GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Black window questions

tech1234 | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Hi, everyone! I am in the planning stages for my 2nd Net Zero house build (southern NH) and the wife is very much stuck on the popular white farm house with black windows (and metal roof) look. I’ve heard rumors of black windows having longevity and efficiency issues when compared to their lighter colored alternatives. Is there any truth to this? Anyone have an long term info they could share?

warping? fading? 

vinyl seems like it would be the most affected choice but that is my usual go to…

Any info would be appreciated.


GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. walta100 | | #1

    There is a wide variety of windows on the market today made from different materials.

    Would I consider a darkly colored vinyl windows NO just too risky for me vinyl softens at such a low temp.

    Would I consider a darkly colored fiberglass or wood windows YES


  2. morganparis | | #2

    We have an installation of Marvin's pultruded fiberglass windows in black that's now about 8 years old - still in great shape.

  3. Phimnoi | | #3

    I took a very deep dive into this subject last year discovered that fibreglass is the way to go… bought 12 custom made windows from Duxton in Winnipeg and we’re really happy with the results. The ordering process was very smooth the windows were at my door within 3 weeks of placing the order.

  4. Expert Member


    As Walta, James and Roland have said: the problem is restricted to vinyl windows. Avoid them and you are fine.

    That said, I built a house about five years ago on which the owner insisted on using the one company that was then willing to supply a black coating on vinyl frames and it's been fine.

  5. tech1234 | | #5

    Thanks everyone for the info. Confirmed my suspicions

  6. PBP1 | | #6

    Black widows are bad 😁 be suspicious.

    I have dark brown exterior fiberglass with white interior by Pella, they are OK. No problems yet.

  7. Expert Member
    Akos | | #7

    I've been living pretty dark grey uPVC windows for a while and have had no issues. These are tilt and turns which have steel reinforcement which helps a great deal. The color has feed a bit in 8 years but that is about it.

    Regular black North American PVC ones can be problematic especially casement units. I've had issues where west facing window was left open in the sun and had a hard time closing it at the end of the day. Fixed seems to be no problem (at least in the short term).

    Overall, black PVC windows are not a new thing, they have been around a while now and are not failing at an alarming rate. You'll see more creep and deformation in the plastic frame over time, my guess is they won't last as long as a lighter color.

  8. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #8

    I have anodized aluminum cladding, seems to work fine.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |