Most people are relatively familiar with both vinyl and wood windows, but not so many folks know about fiberglass windows. They’ve been on the market for about 20 years, but you don’t see a lot about them in the mainstream. So, we’re going to look at Marvin’s Integrity line and Pella’s Impervia to help you get to know this window material.
Both of these manufacturers offer a variety of factory painted exterior colors with white interiors, which can be painted. Marvin also offers paintable and stainable “Everwood” interior options. Like vinyl, they also offer a broad spectrum of hardware finishes complimenting your home’s interior, as well as grilles between the glass to enhance the look of your home. Each also offers multiple Low E, tempered, and obscure glass options, and Marvin’s Integrity line also offers a special sound abatement package that can be useful if you live near a highway, airport, train line, or other noisy areas. Each also offers limited lifetime transferable material and manufacturing warranties.
So far, fiberglass sounds a lot like vinyl in most aspects. So, what makes it different? One of the most important considerations is the strength of fiberglass. After all, this is the same kind of material used to make boat and auto bodies. In fact, the fiberglass used to manufacturer these windows has been tested to be as strong as steel, and requires diamond tipped blades to cut the material. Needless to say, this strength should translate into a long life for your windows, even under the worst conditions! Another important fact to note about fiberglass is that it expands and contracts at basically the same rate as glass, which means lower rates of seal failure due to changing weather conditions. And, because fiberglass is, as mentioned before is paintable without voiding the warranty, it does allow more flexibility in changing the look of your windows down the road than does vinyl.
All in all, fiberglass is a great mid price option for replacement windows, offering many options available on vinyl windows, with more flexibility in finishes and eight times the strength of vinyl. Because of the ability to paint or stain, they are not as “low maintenance” as vinyl, but, it is certainly a worthy tradeoff to consider as you select your windows.
Rae the Renovator