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A Guide to Vinyl Windows

If you've been thinking about buying vinyl windows, you're in good company. Vinyl replacement windows are the most requested and purchased window variety. As a result, there are countless styles, companies and manufacturers. How then do you begin searching for and ultimately getting the best vinyl windows for your home? This online guide to vinyl windows can help you search for new replacement windows and give you information on the most sought after topics such as -- vinyl windows prices, manufacturers, reviews, ratings, installation, pros and cons, colors, and online vs. local retail shopping.

Vinyl Windows - More Than Price

A major appeal of vinyl windows is there affordable price. Usually, the cost of vinyl windows is lower than most other window types. However, a better price alone has not made vinyl windows the front runner that it is. Over the years, vinyl windows' popularity has grown for a number of reasons in addition to economy. Quality manufacturing is a significant factor in their exceptional reputation.

Many variables can either increase or reduce the price of vinyl windows. For example, here are some preliminary questions that can help you zero-in on a price range.

  • How many vinyl windows are you replacing?
  • What vinyl window manufacturer, distributor or company are you choosing?
  • What size, measurements or dimensions do you need?
  • What quality of vinyl window do you want?
  • Are you buying vinyl windows online or locally?
  • How complicated and time-consuming will installation be?
  • Are you buying standard vinyl windows or custom?
  • What style window are you opting for?

Vinyl Window Manufacturers and Companies

Vinyl window manufacturers and companies stay in business largely based on the merit of their products and services. When window manufacturers such as Andersen Windows (often misspelled "Anderson") stake their 100 year plus reputation on making and selling vinyl windows, their valued customers can be assured that vinyl windows offer quality.

You may have heard of some of the other window manufacturing giants and who sell vinyl windows such as Pella, Milgard, Jeld Wen, and Menards. You will may also find that these brands are carried at your local retails stores like Home Depot, Lowe's or Sears.

Even if you're leaning toward a century old company like Andersen Windows or a smaller boutique manufacturer, company or distributor, it is always a smart and cost-effective practice to do homework on them before purchasing your new vinyl replacement windows.

Window Reviews and Ratings

The Internet has transformed not only the nature of shopping for specific windows like vinyl, but shopping in general. Even the most respected companies cannot vie for customers' attention if they do not have, at least, a website.

Getting attention and favorable online reviews and ratings is key to a vinyl window company's success. That said, as a consumer how do you find reliable pro-consumer sources to assist you in finding the best vinyl replacement windows? Two resources that are trusted and have existed for many years are the publication "Consumer Reports" and the Better Business Bureau.

When researching replacement vinyl windows, there seem to be a countless number of places to look including manufacturer websites, advertisements, independent blogs, how-to or DIY sites and news services. How do you separate hype from solid information? A tip is that most noteworthy websites, publications or news sources have been in business for a number of years, have a reputation and can back up their claims with verifiable sources.

Moreover, common sense and "gut instinct" go along way. Additionally, vinyl window companies that offer written guarantees and warranties can be more readily trusted. Also, reviewers that recommend replacement windows companies that offer these assurances are more believable. A standard rule is - the best vinyl window manufacturers and companies back up their products and adhere to the adage "the customer is always right."

Installing Vinyl Windows - Professional vs. DIY

How difficult your new vinyl windows are to install will depend on whether you do it yourself or use a window professional. What style or type of window you choose will also affect installation. More common window varieties like double or single hung vinyl windows are typically easier to install, The more customized your home windows are could increase the cost of installing them. Whatever the type of vinyl window you choose (for instance: casement, awning, glass block, sliding or bay windows), you'll want to get an installation estimate in advance.

Doing installation yourself may seem like a money-saving idea unless you aren't particularly adept or experienced with window installation. The object is to have your new replacement windows installed accurately and done well. Beware of DIY or fix-it websites that may oversimplify the installation process. If you are stuck with ill-fitting or unfinished vinyl windows, you could end up losing money and instead paying much more than originally planned.

Type of Window

Vinyl window installation, even for the most common window types (i.e., single or double-hung) requires several steps. First, you will have to remove your existing window and its inside trim. This will leave a rough opening. Secondly, you will need to accurately measure the height and width of that opening. Calking, trimming, cleaning and fixing damage to the window opening should follow. If these terms and procedures seem foreign to you, it is recommended that you use a window replacement expert who could lower the price and save you time and headaches.

