Wood windows are the soundest option. They are structurally strong, weather well against the elements (many Shaker Heights homes still have their original windows, which are averaging 80 years old), and they allow flexibility with exterior and interior color schemes. Wood windows are also available with aluminium cladding on the exterior to increase weather resistance and lower maintenance.
The installation of vinyl windows can have a significant visual impact on a house. The color selections are limited and the frames of the windows are wider, as vinyl is not as strong as wood. The wide frames make the new windows look very heavy and can create an unbalanced proportion to the appearance of the house. Shop around. Window replacements, regardless of material, can be an expensive project. Paying a little more up front for quality materials, flexibility in color and increased details will ultimately add value to your home.
Vinyl windows are not permitted in local landmark properties or districts.