The Pros & Cons of Vinyl Windows

Replacement Vinyl Windows Madison WI Legacy ExteriorsLast week we talked about the Top 9 Benefits of Vinyl Siding. This week we’ll continue our discussion about vinyl products, with a focus on vinyl windows.

When it comes to choosing replacement windows in the Madison area, there is no shortage of options. To begin, there are materials choices that range from fiberglass, to wood, to vinyl. And within each materials category there are many brand options, as well as different series and styles within each brand. 

This can often leave homeowners wondering how they’ll ever choose replacement windows for their home, which is why it’s so important to work with a windows contractor who takes the time to understand a homeowner’s needs and budget — which will ultimately narrow down choices to the ones that are best for each homeowner.

Before we get into vinyl window benefits, it’s important to note that one of the most important parts of the process is choosing a quality window maker. Saving a few bucks on lesser-quality windows now, can cost much more in energy bills and repairs down the road. Yes, as you’ll see, low cost is one of the benefits of vinyl windows — but not all vinyl windows are created equal. At Legacy Exteriors, we only work with top brands like Pella and ProVia, so no matter what make and model of vinyl windows you choose, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that your replacement windows are going to serve you well for years to come — and increase the resale value of your home.

OK, on to the pros and cons of vinyl windows …


They’re Affordable
This is probably the most well-known benefit of vinyl windows. Vinyl windows come in at the lowest price point when compared to wood or fiberglass windows. One of the reasons for this is the fact that they’re easier to install compared to other window products. That said, as long as you are having a well-made product installed, the lower price doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing quality or energy-efficiency …

They’re Durable
A well-made vinyl window by a company like ProVia or Pella has the ability to look good and last for decades — in fact, it can last longer than wood, and requires much less upkeep. Vinyl windows don’t rust or corrode, and the quality brands are typically ENERGY STAR®-certified — giving you a lot of value for your dollar.

They’re Energy Efficient
Speaking of ENERGY STAR, vinyl windows are energy efficient, ensuring that you save some dollars year-round on your energy bill. With strong thermal performance ratings, and the ability to limit drafts, vinyl windows keep the cold outside (and the heat inside) during the winter, and also keep the heat outside (and the coolness of air-conditioning inside) in the summer months. The result is lower energy bills.

They’re Low Maintenance
Essentially a scratch-free product, vinyl windows don’t have to be painted, scraped, or stained. Plus they clean up easily with soap and water. Tough enough to stand up to the elements (even here in Wisconsin), they will continue to look good — and last longer — than other materials, like wood, which is much more high-maintenance..

They Have Excellent Warranties
We always advise homeowners to make sure they get their warranties in writing from their contractor, and make the time to review them carefully. For example, ProVia offers a lifetime transferable warranty, and their vinyl windows are warranted against chipping, peeling, cracking, blistering or pitting for as long as you own and live in the home in which the product was originally installed. This is the kind of warranty you’ll want to be on the lookout for with your replacement vinyl windows.

Pella Replacement vinyl Windows Madison WI


The Cost of Customization
Vinyl windows are made by a process called extrusion because they are more challenging to shape. That said, when it comes to standard windows offered by a company, the cost remains low, but with custom windows the cost can rise.

Limitations in Variety of Colors & Styles
These days, color and style options for vinyl windows are better than ever, although there are not as many options as there are with other window materials, such as wood. This can sometimes mean the “perfect” match to a home’s exterior may not be possible with vinyl windows …

Less Flexibility with Future Home Improvements
Limitations in color and style options are one reason that vinyl windows may not be the right choice for your home. Another is that if you want to further update the exterior of your home down the road, the color and style of your vinyl windows are permanently in place. And the fact that you can’t paint or stain vinyl windows means there’s no flexibility to update them if you decide to update your siding, roofing, or exterior doors.

They are Less Eco-friendly than Other Window Materials
Chemicals are involved in the production of vinyl windows, making them less eco-friendly than other materials used to craft windows. Since vinyl is not a natural material, it’s not green technology — which is an important point if your goal is to have a “green” home.

Feel free to visit our vinyl windows page for more info on the vinyl windows we install. You can also get in touch with us anytime with questions, or to schedule a complimentary consultation.