I'm looking for a quality vinyl window with wood grain finish. I'm
more inclined to go with well known manufacturers, since they stand
behind their product (in case of delamination/other failures).
Does anyone have suggestions on some good products?
25 YR IN THE WINDOW INDUSTRY AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN A WOOD GRAIN VINYL
WINDOW THAT LOOKED ANYTHING LIKE WOOD
BUT HERE ARE SOME OF THE MANUFACTUERS. VINYL BUILDING PRODS. (VBP.COM)
AND SILVERLINE (SILVERLINE.COM (I THINK))
FOR A NICE LOOKING WOOD REPLACEMENT WINDOW TRY HARVEY WINDOWS IT IS A
WOOD INTERIOR WITH ALUMINUM EXTERIOR
AND WHILE YOUR AT IT SEE IF ANY HAVE A COOL NEW PRODUCT CALLED THE
SAFETY WASH SYSTEM IT IS USED TO SUPPORT THE DOUBLE HUNG SASH WHEN
You didn't mention what part of the world you're located in. If by chance
it's in the Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, or Michigan areas, Modern Builders
is a distributor for Polaris. Modern is wholesale only, so you would need a
contractor to order for you. I used to install these for 14 yrs. They have
an excellent product.
Alsides has more locations Nationwide. They also have a superb replacement
window available with a laminated woodgrain on the interior. Alsides is also
Having been in the trades for almost 30 yrs. b/4 I retired. I had/have
access to almost any product. I put vinyl windows in my own home, one year
after first installing them. I would put them in again in a heartbeat.
I have no idea why you would say they're tacky, except that you never seen a
laminated vinyl window. From the outside, they look better than the wooden
windows which are vinyl/aluminum capped from the
factory, PLUS you don't have the problem of water infiltration to the wood.
On the inside, you don't get water spots from _sweating_ during the cold
weather as you do on wood. I like the vinyl to clean over the wood,
interior & exterior.
You don't have to worry about vinyl swelling as you do wood. Vinyl will not
rot as wood.
Vinyl has its own set of problems like discoloration. I do not think a
vinyl window will last as long as a good wooden window, which can last
for almost forever. As to whether they are tacky, that is my personal
opinion and I will never, ever install a vinyl window. I am working hard
to remove the vinyl windows the previous owners 'upgraded' to. Also, to
stay on topic, if this guy wants the appearance of stained wood then the best
way to accomplish that is with stained wood. No vinyl window will give the
appearance of oak or mahogany or whatever this guy is trying to achieve.
Discoloration occurs with recycled vinyl, not virgin vinyl. Virgin vinyl
will not crack like recycled vinyl. There is a huge difference between the
two. Many vinyl windows are made with recycled products, this is what gives
someone with limited experience or knowledge, the impression that they are
You can think whatever you want on how long they will last. The fact is,
both links I posted, the vinyl is guaranteed for life and both the windows
are transferable to new ownership. You will _not_ find that guarantee on a
wood window. I've installed literally thousands of both wood and vinyl
You are wrong on the appearance, I can tell you _never_ had the opportunity
to examine a quality laminated vinyl next to a wood window.
You would do yourself a world of good to explore all the possibilites of
todays products instead of just what's in your own home. I don't blame you
for being sour, especially if the previous owner had some garbage windows
I disagree with this. At some point the material is going to discolor,
simply because dyes don't last forever. The color will fade. With a wooden
window, you just paint it and it is like new. With a vinyl window you
are stuck replacing it. Lots of people consider the fact that you don't
have to paint vinyl to be a plus, but it's actually a drawback. What if
you change the color scheme of your house, for instance?
Well, we definitely know the track record with wooden windows. There are
very old buildings that still have the original timber intact. I will be
shocked if your vinyl windows look good in 150 years, but if they do then
they are still no better than wood.
What would be a 'quality laminated vinyl window'? Milgard? Champion?
The previous owner's windows are doing fine, but they are *VINYL*. Who is
a good manufacturer of vinyl windows that can do true divided lights with
insulated glass? I have never seen such a beast. Neither will you find
a vinyl window that you can stain.
