According to recent current research, 67 percent of homeowners surveyed said that they need to replace their existing windows. When it comes to windows, the choices are nearly endless. Because windows can make a significant impact on the overall style, comfort and efficiency of your home, it’s important to consider these factors:
The most common materials used for windows are vinyl, wood, clad-wood and aluminum. Your choice depends on what factors are most important to you.
- Vinyl – A strong plastic material that is used for its durability, energy efficiency and ability to stand up to the elements. This material will never fade in color, flake, peel or rot.
- Wood – Wood comes from trees that grow in a variety of species, such as fir, pine, mahogany or alder. Each species has a range of characteristics, like grain, color and sap content, which contributes to its unique appearance.
- Clad-Wood – Like a coat of armor, cladding is a strong layer of metal on wood, providing extra protection and low maintenance benefits with no exterior painting required.
- Aluminum – A lightweight and strong material that is a cost effective alternative to wood. This material is corrosion-resistant and performs well in most climates.
Window energy efficiency is achieved by a combination of factors. Wood and vinyl reduce heat transfer and help insulate. Look for Low-E glass, a special glass coating designed to reflect infared light, keeping heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer. Low-E also reflects ultraviolet light to protect interior furnishings. Dual glass panes insulate much better than single panes. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label, which means the window will meet the efficiency requirements for your particular region.
Awning, bay, bow, casement, double-hung, fixed, garden, single-hung, sliding and tilt and turn – windows are available in many shapes, sizes and combination units.
In general, wood is more expensive than vinyl or aluminum. We also offer different pricing scales within our window lines – from custom and premium, to more modest options. When it comes to budget, it’s important to factor in long term value beyond the initial purchase price. Energy efficiency and a longer warranty can all help save maintenance and replacement costs over time. Resale value is also a key consideration – beautiful, more efficient windows are a big selling feature.
Vinyl is today’s dominant choice for updating old wood and aluminum windows, representing 65 percent of the replacement market. Wood and clad-wood double-hung pocket windows are designed for installation into existing window frames. The process is simple, quick, and preserves more of the home’s structure, which is especially important in historic renovations. Experienced DIYers who replace existing windows with pocket windows or sash replacement kits can save as much as 60 percent on material, time and labor costs when compared to traditional window replacements.
Finding the Window that’s Right for You
Climate conditions and other environmental factors are key criteria when it comes to selecting the right window. Below are some general tips for materials and options to consider. It’s important to note that every homeowner’s circumstance is different, so this information includes general suggestions, not recommendations – you should talk to a reputable contractor or window dealer in your particular area to help select products that may work best for you.
We offer a variety of textured, tinted and decorative glass for windows that provides privacy while still allowing natural light to enter.
Home Safety and Security
Consider glass strength and the locking mechanism. Most of our windows meet forced entry test requirements. Other technologies such as Low-E glass use thicker double strength glass, which is twice as resistant to breakage compared to single strength glass. Our vinyl windows with the MAG-Lock® have a locking mechanism with a tamper-resistant design that is easy to operate with one hand, locks automatically when shut, and can’t be seen from the outside, which offers additional protection. ImpactGard protection, made for extreme weather conditions, also provides added security.
We hope this guide has been helpful. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any window questions you may have.