, no—and the reason being is that fiberglass has problems over long periods of time.
Vinyl Windows In Houston Vs. Fiberglass Windows
When it comes to replacement vinyl windows in Houston, vinyl has enjoyed being the only alternative to traditional wood and metal. However, a relatively new material within the last few years has been making some waves in the industry.
Fiberglass windows have been touted for some years now as the greener, more durable alternative to vinyl windows in Houston. In fact, many luxury home builders in Houston are opting for fiberglass for green standards.
However, is fiberglass really better than any vinyl window on the market? The answer, as Dale explained perfectly is, No. It all depends on the quality of the vinyl windows in Houston that you compare them to. If compared with vinyl windows that are builders’ grade—yes, Fiberglass is indeed better.
However, when you try to compare fiberglass windows to one of our high-grade vinyl windows—vinyl wins. There are some more details on why fiberglass windows aren’t better than quality vinyl windows in Houston we’ll get to. First, let’s get a quick overview of the two types of materials.
Pros Of Vinyl Windows In Houston
There are quite a few benefits attributed to vinyl windows for Houston homes, such as low cost, and color options. However, these are the top pros for Vinyl windows.
- Less Expensive: Vinyl windows cost less than fiberglass because it’s a simpler manufacturing process. Specifically, the raw material, vinyl—which costs much less than fiberglass due to how it’s produced.
- No Paint Needed: Vinyl is produced with a resin that can have color added into the resin itself for a permanent finish. is made with a resin that gives the material a permanent color. Therefore, you choose your color before the assembly of the window. Vinyl windows will not fade and cannot be painted—but they never need painting. In fact, paint doesn’t even stick to vinyl, it slides right off.
- Fade Resistant: Vinyl, when exposed to UV rays, simply does not fade as wood windows do. This means that vinyl keeps its color for the life of the window.
- Easy Installation: Vinyl windows in Houston are typically easier to install than fiberglass windows. This is why vinyl windows are easier to find at different home improvement stores, which don’t normally carry fiberglass. As such, if you buy vinyl windows in Houston you can self-install. However, it still requires some basic construction knowledge so we still recommend to leave it to the professionals.
Pros Of Fiberglass Windows
Fiberglass windows are another superior alternative to wood and aluminum windows and offer similar benefits to vinyl. Fiberglass windows have also had some advantages over vinyl windows that some homeowners might prefer.
- Frames Are Thinner: Fiberglass due to its material makeup is stronger than vinyl. Consequently, fiberglass frames don’t to be as thick. This superior strength is a result of the composite that is fiberglass. Comprised of glass strands and a polymer resin, fiberglass offers a rigid, impact-resistant, thin frame.
- Better Insulative Properties: Fiberglass windows offer a much better level of insulation over vinyl windows in Houston. For Houston homeowners, this means better energy efficiency, better cooling, and lower energy bills.
- Temperature Resistant: Heat does not affect fiberglass windows as they are unaffected by extreme temperatures. While vinyl does tend to warp in extreme temperatures, fiberglass remains true to shape.
- More Variety: Since fiberglass window frames are molded, they can be created with a wide array of textures, styles, and colors. Fiberglass is more versatile than vinyl and can be made to resemble wood or even vinyl itself.
- Increases Home Value: Home buyers today look for long-lasting components when buying a new home. They want long-lasting roofs, gutters, and windows. Since fiberglass is stronger than wood or wood, it will outlast both in most cases.
- Long Service Life: Most vinyl windows in Houston last about 15-20 yrs depending on the quality and care. However, compare that to fiberglass windows lifespan of 50 years and it seems paltry. Fiberglass windows can likely outlast most mortgages easily making it a great long-term investment.
As a material that can look historically accurate, modern, or just mimic vinyl—fiberglass windows are a great option. However, keep in mind fiberglass windows do have some drawbacks you should consider.
The Cons Of Fiberglass Windows
As fiberglass is stronger than vinyl, fiberglass is more of an initial investment, especially if replacing all the windows on your home. more of an investment, especially if you need to have all the windows throughout your house replaced at the same time. There are some other reasons why vinyl windows in Houston may be your best bet after all.
- Higher cost: Fiberglass costs more than vinyl due to its higher quality and is marketed as a premium option. This, in turn, makes fiberglass cost-prohibitive for many buyers and negates the energy savings.
- Harder To Source: Since fiberglass is still the “new kid on the block” in regards to replacement windows, they’re hard to find. Fiberglass hasn’t quite caught on as a universally accepted building material for homes. Due to this fact, fewer manufacturers bother to produce them and you end up going to an installer.
- Difficult Installation: Fiberglass windows are not DIY friendly at all—in fact, they take extensive construction knowledge and skill. Since fiberglass is rigid and not flexible, openings must be made exactly right to fit properly. Consequently, fiberglass windows should only be installed by a professional.
- Not UV Resistant: Fiberglass windows will fade over time with constant exposure to UV rays. When dealing with a whole home of windows, this means some may fade faster than others. This means your windows possibly may not always match. However, fiberglass windows can be painted so that might not be an issue for you.
- Finish Is Not Permanent: While fiberglass as a material itself is not impervious to the elements, the paint or finish on the surface is not. It will eventually wear down with repeated exposure to the heavy storms in Houston and UV rays. You can expect to need to paint fiberglass windows every five years in the Texas sun.
The BIG Problem With Fiberglass Windows
Despite fiberglass having numerous characteristics that can be considered cons to some buyers, the ones mentioned are negligible. However, there is still one huge problem with fiberglass windows—Leakage.
Unlike vinyl windows that have welded seams that create a strong seal, fiberglass windows are a fastened frame. All mechanically fastened windows, including fiberglass leaks in the corners—there’s just no getting around that. In a tropical climate zone like Houston with severe storms, that is not a good fit.
We constantly get service calls to repair fiberglass windows that have begun to leak after thunderstorm and hurricane seasons. Vinyl windows in Houston, on the other hand, are welded to withstand the storms very well.
Whether You Choose Fiberglass or Vinyl Windows In Houston…
Superior is the company you can trust to install your windows regardless of the material you choose. We feel confident in our high-quality vinyl windows. Given the climate in Houston, we have proven data that shows they outperform fiberglass windows in overall performance.
Contact us today to upgrade the windows in your home and increase your home’s value!