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Vinyl Window Reccomendations

Posted by dt1234 (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 5, 08 at 4:14

We are deciding between the following (no specific order):

1) Certainteed bronze color painted vinyl windows
2) Jeld-Wen premium vinyl windows, almond/beige color
3) Pella vinyl Thermastar (series 25??) almond/beige color

Which windows would you suggest?

This is going into a new, mediterranean styled home, in texas, with $2m-$4 million dollar homes on the street. Many of the homes in the neighborhood are already using vinyl, so we do not have to contend with the higher prices of wood windows.

If it is vinyl, it should give a nice look, perhaps we can do simulated divided lights.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

Also, I need to know by Monday, April 7th. Thanks!


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RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

I'm a bit surprised you are looking at mainly mid end windows in a neighborhood of $2-$4 million dollar homes. Certainteed and Thermastar don't offer SDL. Jeld-Wen does offer them. Given only those 3 choices and your criteria I'd go with Jeld-Wen.


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RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

skydawggy:

Thanks for the advice, i was leaning towards the Jeld-Wen's as well due to the DSL. We have a fixed price contract with our builder and our window allowance is $25,000. Wood would have been great, but our budget does not allow for it.

But, practically speaking, vinyl is functionally, performance wise and maintenance wise as good as wood from what I have heard.

You stated "given only those 3 choices.." do you have any other window companies to suggest? I'm totally open for ideas.

Thanks!!


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RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

I normally try to avoid recommending a specific window because I think the final choice has quite a bit to do with personal preferences and budget considerations. Perhaps I can give you some direction.

How many windows are you planning to install and what style are you leaning towards? In what part of the country do you live? How important are SDL's? Are you planning on having them installed through a G.C. or an installer experienced with the specific window you choose?


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RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

80 windows. A fair amount of them are arched top. Some are large, 8-10 feet x 4 feet. Casement style is our preference. Mediterranean home. Texas (lots of sun/heat). SDL's definitely look better, but I hope they would not be too much more than non SDL's. Installed by an independent installer experienced i believe, but going through a GC.

Thanks


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RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

If the G.C is offering to install 80 Jeld-Wen, double pane, Low E glass, including SDL, that's the way I'd go.

I'd also recommend upgrading to the Cardinal Low E3-366 glass. It will cost more initially but, with that many windows it's worth the additional cost in the long run. Think about energy prices in 10 years!


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RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

Another thing,

some of the larger windows may not make Jeld-wens cutoff for maximum sizes of glass. Do you know of a quality window manufacturer that can go 40+ sq. feet per window in vinyl?

thanks


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RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

I would recommend Amerimax Vinyl Windows if they are available in your area. They have plants in Colorado and California. Very good window. Of the 3 windows your listed I would not chose any of them. Both Jeldwen and Pella are bottom of the barrel in terms of quality. Certainteed is considered better quality but the company just got sold last year so who knows what they will be doing with their current window lines.


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Amerimax Vinyl Replacement Windows

I would agree with sean2008 that Amerimax are very good windows. Amerimax vinyl windows are priced pretty good and you get all the bells and whistles.


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RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

Vinyl is the worst possible choice you can make when it comes to choosing a window. Why would you choose to put a plastic product in a whole that is supposed to protect your home from the environment and the elements. Read the following which cites 137 third party comments from universities, Gov't. agencies etc. on the downfalls of putting vinyl windows in your home. Think about it, it's plastic!!!! Don't be a cheapscape when it comes to your home. And don't be stupid and listen to the hype some salesman pitches you. Read and educate yourself!!!

