Rank and prioritize which major window features are most important to you. Look at the features and benefits offered in the major categories of appearance, cost, maintenance and security. Determine what you're looking for in each category and what you're willing to compromise on. For example, if appearance is ultimately more important to you than affordability, then PVC windows might be the better option.
Gather and analyze information regarding the features of PVC and vinyl windows in each of the major categories. For example, in terms of appearance PVC windows typically offer a more modern look that is comparable to wood window frames. Vinyl windows, on the other hand, are thought of as having a "standard" appearance. Depending upon the type of building the windows are going to be installed in and the preferences of the buyer, this may or may not be acceptable.
Calculate how much you're able to spend on window replacements. PVC and vinyl windows both typically fall within the low to mid price range of the product category. Still, there is bound to be some degree of variation between the vast array of choices within each window type.
Determine the importance of upkeep, durability and security. PVC windows are considered to have good security, with little maintenance required. Vinyl windows are considered to have stronger resistance to wear and tear and adequate security.
Look at the specific advantages and benefits provided by the specific line of windows you're considering in each category. Whether they are PVC or vinyl, each manufacturer offers unique built-in features, color selection and optional add-on packages. Some manufacturers might offer additional features such as fireproofing or soundproofing. These additional features, if important, might make the purchase of PVC windows more attractive if they cannot be duplicated by a vinyl window supplier. Ultimately, since PVC and vinyl windows are relatively similar in most major feature categories, the comparison of the two is going to come down to small details and the relative importance of individual buyer preferences.