Aren't All Vinyl Replacement Windows Ugly

vinyl replacement windows and aestheticsWhen it’s time to replace old windows, there’s a process that most homeowners go through to figure out what the right next step would be. We talked about eight critical areas to think about when considering new vinyl replacement windows for your home.

Let’s begin with this post talking through each area individually and examine what to look for and what to avoid.

Aesthetic Engineering

 

You’ve probably heard that looks aren’t everything, right? But, if you’re investing in new windows, don’t you have a right to get the look that you want?

So, the first critical area is aesthetics. Here’s a reality…If you have wood or metal windows and you are replacing them with vinyl windows, there will be aesthetic differences.

Today, the vast majority of homeowners that replace their windows have an efficiency consideration as at least part of their reasoning. Compared to their wood and metal counterparts, vinyl replacement windows are absolutely superior with regards to overall energy efficiency.

So, there is an aesthetic sacrifice that must be made when moving to vinyl. The key is how much of a sacrifice that needs to be made.

Aesthetic Do’s and Don’ts

Do…

  • Look to maximize glass area.

The biggest aesthetic different between a vinyl replacement window and wood or metal is the loss of overall glass area. This occurs for two main reasons: strength considerations and insulation.

vinyl replacement windows glass areaWe’ll deal with the insulation part in a future post. Wood and metal are typically stronger materials than vinyl. Most vinyl replacement window manufacturers try to make up for that difference in strength by creating massive, bulky frames and sashes. This significantly reduces the overall glass viewing area in your new replacement windows.

Here at Sunrise, we’ve figured out how to have our cake and eat it too, through what we call Aesthetic Engineering. It’s just a fancy way of saying that good looks are engineered right into the product.

 

You see, vinyl has a couple of qualities that are similar to steel. One is that wherever you place 90 degree bends within a piece of steel or vinyl you create additional strength. By maximizing these bends within the walls of our vinyl we create what we call “narrow line extrusions.” On average, this allows us to offer up to 27% more glass viewing area than our competition. Look at how much more of the tree you can see through our window above.

 

  • Look at the details.

One of the things that our dealer partners tell us that they hear from homeowners a lot is “if you’ve seen one white window, you’ve seen them all.”

While it is true that without a side-by side comparison, like seen above, by the time you look at several products they can look very similar, one of the best ways to notice and remember differences is to take a look at details. From an aesthetics standpoint, there are two main details that can use to help you differentiate one window from another.

Frame edges

 

Take a look at the competitive window above. Notice how the frame on this competitive window looks like a box, with sharp, vinyl_replacement_windows_edges_glazing_bead.pngsquared off edges. Compare that to our window frame with soft, rounded edges (green arrow) that emulate a wood window look.

Glazing bead

Basically, a glazing bead keeps the insulated glass unit (IGU) in the sash frame. Unfortunately many competitive windows don’t take advantage of the opportunity to use these pieces aesthetically. Notice how we use a milled piece (orange arrow) that has the look of a nice piece of shoe molding, even going so far as to mitre the corners like the other wood trim in your home.

 

Now for the the things to avoid or remember…

Don’t…

  • Forget the outside.

Many vinyl replacement window manufacturers figure that the outside of the window is the last thing you notice. Don’t forget to look for these important exterior aesthetic components.

The frame

vinyl replacement windows exteriorA plain, flat exterior frame indicates a lack of aesthetic consideration. Sunrise Window’s patented, custom-coved, exterior screen track design offers an elegant, milled looked that will enhance curb appeal.

The screen

When you ask most homeowners “What’s the first thing that typically goes bad on a window?” you get many different answers. Truth is, it’s usually the screen.

I think about the window screens that we had on our family home. We had wood windows that had two screws threaded so that a clip attached to the screen could flip over onto the screws to hold the screen in place. The screen frame was a really thin aluminum.

Once I forgot my keys and noticed that there was a window that was unlocked on the back porch of the house. Fortunately, I had a pocket knife with me and tried to slide the blade under the screen frame hoping to reach the clip and push it over the screw so I could take the screen off and go into my house through the window.

You can guess what happened…the only way to get the clip over the screw was to put pressure on the flimsy frame, bending it. I can’t tell you how many of these bent frames that I've  seen over the years visiting with homeowners talking about windows.

Because we use thick-walled, heavy-duty extruded aluminum screen frames, we’re one of the few replacement window manufacturers that not only warrant our screen but the frame as well.

Speaking of the screen itself, our available OptiView® screen is not only virtually invisible, but also allows for more airflow and better bug protection.

Forget the colors.

Many vinyl replacement window manufacturers limit your aesthetic options when it comes to color; often only offering some version of white and a tan or almond color. However, most homeowners would prefer the option to match, or create anew, the decor of their home.

Your new Sunrise vinyl replacement windows offer over 130 standard color and finish combinations, including six interior woodgrains. Additionally, you can have any exterior color you like through our custom-matched exterior paint option.

 

So, to summarize, when it comes to the aesthetics of your new vinyl replacement windows, here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts.

Do

  • Check the glass area
  • Make sure you check out the details

Don’t

  • Forget the exterior of your windows
  • Forget to see if you can have the colors that you want

 

Get what you want, the way you want it. Sunrise Windows engineers good looks in so that you can have beauty that you can customize for your unique look.

 

 

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About the Author

Joseph Mills

Joseph Mills

Joe Mills is the Director of Marketing for Sunrise Windows and Doors. He has spent almost 15 years working with homeowners helping them envision and design home improvement projects. He is proficient in assisting homeowners through their entire buying process, including helping them do the proper research, what signs to look for to minimize a homeowner’s risk, understanding the in home selling process and once the decision is made, how the installation process will work. He has written a consumer-oriented book called “How To Buy Vinyl Replacement Windows” that can help window buyers make educated choices.