When making the decision to replace sliding sash windows or have them installed in a new home, we often struggle with the dilemma of making a choice between traditional wood sliding sash windows and the more modern vinyl tilt-in windows. Since both have their benefits, the decision will ultimately come down to the style of home you are trying to create, and of course your personal preference.
Modern vinyl tilt-in windows are exactly that. While stylish, they may appear to be traditional windows, but on closer inspection the lines are very clean and precise compared to their wood counterparts. A consideration for the use of a wood window is sometimes on a more traditional style build or a restoration project the wood exterior offers a softer, more natural finish.
The obvious advantage of the vinyl windows is that they offer the owner a virtually maintenance free product. This is often the most influential factor for you, the homeowner, when choosing between these products. Wood paint finishes have come a long way in recent years and hardwood windows are now offered with a much better warranties. When time comes to re-paint wood windows the process is much more user friendly when using water based paints, however vinyl windows now come in every colour imaginable with high tech coatings that justify their extended warranties.
In regards to cost, there is a difference in price between the two options. A quality wood window, with the equivalent energy performance of vinyl, does have a much higher price tag. The advantage of vinyl being virtually maintenance free versus wood requiring painting is often enough to swing the final decision. When choosing vinyl over wood you will have less maintenance.