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Vinyl Windows Cost Guide

While most people wouldn't argue with the need for windows in the home, they are not always something that gets much thought. However, there are countless variations on the standard window, and it is possible to find them in hundreds of styles, sizes, materials and colors. One of the most popular window materials for homes today is vinyl. This cost guide delves deeper into the pros and cons of vinyl windows, what variations exist in terms of design, what to know about this type of window installation and more.

The Costs

  • Average Minimum Cost of Vinyl Windows: $150

  • Average Maximum Cost of Vinyl Windows: $2,000

What are Vinyl Windows?

Vinyl is a polymer material that is used often in the construction of window frames. Although it differs slightly from PVC, the two terms are often used interchangeably when referring to window frames and sashes.

The Advantages of Vinyl Windows

Since vinyl is the most popular material used in window construction, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of advantages associated with it. Vinyl requires no painting, it is affordable, it needs minimal maintenance and it helps to create energy-efficient indoor environments. Vinyl windows come in a wide variety of colors, which means that homeowners can pick the shade that best fits their home's style. That color won't fade quickly, and it may look the same today as it does a decade from now. Homeowners who are on a budget often turn to vinyl windows in order to cut down on expenses, especially when picking out ready-made windows. Along with not needing to be painted, vinyl windows require minimal maintenance and cleaning. Finally, vinyl is a good insulating material, and it is a poor conductor of temperature. This combination means that vinyl windows can help keep heating and cooling costs down within the home, saving residents money over time.

The Disadvantages of Vinyl Windows

While there is no doubt that vinyl windows can be advantageous, they also have a few drawbacks that need to be considered before a purchase is made. Color can't be changed after purchase, and it might look thicker or bigger than other window materials. Vinyl windows are slightly less insulating than wood (but still more insulating than aluminum). It can also reduce a home's curb appeal and potential resale value.

Types of Vinyl Windows Buyers Can Choose From

Vinyl is a versatile material, and it can be used in the construction of many different window styles. Whether a homeowner wants a basic square window that doesn't open or an elaborate bow window with added seating, vinyl can be used to create the perfect design. Some of the many style options for vinyl windows include:

  • Vinyl Single Hung Window: One movable sash, only bottom pane can open

  • Vinyl Double Hung Window: Two movable sashes, top and bottom panes can open

  • Vinyl Bay Window: Angled and outwardly projecting, typically three panels

  • Vinyl Bow Window: Curved and outwardly projecting, four or more glass panels

  • Vinyl Picture Window: Fixed, allows light and heat but no ventilation

  • Vinyl Custom Windows: Customized shape and size to fit homeowner's measurements

  • Vinyl Casement Windows: On hinges, panes swing outward for ventilation

Vinyl Window Colors, Textures and Veneers

Along with selecting the style and design of the window, homeowners can opt to have their vinyl windows upgraded with a color, a texture or even a veneer. As mentioned above, one of the perks of vinyl windows is that they come in hundreds of potential colors, and it is typically easy to pick the color that best matches the aesthetic of the home's exterior or interior. However, since vinyl can't be painted over at a later date, it is important that homeowners make this decision carefully. The most popular colors for vinyl windows include white, tan, gray, black, red and green, but there are countless additional options if they are desired. Along with colored vinyl, buyers can opt for a textured coating on their windows. Adding texture to a window is less common, but it can add interest and a unique look for extra curb appeal. Finally, veneers are an option for anyone who wants the look of wood without the full expense and maintenance. This process involves adding thin layers of wood around the vinyl window frame to recreate the look of a full wooden window. There is more maintenance, but it can increase the value of the home and add some warmth and beauty to the structure.

What Factors Influence the Cost of Vinyl Windows

There are a number of different factors that can influence the cost of vinyl windows, but the major things include the size of the window, whether it is custom-built, the hinges needed, the cost of installation and the quality of the glass panes within. Unsurprisingly, larger windows will cost more than their smaller counterparts in most cases. In addition, any vinyl windows with hinges, such as casement or awning windows, will cost more than picture windows that stay fixed at all times. Adding in large bow or bay windows are most expensive because they include construction to actually expand the square footage of the home slightly, and they may require general contractors and permits depending on where the house is located. Any window that needs to be built specifically with measurements in mind will be most expensive of all, but customized windows can add interest or fit in with historic homes. Finally, the quality, efficiency and thickness of the glass panes within the window will affect the total price of the project.

What Homeowners Should Know About Vinyl Window Installation

In new construction, installing vinyl windows is something almost always left to professionals, and even when replacing the windows, most homeowners prefer to hire experts. Installing a single window takes upwards of two hours, on average, and the number goes up with the size and the difficulty of installation. In some cases, the cheapest option will be to find a window company that sells vinyl windows along with installation for a single price.

Last updated on Apr 1, 2015

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