The overall value of the windows industry in the United States has been on an upward trend of late.
If you’re just looking for some new double-hung windows for your house, this might not bother you much. However, there is one market trend you’ll have to consider; the growing “vinyl vs wood windows” debate.
Read on as we look at the benefits of each, and which is likely to be more suitable for you.
What Are Double Hung Windows?
Double hung windows are essentially a doubling up of single hung windows, as you may have guessed from the name.
With a single hung window, one sash pops out when you open the window. With a double hung window, two pop out.
To put it another way, a double hung window can open from both the bottom and the top, while a single hung window can only open from one or the other.
If you’re thinking of replacing your windows, there are a number of reasons why you should consider double hung. There are advantages they offer over single hung windows.
Double hung windows are more energy-efficient and more secure than single hung windows. They also allow for greater air circulation, as they have two openings.
Vinyl vs Wood Windows
Traditionally, all windows were made of wood. Vinyl (or PVC) windows are a relatively recent innovation, but one that has taken the world of windows by storm.
Vinyl is made from a laboratory mix of ethylene and chlorine. This mixture undergoes a conversion at high temperatures, before being polymerized.
Before it can be used in vinyl windows, PVC must be mixed with additives known as plasticizers. These make the material more malleable, and also offer greater protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The following are some factors you should consider when choosing between vinyl and wood windows.
This is one area in which vinyl windows hold a clear advantage. They generally cost much less to install than windows made of wood, or of any other material.
The main reason for this is that vinyl is easier to work with than other materials. This means that labor costs are lower than they are with other materials.
Experts estimate that the average difference in price between vinyl and wood windows maybe around 18%. If you want to install double hung windows in every room in your house, that will amount to a significant saving.
If you do go for wood windows, the price you pay will depend on the type of wood you use. Common varieties like pine will come relatively cheaply, but premium wood types, like mahogany, will cost significantly more.
Vinyl also offers better insulation than wood. This will save you money on heating expenses over longer periods. It also lowers your carbon footprint, which is good news for those of you who like to minimize their environmental impact.
Obviously, there is a large degree of subjectivity here. What one person considers a beautiful window may be ugly to someone else.
Traditionally, one of vinyl’s drawbacks was the perception that it was not as attractive as wood. People felt that it was worth spending extra money and committing to extra maintenance in order to have the look of natural wood in their windows.
With advances in techniques, however, this is no longer such a big issue. Vinyl can now be made to resemble wood. While it is never possible to fully emulate the appearance of natural wood, it is usually close enough that the untrained observer would not notice a difference.
Vinyl is also becoming increasingly versatile in terms of styles and colors. Our skilled fitters will be able to work with you to create the aesthetic you want for your windows.
Vinyl windows are very durable compared to alternatives. Despite their low cost, they offer effective resistance against corrosion and oxidation.
Wood has long been renowned as a durable material for window replacement. However, because wood is a natural material, it is susceptible to decay. This is particularly true in areas with extreme weather conditions, like heatwaves or hurricanes.
Vinyl, on the other hand, does not have this problem. Vinyl doesn’t need to be repainted, it doesn’t fade over time, and it won’t begin to peel. It is, for the most part, weather-resistant.
This means that vinyl windows typically survive for long periods, as long as they are not negligently or deliberately damaged. Some experts say that quality vinyl windows should last for up to 20 years.
Wood windows require a reasonable amount of maintenance. They will have to be painted or varnished every so often to prevent them from breaking down.
Other than cleaning, quality vinyl windows don’t require maintenance. Simply have them installed and let them do their thing!
What Is ProVia?
At STL Windows and Doors, we take pride in distributing and installing ProVia window frames and doors for our clients.
ProVia is a nationally recognized manufacturer of windows and doors that have been in business for over 40 years.
As well as double hung windows, we will install ProVia-made awnings, casement windows, slider windows, bay windows, bow windows, picture windows, and garden windows. We also offer ProVia exterior doors.
Making the Most of Your New Windows
The “vinyl vs wood windows” debate is likely to rage on for a while to come. However, as long as you get a set of windows that meet your needs, that’s all that matters.
If you’d like to inquire about our window installation services, or you have any questions at all about what we do, contact us today for a free estimate.