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Vinyl Versus Aluminum Clad Windows

Window replacement is a great way to increase your home’s energy efficiency and add to your house’s curb appeal.  But how do you know whether vinyl or aluminum clad windows are the right fit for you?  Check out our pros and cons below:


Aesthetic: Vinyl windows are available in a variety of colors.  However, because they cannot be painted, exact color matches to the exterior of your home may be difficult to come by.  In addition, because vinyl cannot be shaped into ultra thin pieces, it can sometimes appear to have a heavier, more plastic aesthetic.

Maintenance & Durability: Vinyl windows are extremely low-maintenance, requiring little to no maintenance, and nothing more than a seasonal light cleaning.

Efficiency: Vinyl windows tend to provide much more insulation than alternative materials, including aluminium.  Vinyl clad windows will keep heat from entering your home during the summer and help to retain heat during the winter.  Vinyl also has low visibility for scratches and dings - meaning your windows will look nicer for longer!

Bottom Line: Vinyl windows are a low cost and low maintenance window option.  However, there are limitations regarding style, aesthetic and color availability.


Aesthetic: Aluminum clad windows are a wood frame coated with aluminum on the exterior.  The wood frame can be stained or painted on the inside and the exterior can be designed to match virtually any exterior color scheme.

Maintenance & Durability: Aluminum clad windows are typically stronger than vinyl and are recommended for areas prone to high winds since they are tough to dislodge and resistant to both dents and cracks.  However, aluminum can be scratched and dented and occasionally prone to water infiltration.  In addition, the windows will require paint or varnish on the wood surfaces.  While their durability is very good, they are a natural product subject to some degree of decay.

Efficiency: The efficiency of aluminum windows themselves is relatively low.  However, aluminum clad windows offer the highest energy efficiency rating of any window type.

Bottom Line: Aluminum clad windows typically cost about fifty-percent more than vinyl.  However, if the homeowner is willing to make the initial investment, they will be met with a high-quality and very aesthetically pleasing product.

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