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Fiberglass vs. Composite Windows

In the battle between fiberglass vs. composite windows, here are four key places to compare and contrast these distinct materials - window cost, style and appearance, durability and strength, as well as energy efficiency. Click to see our picks for the best composite windows.

Window Cost

Both fiberglass and composites are more expensive than vinyl, but less than wood frames. Fiberglass windows (see Marvin Infinity window prices) are a step up from vinyl window prices, while composites are all over the place - the Amsco Renaissance composite is priced like a mid range vinyl window, while Renewal By Andersen prices are much higher than even the high end fiberglass frames.

Style And Appearance

Fiberglass windows tend to look similar to vinyl, although generally a bit thinner in the frame due to the strength of the material. Composite windows are again a mixed bag because the make up of the frame differs according to the individual manufacturer. The Andersen 100 Series gets high marks for looks because the composite frame is available in a ton of colors and finishes. In general, composite windows look quite nice and are often resemble the look of real wood, without the maintenance requirements.

Durability & Strength

Fiberglass is a strong material and probably gets the nod over composite frames. Either material should provide good durability and strength - it's probably a toss up in terms of long term durability. Check out our picks for the best fiberglass window models.

Energy Efficiency

Fiberglass is at the top of the list in terms of energy efficiency and ioffers slightly better numbers than comparably priced vinyl windows and probably composites as well. Composite windows in general offer decent performance numbers, some like the Okna Starmark offer fantastic energy efficiency value.

Bottom Line

Fiberglass is a step up from vinyl in terms of price and performance and are solid performers in most climates. Composite windows are relatively new and so it's difficult to make general statements about how they perform, look and are priced out. In the end, top composites are going to be great windows, as are fiberglass, so it will come down to manufacturer and model as to how they look and how they work in your home.

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