Aluminum vs. Vinyl Windows: Which Are Right For You?

If you are thinking about having new windows installed in your North Carolina or South Carolina home, you have probably discovered that there is more to think about than you originally considered — in fact, that may be how you happened upon this article in the first place! Researching the window options that are available to you is an extremely important part of the shopping process, and you are sure to feel more confident in your final decision if you’ve done your due diligence first.

As you read the rest of this brief guide, you’ll discover some of the key differences between aluminum window frames and vinyl window frames. Along with wood, which is often a popular choice for Carolina homeowners who reside in historic residences, aluminum and vinyl are the two most popular materials for window frames in today’s world, so the odds are good that you’ll be selecting one of them for your upcoming project. 


Primary Differences Between Aluminum and Vinyl


The price – Vinyl windows are generally less expensive than their aluminum counterparts, typically running between $250 and $600 per frame. Aluminum window frames, on the other hand, are often priced from $400 to $1,200. 


Furthermore, it is important to remember that the cost of the frame itself doesn’t typically include labor unless your installation contractor is running a special deal. Due to this, you will also need to factor in about an extra $200 or so per window. 


The lifespan – While almost all window manufacturers offer warranties on their products, the material used to make your window frames will probably determine just how long your coverage is valid for. Vinyl windows, for instance, are typically guaranteed for somewhere between 15 and 20 years. Aluminum windows, though, are generally rated to last for 20 to 25 years. 


The aesthetic – Some people dramatically prefer the look of one window frame material over another — this is how certain homeowners end up with wood windows even though they require more upkeep than other options. If you have a major preference between vinyl and aluminum, make sure you take this into consideration prior to making your final choice.


The environmental impact – Increasingly, homeowners throughout the United States are worried about the environmental impact of the products they purchase for home renovation projects, including window replacement jobs. 


As far as sheer energy efficiency goes, vinyl window frames are the winner — aluminum holds heat in the summer months and doesn’t insulate well against chilly winter weather either. However, some brands now offer “enhanced” aluminum window frames that are engineered to be more energy-efficient than their predecessors.


When it comes time to replace your windows again, though, bear in mind that aluminum is a biodegradable product, while vinyl isn’t. You can, however, recycle both materials. 


At Hatch Homes, we want to make sure your window installation project goes as smoothly as possible. We’ve been serving residents of North Carolina and South Carolina for years, and we can’t wait to help you with your upcoming remodeling job.

More than just a contractor.

Hatch is your partner for exterior remodeling.

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