Double-hung, bay, and round-top windows on a colonial brick home.

A St. Louis Homeowner’s Guide to Replacement Window Materials

Once you’ve determined it’s time for new windows, the next step is deciding what material to choose. The right choice depends on several factors, like the unique weather in St. Louis, the aesthetics and construction of your home, and your budget.

You have three primary options to consider when choosing materials: wood, fiberglass, or vinyl. We’ve compiled a simple guide to window materials so you can make an informed decision on which material is best for you.

Weighing the Pros & Cons of Vinyl, Fiberglass & Wood Windows

As with any home project, the materials you choose for replacements will significantly impact your windows’ looks, durability, and longevity. Check out your options below.

Wood Windows


  • Warm appearance
  • Natural aesthetic


  • Susceptible to rot, warping, and insect infestation
  • Expand and contract according to the weather
  • One of the most expensive options

The charming appearance of natural wood is hard to beat, but wood is difficult to maintain and will put a serious dent in your pocket. If you have any other questions about windows for your St. Louis home, contact the experts at Zen Windows St. Louis.

Call (314) 399-0856 or request a free online quote today.

Fiberglass Windows

A row of fiberglass windows on the back side of a green home.Pros:

  • Stronger than wood
  • Clean lines and appearance


  • Often weak in key places due to screw fastening
  • Not optimally watertight or airtight
  • Many require paint finishes that must be maintained

The main reason to choose fiberglass is for its polished look. However, their cost is quite high compared to their durability and maintenance needs.

Low-Quality Vinyl


  • Comparatively low cost
  • Recycled


  • “Plastic” appearance that chalks and fades
  • Low durability
  • High energy waste

When people refer to “vinyl windows,” recycled vinyl is a lower-quality material, and you should avoid it. While they’re affordable, they’re not particularly durable, and the reduced integrity of the recycled material will result in higher energy costs.

High-Quality Vinyl

New vinyl windows in a home with faux stucco facade.Pros:

  • A polished appearance that won’t fade
  • Greater glass-to-frame ratio for better viewing space and natural light
  • Greatest durability with no risk of warp, rot, or infestation


  • Slight expansion and contraction
  • Not usually paintable

High-quality vinyl windows will get you the greatest value for your investment in St. Louis. They offer high performance in terms of durability, energy efficiency, and appearance — and they require almost no upkeep to maintain their good looks.

The Right Choice for Your St. Louis Home

When it comes to window replacement in St. Louis, Zen Windows is the leading provider of high-quality vinyl windows that raise your curb appeal and maximize energy efficiency.

Want to learn more about our window offerings? Call (314) 399-0856 today or request your free quote online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions we frequently get about window replacements include:

What window material is the most energy-efficient?

Vinyl windows have enhanced insulating properties and don’t warp or deteriorate, making them highly energy-efficient. Other factors to consider for energy-efficient windows include ENERGY STAR® rating, the gas between the glass panes, the number of window panes, the U-factor, the SHGC rating, and pane spacer materials.

What makes a high-quality window?

High-quality windows are made from durable materials that are easy to maintain and last for many years. Double- or triple-glazed windows offer increased insulation and efficiency. The low-E reflective coating protects against UV damage and allows for increased heat retention.

What are the most durable window materials?

Vinyl windows won’t warp, rot, or risk infestation. They’re durable, energy-efficient windows that won’t fade and are easy to maintain.

How many years do vinyl windows last?

Depending on the climate, conditions, maintenance, and quality, vinyl windows last an average of 20 to 40 years.