If you’ve shopped for replacement vinyl windows, you may have wondered: Are these going to be better than the cheap builder grade vinyl windows I have in my home now?
The answer depends on what type of replacement windows you’re considering for you home.
There are plenty of cheap vinyl replacement windows on the market now. Sure, they may have double pane glass, argon gas, and a coat of low-e (to reflect thermal energy), but cheap is cheap. The lowest tier vinyl windows are not built to last, and within a few years they may start leaking air, warping, bowing, and sagging… ultimately they may not perform any better than the cheap builder grade windows you’ve just replaced!
However, quality replacement vinyl windows are built to last, and come with features that you don’t get out of cheap builder grade windows. The best vinyl windows are reinforced—meaning that the structural load on the window frames and sashes on not just held by the vinyl itself, but but a type of reinforcement beam. Typically these reinforcement beams are made from fiberglass or metal, although some of the best vinyl windows use even stronger reinforcements made out of Kevlar®, which is stronger than steel, lighter than steel, and doesn’t conduct heat and cold.
Also, the best vinyl windows are foam-insulated, for the same reasons that you would insulate the walls of your home: to make it more energy-efficient. Cheap windows, including the builder grade windows you may have in your home, are typically just made of empty vinyl.
Finally, any builder grade windows are simply not built to last, and the manufacturers know this. That’s why they almost never come with a lifetime warranty—sometimes the warranty is only 2-5 years. But the best replacement windows from a reputable manufacturer will be warranted for life, including the glass!
Quality vinyl replacement windows are built to last. They’re made with parts and features that are just not offered in cheap builder grade windows. Simply put, they’re built to perform and to last a lifetime.