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PVC Windows in the 21st century!
The “vinyl window” industry has come a long way in the last 40 years! From its origins as a simple “retrofit” product, vinyl has developed into a full line of casements, awnings, fixed windows, picture windows, double hung windows, single hung windows, double sliders, single sliders and end vent sliding window products capable of virtually all low and medium rise requirements! Modern “PVC Vinyl” windows offer tremendous value to homeowners for both “New Construction” and “renovation”. As “New Construction” windows, fully loaded vinyl windows with “brick moulds” and “jamb returns” are designed for installation into the “rough opening”. For renovation, similar to new construction, vinyl windows can be fully loaded for a “full replacement”, sometimes called a “rip-out”, utilizing many of the same accessory parts, but without a new construction “nail fin”. For homes with casings and interior trims too precious to remove, vinyl is the perfect “insert” or “replacement” window. Vinyl is a thermally efficient material and, is available with stylish and modern designs and, as a material, has industry leading durability.
Where once applying colour to vinyl was difficult, modern water-based coatings offer designer quality surface and choice. They are environmentally friendly and have significant resistance to solar degradation and fading. Interiors of “architectural windows” can benefit from the same colourful coatings, of course with compatible hardware.
A “Wood grain” look was introduced many years ago and early version looked like MacTac or, at best like a fake wood desk top.” says Seymour Zaks, Gem sales representative. “Now, we can put a wrapped vinyl window next to a high-end wood window and the biggest difference is likely the price, not the appearance!”
Historically, vinyl windows began in North America having a 3 1/4” depth because that was the distance between the blind stops of an Anderson Window, which was as much as 40% of the USA marketplace at the time. Anderson was the prime target for retrofit American installers, many of whom were used to a 4 ½” depth of a “thermally broken aluminum window”, and who rebelled at working with the narrower pvc frames! Frame depth stopped being an issue with the maturation of vinyl programs to include a full complement of exterior extensions and brick moulds, as well as the opportunity for variable jamb attachments from a variety of materials. Gem offers a complete line of vinyl windows capable of handling a 1 3/8” thick sealed unit for optional “triple glass”, allowing inexpensive argon to be utilized effectively.
Another area where vinyl windows have excelled is in regards to “shaped windows” such as “Half and Quarter Rounds”, “Ellipses”, “Cathedrals”, “Eyebrows” and more. Vinyl is the perfect material for creating a variety of shapes. With decades of homes designed with shaped windows utilized in the front of the house, vinyl is both cost efficient and structurally appropriate to maintain the detail of the original architectural concept. Gem Windows displays four vinyl systems in our showroom, each with unique features and benefits such as rolling screens that hide away and flexscreens that eliminate all pulls or tabs and come with a lifetime warranty. Options include fully operating blinds inside the sealed units.