Vinyl Replacement Windows

Vinyl replacement windows account for over half of all window replacements sold in the United States last year. There are a number of reasons why vinyl dominates the replacement market, with the most important of them being price. We’ll explore the basics, costs, pros and cons of vinyl windows.

Vinyl Window Basics

There are a wide range of vinyl window options out there; from poorly made and designed windows to extrememly well made and performing windows. The low end manufacturers that use thin extrusions that can bow or warp in excess heat or through poor installation have given the vinyl window its less than stellar reputation. And while this continues to be the case, the newer advances in the industry have actually made the well made vinyl windows some of the best performing windows on the market – beating out wood clad and aluminum, as well as some of the fiberglass and composite frames.

Costs & Pricing

Vinyl replacement windows are relatively inexpensive compared with these other frame materials, which is a big reason for its success in the replacement market. Many consumers are familiar with Window World that offers a $189 installed price. Other the other end of the spectrum is say the Okna 800 that is priced out at $725 installed. In the middle of this range are companies like Milgard that offers their mid range Tuscany vinyl window for $425 installed. Consumers will typically get the best value in this mid range that combines a good frame and quality parts with good installation.

– Price Range: $190 to $725 fully installed –

Pros Of Vinyl Windows

Besides price, vinyl windows offers lots of options because there are so many manufacturers in the market. Some manufacturers can offer a number of exterior frame colors and/or finishes that provides homeowners with excellent choices (add color to the frame can add significant cost to the window, but may be worth it to the homeowner). Well made vinyl extrusions can create very strong corner welds that result in excellent performance numbers. The result is great energy savings that can add up to lots of savings over time. See our page on top ten vinyl windows to see our picks into the best in the business.

Cons Of Vinyl Windows

The big knock against vinyl windows has always been quality and aesthetics. On the quality side, the advances in vinyl extrusions in the past 15 years have made the initial problems with the quality and strength of vinyl a moot point. However, low end manufacturers (which there are many) can cut all sorts of corners to make a low priced and poor quality window that will have issues 5 to 7 years after installation. Buying from quality brands is therefore an important . On the aesthetics side, vinyl is and will probably always be rather uninspiring. However, it’s worth noting that once windows are installed, most homeowners pay them very little mind – until there is a problem.