137 Things Window Companies
Wonft Tell You About Vinyl
Manufacturers spend millions in propaganda to
convince consumers to buy vinyl.
If you are a typical homeowner blessed
with a visit from your local vinyl window
salesman, youfve probably heard
things like: gOur vinyl windows will last
forever. We have a double lifetime
warranty. Nobody beats our prices.h
Window dealers sell vinyl, not because
they are so good, but because the PROFITS
are huge.
This article is a compilation of FACTS
derived from many sources such as
books, magazines, and mostly the internet.
Once you have researched vinyl for
yourself, youfll think twice before
falling for the sales pitch and putting
poor quality materials on your home.
My confession:
I made over $100,000 per year selling
plastic windows and siding to unwary
homeowners. As an independent contractor
selling for one or more dealers, I
could make thousands on one job by
simply getting a signature on a
contract. If I was making that kind of
money as a salesman, what do you think
the dealer was making?
There were many well scripted sales
gpitchesh. I was the Marketing Director
or Advertising Manager. If you let us
use your home for a model or show
home, wefll give you a special deal.
The fact is that if you spend more
than about $250 for most installed
vinyl windows, you paid too
much!
Vinyl framed greplacementh windows being removed after only four years of
use. Twisted frames on a southwest exposure.
Conviction Brings Integrity
At first, I believed what my company told me about vinyl.
gVinyl is finalh. It would last forever. Homeowners would pay
upwards of $600 to $1000 for an installed window because the
product was so good. After all, we are giving them a glifetime
warrantyh.
It wasnft until a couple of years into it that my eyes were
opened. Customers were calling all the time about their windows
sticking, water or air coming in, or asking why their
white windows started turning yellow? And because we were
just the gdealerh we deferred all the complaints to the manufacturer.
Unfortunately that vinyl window manufacturer went out
of business and so much for the glifetime warrantyh.
I decided to do my homework and really find out the technology
behind vinyl. What was found is astonishing! It didnft take
long before I knew that not only would I never sell vinyl again,
but I would never even put the product on my own homecfor
any price!
1 Homeowners Defense League 2005
Who says that vinyl windows
can warp, twist, bow, crack, turn
brittle, fade and discolor under
sunlight?
Vinyl framed window after a brief hail storm.
2 Homeowners Defense League 2005
Vinyl Window Facts
Government
U.S. Dept. of Energy - Four times since 1994, the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
consumer fact sheet on windows, stated that vinyl windows can warp, twist, bow, fade and crack.
2002 - gVinyl frames are not very rigid. Vinyl windows with large openings usually require an internal metal extrusion
to make the frame stiffer. This can lower the frames R-Value significantly. Vinyl window frames can also
soften, warp and twist if heat builds up within the frame. In hot sunny climates, direct exposure to sunlight is not
recommended.h
Canadian Dept. of Natural Resources Consumer Guide 2005 - gThe disadvantages of vinyl framing material is
that vinyl expands and contracts with temperature. Opening up cracks for air leakage.h
Canadian Centre for Energy Technology 2005 - gUnreinforced PVC window profiles have a lack of rigidity and a
high coefficient of expansion. PVC profiles are subject to distortion.h
National Research Council Canada website 2006 - gBecause of the plastics high coefficient of expansion, dark
colors may cause excessive distortion. The high coefficient of thermal expansion has to be taken into account in the
decision of the window. In cold climate, contraction of the window frame will enlarge the width of the joint with the
wall.h
Germany EPA 2003 - gThe average lifetime of a PVC window is 15 years.h
North-rthn.org Canadian Research and Technology in
Housing 2005 - gPVC is too brittle in cold conditions and
breaks easily. PVC is not as stiff as wood. It is recommended
that PVC frames have metal reinforcements provided. PVC
can also experience significant dimensional changes under
temperature differentials.h
Canadian Institute of Research in Construction
Website 2006 - gTo increase the rigidity of a large PVC
window sash, a steel reinforcement is inserted. In cold climates,
the coefficient of thermal expansion has to be taken
into account. Contraction of the window frame will enlarge
the width of the joint with the wall.h
The only people promoting vinyl
windows are those who profit
from it.
The vinyl warranties tell the truth.
Read the fine print. Almost none cover
warping, twisting, bowing or
UV breakdown.
Common vinyl window installation.
3 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
Government
Canadian Centre for Energy Technology, Study of Long Term Performance of Operating Windows -
gAir leakage in vinyl windows increased 136%, significantly more than aluminum or wood. Unreinforced PVC
profiles have a lack of rigidity and a high coefficient of expansion, PVC profiles are subject to distortion.h
City of Oakland, California 2/1999 - gResolution to reduce and phase out the use of PVC (vinyl) recommends
non-PVC alternatives.h
Dutch EPA 1997 - gPVC windows are not regarded as a favorable material for windows under sustainable
constructions programs.h
OEAKF Austria, The Standardization of PVC Window Frame Recycling 1997 - g60 tons of PVC (vinyl)
window frames are collected each year. PVC window frames are taken back for free if the customer buys wood
windows to replace them. The cost of recycling is paid by the manufacturer.h
Ireland Dept. of Energy 1998 - gPassed an initiative to eliminate the use of all PVC in windows and doors.h
U.S. Senate Committee of the Environment 4/2004 - gThe CPSC finds lead poisoning for young children in imported
vinyl mini blinds.h
National Research Council Canada 2006 - gEfforts are being made to improve the characteristics of glazing and
frame materials using a combination (composites), which are more durable than conventional materials.h
Environmental Ministry UK 2006 - gThe average PVC window
tends to be disposed of in 18 years. PVC windows are extremely
difficult to repair. The material turns yellow and brittle by sunlight
and even form hairline cracks. Once degraded, vinyl windows are
impossible to repair.h
U.S. Dept. of Energy 2006 - Fact sheet on storm windows. gVinyl
may expand and warp at high temperatures and crack at low temperatures.
Also, if sunlight hits the material for many hours a day,
colors other than white may fade over time.h
Warped vinyl window after two summers.
4 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
