Vinyl windows have become so popular that whenever the topic of replacement windows comes up people automatically assume you’re talking about vinyl. That’s both a testament to what vinyl brings to the table and a commentary on how little folks remember about the positive qualities of the alternative materials; notably wood and aluminum. Because no matter how much market share vinyl gobbles up wood and aluminum windows are not yet obsolete and still have things going for them that might make them the right choice for your Toronto home.
Determining if Vinyl Windows are your Best Choice
Like many things that are wildly popular vinyl windows are neither as perfect as their proponents say they are nor as awful as their detractors claim. Fact is they’re perfect for many types of homes and maybe not so perfect for others. Below we’ll take a look at vinyl vs the main alternatives.
Wood was the window material of choice for hundreds of years but in the past few decades it’s seen its share of the window market drop precipitously. However, wood still has certain attributes some homeowners find irresistible and they include:
- It’s the genuine article.
- Wood is a great aesthetic fit for older homes
- New wood window frames compare favourably to vinyl in energy efficiency.
- Complete design freedom, including the ability to paint them whatever colour you choose.
Just as wood still has some attributes that make it a smart choice for some homeowners it’s not without its potential downside. Negative aspects of wooden window frames include:
- They rot and crack over time.
- They need a lot of attention.
- They tend to be less secure from break-ins.
- They’re expensive.
Aluminum were cutting edge for a while but saw their star fade like wood, with the ascendancy of vinyl. They still have some definite advantages over wood and vinyl though, including:
- They tend to be more durable than wood.
- They can be painted or powder-coated.
- They tend to be stronger than wood or vinyl.
- They’re lighter than wood or vinyl.
- They can be completely recycled.
Those are all good things but you know there have to be some drawbacks or aluminum would be the window material of choice instead of vinyl. Those drawbacks include:
- Aluminum tends to pit and can corrode over time.
- Aluminum windows are, unfortunately, great at conducting heat or cold.
- They are not as good at noise reduction as vinyl are.
- Tend to be more expensive.
And finally we come to vinyl, which, because of its extraordinary popularity doesn’t mind waiting to go last. That extraordinary popularity is based on the fact that vinyl replacement windows:
- Won’t fade, pit or rot over time.
- Are completely corrosion resistant.
- Are generally more attractive than aluminum.
- Are far more scratch resistant than aluminum.
- Provide some of the best energy efficiency ratings in the industry.
- Are virtually maintenance free unlike wood or aluminum.
- Are typically less expensive than aluminum or wood.
- Conduct virtually no heat or cold.
- Retain their finish for years.
But as we stated at the outset vinyl windows aren’t perfect. Some of their known vulnerabilities include:
- Thicker frames than aluminum or wood i.e. slightly smaller window panes.
- Typically not a great match for older homes, especially if you seek authenticity.
- You should be careful who you buy them from since the market is flooded with low quality knock offs from overseas.
With all they have going for them it’s pretty easy to see then why vinyl windows have made such inroads into the replacement window market. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of vinyl replacement windows call Toronto Doors and Windows today.