Replacement Window Comparison Chart For Madison WI

Features Low End PVC Vinyl Premium UPVC Vinyl Painted Fiberglass Wood with Metal Clad

Expected

Life Span

5 to 15 Years 30 or More Years Unknown - The Longest 10 to 25 Years
Warranty
  • Limited Lifetime or Limited by Years
  • Usually Not Transferable
  • Limited Lifetime
  • Transferable
  • Limited Lifetime or Limited by Years
  • Transferable
  • Limited by Years, Usually 20 Years or Less
  • Usually Not Transferable and No Rot Warranty
Maintenance
  • None Needed (window cleaning only)
  • None Needed (window cleaning only)
  • Painting Outsides Every 5 to 10 Years
  • Possibly Re-Varnish Wood Interiors
  • Approx Every 5 Years
  • Sand Refinish Wood Interiors
Structure & Durability
  • Fusion Welded Frames
  • Somewhat Durable
  • Expands and Contracts to Heat/Cold
  • Low Number of Sealing Components
  • Thin Material and Less Rigid
  • Low End Mechanisms
  • Fusion Welded Frames
  • Very Durable
  • Expands and Contracts to Heat/Cold
  • High Number of Sealing Components
  • Thick Material for Added Rigidity
  • Internal Support Materials
  • Top of the Line Mechanisms
  • Corner Keyed Screwed Frames
  • Most Durable
  • No Expansion by Heat/Cold or Moisture Levels
  • Low Number of Sealing Components
  • Strongest Materials and Most Rigid
  • Top of the Line Mechanisms
  • Screwed Frames
  • Very Durable (Except for Rot)
  • Expands and Contracts to Moisture Levels
  • Low Number of Sealing Components
  • Thick Materials and Very Rigid
  • Extruded Aluminum Outside Cladding
  • Top of the Line Mechanisms
Insulation
  • Possibly Energy Star Rated
  • Hollow or Foam Filled Frames
  • Double and Possibly Triple Pane Options
  • Best Energy Star Ratings
  • Usually Foam Filled Frames
  • Double and Triple Pane Options
  • Usually Energy Star Rated
  • Hollow or Foam Inserted into Frames
  • Double and Possibly Triple Pane Options
  • Possibly Energy Star Rated
  • Wood Frames Less Insulation than Foam
  • Double and Possibly Triple Pane Options
Cost
  • Entry Level Advertised Pricing
  • Installation Labor the Same as Other Windows
  • Best Value for The Price
  • Less than Fiberglass or Wood
  • Usually Less than Wood
  • Long Lifespan
  • Highest Priced
  • Most Maintenance Issues