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Vinyl Or Fiberglass: Which Material Makes Better New Windows? | Hawaii

Vinyl Or Fiberglass: Which Material Makes Better New Windows? | Hawaii

Whether you are shopping for brand new windows for a new construction Hawaii home or replacement windows, it is wise to weigh your options carefully before choosing the right window frame for your home.

Several different materials for window frames are available in the market today. Wood windows are still available, as are aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass windows. In this blog, we focus on vinyl and fiberglass windows. We look at how these two windows compare and which is better overall.

Maintenance and Care

Both the fiberglass and vinyl windows require low maintenance. Unlike wood windows requiring routine resealing, patching, and repainting, fiberglass, and vinyl are hands-off. The mold, moss, dirt, and mildew in these two windows can be hosed off and the frames washed by scrubbing with a sponge and hot water.

Both vinyl and fiberglass windows can benefit from periodic maintenance and care. The fiberglass window requires you to occasionally repaint them, while you may be needed to caulk vinyl in case the temperature fluctuations cause the seal to break.


Both vinyl and fiberglass windows are more affordable than wood. But if you want to buy new windows for your home and are looking for a more affordable alternative between the two, go for the vinyl windows. Vinyl windows are less costly and cheap to install than fiberglass windows.


Compared to fiberglass windows, vinyl ones are easier to mount. Vinyl is very flexible, contracts, and expands quickly, making it easy to work with. Meanwhile, the fiberglass windows are inflexible and rigid, making them harder to fit into the window opening.

To install new windows in your home, you must seek professional installation for better results. Vinyl windows are often stocked at home improvement centers for easier purchase by homeowners, while fiberglass windows must be special ordered.

Resale Value

Since fiberglass windows are low maintenance, customizable, and durable, they tend to have a more excellent resale value than vinyl windows. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in vinyl windows. Both windows have a relatively high resale value, making them both suitable investments for your home when installing new windows.

But in general, windows are not a huge factor in determining the sale price of your home unless in cases where they are in deplorable conditions.

Strength and Durability

The vinyl and fiberglass windows are made from inner substances that do not rot and are not enticing to insects like carpenter ants and termites. In that sense, both window types are durable compared to the woods made from organic materials that insects eat and can quickly rot.

Fiberglass windows are more durable structurally than vinyl and have a longer lifespan.

Also, since the fiberglass is obtained from glass, both its glass panes and frames contract and expand at the same rate, leading to less probability of seal failure; seal failure is a major cause of condensation and fogging in insulated glass units. Meanwhile, the vinyl windows have welded corner seams, where seal failure often occurs.

Fiberglass makes for a stronger, more rigid frame than vinyl windows. These new windows don’t ever wrap. They are low maintenance and only require painting if you decide to.


For homeowners in Hawaii who are environmentalists looking for new home windows, fiberglass windows are the better choice. This is because the fiberglass used in the window frames comprises up to 60 percent recycled glass. On the other hand, vinyl windows are made from PVC plastic, which tends to be very difficult to recycle.

Energy Efficiency

The glass fibers in fiberglass windows do not contract and expand upon exposure to heat and cold and hence are a slightly better insulator than the vinyl.

However, both vinyl and fiberglass offer excellent insulating value since they are both constructed with hollow cavities, accelerating the thermal energy.

Besides saving you energy, fiberglass windows are soundproof; thus, they are a better option if you live in a noisy area.


Telling the difference between windows may be difficult; at the end of the day, most are made of glass, but when you look a little closer, you’ll see the difference in their frames.

Since vinyl windows are not as strong as fiberglass windows, more materials are used in their frames. Vinyl windows are almost broad and have a visible join line at the edges. On the other hand, fiberglass windows are narrow without any lines, allowing more space for the glass panes.

Homeowners in Hawaii who want to maximize the amount of natural light in their homes should opt for fiberglass window frames when choosing new windows for their homes. Fiberglass glass windows come in more different colors compared to vinyl windows. They have more style options you can choose from when replacing or buying new windows.

Also, you can paint them with any color of your choice to match your home’s exterior, unlike vinyl windows, which are challenging to paint and maintain over the long term. The vinyl windows come in several baked-in colors.

Safety and Other Risks

Vinyl and fiberglass windows are safe to install in your home, even though both come with risks. For instance, you or the expert you hired to install your new windows may inhale the fibers in the fiberglass. Fibers can cause skin, throat, and eye irritation. But once the installation is done, the risk of inhaling the fiber from your windows becomes minimal.

Schedule an Appointment with Sunburst Windows for Window Replacement and Repair Services

Both vinyl and fiberglass windows are good products. These may be a better choice than wood windows when reconstructing or replacing the windows in your home with new windows. When cost is the main factor, vinyl windows are a better option. However, for the best appearance and strength, fiberglass windows win.

Are you looking to replace your windows? Contact us at Sunburst Windows. We offer reliable window repair, replacement, and installation services. Don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Photo By Gina Leonard at Shutterstock


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