Homeowners have no idea where to start when it’s time to shop for windows for their homes. Questions come up. Where do I start? Who do I know I can ask? Who do I trust?

And now, it is more important than ever to get the right product. Today, the median price for an Oahu home is $950,000 — and homeowners need to be frugal, but still make sure they’re getting the right product.


I’m Matt, the owner of Tropical, the largest window and siding replacement company in Hawaii. Now, 46 years later, I am considered the No. 1 expert in this industry. If you have questions, you can always ask me or my staff, and we will be glad to help. And, here are a few tips.

There are five main types of windows manufactured in the U.S. — wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass and vinyl. (And yes, you want to use a U.S.-manufactured product.) Which type is better? Let me break it down for you and give good reasons why one is better than the rest.


Wood windows look and seem wonderful at first glance. The downside is all wood windows are made of untreated clear wood. Hawaii has the worst termites and wood rot in the world, which means high maintenance is required, such as painting and staining. This explains why the wood windows are warrantied for only one year in Hawaii.



Steel windows were very popular in the 1940s, when stainless steel windows were being made. If that were the case today, this could be a good answer. However, stainless steel windows are not made due to cost. Regular steel does not hold up to Hawaii’s salt air. So, in today’s market, steel is a window of the past.


Aluminum is also becoming a product of the past. I, the 1970s and ’80s, alumi num was king. During that time, 68% of all residential replacement windows were aluminum, and during that time, almost all aluminum was anodized. Today, aluminum windows are only 12% of the market, and 98% of that work is on commercial buildings. This means costs doubled for a one-year warrantied product.


Fiberglass windows are new to the market, taking off in the last seven years. But, in Hawaii, we are unique in climate and experience. We have learned fiberglass is not long term. Fiberglass has been used for boats, Jacuzzis and surfboards — all need to be painted and constantly maintained. We have seen the sun and Hawaii’s salt air conditions deteriorate fiberglass. The warranties are spotty.



Vinyl is now king in the window industry nationwide. Vinyl is lifetime warrantied, but be careful because not all vinyl is the same. Good vinyl windows are made by the largest manufacturers with higher-quality manufacturing techniques. From all five window types, I recommend vinyl. That’s what I have in my home.

The recommendation on where to find the best vinyl windows at the best prices with the best installation is my company, Tropical. My son Mike or myself will be glad to help you install the best vinyl windows or siding in Hawaii. We are the home of “Vinyl is Final,” and have been serving Hawaii for 60 years. With more than 20,000 satisfied customers, you can trust your home to Tropical. The other option is come to our showroom at 1351 S. Beretania St. and see the difference.

CONTACT 808-263-1252 • 808-292-2942
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