Vinyl vs. Aluminum vs. Wood Replacement Windows

There are three main materials that today’s manufacturers use to make replacement windows: vinyl, aluminum, and wood. Each material has its own pros and cons. At One Source Windows & Doors, the popular material used for replacement windows is vinyl. Vinyl windows made are from polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—a plastic material. So why is this material popular?

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows are loved by many contractors since they are considered superior to other materials. They are energy-efficient, economical, and don’t require much maintenance. Vinyl windows are almost maintenance-free as opposed to their wood and aluminum counterparts. Vinyl is resilient and extremely durable. Its surface won’t fade or discolor from the weather. Despite being created from plastic, vinyl windows are relatively strong.

Cons of Vinyl

However, like every window type, vinyl windows do have several cons. To begin with, they can discolor when exposed to extreme climates. They can warp in severely hot temperatures and are usually difficult to shape. Again, vinyl windows cannot be repainted, meaning once you purchase them, you remain with the original color.

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum replacement windows, on the other hand, come in a huge assortment of pre-made custom shapes and designs. They are versatile and can also be painted any color. Although they have a commercial or industrial look, aluminum can be attractive. They have great strength, are very durable, and are effective in blocking out outside sounds. They are easy to clean, need little maintenance, and are very resistant to cracking, braking and dents. Aluminum is a great choice for large commercial properties, while not recommended as much for small residential homes.

Cons of Aluminum Windows

Nonetheless, aluminum replacement windows have one significant downside—they are good conductors of heat and cold, meaning they are not the best when it comes to energy efficiency.

Wood Windows

Wood replacement windows are still found in most residential homes. As a matter of fact, wood has been a key product of construction for many, many years. Wood is the only material that has stood the test of time and has proven to be a vital building material. Wood is a good choice for extreme hot or cold climates.

Cons of Wood Windows

Like vinyl and aluminum, wood windows also have their own drawbacks. Over time, wood could rot, crack or be infested by termites. Extreme heat can cause the wood to warp. Unlike vinyl, which is almost maintenance free, wood will need regular maintenance to prevent any serious problems from developing.


Vinyl, aluminum, and wood replacement windows are available on the market. Wood can offer style and value to your home if you are ready to provide the extra maintenance it needs. Vinyl tends to be more attractive, and does not need any maintenance. Aluminum is less prone to damage from the weather. So, you have many options when it comes to replacement windows. It is important to take the time to choose one which best suits your needs and budget.