You can disagree all you like, virgin vinyl has already been proven. There
is no fading with the exception of dark brown in virgin vinyl. As I said
about familiarizing yourself with todays products and technologies. You're
never stuck with a product. I've seen faux finishes that fooled my trained
eye, surely you have at least heard about faux finishes. They can be
applied to _any_ surface. Maintenance free is what vinyl is all about.
I seriously doubt anyone buys a home believing they will live in it for 150
years. Or any material item for that matter. The point is pretty much
I provided links to two of the best products on the market.
The mullions on vinyl are in between the panes. This makes cleaning a
breeze. I don't believe even my mother if she were alive would say one good
thing about divided panes, except that they were a pain.
About the staining, as I said above. Faux finishes. I've seen steel doors
that I swore were wood. I've seen concrete that I swore was marble. I've
seen vinyl patio doors that I swore was wood. I don't mean to be insulting,
but you really need to get out.
Well, at least you are now admitting that fading can happen.
Oh? The idea is not that they will live in the home for 150 years, but
that longevity is one indicator of quality. It would be nice if every
homeowner remodels with this in mind. I choose materials that will stand
the test of time so that later on someone else (perhaps a stranger,
perhaps a descendant) doesn't have to duplicate the effort. Of course it
is a cost/benefit analysis and I won't spring for the best of everything
but if a better quality item costs just a bit more then it is worth it.
In this case, a wooden window is far, far more attractive than a vinyl
window in addition to lasting longer and being more versatile.
I guess I did not see them. Please repost.
See? Here is yet another 'feature' of vinyl windows that many people
regard as a 'defect'. I cannot stand mullions between the panes. What
if you want to change the color of the mullions? You regard this as
a feature and I regard it as cut-rate.
Well, I don't mean to be insulting but I think you need glasses.
Yes, in dark brown. Are you trying to say paint doesn't fade? Get real.
Noone remodels thinking 150 years in advance. Are you some kind of loon?
And I say you're wrong about a wood window lasting longer than a vinyl.
Remember, I had installed thousands of windows. I could count on one hand
the amount of vinyl windows I took out of a home. The reason being is they
bought a cut rate vinyl window, kind of like what you have in your home.
I've handled more quality material than you've ever dreamed of, and the
typical homeowner like yourself wouldn't know quality if it's staring you in
Go back to my original post to the OP.
Many people regard as a defect? Exactly how many people have you discussed
windows with? I've dealt with literally thousands of people in my career,
you are the first one I've heard this from. I'm sure there are more which
think true divided lites are nicer, for what reason, who knows. I've put in
Marvin bow windows to the tune of $14k my cost, only to hear the owners cry
about the finisher is charging $800 to stain and poly. They complained
about how hard it was going to be to clean all the corners of the panes.
You talk about changing the color of the mullions, are you truely insane? I
can't think of one person with an older home that ever had such a thought.
Wait, I seen one house that did paint the windows a tan instead of white.
Ok, you got me.
No, the problem is you need to walk out your front door and see technology.
You probably would think you were having a dream into the future.
You know very little about the technology and improvements that's out there.
You have proven it. Until you got something useful and factful to say,
please refrain from making an ass out of yourself.
Of course it fades and then you paint it. What do you do when vinyl fades?
How long have vinyl windows been installed in homes? I should hope you
aren't taking that many out already, since they are a relatively new product
as compared to wood or metal.
You are now showing that your range of experiences is not as broad as
you claim. You've only ever seen white windows?!
I have said many useful things, among which are that vinyl windows are
not available with true divided lites. You sound almost like a religious
zealot in favor of vinyl windows in that you refuse to acknowledge their
drawbacks. This is not surprising from someone who made a living
That's one of the bigger drawbacks we found when considering replacing
our 100-year-old windows -- we definitely don't want windows that look
like someone put strips white electrical tape on them, which is what the
between-the-pane vinyl pseudo-mullions suggest. They're about as
attractive as wood-grained contact paper on a station wagon.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
The mullions in the dual glazed are just like what are found in some
Andersen & Pella, unless the Andersen & Pella have the snap in grid (Yuk).
As you can see, the design is also done with wood windows.
