If you're thinking about replacing windows or doors, there's no reason to wait. The benefits start immediately. From enhancing your home's interior to adding to its curb appeal, new windows and doors transform a home from ordinary to outstanding. What's more, they provide one of the best returns on investment of any home improvement project.
Replacement Windows are Clearly the Best Investment:
- It wasn't too long ago that vinyl windows were considered a less-than-ideal choice for replacement windows. But advances in design plus improvements in the formulation of Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC) have made vinyl windows a high-quality product that competes favorably with wood.
- Vinyl windows have always had some advantages over aluminum and steel. Metal is a highly efficient heat conductor–a great property when it comes to pots and pans, but not so slick when you're talking about window frames. As window glazing has improved, the difference in insulating value between the glass and the frame of a metal window became greater and greater.
- UPVC, on the other hand, is a nonconductor of heat. It doesn't truly insulate like wood, but the design of a vinyl window adds greatly to the frame's insulating value. The primary reason that insulating glass works is because there is a pocket of trapped air, called dead air space, between the inner and outer panes. Vinyl window frames work on the same principle. The frames are hollow, built with multiple chambers to add strength. Those chambers also trap air and thereby slow heat transfer.
- Good quality vinyl windows are nearly equal to wood windows in their overall insulating value, but not just because of the frames. Compared to old shop-built wood double-hung windows, the factory weather-stripping in modern vinyl windows allows only a fraction of the air leakage around the sash. As a rule, air infiltration is even more important than insulating quality in preventing heat loss.
- Vinyl windows come in a variety of styles, including single- and double-hung, horizontal sliding, casement, awning and fixed windows. Sliding patio doors are also available. The color is part of the UPVC formula, so vinyl windows never have to be painted.
- Vinyl windows offer the same style features found on other top-quality windows–divided grilles, decorative glass, tilt-out sash on single- and double-hung units, and high-efficiency locking systems. Like all vinyl products, they are also maintenance-free.