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Vinyl Is the Ideal Replacement Window Material In Indiana

Feb 20, 2021

When it comes to replacing your South Bend home’s windows, it’s important to be aware of the types of window materials on the market. Because window replacements are a significant investment, it pays to be sure that you choose the right material for your home that will last the longest in your climate. The main options for window materials are vinyl, wood, and aluminum. Each of these options has its own benefits and weak spots, but no matter your home style or budget, there is a window replacement option that’s right for you.

Wood

Wood windows are classic. Because the material has been used in homes for centuries, wood window replacements are a go-to for people with older homes. Generally speaking, wood is a fairly sound choice, especially if you’re committed to taking proper care of them. The material needs to be stained every three or four years to increase its longevity, and any cracks that occur can leave you vulnerable to outside heat or cold.

However, if cared for correctly, wood window frames are long-lasting options, with lifespans that extend far beyond other options. Because of this, the upfront cost for wood windows is likely to be higher, but it’s also less likely that your windows will need to be replaced again anytime soon.

Wood windows are also more customizable, as there are infinite possibilities for wood stain and paint colors. Do be advised, however, that wood windows need more customization than other options. Many options will need to be sanded precisely and made to fit individually to each window. There is no room for error in sizing this material to fit your home, so installation is complex.

If you’re looking for DIY window installation for your South Bend home, wood is not the way to go. It’s also worth noting that wood windows are heavier than those made of other materials. This adds difficulty to the installation process, but it also means that they certainly aren’t right for all homes. Some older homes may have more fragile framing and foundation, in which case the added weight of wood windows may put too much strain on your home and cause issues. A good contractor will be able to tell you if this is the case.

Aluminum

Aluminum frames are clear winners when it comes to strength. Where vinyl and wood have a hard time supporting extra-large window panes, aluminum has no problem. You will often see these frames in sunrooms, porches, and four-season patios, as the windows in these locations are often larger and require more support. If you have vaulted ceilings that sport large, airy windows, aluminum is often the best replacement choice for window frames. These frames are also fantastic for high wind and/or hurricane climates, where the pressure from the wind gusts could bend or break weaker materials. However, be aware that though aluminum is strong when it comes to holding large panes of glass, the material itself does dent, scratch, and corrode. If you want the aluminum frames to match your home, which most people do, you’ll likely need to paint and repaint them. Unlike vinyl, aluminum can’t be dyed or manufactured in different colors, necessitating paint jobs and upkeep. However, because they hold paint, it’s easy to customize these frames to match your home’s exact color scheme.

Vinyl

Vinyl windows are the most economical window replacement option, with each window costing about 30% less than aluminum and 15% less than wood. Vinyl windows provide strong insulation, making them ideal for families looking to improve their home’s draftiness. The frames are also incredibly lightweight and do well in older homes where weight may affect the building’s structural integrity.

Because vinyl is manufactured with color already infused into the material, there is no need for color upkeep. Vinyl cannot be painted at all. These windows do not warp or rust and do not need to be sanded or cut after installation. Cracks or dents are uncommon, and the material is easy to clean and maintain.

However, vinyl windows have approximately half the lifespan of high-quality wood windows. Where some other materials will last for over 40 years, vinyl windows typically last about 20. However, the upfront cost is less, and the perks are numerous.

The Best Overall Choice

Though every South Bend home is different, vinyl is generally the best choice for most homes. Because the windows are lightweight and easy to install, installation prices are lower, and many people can even install the windows themselves. Their resistance to UV light and extreme temperatures make them versatile, and they perform well in any climate. Due to their impressive seals, many vinyl windows are Energy Star-rated and can significantly cut your home’s heating and cooling costs. Because they can be painted or dyed in various colors and manufactured in different textures, there are vinyl window options for every home and every style.

The savings upfront, as well as the energy savings, offset the fact that the windows need to be replaced more frequently, and the lack of maintenance and upkeep required is well worth it for many people. Because of its popularity, the return on investment is high. If the time comes to sell your home, vinyl windows will appeal strongly to potential buyers. Very few homes would not benefit from vinyl windows, and they fit seamlessly into most every lifestyle and taste.

Replacing your home’s windows is a big undertaking and represents a significant investment. You want to be sure you are doing what’s right for your home and family and being thorough in researching your home’s needs and options that can fulfill them. Most families find that vinyl windows meet their needs most accurately and are overall an easy choice. A good contractor or installation company can further help with this decision, ensuring that you are confident in your new windows and are excited to peer through them for years to come.

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