- Home Improvement
Fiberglass Replacement Windows
Fiberglass Replacement Windows: An Introduction
While still in the primary and replacement window and door business, one of the most frequently-asked questions I was asked dealt with the variety of replacement window options. At the time, there were primarily two: vinyl and wood replacement windows. It wasn’t until the last few years of my industry experience that fiberglass replacement windows were considered an option. The reasons were two-fold: manufacturing and cost. The bottom line why? The technology needed to produce quality fiberglass windows at an affordable cost was non-existent. Times have changed, however. And now, fiberglass replacement windows, even though still at the top of the replacement window cost per unit, are not only a viable option for many homeowners, but an option many energy-savvy consumers are choosing. For the remainder of this hub I will briefly discuss the various benefits of choosing fiberglass replacement windows over their competition. Let’s begin by mentioning a few of the reasons fiberglass windows, in the past, were not as widespread and accepted.
Before more modern and efficient manufacturing technology, fiberglass windows suffered from the following issues:
- Concerns over strength and durability
- Resistance to extreme weather conditions
- The capability of integral frame construction
- High cost of manufacturing and subsequent high market price
Fiberglass Replacement Windows: The Transformation
Now, with improved manufacturing techniques; such as pultrusion, or the process of pulling fiberglass frame components through a die as opposed to pushing them through under pressure (extrusion), fiberglass window components can be made with extreme precision, strength, and cost-effectiveness. The result of this process ends with an extremely durable fiberglass frame that can be shaped and fabricated into some of the most energy efficient windows on the market today.
In addition to strength, the fiberglass and epoxy resins comprising fiberglass window components are smooth and capable of accepting a wide variety of custom, color-through colors. This benefit alone sets fiberglass replacement windows apart from its primary competition, vinyl replacement windows; as vinyl cannot be painted with full integrity after installation.
Thus, due to the improvement in manufacturing techniques, better quality, increased strength and durability, and the ability to come in various colors, fiberglass windows have truly been transformed!
Fiberglass Replacement Windows: Benefits
Other benefits of fiberglass replacement windows include:
- Fiberglass components are much stronger than wood or vinyl and can therefore be used to build much larger replacement window units
- The price gap between fiberglass replacement windows and their nearest competition, wood and vinyl, is narrowing as more energy-savvy consumers are making the switch to fiberglass windows
- Fiberglass has equal, if not better, insulating properties (R-factors) than wood due to the amount of insulating air "trapped" during the manufacturing process
- Fiberglass replacement windows are maintenance free and stand up to the harshest of weather conditions due to their impermeability to moisture
- Fiberglass, due to its primary components of glass fibers and resins, expands and contracts—along with weather changes—in a uniform manner; therefore allowing the frame to maintain its integrity in function
- Fiberglass replacement windows are more-tightly engineered and constructed resulting in lower overall air infiltration in extreme weather.
- Unlike vinyl replacement windows, fiberglass replacement windows can be painted after installation. This is an enormous benefit if a homeowner so chooses.
FIberglass Replacement Windows: In Conclusion
Based on over 15 years of experience selling other types of primary and replacement windows, I feel fiberglass replacement windows, although a bit more expensive, are well worth the investment.
Energy efficient, strong, durable, attractive, available in various custom color options, and a narrowing cost gap are just a few factors contributing to the increase in popularity of fiberglass windows. So, if you're in the market for replacement windows, do yourself a favor and consider fiberglass replacement windows a primary option.