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Choosing the Best Vinyl Windows for Your Home

posted on January 04, 2021 in Global Blogs

White vinyl window combination in living room

Vinyl windows get a bad rap. Because they are the most affordable window material, many homeowners associate their cheap cost with low quality. There’s nothing cheap about the construction and design of top-rated quality vinyl windows.

Why Vinyl Windows are Worth the Investment

Affordability is one of the biggest benefits of buying vinyl windows. It’s not the only one though. Vinyl windows are durable, energy-efficient and low-maintenance — all things high on many a homeowner’s priority list. 

But there’s another benefit of vinyl windows that’s often overlooked: return on investment. When you swap out your windows with quality vinyl replacement windows, you can expect to recoup 72% of the project cost upon resale.1 The math makes sense if you’re building, too. Vinyl windows may be your best choice for new construction if you’re not building your forever home, as their value and durability will hold up until it’s time to sell.

Comparing Vinyl Windows

Now, you can find cheap vinyl windows — in both their price and construction. Those aren’t the ones that are going to give you the benefits you seek or the return on investment you expect. When choosing between different vinyl window products, look for these key characteristics of quality:

  1. Uniform color – The color should be consistent throughout the entire window frame.
  2. Reinforced joints – Joints that are heat-welded or use metal-reinforced interlocking sashes have a stronger structure than window frames joined with screws or other fasteners.
  3. Multi-chambered frames – Another marker of structural integrity and durability, multiple chambers help further reinforce the window frame and improve performance. You can count the number of chambers and note their size — the smaller, the better — to get an idea of their quality.

Pella offers five different lines of high-performing vinyl windows that have these characteristics and meet strict quality standards. And the vinyl is made of a unique formula that provides excellent weathering and helps retain the color. While all of our vinyl windows have the quality you’d expect from Pella, they each offer their own benefits that may better meet the needs of your home.

White Encompass by Pella vinyl windows in a child's bedroom

Encompass by Pella Vinyl Windows

Encompass by Pella® is our most competitively-priced line of vinyl windows. While they come at the lowest cost, they still offer the same quality craftsmanship as all Pella windows. Encompass by Pella windows use high-grade vinyl and a precision welding process that resists warping and fading. They’re also just as easy to care for as other vinyl windows.

If you’re on a tighter budget or prefer function to fashionable features, Encompass windows will meet your needs without breaking the bank.

Available Window Styles: Double-hung, Single-hung, Sliding

Pella 250 Series vinyl windows in master bedroom

Pella 250 Series Vinyl Windows

The 250 Series is a step up in a number of areas. They are 52% stronger than ordinary vinyl.2 They’re more energy-efficient, too. Pella 250 Series vinyl windows with foam insulation and triple-pane glass are 62% more energy-efficient than single-pane vinyl windows.3 You get more options, too. Pella 250 Series windows are available in a broader range of window styles and 11 exterior colors. 

Available Window Styles: Awning, Double-hung, Single-hung, Casement, Sliding, Picture

Pella 350 Series vinyl window combination in bedroom

Pella 350 Series Vinyl Windows

Pella 350 Series is our premium vinyl line, providing a higher quality, modern look in 11 different colors. They also offer even more features and options that make them the most energy-efficient and durable vinyl window in the line-up. With up to 18 insulating air chambers inside the vinyl frame, and the additions of foam insulation and triple-pane glass, they were the Most Efficient of ENERGY STAR® for 2020.4 

SmoothSeam™ interior corner welds, reinforced frames and long-lasting vinyl keep Pella 350 Series windows looking great. This is especially helpful if you live in a climate with extreme weather or temperatures, as these windows can hold up inside and out.

Available Window Styles: Awning, Double-hung, Single-hung, Casement, Sliding, Picture

Hurricane Shield Series vinyl windows in coastal home

Pella® Hurricane Shield Series™ Vinyl Windows

There are few weather events as extreme as a hurricane. Vinyl hurricane windows are specifically engineered to withstand these disasters. Hurricane Shield Series™ windows5 adhere to stringent coastal requirements like the Florida Building Code and can be installed in homes in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone.

The durability of hurricane windows helps protect your home and everything inside it from catastrophic damage. They close and lock to provide protection that doesn’t require any extra storm prep.6 Whether you live on the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic Coast, Pella hurricane windows offer everyday performance as well as enhanced protection when your home falls in the storm’s path.

Available Window Styles: Awning, Single-hung, Casement, Sliding

Defender Series vinyl windows in bedroom

Pella® Defender Series™ Vinyl Windows

Similar to the Hurricane Shield Series, the Defender Series5 offers protection against hurricanes and other storms. These impact-resistant windows also offer protection against the sun, blocking nearly 100% of UV rays. 

The laminated, insulated glass that protects from the sun and storms provides other benefits, too. It reduces outside noise, boosts energy efficiency and protects against intruders. Those are features that can increase the comfort and security of homes anywhere, not just on the coast or in other stormy locations.

Available Window Styles: Double-hung, Single-hung, Sliding

Buying Vinyl Windows

When you’re ready to make a decision on your vinyl windows, there’s one more consideration closely linked to quality: proper installation. The strength, durability and energy efficiency of vinyl can be compromised if the windows are not set in to manufacturer specifications. That doesn’t just affect the performance of vinyl windows; it impacts their ROI. 

So when you buy, compare the costs of quality, professional installation just as you would the quality of the different vinyl products. With an in-home consultation or virtual appointment, you get a fair estimate and expert advice on the best vinyl windows for your home.

12020 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine.

2Based on the force required to bend a window frame profile.

3Improved window energy efficiency calculated in a computer simulation using RESFEN 5.0 default parameters for a 2,000-square-foot existing single-story home when comparing a Pella 250 Series vinyl window with InsulShield Advanced Low-E triple-pane glass with argon to a single-pane wood or vinyl window. For more details see

4Some Pella products may not meet ENERGY STAR® guidelines in Canada. For more information, contact your local Pella sales representative or go to

5Available in select regions. See your Pella sales representative for details.

6No additional preparation needed to comply with most local impact requirements.

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