Ideas & Inspiration

The Many Advantages of Aluminum and Vinyl Windows for Coastal Homes

The Many Advantages of Aluminum and Vinyl Windows for Coastal Homes

March 1, 2023
Vinyl Windows - Vinyl Window - PGT Windows

When you’re looking for new windows for your beach home, it’s important to take into consideration the window material, and how it will withstand exposure to the harsh coastal environment. Not all window materials perform well in the salty ocean air. Finding a window type that can withstand regular exposure to salt as well as harsh winds from tropical storms can help ensure that your beach home will be protected.

There are multiple window materials that you can consider for your beach home. In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of vinyl and aluminum, to help you decide which type of window is right for your home.

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum is a weather-resistant, dependable window material. Many homeowners choose aluminum for their beachfront homes because aluminum is resistant to corrosion and with proper care and maintenance, will not rust when exposed to salty air.

Aluminum is much stronger than many other window materials and thus can more easily withstand exposure to high winds and flying debris. It’s also strong enough to bear the weight of large windows, even when the frame is thin. If you’re considering aluminum for your home, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros:

  • Durability. Aluminum windows are incredibly strong and able to withstand exposure to harsh winds and driving rain.
  • Flexibility and customizations. Aluminum windows come in a variety of colors and can be made into many shapes, including custom shapes.
  • Will not rust. Unlike many other types of metals, aluminum will not rust.

 

Cons:

  • Insulation. Aluminum isn’t as strong an insulator as other types of materials. However, there are many things that can be done to ensure your aluminum windows will remain energy efficient. A well-constructed, insulated and weatherstripped window frame will be energy efficient. Choosing the right type of glass for your aluminum windows helps as well. Low-e window glass can help your home maintain energy efficiency.

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows are one of the most popular window materials available.

Why? They’re energy efficient, durable, cost-effective and attractive. Vinyl comes in a range of colors and maintains that color throughout the material. When shopping for vinyl windows, it’s important to keep in mind the pros and cons that make this window material popular.

Pros:

  • Insulation. Vinyl is a good insulator compared to some other types of materials. When paired with energy efficient, insulating glass, vinyl is a highly energy efficient material.
  • Affordability. Vinyl is an affordable window material that delivers a great value for the price. Homeowners seeking a reasonably priced window material that offers as many benefits as possible will like what they get from vinyl. At the same time, vinyl is a high value product that can improve the value of your home.
  • Low maintenance. Vinyl windows need occasional cleaning but for homeowners seeking a low-maintenance window material, vinyl is it.
  • Durable. Vinyl is long-lasting. It does not corrode or break down when exposed to salt air, and it remains strong during a variety of storm conditions.

Cons:

  • Color modification. Vinyl does not have the ability to change colors easily. Many paints do not adhere to vinyl material and therefore, you may be limited to the finish color options provided by the manufacturer that you chose initially for your windows and doors.

Other Factors to Consider When Purchasing Windows

There are many factors that should be taken into consideration when trying to buy windows for your beach home.

Impact protection. Beachfront windows are occasionally exposed to very strong winds from tropical storms and hurricanes. Impact glass helps protect your windows from high winds and flying debris. Consider windows that have impact glass for your upcoming window purchase.

Energy Efficiency. Waterfront homes often have at least one side that sees a great deal of exposure to direct sunlight throughout the day. Energy efficiency is important for beachfront windows to protect the home from the damaging effects of UV rays and to ensure that the environment inside the home is comfortable.

There have been many innovations in window design over the years, including low-E coatings that can block UV rays while allowing visible light to pass through. In addition, window insulation has improved by leaps and bounds in recent decades. Windows with insulating glass have a barrier of air or gas between panes, which helps protect the home from temperature extremes outside.

Architectural style. Your home’s architectural style affects what kind of windows look best in your home. Consider architectural style when trying to select windows for your home. Some materials and styles are better than others for certain homes.

Views. If you’re trying to decide what window size and shape is best for your home, consider the views, including where the views are best and how large the window will need to be in order to capture those views. Work with your window installer to ensure that your windows afford the best views.

Which Window Styles are Best for Beach Homes?

There are many window styles that work well for beach homes.

Double hung window. A double hung window has two moveable sashes. These windows get great ventilation and are perfect for letting those refreshing sea breezes into your home.

Horizontal roller windows. Horizontal roller windows slide along a horizontal track. They’re easy to open for ventilation, and easy to close and lock as well.

Casement windows. Casement windows easily capture the ocean breezes, and they’re especially elegant, which adds an excellent value to your beach home. To open casement windows, turn a crank. Casement windows operate on a hinge attached to the side of the window, so these windows open like a door.

Awning windows. Awning windows are similar to casement windows, but with a hinge on the top rather than the side. Like casement windows, awning windows get excellent ventilation. They also open easily with a crank, similar to casement windows.

Find the Right Window Brand for Your Home

The right windows for your home will be long-lasting, durable and easy to maintain. To find the right windows for your home, these tips can help:

  • Shop around. Check out several brands before settling on the right windows for your home
  • Check references and reviews. Read online reviews and speak to consumers that have had those types of windows installed.
  • See the windows in person. It’s much easier to decide on a window type when you’re looking at the windows in person.

Have questions about which material or style is right for your home? Speak with your window dealer when shopping around. Look for a window dealer that can answer your questions and speak with expertise about the type of windows you should buy.

Discover More​