Pros and Cons of Vinyl Replacement Windows
You’d swear you need to be a weightlifter to pull up the sashes of your old wood windows. It shouldn’t be this hard to open your windows!
And in the winter when there’s a stiff wind outside you can even see your curtains on the inside moving. Then you’re forced to nag your spouse to install those rickety storm windows which are taking up too much room in your garage today. The thought of them climbing ladders to put storm window in, is an accident waiting to happen.
Right now, it’s simple to describe your window situation….
Your old windows are a pain in the rear!
You’ve vowed to replace these windows even if it’s the last thing you do.
You want new, energy-efficient windows to cut your crazy-high utility bills.
You want a window which WON’T cost you an arm and a leg yet will be simple to maintain.
And finally, you’d like a window which adds to the style and curb-appeal of your home (hey- if you wanted ugly windows, you’d just stick with what you have today).
Your research has lead you to wood and vinyl replacement windows as your top 2 options to FINALLY upgrade your Cleveland or Columbus Ohio home (or your home in any area of the country for that matter).
However, before ‘signing on the bottom line’ with any replacement window contractor you need to make sure you know the pros and cons of wood and vinyl replacement windows. And in this article my goal is to focus on just that – the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl replacement windows.
And while I only sell vinyl windows through my Cleveland Window and Clear Choice Window and Door divisions (in Columbus), I’m man enough to tell you vinyl replacement windows ARE NOT the best solution for every project (believe it or not).
Read below to get the straight scoop on where to use vinyl windows – and where you’ll be better off with wood windows. At the end I’m going to ask you if you’re leaning more towards wood or vinyl windows for your home.
Pros of Vinyl Replacement Windows
Here’s the reasons vinyl replacement windows make up over 52% of all residential windows sold today.
Pro #1 – Vinyl replacement windows cost less than wood windows and retain more of their value (giving you a better return on investment)
According to the 2020 Cost to Value Study done by the Remodeling Association, wood windows cost 16% more than vinyl replacement windows and hold 5% less value than their vinyl counterparts.
So, if return on investment and resale value are important to you, you’ll be glad to know the vinyl replacement windows give you the biggest bang for your bucks.
Pro #2 – Vinyl windows are super-simple to clean
Dirt and dust can be wiped off vinyl windows with soap and water.
And when you choose a tilt in double hung window, awning or tilt in slider window – the sashes will ‘come to you’ for cleaning. You won’t have to climb onto a ladder and risk a fall doing this ‘tasty cleaning task’ on the outside of your home.
Pro #3 – You’ll reduce your heating and cooling bills with vinyl replacement windows
Vinyl windows won’t rot – like wood windows – or rust, like metal windows. And since vinyl doesn’t transfer heat or cold from the outside, they’ll also work well to cut your utility bills.
And if you want to take your energy efficiency to the next level, upgrade your windows with an Argon or triple pane insulated glass package.
Pro #4 – With vinyl framed replacement windows you can choose from a wide range of colors and wood-looks. You’ll NEVER need to repaint or re-stain
If getting out your paint brushes is as much fun as a trip to the Dentist (sorry about this comment Dr. Marsh), I get it. And painting around window frames and sashes IS NOT as ‘easy-peasy’ as slapping paint onto your walls with a roller.
So, if painting isn’t your favorite activity, you’ll want to give the vinyl replacement window option a ‘gold star’ (or advantage) in making your lifer simpler. You see you’ll NEVER (OK – I’ll say that again – NEVER) have to repaint or re-stain vinyl windows. On the other hand, it’s recommended to get your paint brushes out every 4 years to redo your wood windows (AS IF – that’s EVER going to happen – unless you have A LOT of spare time on your hands – which I’m sure describes nobody!).
Pro #5 – Vinyl windows are unlikely to crack or dent
Since better quality vinyl windows have fusion welded frames with multiple chambers, it’s difficult for them to crack or be dented. Wood windows are more prone to these problems.
Cons of Vinyl Replacement Windows
While vinyl replacement windows are often a sound choice – they do (like you and I…sorry to break it to you) have their weaknesses. Here’s 4 ‘cons’ of vinyl replacement windows you should know to make an informed buying decision.
Con #1 – Vinyl windows don’t have the ‘character’ or trim options of wood windows
While there have been many advancements in color, pattern, and vinyl window shapes, they’re still not as ‘architecturally correct’ as the ‘original McCoy’ – the wood window.
Besides if you live in a historical preservation district –your building department may stop you from using a vinyl window – no matter how nice the product is.
Image Source: www.reahhomes.com
Con #2 – You can’t change the color or look of a vinyl window if you exterior or interior décor changes
While most of us HATE, HATE, HATE taking out paint brushes there are times when they come in handy. And those times are when your spouse (or partner) utters those frightening words…… “Honey, I have the urge to redecorate!”
I know those words may send chills down your spine (and create a draining sensation in your wallet), but when the decor needs to change (at least according to your partner), it’s nice to know you have the flexibility to repaint or re-stain your windows. With wood windows you can paint and repaint to your hearts content …or to your spouse’s hearts content.
Con #3 – You won’t get limitless color and staining options with vinyl replacement windows
While I work with 2 very fine vinyl replacement window manufacturers (Polaris and ProVia) who combined offer over 70 colors and stains, they still do not (nor will they ever) offer every color of the rainbow which can be thought up by the color designers at Sherwin Williams and his ‘buddy’ Benjamin Moore.
With wood windows – if a paint or stain manufacturer can think the color up, you can use them to color match to your walls, floors, or exterior siding.
Image Source: www.brennancorp.com
Con #4 – Vinyl windows are a ‘relative’ newcomer on the ‘window’ block
Wood windows are the ‘granddaddy’ of replacement windows. They became popular in residential homes all the way back to the 17th century in England.
Vinyl windows – on the other hand – where invented in Germany in 1954 and introduced in the United States in 1964.
However, while vinyl windows may be a ‘puppy’ compared to wood, they’re still the dominant window type in residential homes with over 52% share of the market. Vinyl windows are stylish, energy-efficient and will save you money.
So, where do you stand on vinyl replacement windows?
After reading the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl replacement windows vs. wood windows which one do you feel is better for your home? Add your ‘2 cents’ in the comments section below.
Can my company answer more questions about vinyl replacement windows or offer Free Design Consultation for your Cleveland or Columbus Ohio home?
While I’ve covered basic pros and cons of vinyl replacement windows, I know this article doesn’t cover all the questions you have about the right type, size and (most importantly) the cost of your project.
However, if you’re in Cleveland or Columbus Ohio – we’d love to help you further with window supply and professional installation. Call us in Cleveland at 216-531-4118 or in Columbus at 614-545-6886 to get answers to your questions and/or to schedule a Free in-home design consultation (and no – our sales team ARE NOT obnoxious ‘Tin-Man-esque’ home improvement salespeople. You won’t want to throw them out of your home at the end of the waaaay too long appointment).
And lastly if you’re a remodeler or builder and want advice on remodeling products, industry trends, marketing and sales tips to grow your business (and cut day to day hassles), read my newest blog – Innovate Builders Blog. It’s packed with ideas you can use now. Click here to Sign Up for the Innovate Builders Blog.
If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn, go to @MikeFotiLinkedIn.
Thanks for reading – Mike