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Wood-Clad Windows vs Vinyl Windows: Which is the Better Choice?

The windows of your home have a lot of impact on its energy efficiency, aesthetic appeal, and overall comfort. Two popular types of windows that you can choose from are wood-clad and vinyl windows. Wood-clad windows are made of wood on the inside and have a layer of aluminum, fiberglass, or vinyl on the exterior. On the other hand, vinyl windows are made of PVC material throughout. So, when it comes to choosing between the two, which one should you go for? In this article, we’ll compare wood-clad and vinyl windows to help you make an informed decision.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is one of the most critical factors that you should consider when shopping for new windows. Both wood-clad and vinyl windows can provide excellent energy savings. However, there are differences that set them apart. Wood-clad windows offer superior energy efficiency due to their natural insulation properties. The inner wood frame helps to prevent heat transfer from inside your home, protecting it from the harsh exterior elements. The exterior layer, whether fiberglass, aluminum, or vinyl, enhances the weather resistance of the windows. Conversely, vinyl windows rely on the insulation properties of the glass for energy savings. While they may appear to be less thermally efficient than wood-clad windows, there are vinyl windows that incorporate features such as double or triple pane glass, low-E coatings, and argon gas, which can make them highly energy-efficient.


Maintenance is another crucial factor that should be considered when choosing windows. While wood-clad windows are beautiful and provide natural warmth and ambiance to your home, they require more maintenance than vinyl windows. Wood-clad windows need regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. This includes sanding, sealing, and painting, which can be time-consuming and costly. On the other hand, vinyl windows require little to no maintenance. Vinyl windows do not rot, warp, or corrode, and they require no painting or sealing; hence you can easily keep them clean by wiping them down with a simple detergent.


The appearance of your windows is a significant factor that can enhance or detract from the curb appeal of your home. Wood-clad windows provide the natural beauty of wood on the inside, which can be stained or painted to match your interior décor. On the exterior, they come in various color options, including aluminum, fiberglass, and vinyl. Vinyl windows, on the other hand, are limited in color options, but they can still provide a classic, clean look that complements any home style.


The cost of the windows is another crucial factor that you cannot overlook when choosing which type of windows to install. Wood-clad windows are generally more expensive than vinyl windows, due to the additional materials and labor involved in their manufacturing process. Additionally, the wood exterior requires regular maintenance, which can add to the overall cost of ownership. However, the cost of wood-clad windows can be justified by their durability, natural beauty, and excellent energy efficiency. Vinyl windows are less expensive to install and maintain and are an excellent option for those on a budget.


In conclusion, both wood-clad and vinyl windows have their advantages and disadvantages. Wood-clad windows are more expensive, require more maintenance, but provide superior energy efficiency and natural beauty. Vinyl windows are less expensive, require less maintenance, but offer limited color options. When choosing between the two, it's important to weigh the pros and cons and consider your specific needs and budget. Ultimately, your choice will depend on what suits your taste and which option provides the best value for money in the long run.