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Question DetailsAsked on 10/17/2015

Vinyl vs. Clad Windows

Can someone help me understand the advantages/disadvantages of Clad vs. Vinyl Windows. I'm looking
to replace my clad windows and live in Nebraska where it's cold in the winters and hot in the summers.
Does Vinyl have a negative impact on the home resale value of the home?

Thanks much!

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1 Answer

Voted Best Answer

if the interior of your home calls for wood stained mouldings and trim, if you have wood floors and wood furnishings and you want your windows stained to match then you need wood windows. The clading of vinyl on the exterior will help the wood survive through water, sun, heat and cold and wood boring insects, but if your decor allows for a white color in and out, the vinyl window wins in insulation, longer life,and purchase priceas well as being maintanance free.

Answered 4 years ago by the new window man


Couple of add-ons to newwindowman's comment:

I assume you mean metal or vinyl clad wood windows when you say "clad" windows:

1) regardless of the window frame materials, with proper depth sizing you can always put real wood trim around the inside and outside of the window (the trim that is flat against the wall and bridges the gap to the window frame), and can cover the frame of the window like this - the photo in the blog


2) it is also possible to "trim-in" the window, doing wood for not only the interior face trim, but also trimming in the outer frame up to the sash like this -


3) there are also vinyl windows with vinyl on the outside but wood on the inside from the manufacturer - Marvin Integrity Ultrex (though that is fiberglass construction, not vinyl) windows with interior wood surfacing is only one such example. This is technically a "clad" window though opposite of what most people think of as a clad window - wood over synthetic rather than the opposite.

4) it is also possible to veneer or stain the interior of the window over the vinyl (or fiberglass) - staining takes a painter who really knows his business to get it consistent, and of course means you can never go back to the white vinyl, but can look fairly decent if done correctly with a vinyl acetate or similar primer and a gel stain, and veneer has the disadvantages that it will not take heavy cleaning without the risk of lifting an edge, and is generally not good if the windows will have frequent winter condensation or frosting but is (using real wood veneer) no different in appearance than stained trim. Obviously, best to get that way form the manufacturer if doing new windows rather than refurbishing.

Clad wood windows I dislike because I have seen too many where the water got behind the cladding and rotted it, plus you are pretty much limited to paints rather than stains on the cladding. My philosophy - if you like vinyl or metal cladding so much, why not just buy the whole window of that material ?

On resale of vinyl windows - a couple of realtors I have asked this question of say probably a wash in subdivision and cold climate (frosty window) areas, and for a normal 1500-2000SF house perhaps a $5-10,000 negative on normal upper $200,000 to low $300,000's house (standard range in our area) - but can be a much larger detractor ($30,000+) in upscale homes.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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