One year old vinyl windows being replaced again after severe window leakage.
Government
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture - Overview of Siding Materials for Forest Service Facilities 2000 - gPlastic siding can
buckle in hot weather if not installed properly. It can become brittle and crack if it is struck. Where hail is common,
vinyl is not the best choice.h
Alberta Infrastructure Data Sheet infras.gov.ab.ca 2006 - gVinyl components can absorb enough solar energy to
heat up, causing unacceptable dimensional instability. Some heat reflective paints are available, but this is a new,
unproven technology. Due to expansion of plastic windows, do not form combination units of more than three single
units.h
Universities
University of Massachusetts Building Technologies Website 2006 - gVinyl window frames fade, are unpaintable,
gets brittle and is thermally unstable, especially in dark colors. It expands and contracts more than aluminum or
wood, or even the glass it holds. Vinyl frames have the potential for causing increased air leakage over due to this
differential.h
Brown University Website 2006 - gPVCfs resistance to heat is so low even just on an average sunny day, window
frames made from the material emit a slight odor known to irritate hypersensitive individuals.h
Brown University Environmental Studies 1998 - gPVC (vinyl) frames require no maintenance but raise questions
of durability. Since they are relatively new on the market and virtually untested.h
University of Alaska 2006 - Building in Alaska - gPVC is not an ideal choice. This is particularly so for the colder
climates of the far north, where greater temperature differences are a concern. PVC expands (or contracts) four
times faster with temperature changes than does either wood or fiberglass.. This stresses the external caulk weather
seal. During times of extreme cold, the window literally shrinks away from the wood rough opening.h
University of Kansas, Energy Conservation Dept. 2006 - gOver time Argon gas leaks out of the space between
the panes of glass.h
Napier School of Engineering Website 2006 - Life Cycle of Window Materials - gPVC windows have a high
coefficient of thermal expansion, (two to three times higher than aluminum). PVC is very sensitive toward high
temperature and UV radiation, which can break down itfs molecular bond resulting in embrilttlement and
discoloration.h
Rocky Mountain Institute, Home Energy Briefs 2006 - gWith vinyl windows, make sure you have a guarantee
against sun damage, peeling, warping, and discoloration. Vinyl expands and contracts with temperature changes.h
5 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
Publications
Lowes Complete Home Improvement and
Repair Guide 2006, pg. 205-206 - gInexpensive
vinyl windows have a tendency to distort when
exposed to extremes of heat and cold, making
them harder to operate and allowing air leakage.
Vinyl windows cannot be painted and darker
colors may fade over time.h
Popular Science Magazine 6/95 - gVinyl can warp and fade.h
Journal of Light Construction 2005 - gVinyl windows have experienced problems with losing their shape as the
horizontal dimension has increased. Vinyl is still years away from a final answer on durability.h
Builder Magazine 6/98 - gWindows and doors are the #1 source of homeowner dissatisfaction.h
This Old House 2001 - Worrisome Windows - gVinyl softens at 165 degrees. A temperature easily achieved in the
space between blinds and the windows on a sunny day. Vinyl expands and contracts 7 times more than glass. This
action can pop seals between frames and glass. Vinyl is simply not suitable on itfs own as a window material.h
Bob Vilafs American Home Fall 1997 - Top 10 Home Improvement Scams - gThe hot item these days is thermo
pane windows. Invariably, the low priced version is unsuitable for your home.h
Readerfs Digest New Do It Yourself Manual pg. 426- gAll vinyl becomes brittle in extreme cold. It expands and
softens in heat.h
Consumer Reports 10/1993 - gVinyl sash tracks became distorted during durability tests. Parts of the frames and
sash bowed during durability tests. We experienced glass seal failure during durability tests.h
Fenestration Magazine Vol. 6 No. 5 - gUV or IR infra red wavelength of sunlight affects PVC vinyl. It affects
strength and color retention. Heat build up can cause distortion of PVC framing.h
Grolier Encyclopedia 2003 - gPVC vinyl softens at 158 degree Fahrenheit.h
McGraw Hill How to Plan, Contract and Build Your Home pg. 302 - gThe main drawback of plastic frames is
that they lack strength. They are more likely to break especially during cold weather when it turns brittle.h
Carpentry and Construction Guide 2004, pg. 233 - gMost windows in homes have gBh or gCh rated glass. Higher
quality windows show the rating on the glass.h
Creative Homeowner 2004, pg. 468 - gFraming made of vinyl generally needs less maintenance, but is not a good
insulator.h
Koones House About It Guide 2004, pg. 137 - gVinyl frames require metal reinforcements. They cannot be
painted.h
Seven year old vinyl replacement windows. 77 windows were installed.
The government, colleges,
even the window industry
agree. Why doesnft the
window salesman show
you this?
6 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
Publications
This Old House Complete Remodeling Guide 2004, pg. 230-233 - gVariations in window options can be mind
boggling. Start with the frame material. Choose windows that compliment your architecture. High performance
windows cost a little more but are worth it. In all vinyl windows, the insulated glass may fail. Particularly in large
windows because of vinylfs expansion and contraction with temperature changes.h
Tautonfs Build Like A Pro, Guide to Windows 2004, pg. 90 & 178 - gCheck the vinyl material to see if it bends.
Check for metal reinforcements. How long has the manufacturer been in business? Avoid local fabricators. They
come and they go. Replacement window manufacturers often sell their products with the promise that the new
windows will reduce your heating and cooling bills. Itfs rare to find where thatfs realistic.h
Door and Window Maker Magazine 12/2002 - gVinyl doesnft belong in the desert. Vinyl windows have discolored
to a lovely gnicotine brownh. The donft work here.h
Door and Window Maker Magazine 12/2002 - gWhat good is a lifetime warranty if the company is gone in ten
yearsh The number of companies making vinyl windows is on the decline. The warranty is only as good as the paper
itfs printed on. There is a laundry list of companies that have come and gone.h
Journal of Light Construction 2000 - Working With Vinyl Windows - gAllowing for thermal expansion is the
biggest concern when installing vinyl windows. Regarding the quality of vinyl windows, some compounds are better
