Vinyl window frames emerged in the 1970's, as an alternative to wooden or aluminum frames. They are usually made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light stabilizers to protect the material against the sun's rays. Read on to learn more about vinyl window frames for your home.
How Much Will Your Vinyl Window Frame Cost?
Often as little as half the price of wooden window frames, vinyl window frames are the most affordable option. That said, the type and size of window will significantly affect the overall cost of installing or replacing a vinyl window frame. Average costs for vinyl windows range from as low as $150 to as high as $2000. A full-size vinyl casement window usually costs around $950. A full-size double hung vinyl window costs around $800. Expect installation to add $100 to $200 to this cost.
How to Clean and Maintain Vinyl Window Frames
Vinyl window frames do not require paint, as they come in a variety of colors. The color of your vinyl frame should not fade, and your frame may look the same in ten years as it does upon installation.
Additionally, vinyl is extremely moisture resistant. This means that, unlike wood, vinyl window frames will not mold or rot. Weather conditions such as extreme heat, moisture, or freezing temperatures don't usually affect vinyl, so you can count on vinyl window frames to keep your home's interior temperatures consistent.
Once installed, vinyl window frames require little maintenance. They are very resistant to dirt, mold, stains, scratches, and dents. To clean your vinyl window frames, wipe them down with a soft rag dipped in warm water every so often.
Vinyl window frames are cost-effective. | © CC BY 2.0 flickr.com / abarndweller
Energy Efficiency for Vinyl Window Frames
Standard vinyl window frames are less insulating than wood, but more insulating than aluminum. They are composed of hollow, honeycomb-like cavities that can be filled with insulation. This added insulation will make them much more energy efficient than standard vinyl frames or wooden frames. Additionally, vinyl's excellent seal will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Cons for Vinyl Window Frames
This material tends to be slightly clunkier than the classic wooden window frames or aluminum frames, and this clunkiness may slightly lower your home's curb appeal.
Additionally, homeowners cannot change the color of their vinyl window frames once they are installed. However, homeowners do initially have a wide variety of colored vinyl frames from which to choose. Since vinyl cannot be painted over later on, it's important to make this decision carefully. It's often a good idea when shopping to look for a frame in one uniform color.
Summary: The Most Cost-Effective Option
While not the most beautifully designed type of frame, vinyl window frames are an excellent choice for the homeowner on a budget who would also like a reliable, energy-efficient seal for their home. Check out our convenient database of local contractors to help you install vinyl windows in your home.