In the past five years, the number of residential vinyl windows sold in the U.S. has doubled. Once confined to the replacement window market, today about a third of all windows used in new homes are vinyl. In fact, most observers predict that vinyl windows will overtake wood windows in new residential construction sometime in the next few years. To explain this steady growth, vinyl window makers point to advantages vinyl windows have over their aluminum and clad wood counterparts. None of the three window types require painting, but most vinyl windows have better thermal performance than aluminum windows and don’t swell with changes in humidity like wood windows. The biggest advantage, however, is lower price, especially when compared with wood windows. Some vinyl window critics charge, however, that the strong price competition between vinyl window manufacturers has led to lower quality. Skeptics point to several shortcomings, including:

In this article, we’ll give you the information you need to make a sound decision when purchasing vinyl windows. We’ll also look at installation procedures that will ensure trouble-free performance.

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