Homeowners must consider several factors when it comes time to get new windows, including whether they should be wood, vinyl, or another type of material. While improving the appearance of the home and improving re-sale value are certainly important, homeowners also need to think about energy efficiency, maintenance, cost, and quality. Vinyl has clear advantages in each of these categories.
Vinyl Windows Are Easier on the Budget
Not only is the initial purchase of vinyl windows less expensive than wood, these types of windows cost less to maintain as well. They also save homeowners considerable time because they don’t have to paint, stain or refurbish them like would need to do with any high-quality wood. According to Replacement Window Advisor, the cost of windows made from a wood-based material is up to three times higher than vinyl windows.
Homeowners might assume that expensive woods would last longer than vinyl, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, virgin vinyl windows traditionally outlast those made from wood or metal. One reason for this is that the frame corners of a vinyl sash window remain air-tight after welding. It’s extremely challenging to achieve the same level of air-tightness with metal or wood corners because they are joined mechanically. This is true even when the installer caulks the metal or wood-based window due to the deterioration of caulking material.
Another problem with windows made from wood is that the material will deteriorate over time due to moisture build-up. Moisture can cause a break-down of the finish, which in turn can seep into the window and cause several types of problems. The most common ones include discoloration, rotting, warping, and a poor fit.
Better Energy Efficiency
Homeowners are often surprised to learn that vinyl windows have a high number of insulating properties. That is because the primary material used to create vinyl windows is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a type of plastic. PVC consistently has a high R-value, which means that it prevents heat from escaping during the colder months while also keeping it out of the home during the warmer months. Homeowners can achieve even greater energy efficiency by installing doubled-paned glass infused with Argon gas and Low-E.
As mentioned above, windows made from wood products will eventually require painting, staining, or refurbishing. By contrast, vinyl windows are almost completely free of maintenance requirements. Periodic cleaning with soap and water should keep the vinyl windows in excellent condition for years to come.
More Customization Options
Homeowners can order their new vinyl windows in the exact measurements they need, whether they have a small peek-hole window or a large picture window. Manufacturers can be so precise with creating made-to-order windows that they come in increments of one-eighth of an inch. They also have numerous color options available with vinyl windows whereas the color options for wood and other materials is quite limited.
While a style upgrade may be the main reason homeowners choose vinyl windows, they will soon discover this product offers numerous other benefits as well.