Hardiplank Siding vs. Wood or Vinyl Siding in Massachusetts

Many homeowners in New England are opting for Hardiplank siding these days as a practical choice for busy lifestyles and cost-efficiency.

What to Know Before You Upgrade Your Windows

The winter months are coming, which means now is the perfect time to upgrade your windows to a more energy-efficient option that elevates the look and value of your home. Why should you upgrade?

The winter months are coming, which means now is the perfect time to upgrade your windows to a more energy-efficient option that elevates the look and value of your home.

Why should you upgrade?

There are many reasons to upgrade your windows, most importantly to increase the efficiency in your home. Old windows tend to leak, allowing both water and air to penetrate indoors. With a leaky window, you can lose up to 40% of winter heating and 50% of summer cooling annually. Franca Services offers three different types of replacement window options that offer up to an 85% return on your investment and can help solve all of your window problems. These include vinyl, wood, and fiberglass. All options have their pros and cons, so weigh your choices in deciding what is most important to you in new windows.

Vinyl

Vinyl replacement windows are rising in popularity for many reasons, including their low cost and high performance. They are made from PVC, which means they’re very durable.

Pros

  • Affordable – According to the 2018 Cost vs Value report from Remodeling.net, vinyl windows are the better buy. They are less expensive overall compared to other window replacement options, plus they recoup more of your investment in the long run (81% for vinyl compared to 79% for wood).
  • Energy-efficient – The insulation in the frame of a vinyl window is energy-efficient, saving you money on your energy bills over time. They are welded at the seams to prevent air and water infiltration.
  • Low maintenance – Very little upkeep is required for vinyl windows. Just wash your windows every year to get rid of any mold or dirt and you’re good to go!

Cons

  • Can’t be stained or painted – While there is some variety in choices of color, vinyl windows can’t be painted or stained like other materials, so it may not blend in as well with your home.
  • Not as easy to customize – If there’s a certain look your home has, like traditional architectural designs, vinyl may be difficult to integrate. Vinyl can be outfitted with laminate options, but those are limited to a few different woodgrains.
  • Durability – Vinyl is less durable than other window options and may warp over time. Vinyl can expand and contract during seasonal temperature changes, meaning that seals can break and allow air and moisture infiltration.

Wood

Wood is by far the most popular choice for windows because of the classic and timeless feel. It is a major selling point for buyers who like the elegant aesthetic of wood.

Pros

  • Sustainable – As a natural resource, wood is more environmentally sustainable and renewable. This may appeal to those who have a more natural-looking home or care for the environmental impact of their remodel.
  • Durability – Wood is extremely strong and durable and actually gets harder over time, making it able to last for years.
  • Customization – Wood can be painted or stained virtually any color, which is a trait that can’t be true for vinyl or fiberglass. This allows wood to be effortlessly integrated into the color and makeup of any home.

Cons

  • More expensive – Wood is the costliest of any window replacement options, because of its durability and variety of color options.
  • Requires regular maintenance – Regular maintenance is required to keep wood in the best condition, including sanding, painting, staining, caulking, and cleaning. They should be re-painted or re-stained every 3-4 years to protect them from the elements.
  • Susceptible to issues – As a natural option, wood is more susceptible to issues including rotting, mold and mildew.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass windows are the newest technology in window replacements. They offer a great return on investment and high-quality look and are quickly gaining popularity due to their traditional wood profile with a lot less maintenance, which make them a great option to upgrade your windows with.

Pros

  • Customizable – Fiberglass is not as customizable as wood but has many more options than vinyl. It can be painted any color and made to look wood-like.
  • Strength – Fiberglass is eight times stronger than vinyl while still being just as good at insulating. It comes with foam-filled or hollow cores, providing the highest amount of insulation and performing extremely well in cold temperatures.
  • Maintenance-free – Most fiberglass comes with a UV-resistant acrylic finish, which helps resist fading. Plus, it is resistant to rotting and swelling and is strong enough to not warp.

Cons

  • More expensive – Fiberglass is more expensive than vinyl by an average of 25%, deterring many homeowners from making the large investment.
  • Easily scratched – With limited color choices, fiberglass is able to be painted, but the standard finishes are easily scratched.

While wood, vinyl, and fiberglass are all excellent choices for replacement window frames, it’s important to identify what features are most important to you when you upgrade your windows. Are you on a tight budget? Is it critical to match the window style to the specific architectural style of your home? Are you concerned about the amount of maintenance needed? Franca Services can help you decide the right replacement window for your specific needs, so get a free quote today.

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