So, you’ve decided to install new windows. You might think your big decisions end there – but you still have to navigate all of the options available on today’s window market. While wood windows used to be the leading option, homeowners have significantly more freedom these days. For example, vinyl and aluminum window frames and sashes are more durable, more affordable, and much easier to maintain than wood. But how do you differentiate between vinyl vs. aluminum windows? Let’s compare these two popular options to determine which one may be the right fit for your home.
Vinyl vs. Aluminum Windows
Cost of Vinyl vs. Aluminum
Cost isn’t everything, but it’s certainly an important factor for homeowners on a budget. Like with all products, costs can vary widely based on manufacturer, quality, and style. However, on average, vinyl windows cost between 33 and 58 percent less than aluminum windows. However, keep in mind that cost may not be the most important factor when selecting windows for your home. Be sure to go with the type of window that will work best for your home, your personal aesthetics, and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to put in.
Aesthetics of Vinyl vs. Aluminum
Both vinyl and aluminum windows offer a wide range of colors, finishes, and window configurations. However, these two materials offer dramatically different looks. First, aluminum windows are typically much thinner, allowing for larger glass panes. Aluminum windows are also often finished with a powder coating that creates a sleek appearance. Both of these factors make aluminum windows a great choice for homes with contemporary architectural styles. On the other hand, vinyl windows are popular with more classic homes. They often mimic traditional window frame features like conventional wood-grain. Of course, vinyl windows are much less prone to mold and rot than actual wood, which means they could be the perfect option if you’re renovating a historic home.
When compared to old-school wood frames and sashes, aluminum and vinyl are significantly more durable. However, there are a few things to consider before choosing between the two. Overall, aluminum is the stronger material, with a generally higher impact ratio. This makes aluminum a popular choice in areas with volatile climates, like hurricane zones. However, keep in mind that dents and chips are more visible on aluminum. Vinyl window frames and sashes typically don’t show dents, chips, fading, or corrosion quite as clearly as their aluminum counterparts. On the other hand, vinyl windows also may not perform as well in extreme heat or cold. In terms of maintenance, both options are extremely easy to maintain. And while vinyl windows are virtually maintenance-free, aluminum windows do require occasional upkeep with an aluminum cleaner.
So, how do you choose between vinyl vs. aluminum windows? Ultimately, both options are more cost-effective, energy-efficient, and durable than traditional wood options. Vinyl and aluminum windows both come in a wide array of styles, sizes, and finishes. It all comes down to the unique needs of your home. When in doubt, check with a window expert to help identify the right kind of window frame for your home.
Are you in need of high-quality window installation? Check out American Window Company. Since 1999, we have offered an extensive collection of high-quality windows, doors, shutters, blinds, and more. We are a small, family-owned business that is committed to providing excellent workmanship and on-time installation. In addition, we are properly licensed and insured to protect our employees and provide our customers with peace of mind. For a free estimate or more information about our products and services, please contact us today.