Buying and installing vinyl windows
Vinyl windows currently represent the largest market share in the world of window frames. There are many good reasons why new and vinyl replacement windows are so popular: they're easy to maintain, insulate your home very well, and vinyl window prices are among the lowest of any frame style.
Tips for Buying Vinyl Windows
Whether you're shopping for vinyl bay windows, vinyl bow windows or something smaller, you should know that these frames come in many more colors than white! It's a mistake many consumers make, given how nearly every vinyl window displayed in stores is white. They actually come in a complete array of colors, and you can easily get frames that match your home's existing color scheme. Also, beware of warranties that sound too good to be true. Read the fine print closely, and choose the product that offers the best combination of low price and value.
Vinyl window frames that have stronger seals are a much better buy than those with flimsy seals. It is well worth spending a few extra dollars on frames with good seals – they'll prevent moisture from leaking into your house, raising humidity levels, damaging your walls and fogging up your windows.
Finally, beware of poor-quality vinyl frames. Like wood windows, vinyl frames can easily be damaged if they're not of high quality.
You're better off investing in a thicker, sturdier product than you are saving a few bucks on an inferior frame. Watch especially for thin windows that have wide, thick frames – this is a common ploy that manufacturers of cheaper products use to try to fool your eye into thinking the frame is thicker and stronger than it really is.
Installing Vinyl Windows
When it comes to installing vinyl windows, there are a few tricks you should know about that probably aren't listed in your manufacturer's instructions.
First, if you've got hollow, lower-end vinyl frames, you can slip metal reinforcing rods inside them to give them a boost in durability and sturdiness. If you've got old nails hanging in the frame before you install the stops, pull them out and put new nails in their place. This will make it easier to place the frame properly.
Use shims to level any parts of the frame that may be uneven, and always make sure that window sashes are locked before you install the window if you've opted for double-hung windows. Finally, finish off by insulating the entire open area around the window frame and sealing it with caulk. If you purchase quality frames and install them properly, your vinyl windows should last for many years. They'll make an attractive addition to your home and withstand the elements season after season.