The earliest windows used in American homes were wood casement windows. Single-hung and double-hung wooden windows became popular in the 1800s. Steel-framed windows entered the market with the Industrial Revolution, and aluminum windows gained a wider acceptance after WWII.
Both wood-framed and metal-framed windows remained popular for years, but then a new player entered the market. Vinyl windows were first introduced in the United States around 1960, and then eventually became a popular choice for home replacement windows in the 1970s. Today, vinyl windows make up more than half of the residential windows market share.
At first, vinyl replacement windows were slow to catch on in America. Vinyl is a form of plastic, and many folks had a hard time seeing plastic as a high-end material. They had been trained to believe that windows made with wood or metal would hold up better over time. Still, the fact that vinyl was a more energy-efficient material continued to generate interest.
The design and manufacturing technology for vinyl windows improved too, and homeowners came to see more and more benefits of choosing vinyl as a replacement solution for wood, steel, or aluminum windows. People came to understand that vinyl windows can be engineered to mimic the look and texture of other materials, they’re relatively simple to install, and they’re also much easier to maintain than other types of windows. Fast forward to the present day, and vinyl is now widely recognized as the most popular window framing material in the US.
Vinyl windows aren’t the only thing that’s popular. Vinyl siding happens to be the most popular siding material in America, too. And what’s the common denominator? Vinyl! When you stop to think about it, there’s really a lot to like about vinyl windows:
Modern vinyl window products come in practically every style you can imagine – architectural, special shapes, picture, awning, casement, slider, bow & bay, single-hung & double-hung vinyl windows, and more. The vinyl framing itself can be made with a smooth finish, or it can also be designed to include some more interesting texture, including that of wood grain. And having the look of wood without having to worry about the maintenance of wood is certainly an attractive feature!
Another benefit of vinyl is the fact that it can be produced in practically any color. Plus, the colors aren’t just painted onto the surface; they’re literally blended into the vinyl itself. The result of this approach is that vinyl is well-known for retaining its original color longer, and is less prone to fading from UV exposure. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about any chipping or peeling paint issues. In fact, vinyl windows typically don’t ever require repainting!
Since steel and aluminum are both metals, they’re also poor insulators as a result. Wood is certainly a better natural insulator than metal, but even wood doesn’t surpass the insulating performance of modern vinyl windows. In fact, vinyl frames offer something that wood frames don’t have – hollow cavities that can be filled with high-performing insulation. Vinyl windows with this type of insulation built in are actually thermally superior to wood windows. This extra insulation does more than just boost energy efficiency; it serves as a better buffer for external noise reduction, as well.
Here’s another key feature that attracts many to consider vinyl. Wood frames require a significant amount of maintenance, and even metal frames will generally need more maintenance over time than vinyl frames. While wood is threatened by termites and metal is prone to rust or deteriorate, vinyl isn’t threatened by pests or moisture.
We mentioned previously that installed vinyl windows typically don’t require any painting or staining. Should you ever decide that you would like to change the color at some point in the future, there are paints available which are specially designed to go on vinyl.
But what about periodic window cleaning? Vinyl is easy-maintenance in that regard, too. A little soap and water are generally all that’s ever needed to keep your vinyl looking good!
Of course, we also understand that price matters. And in that category, the advantage goes to vinyl as well. Among the major commercially-available window framing materials, vinyl tends to carry the lowest price tag. If that doesn’t grab your attention, we’re not sure what will! In addition, the benefits extend beyond the up-front purchase price of vinyl windows, too.
How does earning a federal tax credit sound? The IRS currently allows a credit for 10% of the cost of qualified energy efficiency improvements, including energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights. Many vinyl windows products meet the minimum requirements for this tax credit.
The improved energy efficiency of vinyl windows also means you’ll pay less for heating and cooling costs. Those savings really add up over time! The long-lasting durability of vinyl means your windows will continue to be a cost-effective solution for years to come. Vinyl windows take less effort to maintain, and they won’t need to be replaced anytime soon, either.
High-quality vinyl windows also typically carry an extensive warranty guaranteeing their quality of materials. In fact, leading replacement window product manufacturers will provide a Lifetime Limited Warranty for your windows. In some cases, that warranty even extends to the next homeowner who chooses to purchase your property!
Well, you still can! Just go with a vinyl & metal or vinyl & wood combination clad window. If you appreciate all the many benefits offered by vinyl, but would still like to have the look and features of wood or metal included, then a combination clad window is a fantastic solution. Many window contractors like to recommend vinyl/wood combination windows, because they apply the proven performance of vinyl to your home’s exterior and also add the look and feel of natural wood for your interior. Alternatively, you could choose a vinyl combination window which is clad with aluminum for the exterior, thus allowing you to benefit from the best of both worlds where those particular materials are concerned.
Skywalker Windows & Siding is thrilled to partner with several exceptional providers of vinyl window and clad window products, including Pella Windows, Windows by ProVia, West Window Corporation, and VinylMax Windows. No matter what type of vinyl window or combination window you’re looking for, Skywalker can get you exactly what you need.
But then, Skywalker Windows & Siding is about much more than just offering great products; we also provide the best quality of window installation services you’ll find anywhere in NC or VA! Nobody takes better care of you than Skywalker, and we’d love to have the opportunity to prove it!
We’re one of the highest-rated, most-awarded contractors serving the NC Piedmont Triad, NC Piedmont Triangle, Lake Norman area, and southern/southwestern VA region, and we’d be honored to serve your needs too. In addition to windows and siding replacement, we provide other valuable home improvement services like roofing, gutters, and porch & deck additions, too. Connect with us today by calling (336) 265-9595. Experience the Skywalker difference for yourself!
Luke Wilson started working on roofs with his dad when he was a teenager, and eventually launched Skywalker Roofing in 2003. Skywalker operates in 5 locations across NC & VA, and now includes windows, siding, and other exterior services. Luke also hosts the popular Roofing Mythbusters series on YouTube.
301 South Elm Streen, Ste 523, Greensboro, NC 27401, USA Call us at +1 (336) 850-0027
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1518 Carlisle Ave SE, Roanoke, VA 24014, USA
Call us at +1 (540) 212-7255
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