You may have noticed that at BM Windows, we only sell replacement windows with vinyl frames to our San Diego customers, while other companies offer replacement windows made with materials like aluminum or fiberglass. If you’ve ever wondered why we (and other San Diego replacement window companies) prefer vinyl windows over other types of windows, read on!
What Is Vinyl?
First of all, let’s start out by explaining what exactly vinyl is. Vinyl is short for Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC. It is a type of plastic that is used in a variety of building and construction materials including pipes, fencing, roofing, decking, and windows. It is a man-made material produced from ethylene and chlorine and is extremely versatile.
While “plastic” is a dirty word to some, vinyl isn’t your ordinary plastic. Quality vinyl is extremely durable and is recyclable. When its useful life is over, it can be melted down and reused, since it doesn’t lose its chemical characteristics. It also takes less energy to produce vinyl than some of the alternatives used in window frames, such as aluminum.
Why Is Vinyl Used for Window Frames?
Vinyl was first used in windows in Germany in 1954 as an alternative to wood (which was expensive) and aluminum (which was in short supply after World War II). Vinyl windows came to the United States in 1964 and gained popularity in the 1970s during the energy crisis, when homeowners were looking for ways to save on their home’s energy bills. Today, more than half of the windows sold in the United States are made with vinyl.
Vinyl is popular with homeowners for a variety of reasons. As alluded to above, it is a very energy-efficient material. Vinyl is a good insulator—not allowing much heat or cold to pass through from the outside. This helps homeowners save on their heating and cooling costs, while still allowing them to be comfortable in their homes. San Diego generally has a pretty mild climate, but we do get some hot days and cold nights. Having energy-efficient, vinyl windows in your home will allow you to use your heater and air conditioner less frequently. Or, if you don’t have air conditioning in your home, it will make the hottest part of your summer much more enjoyable by keeping it cool inside!
Vinyl also requires very little maintenance. Occasionally wiping down the frames with a little soapy water and keeping the weep holes free from debris is all the maintenance that is required to keep the window frames looking great. Quality vinyl won’t fade or yellow over time—even in direct sunlight. Conversely, if you go with windows that have wood frames, you will have to repaint or reseal them regularly to keep them in top condition. This is a time-consuming DIY project or an expensive project to pay someone to complete for you.
Another benefit of vinyl when used in windows is that it can be molded into just about any shape. In the replacement window industry, you’ll see vinyl windows that have frames with a more traditional looking brickmould design, a more modern block design, and others. At BM Windows, we can help you choose a frame style that will work well with the style of your home and your personal taste.
Your options are not just limited to the style of your vinyl window frames. You can also choose from a variety of colors! While white is by far the most popular color for window frames, you can also get frames in black, gray, tan, espresso, forest green, or a variety of other colors, depending on the window manufacturer you choose. Black window frames are becoming more and more popular as people remodel their homes into the popular “modern farmhouse” style. If you’re worried about a dark color fading over time, just know that the windows we sell at BM Windows come with a special solar reflective coating that will protect the color and also keep your house cooler.
Finally, in the “advantages of vinyl” column, vinyl windows are affordable! When compared to other materials, such as wood or fiberglass, vinyl is the clear winner when it comes to price. Of course, there is a wide range of prices, even among vinyl windows. The sales team at BM Windows can help you select a brand and line of windows that fits within your budget and still meets your needs.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Vinyl Windows?
When it comes to vinyl windows for San Diego homes, there are many advantages. However, there are a few things to keep in mind about vinyl. For example, vinyl cannot be painted, so you want to make sure you choose your frame color wisely. White never goes out of style, which is why most homeowners tend to choose this color. (White is also the color that comes standard with all replacement windows. Other colors may have an upgrade charge associated with them.)
Vinyl is also not the strongest material out there. This isn’t an issue unless you have a very large picture window in your home, which would require a stronger frame material, such as aluminum or fiberglass.
Finally, some people just prefer the look of a natural material like wood. This is especially true for people who have historic homes and want to stay true to the character of the home. A vinyl window might look out of place in a home from the 1920s. However, for the majority of homes in San Diego, vinyl windows are a great choice!
Is Vinyl the Best Choice for Replacement Windows in San Diego?
Based on the many benefits of vinyl, we think it is the best material for replacement windows for San Diego homes. That’s why we only sell vinyl. Vinyl windows just make sense for the vast majority of homeowners.
We would love to tell you more and provide you with a quote on new vinyl windows for your home! Contact us today to set up an in-home appointment with one of our replacement window experts. He or she can answer all your questions and help you select the best windows for your home based on your budget and needs.