Vinyl windows -- balances or no balances

I am trying to get some information on double-hung vinyl replacement windows. What I am trying to learn about are the various mechanisms for raising and lowering the window sashes.
Is it true that the trend is toward getting away from having any mechanical balances in vinyl replacement windows? Instead, I have heard that the newer vinyl replacement now use an adjustable friction type system with no tubes or spirals, etc.
I am wondering about this because I keep running into vinyl windows in different properties where the "balances" (or whatever they are called) are broken, have missing parts, don't work correctly, etc. Yet, when I go to websites like http://Pella.com I can't seem to find any clear information there about this.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't obsess about it. Just buy Andersen or Pella windows and if something breaks you're assured of a replacement part. (Often free). HTH
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't limit your search to Anderson or Pella. There are many, many fine window companies that offer lifetime warranties - companies that have just as good a chance of being there when you need them as Anderson or Pella.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

So true. Just installed 7 in my home. They not only have lifetime warranties, but are transferable if the house is sold.
Look around. Check performance data.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
alta47 wrote:

How many properties with older wooden windows have you seen with broken counterweights, sash cords, etc.? Same thing, the more complicated and more parts, the more likely it is to break. Nothing magic about vinyl vs. wood vs. metal vs. composite. An adjustable friction system would seem to be easier to tweak an adjustment on over time, and likely easier to replace a friction pad if it wears out.
The real issue to consider with any window is the ease of washing them. With some it can be a real pain to wash all glass surfaces. Windows that are fully washable from the inside are best, but for single story applications as long as every surface is accessible from either the inside or the outside it's good enough.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do they even make vinyl replacement windows that don't tilt in?
My Simontons not only tilt in, but pop out the sash very easily, so you don't even have to hold them up while cleaning.
Look for metal shoes, as opposed to plastic, at the pivot point.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We had them installed 3 years ago. So far they work great. All the windows operate easily and are still airtight. Much better than wood.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
writes:

Thanks. That's good to know.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan Espen wrote:

me old-fashioned, but I have never seen vinyl windows that impressed me, or that I would pay money for, even high-end ones. Vinyl-clad wood, maybe. With proper PM, wood windows easily last decades. At most, a house should need 2 sets of windows during its useful lifespan. As a wee lad, I worked construction cleanup on houses in the late 60s that still to this day have their original windows. Even the cheap 1960 builder-grade single-panes in this place are still tight and solid. If I ever do splurge on modern double-panes, they will be wood ones.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good luck with that.
I've had 100+ years old wood and 50+ year old wood. The windows stuck, did not tilt out for cleaning and leaked air like crazy.
My current vinyl ones are only 3 years old but they are replacement windows. If they need replacing, it's really easy.
But they are made from vinyl, you don't paint them and weather does nothing at all to them. As far as I know, the only issue with vinyl is that it gets brittle in extreme cold and with sunlight exposure. That must be an extremely slow process. I've had this house covered with vinyl for over 25 years and it is unchanged the whole time.
We have 3 Pergo wood double pane windows about 20 years old. They are fine but do not tilt in for cleaning.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.