Most people find when purchasing a century home, they end up being a money
pit. The ordinary average Joe doesn't earn the income it takes to properly
restore a century home with properly designed windows/copper gutters/slate
roof etc etc. So they end up looking for alternatives which include doing
nothing at all. Or, having an old house slapped together. I think you're
finding this out already, by looking at vinyl windows for a century home.
I think you're now tilting at windmills, too, Coop...looking to see the
alternatives is what you've been promoting. So when he did and didn't
like what he saw, that's fair.
I agree that for cost-saving many shortcuts have been made by <all>
manufacturers--some of these are for energy conservation, some for ease
of cleaning/use for the <modern> home, some simply for the convenience
of the installer, others simply to cut cost.
Can't argue that if one is planning on restoring a classic, one had best
have deep pockets. But, there's nothing new about that, and there's
nothing wrong about expressing one's opinion that these newer features
are not one's "cup of tea"...
It's taken about $40k to re-roof and repair/restore the <barn> for
heavens, sake, and that's with all the work done by myself and one hired
hand (who was a homeless ex-aircraft mechanic who ended up in town after
being laid off at Boeing/Wichita) that was an excellent hand but not
expensive at all as compared to "professional" labor...and that's a
<barn> for heaven's sake, and it wasn't really in all that bad of shape
(except Dad had decided 20 years ago he wasn't going to spend the money
on it as we hadn't made a decsion to return and he knew it would outlast
him w/o doing anything).
Roof -- 60 sq 1/2" cedar shakes @ $95/sq (got a deal there) --> ~$6k
Replacement Siding -- 2000 l-ft 3-1/4" T&G fir (custom) --> ~$3k
Paint (40 gal primer, 80 gal finish) --> ~$8k
Miscellaneous lumber, etc. (swag) --> ~$2k
Labor --> ~20k
That doesn't count any of the additional tools, safety equipment, the
JLG 40-ft boom lift I found on eBay for $5k (best thing since sliced
bread around the farmstead for repair/maintenance), 22 sections of
scaffolding to reach 2-high one side eave-high, etc.
And I absolutely agree. IMHO vinyl doesn't belong on a restoration project
like a century home. My understanding is a home can not be listed as
historic with modern building materials such as vinyl. But, now we're
talking a whole different ballgame than what this thread started out as.
The last project I actually did physical work on, was a project out of
State. Down in WV. It was a $25m home with 30k sq. ft. Husband & wife
were the only ones that lived in the house, but talk about deep pockets!
Correct on both counts...when we restored the old railroad hotel here in
town, the state historic preservation committee required that the
addition be modified from the original in trim details, etc., so it
couldn't possibly be mistaken as part of the original (as if modern
construction techniques could <possibly> have been confused w/ ca
1900!) The result is the addition looks tacky as hell in
comparison...one of the most egregious visual impact problems is they
wouldn't let us match the original windows. :(
Damn, that reaches <past> the ankles!!! Don't think we'll go <quite>
that far on the house!
On 12/18/2004 2:10 PM US(ET), Cooper took fingers to keys, and typed the
Up here in the NE, there are many old villages that are over 250 years
old. The local fathers have set aside certain portions of the town as
"Historic Zones". You cannot do anything to the old houses in these
zones without approval. No vinyl siding, vinyl windows, etc. Even the
exterior paint colors are regulated (one homeowner rebelled and painted
his historic victorian various shades of purple. I thought it looked
kinda nice, sorta like it belonged in Disneyland. He relented after a
while). No modern amenities can be visible on the outside, including
A/C, antennas, etc. Even christmas lights must be a single white candle
type in each window. Any new construction within the zone must be in a
style appropriate for the historic period, an that included a new Post
Office built within the zone.
Yes, we ruled them out on wood and fiberglass, too.
We never wanted vinyl, but almost every window company we requested bids
from insisted that vinyl windows were just as good as wood these days, so
we let a couple of them bring samples. Even the most expensive vinyl
windows just looked cheap, and I'd hate to think what they'd look like 50
years from now.
(I really don't quite understand this -- isn't anyone in the window
business on commission? When a customer calls up asking about wood
windows on a hundred-year-old restoration, why on earth do they try to
sell vinyl instead?)
email@example.com is Joshua Putnam
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.