Choosing the best replacement windows for your home is not easy. However, with the right knowledge and some professional guidance (that is where we come in!), the task does not have to be so daunting. In this article, we will share our top tips for choosing the best replacement windows so when the time comes, you will be fully prepared and confident you have chosen what’s best for your home.
Tip 1 – Choose the Right Window Material
Choosing the window material is usually the first step when replacing your windows. The most common materials are wood, aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Wood windows are quite a popular choice due to their great insulation factor, helping to naturally regulate the temperature of your home. They also offer a classic and timeless look, making them ideal for older or historical homes. A downside of wood windows, however, is that they require regular painting and staining overtime to keep them from cracking, fading or rotting. They are also fairly expensive and not the best option if you are on a tight or even moderate budget.
Vinyl replacement windows are probably one of the most common choices amongst homeowners. This is because vinyl windows are incredibly easy to maintain and are relatively lower priced compared to other window materials. They also do not peel, crack or fade. However, vinyl windows cannot be painted once they have been installed and some lower quality options do not have the same strength as other window materials, such as wood.
If you are looking for durability, you cannot go past aluminum windows. They are also reasonably inexpensive when compared to wood, coming in at a similar cost to vinyl windows (but with better durability)! Aluminum windows are ideal if you live in hotter climates and are popular in modern homes and multi-family dwellings.
Fiberglass windows come with some excellent energy saving features and are also almost completely maintenance free. They are long-lasting and offer a great ROI. Not to mention fiberglass windows do not rot, and are much less likely to warp overtime compared to vinyl, wood, or aluminum.
Tip 2 – Selecting Your Window Glass
There are a few window glass options to choose from when replacing your windows. However, we recommend you choose the type of glass you need based on the climate you live in (more on that below.)
While single-pane glass still exists, it is outdated due to advancements in window and glass technology. You would probably only see it today in older homes or in mild climates. We don’t recommend it for homes in the Maryland and Virginia climates as there are more energy efficient windows available that will keep your home cooler in summer, warmer in winter and help you save on expensive energy bills.
Double-pane glass windows contain a sealed air space between the two layers of glass that helps reduce heat loss. These types of windows come in many variations and have advanced insulation capabilities, such as low-E glass, which contains an invisible coating of metal on one surface, and inert gas injected between the panes of glass for added insulation.
If you live in a climate that is very cold, we recommend triple-pane glass windows. This is because triple-pane windows are sealed with a mix of gases, such as argon or krypton. The combination of three panes of glass and the doubled gas filled areas give an extra boost of insulation, which ensures the temperature in your home is well regulated.
Tip 3 – Choosing the Right Window Style
Choosing your window style comes down to personal choice, but it is also important to note that not all window styles will work in all window spaces, which is why you should always seek a professional opinion first.
Sliding windows are a popular choice because they are relatively inexpensive and require little maintenance. However, they do not offer as much ventilation as other window types, so that is something to consider if the room you are installing the window requires plenty of ventilation.
Double-hung replacement windows slide up and down and are ideal if you are going for a more traditional look. They are the most common style in the Virginia and Maryland area.
Casement windows open like doors by pivoting on hinges that are located on the side of the window frame. Often taller than they are wide, they offer a good amount of ventilation. Casement replacement windows offer an unobstructed view outside, so are ideal if you have a lovely backyard or live near mountains or meadows.
Bay windows protrude out of the home, the benefit of this being they offer extra floor space inside. They are a good option for modern homes, but need to be built on flat windows set into an angle frame built outside your home.
To learn more about replacement windows download our Buyer’s Guide below.