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Pre Assembled Window Boxes VS Window Box Kits

As a sales representative I hear it all the time: what is the best deal you can offer me? In window boxes the best deal is quality and longevity. All window boxes are going to have some of the same general costs like dirt, plants, plant food or fertilizer, and a regular water supply at the very least, beyond that expenses are different in source, timing, and magnitude. Window boxes can have all kinds of hidden expenses from the initial setup to long term maintenance. One of the main choices you need to address is whether you want to buy a window box kit which will likely be cheaper up front or a professionally pre assembled window box, which will likely be the better deal in the long run, each has its pros and cons. Fully assembled or made to order window boxes will have unique advantages in the long run. Preassembled window boxes vs window box kits

Window Box Kits

The window box kit or planter box kit is going to be the one you find at all of your box stores or online with “free shipping.” Free shipping is a bit of a euphemism, it is a sales tool used to make you think you are getting something for free but really it is just built into the cost somewhere else. This doesn’t make it a bad deal, it just shifts the expenses. For window box kits, some are easy enough for you to put together yourself, maybe they snap together or have just a couple screws or some glue and include the tools in with the hardware. These boxes are going to have shorter lives and will need to be replaced more quickly. They are typically made of vinyl or polyethylene and are hollow and subject to bending, warping, sagging, bowing, or cracking. Some kits come with high quality materials, rather than molded parts and are made to last longer, however, these typically require you to either possess better tools and skills to correctly assemble it or, if you are not a carpenter by trade then you have to hire one to build your boxes which will likely cost more than the money you might have saved by buying a kit instead of a preassembled box.

Most kits are vinyl or polyethylene and are made from colored plastics rather than being painted. That is because neither plastic can hold paint due to the slick nature of the surface and how they are made. Additionally, these darker plastics will often fade when left out in the sun and since the plastic is colored and cannot be painted, you are unable to touch them back up and make them look new again. Additionally, the surface of these materials is generally very slick to the touch and so the surface often will look shiny or cheap. The hollow walls can make it light weight but this can also make it fragile and necessary to bring it in over the winter to avoid freezing and cracking.

Pre-Built Window Boxes

Pre-built or custom window boxes are generally made from wood, fiberglass, resin, composite, copper, wrought iron, or PVC. Fiberglass boxes are among the most expensive but like the vinyl boxes they also cannot be painted or repaired by your average homeowner and have to be brought in during the winter to avoid them being damaged by cold freezes. They can be long lived if they are cared for and are generally low maintenance otherwise.

Planter boxes especially should be pre-built when the sizes are large due to the extreme amount of weight that they can hold. For this reason planter box kits are usually for small planters only. To give you an idea of the weight a planter can hold, it would not be uncommon for a typical 4 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft planter to hold in excess of 300 pounds of soil. Having a planter made from a stronger material like cement, fiberglass, or solid PVC is preferred to keep the planter from bending, twisting, or cracking. Wood rot on a window box - how to fix or replace with pvc

Wooden window boxes can be painted or stained and may be able to be repaired when they break but this requires special tools and skills. Even when they do not break they require annual maintenance: checking for rotten and weak spots and repairing the rot or refinishing the paint or stain on the box to keep them looking fresh. You can use a liner to extend the life of these boxes but they will eventually fail and have to be replaced. Wrought iron window boxes rarely come as kits, so usually you're looking at a fully assembled product from the get go. PVC window boxes are made using the same tools and methods as wooden boxes without the downside of rotting or extensive annual maintenance. They can be left in place year round so that you have 4 season decorating ability, and in most cases your upkeep comes down to washing them off once a year. They are easily paintable without the need for special equipment and a quality paint can last 10 to 15 years.

We also offer a water reservoir feature that will turn any of our flower boxes into self-watering flower boxes. So if it is going to require a professional carpenter why not have them build the box to begin with, and have it built from a no rot material that is guaranteed for life? Buying a box that is professionally built and arrives fully assembled has many advantages. The first and most important would be that you can have the peace of mind knowing that it was built by someone who knows and understands the product. Flower Window Boxes, Inc.is the largest online manufacturer of PVC window boxes built through old world carpentry and we've been around for 15+ years. All of our PVC window boxes are backed with a lifetime guarantee. Also, check out our cedar window boxes reinforced with PVC. They're our newest addition for people who love the look of wood but not the maintenance.

Matt-buquoi-author-flower-window-boxesAbout the Author
Matthew Buquoi is the owner of Flower Window Boxes, Inc., which is one of the largest online window box companies in the United States. In addition to being the owner, he is also an expert author, and regularly writes about industry topics in the window boxes, planters, exterior shutters, and home and garden industry.