Choosing Replacement Windows

Written by AnonymousJanuary 26, 2011

A property owner might decide to replace windows for a number of reasons. The windows might be physically damaged, they may perform poorly, they may no longer be energy-efficient, they might be unattractive, or maybe they’re unsafe. No matter what the reason for replacing your windows, keep the following common considerations in mind during your search.

  • Climate will determine the best type of glass to choose for your replacement windows. For example, if you live in a hot, sunny climate, you will need glass that will help reflect the sun’s rays away from your home, which will help keep the space cooler in the summer. If you live in a cold climate, double or triple-pane glass will provide superior insulation and draft protection during the winter months and it will also help lower your energy bills.
  • Quality construction increases durability. It doesn’t matter if the window is made from vinyl, aluminum, or wood, if it is poorly constructed it will not last long. A high quality window will come with a minimum 20/10 warranty: 20 years on the window seal and 10 years on the frame, sash, and hardware. Some manufacturers even offer a limited lifetime warranty. The warranty reflects how confident a manufacturer is with the durability of its product.
  • Placement is important for several reasons. If you are purchasing a replacement window for a high traffic area in your home, it will get much more use than a replacement window for your basement. A window that is located on a garden or first floor must offer added security over a window that is located on a second or third floor.
  • Appearance is a matter of choice, but most property owners prefer to stay true to the structure’s architectural makeup. Choose a window in the same style and size of the current windows and match the hinges, handles, and locks with other ornamental metals in the home. Sticking with the same style and size as your old windows will also help save money by eliminating the need to alter the original construction of the home to fit your replacement windows.
  • When it comes to cost, there is a huge difference between cheap and high quality windows. Cheap windows look great on display at your local home improvement store, but you won’t know exactly what you’re getting into until after the window has been installed and used during inclement weather seasons.

Typical issues with cheap windows include:

  • The locks break easily
  • The windows are drafty
  • The windows fog up because moisture collects inside the panes of glass
  • The windows sometimes slide down or close on their own

In the end, when choosing replacement windows, choose quality over cost because you might end up paying more in the long-term if you go with poorly made windows.

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