than others. In weathering tests, we have seen some white vinyl that has gone brown, and some light browns that
have gone chalky. Such color changes indicate embrittlement, which weakens the structure of the vinyl. Embrittlement
is a real problem in hot climates. The sunlight actually breaks down the polymers.h
Washington Post 4/9/2005 - gVinyl frames are not strong. Vinyl frames get soft and warp. They are dimensionally
unstable causing warping, cracks, and air leaks.h
Vinyl simulated wood windows warped and leaked on the West side
of the home causing thousands of dollars in repairs.
Environmental Building News 6/2001 - gAvoid 100%
vinyl frames because of their durability problems. Most
of these windows wonft last a decade.h
Boston Globe 11/16/95 - gIfve seen entire buildings
full of replacement windows fail from manufacturers
who have gone out of business. This happened
commonly throughout the 80fs.h
Window Renewal Magazine 2004 - gVinyl windows
have negative features. They are susceptible to temperature
fluctuations, expanding with heat and cold.
The seals in glass are under pressure and can eventually
lead to seal failure.h
Why do track home builders
use vinyl? Because itfs so
good, or so cheap?
7 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
Internet Sources
Minnesota Green Housing Website 2006 - gVinyl, especially
when colored tends to turn brittle and discolor over
time.h
Healthy Building Website 2004 - gVinyl windows have a
higher thermal expansion coefficient. They can become brittle,
yellow and develop cracks over time with exposure to
sunlight.h
American Institute of Architects Colorado, Sustainable
Design Resource Guide 2006 - gLocal fabricators are
popping up all over Colorado. They purchase vinyl frame
material from elsewhere and build windows here. The strong
western sun can deteriorate some types of vinyl. Be sure to
confirm UV resistance in warranties.h
Ask The Builder.com Website 2006 - gBuying vinyl windows
is like a trip through a house of mirrors at a county fair.
Very close to 160 degrees, vinyl begins to lose some of their
rigidity. Stress can cause frames to sag and distort. Windows
that face West in the afternoon can take a beating. Almost all
vinylfs will eventually begin to yellow.h
Window Repair.com Website 2006 - gThe next time a
window replacement company calls you and claims you could
gsave lots of moneyh by buying their windows they are, in
effect, lying. They claim their windows are gmaintenancefreeh,
yet if you restore your old windows, by the time they
need maintenance again, those plastic windows will be in a
landfill.h
Improvenet.com Website 2006 - gI had fixed vinyl windows
installed on my home. After the rain came, I seem to have
leaks in the windows. Not around the windows, but the water
is coming in on the bottom of the windows where the glass
meets the vinyl.h
Sagging vinyl replacement windows after only one Colorado
summer.
Five year old vinyl windows leaked causing extensive dry rot
and expensive repairs.
Vinyl expansion opens cracks and gaps in stucco allowing for
water intrusion and wall damage.
Before you even think about
spending your hard earned money on
vinyl windows, make the salesman
show you homes where their
windows have been installed at least
ten years.
8 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
A typical vinyl installation in a rotted frame. This window wonft make it
three years.
This is what happens when a vinyl window pulls away from the caulk
that seals it to the wall.
Internet Sources
BBC News Website 2004 - gThe main problem with
PVC windows is that it deteriorates with the action of
ultraviolet light from the sun. It can become brittle
after a few years causing pieces to break off. PVC is
often sold as being a long-lasting, energy saving
material. It will last maybe 20 years.h
Buildinggreen.com Website 2006 - gAir leakage
through vinyl casement windows increased 136%.
Unreinforced PVC profiles are subject to distortion.h
Healthy Building Website 2006 - gVinyl windows
have a higher thermal expansion coefficient that can
lead to water leaks and other maintenance problems.
They can become brittle, yellow and develop cracks
over time with exposure to sunlight.h
House-N-Home Building.com Website 2006 - gVinyl is the weakest of materials and may require aluminum or
steel inserts on large windows. PVC may discolor and become brittle over time.h
Plastic Technology.com Website 2006 - gFailure can mean color and appearance changes such as yellowing,
fading, color shift. Failure is defined as mechanical integrity and physical performance.h
Improvenet.com Website 2006 - gWood windows must be regularly painted to preserve it. Vinyl is brittle in
extremely cold climates.h
Builder News Mag.com Website 2006 - gVinylfs Achilles heel is itfs high thermal expansion coefficient. Darker
colors absorb enough heat to warp the frames and cause failures. Something several manufacturers found out the
hard way. All wood windows require ownerfs
BobVila.com Website 2006 - gVinyl windows often
look chunkier than wood because the vinyl isnft strong
enough to be made into ultra thin parts. The other
problem is that vinyl looks unmistakingly plastic.h
Bi-Glass.com Website 2005 - gVinyl windows move
more than twice as much as aluminum, wood, or
fiberglass. Vinyl expands seven times farther than glass
with each degree. This action can pop seals between the
frame and the glass.h
Door and Window Business Website 2001 - gUV
light can break down plastics. Windows become brittle
when exposed to sunlight over long periods of time.h
Interactive Resources Website 2005 - gVinyl windows
may exacerbate water intrusion in stucco walls.
The expansion coefficient of vinyl is nearly 14 times
that of aluminum and wood.h
9 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
All of these vinyl replacement windows lasted less than six years! Vinyl reacts to heat and cold. In hot summer days, some windows can
expand up to 3/8h or more. When it cools, it contracts. This action can result in a permanent warping of the window unit and water damage.
There are literally hundreds of references on the internet regarding the
problems with vinyl. You just have to sift through the thousands of
sales pitches from vinyl manufacturers and dealers to find them.
Internet Sources
This Old House Website 2004 - gVinyl is simply not suitable on itfs own as a window material.h
TREMCO Website 2003 - gSome manufacturers produce low quality windows and offer warranties too good to be
true. Because the homeowner is likely to move before the windows fail, they can offer incredible warranties that are
non-transferable.h
Healthgoods.com Website 2006 - gVinyl frames may expand and warp in high temperatures. In hot climates, colors
other than white may fade.h
Greenhousing.umn.edu Website 2006 - gVinyl-clad and PVC frames on the interior will off gas over time
