Type of Window
Vinyl window manufacturers create windows in various styles to match all kinds of homes. For example, contemporary homes often use casement or sliding windows for open-concept designs, while historic homes often have double-hung and awning windows. Double-hung and casement are the most common choice for vinyl windows.
Below are some of the popular window types:
- Awning windows: These windows have hinges at the top of the frame and swing outward from the bottom. They often have a crank or a type of glide hardware.
- Basement hoppers: These small basement windows increase natural light and airflow. They run across the top of your home’s foundation and are hinged at the bottom to open at the top.
- Bay and bow windows: These windows have a 3D shape that curves outward from your home. Adding a box seat or ledge can transform them into a bookshelf or additional seating area. Bay windows are angular, while bow windows are more curved.
- Casement windows: This popular window style has a hinge on the side and swings open to the left or right via a crank. Casement windows are often placed in hard-to-reach areas, such as over a kitchen sink or in a bathroom.
- Double-hung windows: These windows have two locks and open at the top and bottom. They’re often found on high floors.
- Garden windows: Garden windows protrude from your home, creating a space to grow plants and herbs. They’re ideal for a kitchen window.
- Glass block windows: These windows are translucent, thick blocks of glass. They allow light into the room but obscure the view, making them popular for bathrooms and basements.
- Picture windows: These oversized windows are floor-to-ceiling accents. They cannot be opened but provide a lot of natural lighting.
- Shaped windows: Sometimes called geometric windows, shaped windows provide an accent that lets light in where standard windows might not work. Popular shapes include half-round, round, eclipse, triangles, and trapezoids.
- Single-hung windows: These windows function similarly to double-hung windows, but they only open from one end instead of both. They tend to be smaller than double-hung windows.
Vinyl windows provide a certain level of energy efficiency due to their material. However, you should seek out other features to improve your window’s energy efficiency. The Department of Energy reports that 25%–30% of your home’s heating and cooling use goes toward combating heat gain and loss through windows. Selecting energy-efficient vinyl windows will help to decrease your monthly energy bills.
One feature to search for is better filtration between the window frames and glass panes. Better filtration reduces sun damage to your home’s furniture, flooring, and walls. Low-emissivity (low-e) glass is a common filtration feature. This glass uses a coat of invisible metallic oxide that allows natural light inside while blocking UV rays and infrared light.
Energy-efficient windows won’t provide many benefits if they’re not installed properly, so work with a reputable contractor to get a precise installation and tight seal.
When vinyl window shopping, check what warranties a manufacturer and installer offer to protect your investment. The length and stipulations of these warranties vary by product. Most vinyl windows have warranties as short as one to two years, but high-end vinyl replacement windows may feature warranties that exceed five years.
Here are standard warranties you might encounter while shopping:
- Lifetime warranties: These cover all window parts for a predetermined time designated by the manufacturer, typically between three and 15 years.
- Double lifetime warranties: This warranty type is rare, but as the name suggests, you’re covered by your warranty for double the expected lifetime of your window.
- Limited lifetime warranties: Limited lifetime warranties are also determined by the manufacturer but only cover some aspects of the window.
- Transferable warranties: These are helpful if you ever plan to sell your home because you can transfer the warranty to the new homeowner. Coverage may be limited for nonoriginal warranty holders.
- Labor warranties: The warranties above protect the windows themselves. Labor warranties protect the workmanship. Also known as contractor warranties, these cover issues related to workmanship as long as a licensed, manufacturer-approved company installs the windows.
The average vinyl window replacement cost is $100–$900 per window. The price depends on the window’s style and glass type. Higher-grade vinyl costs roughly $300 more than lower-grade options. Though price is important, we recommend balancing cost with quality. Cheaper options may not last as long and will need more frequent replacing, costing you more money in the long run.
We recommend reading customer reviews on popular sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and Google for each window brand and installer you’re interested in. This will help you gain insight into customers’ experiences with the window brand and learn more about pros and cons, especially the windows and installation quality.
We advise you to take note of each customer’s scheduling experiences. We surveyed 1,000 homeowners and found that 69% of respondents had their windows installed within three weeks of placing an order. 68% said the installation was completed within two to four hours on their scheduled day. Reviews should align with this timeline for a reputable and efficient provider.