Frame by Frame: A Comprehensive Guide to Vinyl and Wood Windows

When it comes to enhancing your home’s aesthetic appeal and energy efficiency, choosing the right windows plays a pivotal role. With so many options available, the decision can be overwhelming. Finding a comprehensive comparison of some of the leading window manufacturers — Andersen Windows, Marvin Windows, and Mathews Brothers — can help simplify the decision. 

Whether you are looking for traditional elegance, modern sophistication, or a blend of both, gaining a deeper understanding of the options available will help you navigate your options to make an informed decision.

Understanding Wood Windows


Windows made of wood, typically crafted from species like pine or Douglas fir, are timeless in their beauty and offer a classic look that fits with many architectural designs.

  • Their natural insulating properties contribute significantly to their energy efficiency, so they are particularly effective in temperature regulation. 
  • The ability to provide excellent thermal insulation means wood windows are adept at keeping homes warm in winter and cool in summer, which enhances overall comfort while potentially reducing energy costs.

However, wood windows can come with some special considerations that may impact a homeowner’s purchasing decision.

  • Wood windows are susceptible to wear and tear from the elements. From warping to rotting to insect damage, wood may not be as long-lasting compared to other materials, especially in locations with high humidity and frequent rainfall.
  • Wood windows require regular upkeep to maintain their charm and structural integrity. Repainting or staining will eventually be needed due to chipping and fading. In addition, regular inspections are necessary to check for damages — it is better to catch issues earlier rather than later to avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Pros and Cons


  • Traditional appearance
  • Customizable
  • Energy-efficient
  • Enhances home value


  • Higher maintenance
  • More expensive
  • Susceptible to weather damage

Understanding Vinyl Windows


Vinyl windows, constructed from durable polyvinyl chloride (PVC), have a more modern design and offer significant advantages in terms of maintenance and versatility. 

  • Vinyl windows are known for their low-maintenance requirements because they do not need painting or sealing and resist weathering and corrosion over time. 
  • Available in a diverse array of styles and finishes, vinyl windows can easily adapt to a wide range of home designs, from contemporary to traditional. 
  • They are typically more cost-effective than their wood counterparts for an economical option without compromising on quality or aesthetic appeal. 

Their affordability, combined with their durability and variety of design options, makes vinyl windows a popular choice for both new construction and renovation projects.

Pros and Cons


  • Cost-effective 
  • Low maintenance
  • Diverse styles


  • May not suit all home styles
  • Potential for fading over time
  • Lower energy efficiency compared to wood

Wood vs Vinyl Windows

When comparing wood and vinyl windows, several key differences emerge that are crucial for homeowners and builders to consider. These differences span aspects such as cost, maintenance, aesthetic appeal, energy efficiency, and durability.

Cost and Maintenance

  • Vinyl windows are generally more affordable than wood windows, both in terms of initial purchase price and long-term maintenance costs. They are known for their durability and resistance to elements like moisture and decay, which translates to minimal upkeep. 
  • In contrast, wood windows provide a high-end look and demand regular maintenance such as painting and sealing to protect against weathering and to maintain their appearance and functionality over time.

Aesthetic and Style

  • When it comes to aesthetic appeal, wood windows are a classic and traditional look that can greatly enhance the architectural charm of a home. They can be customized with different paints and stains to match the homeowner’s preferred style. 
  • Vinyl windows, on the other hand, provide a broader spectrum of style choices. They are available in various colors and finishes, making them suitable for a wide range of home designs from modern to traditional. However, they may lack the unique character and warmth that wood windows can add.

Energy Efficiency and Durability

  • In terms of energy efficiency, wood windows have a natural advantage. Their insulating properties help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, contributing to energy savings. Wood is also inherently strong and durable. However, more frequent upkeep is required to ensure durability and to protect the wood from environmental elements. 
  • Vinyl windows, while not as energy-efficient as wood, offer good insulation and are less susceptible to weather-related wear and tear. They provide a balance between durability and ease of maintenance, making them a practical choice for many homeowners.

