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Why choosing vinyl windows is a mistake

April 9, 2015

Vinyl windows used to be thought of as “final”

Of course you would think I’m bias by writing about how choosing vinyl replacement windows for your home is a mistake especially since we don’t offer vinyl windows. However, don’t take my word for it. The Andersen Corporation has been in business since 1903 and was one of the first creators of vinyl windows back in 1959. They no longer manufacture vinyl windows because this type of product doesn’t provide a long-term value to homeowners.

“But doesn’t the old adage that ‘vinyl is final’ still hold true?”

If this was the case, our business of replacing windows with Renewal by Andersen windows would be down by 25%.

Here are some apparent problems with choosing vinyl windows:

seal failure

Problem #1: Seal Failure – Vinyl windows expand and contract. That’s why when you hang vinyl siding on a house you don’t nail it solid to the house wall and allow it to expand and contract with the difference in temperatures. This movement causes exterior window caulking to give way and even the seals between the panes of glass to break down. Since we live in one of the harshest climates in the country, southern Maine homeowners need windows that are going to withstand what Mother Nature throws at their home in every season for years on end.


Problem #2: Warping – Summer will eventually return to us in Maine and with that comes some significantly high temperatures. Some of these temperatures are enough to melt plastic. So why not vinyl windows? Here’s a picture of a vinyl window that has melted due to the high summer heat.

Problem #3: Vinyl window installers are not skilled carpenters – Here is a common situation. An unassuming homeowner has an old window that needs to be replaced. They hire (what they thought) were skilled installers to replace their old window with a new vinyl window. The installers remove the old window and find rotting issues. In many cases, the vinyl window installer will set the new window into the opening WITHOUT REMOVING THE ROT! The photo below clearly shows the rotted frame around the windows. No amount of caulking or aluminum wrap will be able to fix the potentially dangerous problems to arise out of this installation.

New windows in rotted frame
WDW - Vinyl glass loss

 Problem #4: Loss of glass area – When you replace your windows with a vinyl product, you will lose viewing area. The reason being if you are inserting a window inside the existing window frame, you are going to lose glass area. Vinyl windows lose the most glass area of any replacement window produced on the market today. With Renewal by Andersen windows, there are a couple of installation methods and in some cases, you can gain glass area.

Give us a call to schedule your free in-home consultation. We will take you “window shopping” through the differences of window products that are on the market today and why Renewal by Andersen windows are a better choice for you and your home.

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