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The Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Replacement Windows

According to the latest cost-vs-value report, replacing your windows could yield an ROI of up to 72% when you sell your home.

Window replacement brings many aesthetic as well as functional benefits to your house. That’s especially true when you opt for the latest materials on the market today.

image - The Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Replacement Windows
The Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Replacement Windows

So, if you want to upgrade your home in more ways than one, it’s worth discovering the benefits of these modern innovations.

For starters, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of fiberglass replacement windows.

Fiberglass Replacement Windows Are Durable

Fiberglass consists of glass fibers woven and knitted into a resin injector. This process places the fibers strategically to ensure maximum strength. This has several benefits to homeowners who install these types of window frames.

According to Renewal by Andersen, the longevity of your fiberglass windows depends on a combination of your circumstances and the product chosen.

Yet, there are a few things you can count on when it comes to fiberglass windows.

This process changes glass, which is often a fragile material, into a new form that’s much stronger than other window frames. The glass fibers bear the weight of your window, while the resin distributes the weight evenly amongst the fibers.

Due to this added strength, fiberglass window frames can support much larger and heavier panes of glass than other materials. Fiberglass is eight times stronger than vinyl and five times stronger than wood.

Despite its superior strength, fiberglass is lighter than wood.

The strength of fiberglass window frames depends on how many layers of material make up the design. So, always check this aspect with your contractor.

It takes a lot to damage, scratch, warp, or corrode fiberglass frames.

If your fiberglass frames somehow set alight, they’d self-extinguish within minutes. On the other hand, vinyl’s a highly flammable material that releases toxic fumes while it burns.

Fiberglass Is Weather Resistant

Fiberglass is the best window material for extreme climates. It’s engineered to withstand wide temperature fluctuations. It’s also strong enough to stand its ground against wind and rain.

These window frames’ rigid, stable construction adds to these benefits.

Their solid structure prevents expansion, contraction, and warping due to temperature changes. That’s because the glass in the frames and windowpanes reacts to heat in the same way, resulting in a highly stable window overall.

Since it’s made from glass and resin, fiberglass cannot rust no matter how wet it gets during a rainstorm. This makes it ideal for installation in humid environments like bathrooms and kitchens.

The combination of these factors makes fiberglass the perfect choice in areas where tropical storms and cyclones are part of the weather pattern.


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Fiberglass Windows Can Cut Your Energy Costs

One of the benefits of fiberglass replacement window frames is that they absorb and hold heat in winter. Yet, they reflect the extreme temperatures of summer. That’s because the insulating properties of glass extend beyond your windows into your window frames.

Did you know fiberglass is one of the best materials for attic insulation and has a high R-value? Fiberglass window frames comprise the same basic ingredients.

Since fiberglass frames sit tightly in position, they’ll never develop an air gap that can affect their insulating properties. These gaps in your windows can contribute as much as 30% to your energy use.

In this way, fiberglass window frames can help you cut down on how much you use your heating and cooling system at home. In turn, this helps reduce your energy usage and thereby your energy bills every month.

When you install these frames with double- or triple-pane windows you’ll save even more.

Fiberglass Frames Are an Eco-Friendly Option

Thanks to these energy-saving properties, environmental experts consider fiberglass frames an energy-efficient home improvement initiative.

Since glass comprises mainly sand, fiberglass is also a sustainable material.

The manufacturing process for fiberglass poses no threat to the environment either. Vinyl window production plants release tons of noxious gases into the atmosphere.

Cut Down on Window Maintenance with Fiberglass

Wood windows require ongoing maintenance to keep them in good shape. They’re also prone to attacks from termites.

Fiberglass frames can look fantastic for years without any maintenance at all. If you choose painted frames, you might need to apply a new coat every few years as the colors can fade in the sunlight over time.

Another drawback with fiberglass frames is that they can become chalky when exposed to the sun for a long time. Most suppliers coat their products with a UV-resistant layer to prevent this.

Thanks to its strength and durability, you’ll never have to repair fiberglass windows and they can last for decades without any issues. Due to their exact fit, fiberglass frames won’t leak.

Since fiberglass window frames haven’t been on the market for very long, nobody really knows how long they could last. However, estimates suggest you could get 50 years of use out of them before you need to replace them.

Affordability of New Fiberglass Windows

When comparing fiberglass vs vinyl windows costs, vinyl comes out on top. Yet, if you look at the price of wood or clad wood windows, fiberglass is the cheaper option.

Although the costs involved in installing fiberglass windows vary widely depending on where you live. Yet, you can work on an average cost of $8,000 to $10,000 for ten 48-inch windows. Incidentally, that’s only $200 more than the same estimate for vinyl windows.

Remember, you’ll save on maintenance costs for fiberglass windows and also enjoy decreased energy bills.

Aesthetics of Fiberglass Windows

Although glass is always the main attraction when it comes to your windows, the frames do play a role in the overall aesthetics too.

Fiberglass and vinyl windows may appear similar from a distance, but that’s where the similarity ends. Since fiberglass is a weaker material, you’ll need thicker frames to support large windowpanes.

Vinyl window frames also have an obvious line at the corner joints, while fiberglass has a seamless appearance.

Fiberglass frames mimic the appearance of classic wood frames more closely, while vinyl windows look synthetic. You can also paint your fiberglass windows in a shade to suit your decor, although they’ll need touch-ups every so often.

You can paint your fiberglass windows any time you want and in any color. So, if you change your siding or interior decor, you can paint your windows to complement your home’s new look.

If preferred, you can also arrange for a wood veneer on the inside of your fiberglass window frames, so you get the best of both worlds.

The same properties that contribute to all the other benefits of fiberglass, mean that noise doesn’t travel through them easily either. So if you want to block out exterior sounds, fiberglass window frames can help.

Fiberglass Window Installation

Due to its rigid nature, it’s difficult to work with fiberglass, so installation might cost a little more. While it’s possible to DIY other types of window installations, it’s not a good idea to go it alone when it comes to fiberglass.

If you want custom window frames, you could experience delays and extra costs while manufacturers put together your design.

What’s more, due to the relative novelty of fiberglass, not everyone stocks it. So, you might have to wait for some time for your window frames to arrive. That is unless you choose an installer who specializes in these window frames.

However, when you hire an expert team of window frame installers, they’ll have it done in no time at all.

Fiberglass Health Concerns

You might have heard that fiberglass can cause health issues and respiratory tract irritation. While these fears are largely unproven, OSHA does urge contractors to work carefully with fiberglass.

This precautionary warning rests on the fact that small synthetic fibers of any nature can irritate the lungs. Nowadays, fiberglass window manufacturers construct their products using long fibers. These can’t enter the human respiratory tract.

The resin used in manufacturing windows also holds these fibers in place, so they’re unlikely to cause any harm.

The only part of fiberglass window frames that could potentially cause harm, is the dust created during installation. If you steer clear of this, you’re unlikely to inhale any unhealthy particles.

Improve Your Home’s Outlook

Choosing fiberglass replacement windows is only one of the energy-saving home improvements available to improve the value and appearance of your home.

So, you want more great ideas for your home renovation projects, you’re in the right place.

Whether you’re buying, selling, or simply upgrading a house, our blog has plenty of useful information for you. Browse some more of our articles or bookmark our site to stay informed.


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