releasing small amounts of vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen in humans. Vinyl, especially when colored, tends to
turn brittle and discolor over time. (5 to 10 years in some cases).
Fine Home Building Website 2006 - gVinyl fades, it cannot be painted, it becomes brittle with age, and is
thermally unstable.h
Building Green.com Website 2005 - The Study of Long Term Performance of Operating Windows Subject to
Motion Cycling found that air leakage through the vinyl casement windows increased 136%. (Significantly more
than fiberglass or wood). Unreinforced PVC profiles are subject to distortion. This is caused by the lack of rigidity
and the high coefficient of linear expansion of sash members.h
Healthy Building.net Website 2006 - gWhile vinyl windows do not rot, they are sensitive to both hot and cold
temperatures, can become brittle and can incur dents.h
Sussmens.net Website 2006 - Vinyl windows donft look as good as other windows. They get brittle in cold and soft
in heat, and they move around a good bit. So youfll have to caulk around them every couple of years.h
Myvoice.com Website 2006 - gVinyl window frames are not very rigid, and therefore are not well suited for large
windows unless reinforced with aluminum components. Vinyl window frames can soften, warp, and twist if heat
builds up within the frame.h
10 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
In just three years, these vinyl replacement windows warped
beyond use and could no longer close properly. The dealer
was out of business and the homeowners had no warranty.
When your vinyl windows go bad,
most dealers, (if theyfre still in
business) defer the problem to the
manufacturer. Replacement windows
rank as one of Americafs top home
improvement scams.
Internet Sources
Arizona Builder Zone Website 2006 - gVinyl
frames are not strong or rigid, which limits the
weight of the glass that can be used. Vinyl frames
can soften, warp, twist, and bow.h
Todayfs Home & Garden Website 2004 - gVinyl
patio doors often become brittle with age and crack
easily.h
IQ-Home Website 2006 - gVinyl expands and
contracts with temperature, opening up cracks for
air leakage.h
Over $30,000 of replacement vinyl windows and siding were replaced
after five years on this home. We have hundreds of photos like this.
Cambridge Historical Commission Website 2006 - gVinyl windows are unacceptable in historic and neighborhood
conservation districts, or for landmark properties. Vinyl windows are not made in dark colors because the
material could be deformed by excessive heat, such as that generated by exposure to sunlight.h
Home & Garden Website 2005 - gWhich is better, wood or vinyl? Vinyl has negative features. They are more
susceptible to temperature fluctuations, expanding and contracting with changes in heat. The seals are placed under
pressure and can eventually lead to seal failure.h
Eastrow.com Website 2005 - gWhatfs wrong with vinyl windows? They shrink in cold weather, and expand in hot
weather. It expands twice as much as wood and seven times as much as glass. This can cause the seal between the
vinyl framework and glass to fail. The bigger the sash, the sooner it fails. Vinyl windows should not be a viable
option.h
American Architectural Manufacturers Assoc. Website 2002 - gWith the role of vinylfs environmental record,
we expect to see the biggest changes in window technology over the next ten years.h
Energy Efficient Building Assoc. Website 2005 - gThe inherent problem with vinyl is thermal expansion and
contraction.h
11 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
Internet Sources
ASHRAE Website 2005 - Michael
McCabe, PhD: gFiberglass windows are
highly resistant to UV radiation which over
time can cause PVC (vinyl) to break down
and disintegrate.h
Good Morning Canada Website 2006 -
gVinyl frames are not strong. Vinyl frames
can warp, twist, and bow.h
Dulley.com Website 2006 - gVinyl frames
can warp, twist, and bow.h
Answers Yahoo.com 2006 - gVinyl is
nothing more than a low budget option.
Vinyl, like all polymer based products,
degrades when exposed to elements such as
sunlight, rain, wind, heat and cold. Leaving
the vinyl brittle and susceptible to
cracking. Not mention, the windows look
really cheap.h
Ask The Builder.com Website 2006 -
gMany homeowners who installed the first
generation of vinyl windows were
disappointed. Large windows or windows
that faced direct, hot afternoon sunlight
were the victims of sag. The vinyl would
sag under the weight of large, heavy pieces
of glass. They would sag because the vinyl
would soften because of heat. The results
were not pretty.h
Builder Online.com Website 2006 - gThe
#1 construction defect is window failure.
Leaks around sill-jamb corners of aluminum
windows. Fogged dual-pane glass.
Vinyl windows with poorly designed
weeps.h
These vinyl replacement windows didnft make it three seasons. Thermal expansion
continuously pulled the seal away from the coil trim causing water intrusion.
The homeowner ended up in a lawsuit with the dealer, who went out of business.
Warped vinyl replacement windows allowing air and water intrusion. There is no
repair for this problem. Where is the service behind the warranty?
Teaman Architectural Website 2001 - gSolid vinyl windows are the inexpensive last resort. Give them about ten
years and the vinyl will become faded and brittle from exposure to sunlight and temperature.h
Walls and Ceilings Sourcebook Website 2000 - gThe popularity of vinyl windows has created some real
challenges with water penetration in the industry.h
Environmental Building Sciences Website 1999 - gFor builders and architects, our recommendation is to choose
non-PCV (vinyl) applications when it is affordable and a clearly superior product exists.h
12 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
This four year old vinyl replacement window and siding resulted in water penetration and
mold growing in the walls. Both the windows and the siding had to be replaced after a mold
abatement.
The thing youfll
consistently see in all
these referencesc
they arenft trying to sell
you windows!
This is unbiased, third
party information.
Contractors, architects,
government,
universitiesc theyfre
all saying vinyl is not a
good choice.
Environmental Building News Website 1999 - gWe evaluated all the framing material used in windows and
advised to avoid 100% vinyl window frames because of their durability problems. Vinyl windows have only been
on the market in the U.S. for 15 to 20 years. Many of these products wonft even last a decade.h
Planfield Historic Preservation Website 2006 - gVinyl has a life expectancy of about 20 years. The plasticizers
in vinyl will evaporate over time, making the vinyl brittle and subject to cracking. What costs are imposing on
future owners?h