Our Vinyl Brands: Andersen, Marvin, and  Mathews Brothers

Andersen Windows

The picture depicts a living room with a TV mounted above a fireplace and two chairs adjacent to the fireplace. There is a wooden coffee table with a bird statue on it and windows on both sides of the walls.


Andersen Windows presents an extensive range of window options to meet different needs and preferences. Their offerings include the E-Series, A-Series, 400 Series, 200 Series, and 100 Series.

Product Highlights

  • A-Series: A focus on performance and style that provides weather-resistant features
  • 400 Series: Known for its classic clad-wood craftsmanship, durability, and excellent performance
  • 200 Series: Provides value and performance with a focus on the most popular styles and sizes
  • 100 Series: Environmentally friendly, made from Fibrex® composite material, for durability and versatility

Marvin Windows

The picture depicts a large modern-style farmhouse painted white with slate roofing. There is a covered entryway and windows with black paneling. 


Marvin Windows stands out for its commitment to performance, aesthetics, and quality. Offering a range of products from traditional to contemporary designs, Marvin caters to various architectural needs, whether it’s residential, commercial, or coastal projects.

Product Lines

Marvin Signature® Collection

The Marvin Signature collection includes the Ultimate, Modern, and Coastline product lines, each characterized by high architectural precision and aesthetic appeal. This collection is designed to cater to diverse lifestyle needs and architectural designs.

  • Ultimate: The Ultimate line showcases wood interiors with choices for wood or aluminum-clad exteriors. It combines classic elegance with contemporary durability to give you the best of both worlds.
  • Modern: Modern windows are designed with a fiberglass exterior and a low-gloss aluminum interior, perfect for contemporary architectural styles.

Marvin Elevate® Collection

The Marvin Elevate collection balances style and performance. It combines warm wood interiors, which can be factory-finished, stained, or painted, with a fiberglass exterior. This collection is particularly suited for harsher climates due to its durability and thermal properties.

Marvin Essential™ Collection

The Marvin Essential collection is known for its clean lines, powerful performance, and low-maintenance design. It features strong and durable fiberglass exteriors and interiors and creates a streamlined and modern look.

Unique Features

Marvin windows are recognized for their expansive range, including classic double-hung and hurricane impact-rated products. They offer industry-leading sizes and innovative solutions that deliver virtually endless style options. Crafted with high-quality materials, Marvin windows allow mixing and matching across product lines to achieve any project’s desired form and function.

Mathews Brothers

The picture depicts a dining room with a wooden table, decorated with a potted orchid. Three black double-hung windows sit behind the table, and a glass sliding door leads to a covered deck.


Mathews Brothers is America’s oldest window manufacturer, founded in 1854. With a focus on durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic versatility, Mathews Brothers presents a compelling option for those considering vinyl windows.

Spencer Walcott Collection

This collection is designed to bring strength, energy efficiency and longevity to new construction, renovation, or replacement projects. 

Unique Features

Mathews Brothers has an unmatched reputation for delivering high-quality, secure windows. They are also:

  • Energy Efficient: All Mathews Brothers’ products are Energy-Star® rated, so you can be sure any window you choose is energy-efficient.
  • Durable: They are built to withstand harsh weather conditions to help ensure longevity and reliability.
  • Customizable: Matthews Brothers’ windows can be customized for new construction and replacement projects to ensure homeowners get the exact design they’re after.
  • Versatile Aesthetics: These windows are available in several different operating styles and have different frame, sash and hardware color options to fit any style preference. 

Making the Right Choice for Your Home

Consider your home’s style, climate, and budget when choosing between vinyl and wood windows. Each material has its unique advantages, and the right choice depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Koopman Lumber: Your Window Solution

If you’re working hard to select the right windows for your home, you don’t have to do it alone. Rely on the trusted experts at Koopman Lumber for all your window needs. 

Our team of dedicated professionals is ready to guide you in finding the perfect windows that combine style, durability, energy efficiency, and affordability to meet your home’s unique needs. Don’t compromise on your home’s appearance or comfort — get the best of both worlds!

Ready to get started? Contact us today for more information.

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Frame by Frame: A Comprehensive Guide to Vinyl and Wood Windows

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