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Look out your windows this week and you’ll see…

The weather this week is all snow! I love a good winter blanket outside…as long as I’m warm inside to admire it.

After spending a couple years in Kenya when we were younger, I really appreciate the beauty of Pennsylvania winters. When I’m not chasing the kids around trying to dry their   snowboots in between outside play times, you’ll find me wrapped in my favorite fleece blanket, helping clients choose materials for their spring projects.

Girl playing in snow

Boy playing in snow

It’s my favorite way to spend a ‘snow day’.

But the key to a perfect snow day is the word “cozy”. And if your home is getting chilly as the temperatures drop? It can be hard to really enjoy the winter in Pine Grove.

This week we’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about, you guessed it: windows.

Do you have the furnace on high and the wood stove piled full- but still can seem to keep the cold air out?

Drafty homes can come from a variety of issues, including:

    • Siding
    • Roofing
    • Crawlspaces

We’ve been talking about those, too. You can read more here on how to identify a leaking envelope and the best way to fix it. 

But honestly, if you’re reading this article you already know your windows are letting in the cold air.

Want to learn more about your options before you call a contractor? Read on!

“Should I Install Wood or Vinyl Windows?”

A lot of folks assume, when it comes to home improvement, a higher price automatically means a better product.

And sometimes that’s true! Quality products do often cost more because they are manufactured in the USA, made with better materials, or assembled using more rigorous standards.

But you know how the secret to an amazing Shoofly pie is using Brer Rabbit Molasses- and not trying to fancy it up with the top shelf organic brands or extra add-ins? Sometimes the best thing, the thing that gets the job done and done well, isn’t the most expensive product on the shelf.

Shoofly Pie

When it comes to windows, quality doesn’t always mean high-cost. Plus, who doesn’t love the added satisfaction of sitting in a warm home knowing they’ve saved thousands of dollars?

Our crew is skilled in installing both wood and vinyl windows, but we have a clear preference for materials when it comes to updating windows in an existing home. Vinyl wins remodels everytime.

Here’s why.

The “Pros” of Wood Windows

Pittsburgh Mansion

I love driving through historic neighborhoods and looking at old houses. The architecture is grand and the story behind each home makes me appreciate the depth of American history as a whole.

When it comes to windows though? Many neighborhoods require wood vs. vinyl.

And those historical neighborhoods with more lenient rules? You just don’t see vinyl. It’s standard practice to refinish a home’s original windows or install wood windows that look as close to period as possible.

Why is that? Is it just for the timeless look…or are wood windows better than vinyl?

One reason you see wood used in these neighborhoods is that it’s easy to customize. If a window needs replaced, you can reuse old hardware to keep true to its original. You can paint or stain a window to match a certain era.

Check out this historic home, for example:

Orange Historic Home

The homeowner’s opted for a light yellow color, which really compliments the original siding.

For those of us who don’t live in historic homes, the main reason homeowners choose wood is durability. Well-maintained wood windows can last for decades longer than vinyl.

But the durability comes at a price: Constant. Maintenance.

Unlike vinyl, wood came from a once-living material. This means that the wood is sensitive to the environment and can begin to crack in heat/cold fluctuations. If a wooden window is hit with too much direct sunlight, they need regularly oiled to prevent splintering.

Plus, most wood windows need resealed every 2-3 years.

This maintenance might not seem like much, but when added to the other important checks and tasks a homeowner needs to be mindful of…it’s a solid reason why more and more high-end homes and new builds prefer vinyl.

Why We Love Vinyl for Home Remodels

Vinyl windows on grey house

Hours of maintenance and care on your new windows? No thank you!

Vinyl windows don’t need constant upkeep and maintenance. In fact, an occasional cleaning of the glass and frames to keep the dust off is all you need.

New windows on modern home

Right below maintenance, overall cost is another huge advantage vinyl windows have over wood replacements. Vinyl windows typically cost around ½ the price of solid quality wood windows.

And the best part? When you choose vinyl windows, you’ll continue to save money over their entire lifetime.

How? These windows are energy efficient. Vinyl windows are installed with foam filled frames, which create an extra barrier of insulation. This added insulation is what helps decrease your energy bills. Making the switch to vinyl can save you as much as $465 a year on your utilities.

Not only that, but the insulation creates a sound barrier against the outside. If you live next to a busy highway or railway, vinyl windows go a long way toward making your home a peaceful refuge.

“But what about style? If I’m going to spend money to replace my windows- I want something that looks great!” – You

I agree!

Are you leaning towards wood windows vs. vinyl because you don’t want to sacrifice style?

Many homeowners don’t realize vinyl doesn’t just come in white. There are hundreds of different color and texture options for those who want the freedom of vinyl but the look of wood.

Check out this wood-look vinyl:

Wood styled vinyl windows
Or maybe you like the colorful window trend, like this house:

Green vinyl windows

Whether you live in a modern development or a historic beauty, there’s a vinyl window style fit for every era.

Another benefit?

New vinyl windows can increase your home’s value. According to Remodeling Magazine, new vinyl windows can have a return on investment as high as 73.4%

Vinyl windows are like the gift that keeps on giving! Are you ready to make the switch?

This could be your home’s last drafty winter.

Vern and his crew don’t just replace roofing and siding, they’re skilled craftsmen who can install the vinyl (or wood!) windows your home needs to keep warm.

Give us a call at 570-345-0406 to get your home on our schedule for spring. We’d love to make chilly winters a long-forgotten memory for you and your family.

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