The Right Size

In spite of the fact that vinyl windows are abundant, ordering the right replacement vinyl window is not always possible. Where the process becomes critical is matching the dimensions of your new vinyl windows so that they fit the original opening. If you don't, leaks and damage could ensue. You want to purchase your windows so they can be installed without delays which cost you money and aggravation.

Other Installation Considerations

The task of installing one replacement vinyl windows may seem manageable, but what about many or for your entire home? When considering vinyl window installation, take into account the total number of windows you plan to have installed.

Estimating the measurements and total sizes of one or many vinyl windows will figure into the installation process. If you choose vinyl windows that are readily available and popular, the installation job could go faster than with customized windows that have special dimensions and are uncommon window styles.

The size or measurements of your new vinyl replacement windows can influence the price. On the other hand, larger windows that are more available may cost less than smaller, rarer or customized vinyl windows. How complicated your vinyl windows installation is could also change the cost of replacing them.

Where you live and the sort of weather your home is subjected to may affect not only the installation and price of your new replacement vinyl windows but also the kind of windows you choose.

Vinyl Replacement Windows Pros and Cons

Life is full of positives and negatives. Depending on the circumstance, weighing the pros and cons can be crucial or of little consequence. In the case of buying replacement vinyl windows, it ranks high as your decision will affect the comfort, value and safety of your home for years to come. Keeping this in mind, it may help to know that many other window shoppers have placed their faith in vinyl windows. In fact, it is estimated that that close to half of all replacement windows sold in the United States are made from vinyl!

Pros or Benefits

Vinyl windows have become the superstar of windows in recent years for many reasons. Here is a primary list of vinyl windows benefits:

  • Need no painting
  • Require low to no maintenance
  • Have more affordable pricing
  • Are scratch resistant
  • Reduce cooling and heating costs
  • Are long-lasting
  • Are fully customizable
  • Come in a wide variety of colors
  • Offer easier installation

True, vinyl windows have many positive attributes and still, they are not for everyone. Many people continue to favor aluminum and wood. A number of window buyers prefer lesser-known window materials such as fiberglass, steel, or composite instead. It can help in your decision making process to know whether the positives of vinyl windows outweigh the drawbacks.

Vinyl Windows Cons:

There are a few downsides to vinyl windows. They...

  • Fade over time
  • Are not as strong as wood (but can be made more durable with a wood frame inside an aluminum or vinyl shell/cladding)
  • Are thicker or chunkier than other window types
  • Have a more plastic look or texture
  • Aren't designed to be painted
  • Provide less insulation than wood

Maybe you're still on the fence about the pros and cons of vinyl windows. Perhaps, it's because you like a more traditional material like wood. However, you can order vinyl windows with a wood grain overlay. Yes, vinyl windows aren't meant for paint, but they come in a myriad of colors. The color permeates the vinyl so scratches and damage are virtually invisible.

Comparing the vinyl window pros and cons will assist you in choosing the windows that best suit your home, budget and overall satisfaction.

Vinyl Windows Online

Local home improvement stores have popped up just about everywhere. Most people want quality vinyl windows and also convenience. It's natural to think the local Home Depot or Lowe's is the perfect place to get both. After all, isn't proximity going to be the easiest, cost-effective way to take advantage of excellent deals and prices on vinyl windows? Not necessarily.

The good news about shopping for vinyl windows is their multitude of sizes, shapes and styles. The bad news is that, generally, even larger chains like Home Depot or Lowe's may not stock replacement vinyl windows in the sizes you need. So, if you're searching for a particular window size or type, you may be disappointed and hard-pressed to get what you want at your local retail outlet.

Quotes and Estimates

The Internet has made shopping easier and given consumers more clout. Free online quotes and estimates are readily available to help with comparison shopping. Greater competition means a lower price for new vinyl replacement windows. Many think the price of new vinyl windows will be out of their budget. The freedom of free quotes gives you, the buyer, greater opportunity to explore your options - without obligation.

You have everything to gain with free online quotes and estimates. You could also be pleasantly surprised to learn that new vinyl windows are well within your price range. Comparison shopping online has increasingly become favored and highly regarded because it offers wider selection, caters to your schedule and can be done from the comfort of your home.

To find the best Vinyl Window prices, options, discounts, and special offers, take a moment to fill out the brief form located on this page and we will assist you.