Windows that WOW
Vinyl replacement windows are an excellent choice for homeowners looking for energy efficient and most importantly, maintenance free windows. Windows, manufactured from vinyl, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), are the most prevalent material in use today and represent the largest market share in the replacement window industry. Vinyl has become a viable rival for traditional materials such as wood over the years. It has proven to be comparable to wood, if not more efficient in many cases, in the use of windows and doors, and offers design flexibility, minimal maintenance, and efficiency in energy and cost savings.
After World War II, there was a shortage of materials like wood, aluminum and steel, so the Germans, in their efforts to rebuild, began to use a vinyl framing, which was a new thermoplastic. By 1959, BF Goodrich Company, a vinyl resin manufacturer decided to try their hand at vinyl window production, and offered sleek designs similar to that found in wood or metal window frames. Americans found that these were much more readily acceptable designs, compared to that of the smaller and bulkier German designs.
Designs improved and popularity grew; sales of vinyl grew in the 1980s and ‘90s for both new construction and remodeling by over 125%. Most window manufacturers offer vinyl windows as an option along with their more traditional wooden and metal frames. Innovations in vinyl formulas have helped to improve flexibility in designs.
With improvements having been made over the last few decades to the manufacturing process of vinyl windows, maintenance is practically non-existent and non-essential. If the product requires a bit of cleaning, common household cleaners will make short work of the task, leaving the window as good as new. The average life span of a vinyl window varies depending on the use of the item, but on average warranties are offered for 20 to 30 years. To ensure the quality of the window's construction and performance, most vinyl windows produced today are certified by a third-party entity like AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturing Association) or the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) . Independent laboratory testing is performed in accordance with stringent industry standards. Vinyl windows are not only rot and rust free, but they are impervious to insect pests like ants and termites. When made properly, vinyl windows contain UV inhibitors to protect from sun damage and cracking or splitting.
Over the years foil laminates of vinyl windows have gained traction and become a major benefit to their overall appeal. Now, most vinyl window manufacturers offer interior woodgrain options. These “woodgrains” are foil laminate coverings that mimic a real wood look. The colors vary from light and dark oak to exotic colors like Brazilian cherry and southern pine. And, exterior foil laminates are an incredible recent development by the vinyl window industry.
Besides the interior wood grain options, vinyl windows can now be painted to blend with the exterior facade of your home. Most manufacturers work with industry leading paint companies including Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore in developing weather resistant and fade resistant paint specifically designed for vinyl windows. Most warranties range from 10-15 years on these exterior paint applications.
Wood windows have been in existence for the last two centuries and wood stills remain the traditionalist's choice for window frames. Wood frames are often used for traditionally styled homes, or in renovating and historic renovations in order to retain the home’s original design integrity.
Wood windows offer an attractive natural look. One of the main benefits of wood is that you can paint or stain them virtually any color you choose. And well-maintained wood looks good, is stable and can always be repainted easily.
Maintenance has long been one of the biggest drawbacks to using solid-wood windows. In the last twenty years, wood window manufacturers have developed exterior covering of the window frames called “cladding.” The cladding material includes vinyl, aluminum, and most recently, fiberglass. The benefit is that with these cladding options the window exterior frames are weather protected and no longer require homeowner maintenance. High quality wood windows are among the higher priced window frame products. And the time you’ll need for interior maintenance should be factored into the decision to choose wood frames for your replacement windows. If you choose wood windows for your home, please look for good quality wood product.
Traditionally, most manufacturers offered unfinished or primed only windows and doors. Today, the full product can line can come prefinished (stained or painted) at time of manufacturing. Clients can choose from 15-20 various stain or paint applications that best compliment their home.
Fiberglass is a durable and long-lasting window framing material that can be painted. Fiberglass provides the strongest window material – about 3 times stronger than aluminum and about 9 times stronger than vinyl.
Fiberglass benefits are minimal expansion and contraction in frames. Fiberglass windows and doors reduce the likelihood of glass failure as the window frames and glass are comprised of the same material.
Fiberglass frames use less mass in manufacturing, leading to a lower conductivity and thereby higher energy efficiency. The low embodied energy and long life of the windows also contributes to increased efficiency over the life of the window. Fiberglass essentially does not conduct heat or cold, increasing efficiency. Quality fiberglass frames are composed of at least 60% glass, an easily recyclable material. The high glass content makes for a very tough product. It also means the expansion and contraction rates of both the window panes and the frames are similar, increasing the life of the window unit’s seals and materials.
Wondering if fiberglass is a good choice for your replacement windows? Consider this: boats, bridges, cars, and trucks are all built from this high performance material. No other material is as strong, as durable, as weather resistant, or lasts as long as fiberglass.
- Stronger: It is 9x stronger than vinyl, 3.5x stronger than wood/vinyl composites and 2x stronger than aluminum.
- More Energy Efficient: Less thermal conductibility than aluminum (500x less), so it doesn't allow heat or cold from the outside into your home.
- Longer Lasting: Almost zero thermal expansion rate (essentially the same rate as glass) means tighter seals against weather and longer lasting. Vinyl expands at over 7x this rate.
- Lower Maintenance: Virtually maintenance-free frames stay true to form due to strength of materials. No need for sanding, painting, or staining.
- Environmentally friendly: less energy and resources to manufacture. Made from partially recycled materials.
- More Durable: Won't discolor, warp, rot, corrode, dent, or rust. Can withstand winds up to 203 mph, and does not absorb moisture.
- Slimmer in profile: Because of the strength of the fiberglass, the frames are slimmer allowing more visible glass area in each window.
- Unlimited in Design Possibilities: Offered in virtually unlimited colors and an interior wood veneer.
Fiberglass windows and doors are available in any exterior or interior color. They feature a baked-on enamel paint finish with a lifetime warranty. Fiberglass windows can also be manufactured with real wood interiors that can be painted or stained to perfectly blend with your home's interior.
Murphy's knows that energy bills can be cut, simply by using high efficiency exterior products. All of our windows, doors and exteriors products are the highest energy efficient products on the market. Because when we all save money, we save the earth too!
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