I. Vinyl Windows
1. What are Vinyl Windows?
Vinyl windows feature frames that are made from poly-vinyl chloride (PVC). These windows emerged in the 1960s and have become incredibly popular in homes across the globe.
① Style of Vinyl Windows
Vinyl windows originally became popular because they offered an alternative to actual wood, which was in short supply after the Second World War. Some of the first vinyl windows featured bright striking colors, and many were designed to resemble painted wood.
These days, vinyl windows resemble wood so closely that many people struggle to tell them apart from the real thing. They maintain their color for many years and experience less frequent cracking problems than their earlier iterations.
② Types of Vinyl Windows
Vinyl windows come in a variety of styles. This includes:
③ How to Install Vinyl Windows
Installing vinyl windows is a straightforward process that is similar to that of other window types. It can be summarized in the following steps:
Clean the window opening and use a vacuum to remove dust and debris.
Apply some flashing tape along the sill and into the corners.
Check that your sill is level and isn’t bowing.
Dry-fit your window frame in the opening
Apply caulk along the interior head at the top of the frame.
Place your window in the opening so that it rests against interior stops.
Install the exterior trim around the window frame and seal the edges using latex caulk.
Add caulk along the window’s interior trim.
2. Vinyl Window Pros and Cons
① Advantages of Vinyl Windows
Vinyl windows offer many advantages over other window types. This includes:
As mentioned earlier, modern vinyl windows resemble wood closely. Actual wood is desirable in homes for its timeless rustic appearance. Vinyl windows do a great job of replicating this appearance, but also come in a wider variety of colors and styles.
Vinyl windows are known for being energy efficient. They often come with low-emissivity coated glass. However, their frames are often enhanced using foam and also come with warm-edge spacers. All these qualities help reduce heat transfer and how much light passes through.
Homes with vinyl windows remain cool during the summer, and retain heat during the winter. This helps you save on your energy bill.
Vinyl windows require little to no maintenance. They can withstand all kinds of conditions and remain virtually scratch-free for much of their life. They won’t need to be painted or stained like ordinary wood does. These windows need to be cleaned only occasionally to maintain their new appearance.
Vinyl windows also tend to be among the most affordable window types. They are usually cheaper than both wood and aluminum windows at most retailers.
One might assume this affordability comes at the expense of quality. However, vinyl is a durable material, so even the cheapest vinyl windows offer great value.
② Disadvantages of Vinyl Windows
The disadvantages of vinyl windows include:
Modern vinyl windows do resemble wood quite closely. However, they are still a type of plastic at the end of the day. Keen eyed observers will be able to tell the difference between vinyl and actual wood.
Such problems become a larger issue when adding vinyl windows to old homes. This is because the material cannot be stained or painted to match the interior.
Vinyl windows are made from PVC, which is considered one of the most harmful types of plastics. However, they make up for some of their environmental impact by being energy efficient.
Vinyl windows may start to warp or sage due to heat. This typically occurs for windows that are exposed to direct sunlight for long periods