Sustainable Homes.com Website 2006 - gThe lifespan of uPVC is unclear. It is known that low quality formulas
degrade over time, breaking up and becoming brittle. Most uPVC will end up as waste.h
House Building.com Website 2006 - gVinyl is the weakest of all framing materials and may require an aluminum
or steel insert for large windows. PVC may discolor and become brittle over time.h
AEC Building and Construction Website 2006 - gVinyl becomes brittle at low temperatures and flexible at high
temperatures. Over time, changes in temperature can cause window-frame materials to bend and twist leading to
seal failure.h
Journal of Light Construction Website 2006 - gVinyl windows have experienced problems with losing their
shape as the horizontal dimension has increased. Vinyl is still years away from a final answer on durability.h
A Plush Homeowner Website 2006 - gVinyl windows cannot be painted, inside or out, limiting the ability to
change the homefs exterior look or match the interior millwork.h
Vectren.com Website 2006 - gVinyl frames are relatively weak and may expand and warp at high temperatures
and crack at extremely low temperatures.h
13 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
A typical vinyl replacement window install in stucco.
The caulk is turning brown and brittle after just two
years.
Facilities.net Website 2006 - gVinyl windows do not have an extensive track record. PVC cannot be painted, window
elements are exposed to the environment.h
Nations Windows 101 Website 1999 -hPVC (vinyl) expands and contracts and can warp due to heat.h
The Home Improvement Institute Website 2001 - gVinyl continues to decline as the product of choice.h
The Brand New House.com Website 2006 - gVinyl windows made 15 to 20 years ago had problems with yellowing,
cracking and warping. Wood can be a nightmare to maintain, requiring repainting every two to five years.h
Ask The Builder.com Website 2006 - gHeat from sunlight can cause big problems for vinyl windows. Very close
to 190 degrees, vinyl begins to lose itfs rigidity. Stress can cause frames to sag and distort. If you live in the South or
Southwest, windows that face the West can take a beating in the late afternoon. Some vinyl used in windows will
change color in sunlight.h
NoHarm.org Website 2006 - gWhile vinyl windows do not rot, they are sensitive to both hot and cold temperatures,
can become brittle, and incur dents.h
Windows by Unlimited Website 2006 - gVinyl can be very dense and brittle, thus making the final product susceptible
to cracking and the effects of ultra violet light.h
Global Development and Environmental Institute Website 2006 - gProblems with vinyl windows include
sensitivity to high and low temperatures, possible brittleness, and health hazards if exposed to fire. They can expand
and contract causing the seal of the window to break. In this case, they cannot be repaired and must be replaced.h
Alliance for a Clean Environment ACE Website 2006 - gPVC windows do degrade, are not totally maintenancefree,
and worst of all cannot be repaired when necessary.h
Euroline Website 2006 - gMost people who have built a home with inexpensive vinyl windows know what a
mistake they have made because the window frames tend to crack, chalk, and discolor over time and replacing them
is one of the deadliest renovation costs. The reason is that most vinyl windows need replacing in a matter of years is
due to the materials they are made from. Typical PVC has material such as lead and chalk added. These leach and
migrate over time and cause discoloration and cracking that is common in vinyl windows. Many may recall the
recall of vinyl mini blinds.h
You shouldnft need a stick to keep your
warped vinyl replacement windows
closed.
This tan vinyl window on the southwest
side warped and turned brittle so bad you
could break pieces off by hand.
14 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
The July heat created so much pressure on these vinyl windows, they literally
popped the glass stops off the window sash.
Greener Buildings.com Website 2005 -
gThermal stress can reduce durability by causing
materials to expand and contract. This can affect
long term window performance. Certain frame
materials including vinyl and aluminum expand
and contract at a higher rate than glass, making
windows leakier over time. UV light degrades
many materials, including most plastics.h
Simonton Windows Website 2005 - gThe use
of expandable foam, (insulation) is not recommended,
(for vinyl windows). Leave a 1/4h gap
around the entire window frame to allow for
fluctuation and expansion of materials and mortar.h
Windsor Windows Website 2006 - gCellular
PVC is a vinyl based product. Cellular profiles
may be subject to thermal expansion and
contraction at temperatures above 145 degrees.
Darker colors tend to absorb a greater amount of
solar heat which can cause the cellular PVC to
expand and contract excessively. This can cause
warping or distortion.h
Taunton.com Website 2006 - Understanding
Energy Efficient Windows - gVinyl fades, canft
be painted, becomes brittle with age, and is
thermally unstable. Vinyl frames have a potential
for causing increased air leakage.h
GreenAction.com Website 2006 - gVinyl
windows have a higher thermal expansion
coefficient that can lead to water leaks and other
maintenance problems. They can become brittle,
yellow, and develop cracks over time.h
These gtop of the lineh vinyl replacing windows arenft even a year old! They
bowed so bad that they completely pulled away from the trim and wall. What
do you think the damage is when water comes into these brick walls?
Your home is your biggest
investment. Be a smart
homeowner. Show this report
to the window salesman. See
what he says. Donft believe
all the sales hype on vinyl
windows.
15 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
Vinyl by Design Website 2006 - gVinyl is not currently specified for commercial high rise due to extreme wind
loads resistance requirements. Failure to install vinyl windows with appropriate clearance between the frame and
rough opening can lead to frame distortion, which in turn, can lead to expensive water damage, broken glass,
damage to seal and inoperable windows. In addition, increased heating and cooling costs for air infiltration.h
Green Resource Center.com Website 2006 - gVinyl is not very strong and thus requires more frame to hold
the glass. Vinyl has a tendency to expand and contract.h
GlobalGreen.org Website 2006 - Windows: Understanding the Issues - gVinyl frames are relatively weak and
may expand and warp at high temperatures and crack at extremely low temperatures. Sustained sunlight fades
frames other than white over time.h
HomeSmart.org Website 2006 - Home Energy Guide - gIf you select vinyl windows, ask for a guarantee
against sun damage, peeling, warping, or discoloration. Vinyl expands and contracts with temperature changes.h
