If you are in the market for window frames, then you have probably been trying to decide whether you want wood or vinyl, To help you make a more informed decision, here is a comparison of the two with regards to several key areas.
Wood frames are of course made of organic wood, while vinyl frames are more synthetic in nature. With wood, you have a variety of tree types that you can choose from, each of which have different levels of strength and appearances. However, vinyl can simulate those differences and create a pretty convincing wooden appearance if you so desire.
In general, vinyl is going to be easier and cheaper to install than wood. Wood can warp and inflate over time as it is exposed to changes in heat and moisture. On top of that, wood is always in danger of a termite infestation. Therefore, wood requires a fairly comprehensive sealing process in order to protect it in the long term. Vinyl doesn't require such complex measures and is therefore much simpler and faster to install.
Wood might need to be resealed over time, and you need to pay careful attention to how the wood rests in the window. If it does warp, then the insulating properties of the window may be severely compromised. Vinyl does not have such problems and requires very little maintenance.
Wood and vinyl offer similar insulating capability as long as the wood is properly fitted and sealed. While some woods may be especially sturdy and strong insulators, most wood or vinyl windows will be sufficient to preserve the temperature of your home.
In this category, some people might opt for wood over vinyl, either for the texture or appearance. In turn, this increased aesthetic value of wood may also elevate the value of your house if you do plan on selling it. The very fact that your home has wooden window frames may be enough to tempt buyers.
The cost of the two can be fairly close, but it depends entirely on the type of wood that is used. As far as materials go, some types of wood are much stronger and more durable than vinyl, and will cost quite a bit more. However, the price of installation will almost always favor vinyl due to the reasons listed above. In many situations, you might find that the overall prices between vinyl and wood are somewhat even, and you should thus make your decision based on long-term plans and aesthetic interests.