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Selecting Window and Door Materials

Many customers know how they want their windows and doors to LOOK. They know they want white, black, or a pop of color. They know they want the window to slide vertically or horizontally. But very few customers know how they want their windows and doors to BE MADE. In fact, unless you’ve spent most of your life researching, installing, and replacing windows and doors like we have, deciding on materials is overwhelming.

The purpose of this blog is to teach you about three materials: Fiberglass, Fibrex, and Vinyl. If you don’t have time to read further, know that Vision Windows is willing to install vinyl windows in Arizona, but we wholeheartedly recommend Fibrex and fiberglass!

I’ve heard of fiberglass, but what is Fibrex?

Fibrex is a patented composite material developed by Andersen Corporation, an American manufacturer of premium windows and doors. It is a blend of wood fiber and thermoplastic polymer, combining the best properties of both materials to create a durable and energy-efficient building material. As an Andersen Certified Contractor, Vision Windows has watched Fibrex VS vinyl over time. Fibrex is the clear winner. We recommend it for window replacements and for custom new home builds.

Here are some key characteristics and benefits of Fibrex:
1. Durability: Fibrex is highly resistant to fading, cracking, and warping, making it an excellent material for long-lasting windows and doors. Its sturdy nature ensures that it can withstand various weather conditions and maintain its structural integrity over time.
2. Energy Efficiency: One of the standout features of Fibrex is its exceptional energy efficiency. The material provides good insulation properties, helping to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. This efficiency can lead to energy cost savings by reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling.
3. Low Maintenance: Fibrex is virtually maintenance-free. Unlike some other materials, it doesn’t require frequent painting or sealing. Its color is integrated into the material during manufacturing, so you won’t have to worry about painting or refinishing over time.
4. Environmentally Friendly: Fibrex is a sustainable material, as it incorporates recycled wood fibers along with the polymer. This helps reduce waste and makes it an eco-friendly option for environmentally conscious homeowners.
5. Design Versatility: Andersen offers a wide range of design options with Fibrex, allowing you to customize your windows and doors to match your home’s architectural style and personal preferences. You can choose from various colors, finishes, and styles to enhance your home’s aesthetics.
6. High-Quality Windows and Doors: Fibrex is primarily used in the production of Andersen windows and doors. As a reputable manufacturer, Andersen ensures that their products meet high-quality standards, providing you with reliable and attractive windows and doors for your home.

Overall, Fibrex is a cutting-edge material that combines strength, energy efficiency, and environmental consciousness. It has become a popular choice for homeowners looking for reliable, low-maintenance, and aesthetically pleasing windows and doors that stand the test of time. If that’s you, check out our Gallery of Andersen Window installations in Arizona.

Difference between Fibrex, fiberglass and vinyl

Fibrex, fiberglass, and vinyl are different materials commonly used in the manufacturing of Windows and doors. Each material has its own set of characteristics and benefits, and understanding their differences can help you make an informed decision when choosing windows and doors for your home. Here’s a comparison:

• Fibrex: Proprietary material solely offered by Andersen Windows.
• Fiberglass: Offered by all the major window manufacturers like Andersen, Ply Gem,
Pella, JELD-WEN, Simonton, Milgard, and more, usually as part of their premium offerings. Vision Windows has relationships with all of them.
• Vinyl: Offered by all the major window manufacturers, usually as part of their entry- level, low-cost offerings.

Material Composition
• Fibrex: As mentioned earlier, Fibrex is a composite material made from a blend of wood fiber and thermoplastic polymer (usually PVC or polyvinyl chloride). The combination of these materials creates a durable and energy-efficient window frame.
• Vinyl: Vinyl windows, on the other hand, are made entirely of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material. PVC is a type of plastic known for its versatility and cost-effectiveness.

Strength and Durability
• Fibrex/Fiberglass: Known for their exceptional strength and durability. They are less prone to warping, cracking, and fading compared to other window frame materials.
• Vinyl: Vinyl windows are more susceptible to warping and expanding or contracting under extreme temperature fluctuations.

Energy Efficiency
• Fibrex/Fiberglass: Excellent energy efficiency due to its insulating properties. The combination of wood fibers and thermoplastic creates a material that helps keep the heat inside during winters and the cool air inside during summers.
• Vinyl: Vinyl windows are also energy efficient as long as they haven’t warped or broken. Also, they may not provide the same level of insulation.

• Fibrex/Fiberglass: Considered low maintenance since they don’t require painting or sealing. For Fibrex, the color is consistent throughout the material, so it won’t fade or peel over time.
• Vinyl: Exposure to harsh elements may cause the vinyl windows to fade or discolor over extended periods.

Design and Aesthetics
• Fibrex/Fiberglass: Wide range of design options and can be easily customized to match your home’s architectural style. They have a more premium and wood-like appearance, making it a popular choice for homeowners seeking a classic look.
• Vinyl: Vinyl windows come in various styles and colors but may not have the same wood-like appearance. They are available in a broad range of budget-friendly options.

Environmental Impact
• Fibrex/Fiberglass: Fibrex specifically is considered environmentally friendly due to its use of recycled wood fibers and its long-lasting nature.
• Vinyl: Vinyl is a type of plastic and is not as environmentally friendly.

In our expert opinion, Fibrex and Fiberglass “win” against vinyl in EVERY category EXCEPT cost. Vinyl windows cost less, which is why developers and builders choose them for large new-build communities. Unfortunately, vinyl windows can warp or break over time while making your A/C and heater work harder. On the other hand, Fibrex and Fiberglass do cost more, but as window experts, we know the price is worth the additional strength, energy efficiency, and aesthetics. The great news is that Vision Windows offers these premium products and installation at a non-premium price. In fact, we are known to install Andersen windows and doors for 30-40% less than other Andersen installers.

As the leading experts in replacement windows and doors in Mesa, Gilbert, and the surrounding Phoenix-Metro cities in Arizona, we provide tailored, affordable solutions with any window material and any window or door manufacturer. Check out our reviews, find us in a city near you, and schedule a free consultation with our experienced window and door installers to discuss the materials and products that are right for you.

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