Green Housing Website 2006 - gVinyl tends to look less presentable over time due to fading and cannot be
painted. It may discolor and lose plasticizers over time, fading, and becoming brittle.h
On the House.com Website 2006 - gVinyl is nothing more than PVC or plastic. From the minute it is produced,
it starts giving off free chlorides, (sort of plastic oxidation or deterioration), Eventually it becomes brittle and
susceptible to cracking.h
RandC.com Website 2006 - Ask The Engineer - gVinyl windows do not withstand structural wear and tear
very well. It is not recommended for windows in multi-dwelling buildings.h
American Architectural Manufacturers Assoc. Website 2006 - gThe long term future portends a big
challenge for vinyl. Vinyl windows are becoming more of a commodity.h
This was the gfixh the vinyl window company gave the homeowner when their three year
old name brand vinyl windows warped. The homeowners had to complain to the BBB.
Eventually they replaced these windows again.
Most vinyl window
warranties do not cover
installation or
labor. The manufacturer
blames installation and
the dealer blames the
manufacturer when
something goes wrong.
16 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
GreenerBuilding.org Website 2006 -
gFiberglass window frames are nine times
stronger than vinyl.h
Door & Window Business Website 2001 -
gUV light can break down plastics.
Windows become brittle when exposed to
sunlight over long periods of time.h
ASHRAE Website 2004 - gVinyl is not a
good material for windows because it lacks
strength.h
Plastic News Website 1999 - gGeneral
Motors Corp. found that PVC cracks, warps,
and fade too quickly. GM will be the first to
eliminate PVC from their automobiles.h
Environmental Building News
Website 2001 - gAvoid 100% vinyl frames
because of their durability problems. Most
of these windows wonft last a decade.h
These two year old name-brand vinyl windows could not lock because they
distorted allowing for water intrusion and a consistent moisture problem. The
standing water became mold. The homeowners replaced these windows again.
Window Review Website 2003 - gSome homeowners are under the impression that one brand of vinyl window is
better and less prone to performance problems than another. But PVC is PVC. Would you feel safe flying in a
vinyl airplane?h
Interactive Building Resources Website 2002 - gShrinkage of vinyl caused gaps around the edges of the
windows allowing water to come in.h
Health Goods.com Website 2006 - gBecause of the nature of the material used, vinyl window frames also have
disadvantages. For example, they are not inherently strong or rigid. Vinyl frames can soften, warp, twist, and bow
if heat builds up within the frame. Moreover, the color of the window frames may fade over time.h
NBC News Online Website 7/2/2004 - gCity of New York places a ban on the use of PVC piping in commercial
buildings and it has been barred from use in the construction of single family homes.h
This Old House Website 2005 - Worrisome Windows - gConsumers are inundated with ads from regional window
companies that promise miracles. Maintenance-free windows made of sturdy vinyl that will not rot, pit, rust,
or wear out. Such claims have helped make replacement windows a $3 billion industry. Many of those windows
will not last as long as the ones they replaced..h
Aluminum Extruders Council Website 1997 - gA 60h long PVC, (vinyl) frame member at 120 degrees will
stretch over 1/4h from expansion and contraction. Movement between components such as glass and frame over
time can lead to distortion and seal failure, air and water leakage.h
Fenestration Magazine Website 6/1993 - gWhat happens to PVC (vinyl) in warmer regions of the U.S.? Will
heat turn the framing into soft melted material? Will the windows change color from white to yellow or brown to
beige? If itfs hit with an object, will a piece break off? Rigid PVC is brittle and discolors under UV light. Other
concerns are wind-loads.h
Washington Toxics Coalition Website 2006 - Microsoft completes phaseout of PVC gthe poison plastic.h
17 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
Consumer Reports 10/2000 - gIn durability
tests, Crestline Vinyl windows suffered the
most structural; bowed stiles, rails, and
jambs. Wenco vinyl had the worst fall off in
performance. Five windows performed
poorly in the cold; they leaked at least four
times as much as the highest-rated windows.
When we dropped the temperature to zero,
only the Marvin Ultimate Clad, Andersen
Tilt-Wash, Andersen Narrowline, Andersen
Casement, Pella Proline, and Certainteed
Bryn Mawr performed extremely well.
Twelve of the eight windows tested had
parts that warped or loosened during durability
tests.h
American Institute of Architects
Colorado Website 2006 - gA drawback
with vinyl windows is the potential for the
vinyl to expand and contract with temperature
swings and to degrade in the sunlight.
The environmental impact of the production
of poly-vinyl chloride is also a real
concern.h
Often vinyl window companies fail to use the proper flashing to avoid the added
costs. Herefs a typical vinyl installation. How long do you think it will last?
These gtop of the lineh vinyl replacement windows are showing warping and
pulling away from the seal after just two seasons. They tried to seal the crack in
the stucco with caulk.
These newly installed vinyl replacement windowsc well you can see
for yourself.
Consumer Reports,
American Institute of
Architects, U.S. Dept. of
Energyc Do you still think
vinyl is good?
Window Review 1995 - gPricing of windows from
major manufacturers tends to be more connected to
quality. Whereas with vinyl, price is all over the
board. Some homeowners are under the impression
that one brand of vinyl window is better or less
prone to performance problems. Would you feel
safe flying in a vinyl airplane or deep sea fishing in
a vinyl boat?h
18 Homeowners Defense League 2006
Vinyl Window Facts
So, herefs a question to ponderc
If the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Canadian Government, Consumer
Reports, Industry Experts, Engineers, Colleges and Universities,
Even Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse, Architects, Realtors, and
thousands of disappointed homeowners all tell you that vinyl windows can
warp, twist, bow, degrade, crack, and discolor
AND VINYL WINDOW LIFETIME WARRANTIES ARE A MYTHc
Who Are You Going to Believe?
The Salesman?
Be a smart consumer.
There is a better way to get new
windows in your home without
the risks.
Go online and look for proven
technologies such as
composites. Youfll be amazed
what you find.
gThere is nothing in the world that
some man cannot make a little
worse and sell a little cheaper, and
he who considers only price is this
manfs lawful prey.h
John Ruskin
Donft let this be your home!


