|PVC Windows, Polyvinyl Chloride Windows, Replacement Vinyl Windows|
|Vinyl Windows are a long-lasting durable window framing solution for replacement window projects.|
Vinyl window frames are an increasingly popular window framing option. Vinyl window frames are constructed from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) whose flexibility allows the frames made from the material to be easily fit into almost any window opening. Homeowners can find vinyl window replacement frames in a wide range of shapes, colors, sizes and styles. Vinyl replacement windows are one of the lower-cost replacement window framing material alternatives.
Vinyl windows are chosen due to the many advantages that they feature.
Replacement vinyl window frames do not swell, shrink, corrode or peel, making them a popular choice for home renovation projects in all climates and conditions.
Vinyl windows require little upkeep. Once installed the window does not need to be painted, varnished or otherwise maintained.
Architects and engineers suggest vinyl windows as one of the most suitable replacement window frames available because of the window's flexibility. The manufacturer can fabricate vinyl frames to a window opening's specific dimensions, ensuring that the windows will mold into any shape and fit snugly within the opening. This prevents leaking as well as condensation and heat loss.
The flexible vinyl material makes the installation of vinyl windows a smooth and quick process. Window installers can install a full house of vinyl windows within days, reducing installation costs due to the quick pace of the work.
 Thermal Performance
The thermal performance of vinyl windows is dependent on the type of window and quality of the vinyl used in manufacturing the frame. Some manufactures produce vinyl frames which are filled with foam insulation but some industry analysts question whether the insulation increases the overall energy performance of the window. The PVC used in producing vinyl windows is moisture resistant.
Replacement vinyl window frames are competitively priced. Homeowners can expect to pay between $200 to $700 per window, depending on the frame style, size, glazing (double- or triple-paned, anti-sun coating, etc) and other features.
Homeowners should consider some of the problems associated with vinyl windows before making a final choice regarding the suitability of vinyl window frames for their remodeling project.
The materials used to manufacture vinyl windows do not create a strong or rigid frame. This limits the possible frame size as well as the ability of the frame to hold heavy reinforced glass panes or multi-panes. Some manufacturers reinforce the vinyl frames with metal to compensate for these limitations but this lowers the thermal performance of the window and raises the U-value.
In addition, excessive heat may build up within the frame and cause vinyl frames to soften, twist, warp or bow.
Vinyl framing manufacturers only sell vinyl windows with white frames in extreme climates to limit absorption from solar heat. The color of the vinyl window frame may fade over time, though new framing materials are emerging which are more resistant to discoloration and distortion from the sun and heat.
Due to difficulties in producing extremely strong vinyl windows, the frames for vinyl replacement windows tend to be thick which is not appropriate to all homes' architectural designs.
Vinyl window frames include options that may provide homeowners with a vinyl frame that is more suitable to their needs and expectations.
Replacement vinyl window frames whose corners are welded together using fusion- or heat-welding techniques generally present a more durable frame than frames that are joined using corner keys -- plastic corner gussets. The fusing welding also produces a stronger vinyl window than vinyl windows which are manufactured using a solvent-welding technique.
There are special paints which adhere to replacement vinyl window frames, allowing homeowners to change the color of the frame at their leisure. However, some manufacturers note in their warranty that vinyl window products which have been painted are not covered under the warranty.
 Vinyl Window Placements
The wide range of vinyl window sizes, shapes and styles make it a suitable window solution for all areas of the home. Vinyl windows are appropriate windows for all architectural designs and can be included in central rooms such as the living room, dining room and kitchen as well as bedrooms, basement and attic rooms and hallways.
 Vinyl Frame Combinations
Vinyl windows are available as single units or as component windows of a larger window unit. Vinyl window dealers are able to create window combinations using replacement vinyl window frames such as bay and bow windows, two or more non-operating windows installed in one window opening, two or more operating windows installed in one window opening or combinations of operating and non-operating windows.
Replacement vinyl windows may also be installed in with combinations of shapes -- for instance, a half-round top window which is placed above a square or rectangle operating or non-operating window or a rectangle awning window installed below a square operating or non-operating window.
 Energy Efficiency
Vinyl window frames are usually manufactured using ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers which keep sunlight from breaking down the PVC material. The PVC is a versatile plastic and provides a quality insulating value. Insulated replacement vinyl frames are also sold by many vinyl frame dealers. The hollow cavities of foam-filled vinyl windows add additional insulation to create, some believe, a thermally superior window. Vinyl windows have a tendency to warp in temperature extremes which can make the frame less airtight over time.
 Frame Sizes and Shapes
Many homeowners include vinyl replacement window frames in their home's architectural design because of the flexibility that vinyl frames offer in shapes, styles and sizes.
Vinyl windows are manufactured in all shapes including squares, rectangles, octagons, triangles, quarter-rounds, half-rounds and full circles. Homeowners may place a special order to request a vinyl replacement window in any shape. The ease of shaping the vinyl material allows vinyl window manufacturers to produce windows in any shape.
Vinyl replacement windows are available in a wide range of operating and non-operating window styles. Homeowners may order either inswing and outswing vinyl casement windows as well as other hinged vinyl windows such as awning and hopper windows. Other operating vinyl window styles include vertical sliding windows such as single-hung and double-hung windows and horizontal sliding windows which may consist of one, two or three sashes. Tilt-and-turn windows are available in vinyl frames as well.
Vinyl window sizes are available in a wide variety of sizes. Vinyl windows are generally suggested for small and medium window opening sizes.
Replacement vinyl window frames are manufactured by Jeld-wen, PGT Industries and Milgard Windows.