Building Blocks


The Marling Blog

What to Know About Vinyl Windows

Many homeowners building a new home look to vinyl windows for savings and aesthetics – but more and more people renovating are also going with vinyl windows. A recent report shows more vinyl windows are being sold than all other types of windows combined.

A sales associate at Marling Lumber and HomeWorks can help you chose the right window for the right area and steer you through the maze of styles and attributes.

Not your parent’s vinyl windows

Yes, the old vinyl windows came in white, or maybe white and even – white. Over time, the old vinyl turned yellow and not an even yellow, either. With age, the old vinyl windows became brittle and would crack and split.

The new vinyl windows come in a variety of exterior and interior colors. If you check out the interior wood grain look, you would be hard pressed to be able to tell it wasn’t wood. The new mixture used for new vinyl windows has additives that protect against brittleness and fading. Correctly installed vinyl windows can yield great energy savings too!

Vinyl facts

Vinyl windows are durable, reliable and are virtually indestructible. They are tough and strong, good looking, insect and rot proof. The sash is hollowed out with air filled chambers providing excellent insulating capabilities. 

The color extends all the way through so nicks and scratches don’t show. They can last up to 40 years, but most have a life of between 20 and 30 years. They are maintenance free and really improve the value of your home.

Some things to remember

Pick a color you are going to want to keep. Painting a vinyl window is difficult and it voids the warranty. And speaking of the warranty, look for a double lifetime warranty that covers issues such as condensation between panes and it can be transferred to the next homeowner.

The windows should be Energy Star rated. The U-factor rating gauges the insulation value and the solar heat gain coefficient measures how well the window blocks the heat transfer from sunlight. All of this information should come on a sticker attached to the window called the performance label. 

The U-factor and heat measurements are done by an independent agency, the National Fenestration Rating Council. The structural integrity of the window should have a Gold Seal rating from another independent agency, the American Architectural Manufacturing Association. The AAMA certification means the window has passed a strict structural integrity test.

When you drive by a house getting new windows or a new construction home, that’s why there are stickers left on all the windows by the contractor or installer. The homeowner has all that information so they know they got what they paid for!

Sizes, shapes and styles

You can get double hung, sliding, casement, venting, bay, bow and specialty vinyl windows. Double hungs that tilt in are the easiest to clean – but the different styles all have their uses. For example, a smaller window about the washer is probably going to be a sliding or venting window. At the front of the house or at the back with a stunning view, you are going to want a bow or bay window. Sometimes cost drives the type of window you buy and that’s where a sales associate at Marling can give you a hand.

Care Instructions

Vinyl windows are easy to care for. You wash them with soap and water or a window cleaner. Never use a pressure washer because it can damage the pane seals and even break the glass sometimes.

What are you waiting for?

If you are building a house, remember windows aren’t stocked, they need to be ordered. Depending on the kind or style, its going to take several weeks to arrive. If you are remodeling, remember your installer has to put you on his or her schedule along with a lot of other folks so waiting might mean an extra couple of months of looking at annoying condensation between the panes or wind and rain causing structural damage to your home. 

Marling locations have lots of brands of windows on display and you can check out different styles as well as your color options.

Some vinyl window companies include:

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