 o
RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

For anyone interested, this is from a Renewal by Andersen site. It uses pictures of poor installlations, pictures of really poor quality vinyl windows and a sentence here and there from publications, taken out of context to try and fool the consumer into thinking the Renewal by Andersen s the only window that won't have problems with.

All the more reason to avoid companies that use this type of misleading information, half truths and downright lies to sell their product. Pathetic...really.

Here is a link that might be useful: Renewal Lies by Andersen


 o
RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

Here's some more fear mongering from the same source. In this little diatribe, they try to convince homeowners that all wood and clad wood will rot. Complete with photographs of old window, poor installations and staged pictures.

So all vinyl windows will warp, split and yellow. And all wood windows will warp, split and rot also.

Oh, my! What's a homeowner to do?

Here is a link that might be useful: Renewal lies of wood windows


 o
RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

I have had Amerimax vinyl windows installed in my house in Los Angeles for over 5 years and no problems. The Amerimax vinyl windows are still very white and work very well. I think if you buy the cheap vinyl windows you might have some problems. When I was shopping for vinyl windows I saw some really cheap looking ones and made very poorly. I also had the Renewal by Anderson salesman come to my house. What a waste of time. The price was 5 times what I paid for my Amerimax windows. He kept saying I would be sorry if I bought the vinyl windows. I asked him if vinyl is so bad and won't last where are the class action lawsuits? I think lawyers would have jumped all over this if it was true that vinyl will go bad.


 o
RE: Vinyl Window Reccomendations

I just had to drag up this old thread because of the vinyl-windows.org post above.

At first, this appears to be an impressive "consumer protection" site. But as soon as you start Google-checking the alleged references, it gets curious.

Lots of the quotes, which supposedly come from well-known sources, only show up on the site itself. It's possible they were never on the Web or have been taken down.

But check this bit of selective axe-grinding--an alleged quote from the University of Massachusetts Building and Construction Technology site: "Vinyl window frames fade, are unpaintable, becomes (sic) brittle and is thermally unstable, especially in dark colors. It expands and contracts more than aluminum or wood, or even the glass it holds. Vinyl frames have the potential for causing increased air leakage due to this differential."

Here's the actual quote: "The knock on vinyl is it fades, is unpaintable, gets brittle and is thermally unstable (especially dark colors). It expands and contracts more than wood, aluminum, and even the glass it holds. Vinyl frames have the potential for causing increased air leakage over time because of this differential movement."

What this reworking does is to change reporting ("the knock on") into conclusions ("Vinyl window frames fade, are unpaintable....") and ascribe it to a prominent authority writing for a prominent institution.

But viny-lwindows.org omits the following comments from author Professor Paul Fisette

"Richard Walker, Technical Director of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), is quick to say, 'Vinyl windows are built with this movement in mind and failures have not been recorded to cause concern.' Good advice is: specify light-colored vinyl windows with heat-welded corners.

"The pigments that go into paint are almost identical to those that go into vinyl, but vinyl's color goes all the way through. Walker claims, 'A little rub-down with Soft Scrub or one of the products on our [AAMA] list of recommended cleaners will bring vinyl back to its original brilliance.' AAMA has a vinyl profile certification program where more than 2000 vinyl windows are certified for dimensional stability, heat resistance and outdoor weathering. The outdoor weathering is conducted in Florida, Kentucky and Arizona for a 2-year period after which color readings are taken. I tried the "Soft Scrub" test and was impressed with how much brighter aged vinyl got. Not the original color to be sure, but a marked and acceptable improvement was noted."

For a better balanced review of vinyl windows take a look at Daniel Friedman's Inspectapedia comments.


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