Fiberglass vs. Vinyl Windows: Which Should You Buy?

From time to time, almost all homeowners need to invest in replacement windows. Whether window panes and frames sustain storm damage, or they simply become old and inefficient, it’s rare for homeowners to never need new windows. If you are beginning to look into investing in new windows in the near future, it’s important to learn as much as you can about all of the window frame materials you are considering.


If you are like many people, your final two choices will be fiberglass and vinyl. These are both durable, contemporary-looking options that feel equally as home in a renovated historic Carolina residence and a brand new construction. Here, you’ll learn more about the differences between fiberglass window frames and vinyl window frames and, hopefully, be able to decide which one is the best choice for you.




To passersby — and even to you from a distance — there are few visual differences between fiberglass windows and vinyl windows. Both typically feature the same clean lines and smooth surfaces. However, there are some key differences you should be aware of before you invest in either type of window.


Fiberglass window frames can be painted using exterior paint, making them easy to customize or change during a future renovation. Vinyl, on the other hand, cannot be painted, so whatever color you choose is the color you’ll have until you buy new windows. In addition, fiberglass frames typically have a slightly thinner profile than their vinyl counterpart, which some homeowners prefer.




In almost all cases, vinyl window frames are notably less expensive than fiberglass styles. Fiberglass frames are generally priced from $500 to $1,500 apiece, while vinyl typically ranges from $100 to $900 for each frame. It is worth noting that window manufacturers and installation contractors sometimes have special offers that can make fiberglass more affordable. 


Environmental notes


For an ever-increasing number of homeowners, the environmental impact of home renovation projects is a key concern. Fiberglass is the clear winner in this category when compared to vinyl. In addition to being rated to last for about 50 years, fiberglass is typically crafted from recycled glass, meaning that even the manufacturing process is more green than you might expect. 


Additionally, it is important for you to be aware that certain vinyl window frames can emit harmful chemicals that can lead to health problems if they are inhaled on a regular basis.

Noise reduction


Many homeowners don’t realize just how helpful — or not helpful, for that matter — windows can be when it comes to reducing interior noise. If your North Carolina or South Carolina neighborhood tends to be loud for one reason or another, you might want to consider splurging on fiberglass windows, as they tend to block unwanted noise better than vinyl options.




Both fiberglass and vinyl window frames are quite durable, but fiberglass generally lasts longer — twice as long as vinyl in some cases, in fact. Homeowners frequently find that vinyl window frames include 25-year warranties, compared to fiberglass frames’ 50. 


If you are ready to make your choice between fiberglass windows and vinyl windows, the Hatch Homes team is here for you. Contact us at your earliest convenience to discover more about our window installation services and to clear-up any more questions you may have about which window frame material best suits your needs.

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