Replacement Windows: What to Consider When Choosing Replacement Windows

Written by AnonymousJanuary 26, 2011

Choosing the Right Replacement Windows

If you live in a cold or damp climate, or if your home is uniquely constructed, choosing the right replacement windows can be a difficult task. To make the selection process easier, make a list of what you’re looking for in a window. Many windows manufacturers list the following considerations as the most important when it comes to choosing the right replacement windows: 

Your home’s style

An array of random window shapes and styles might work on certain homes, but most homes are much more attractive when each additional or replacement component remains true to the original architecture. If you want to stay true to your home’s original architecture, choose windows that are the same size and style you already have. You should choose handles, hinges, and locks that are similar to other ornamental metals in the home. Keeping your replacement windows in harmony with the original architecture of the home will also help save money by eliminating the need to make adjustments the home to fit the replacement windows. In some cases, altering the appearance of a certain architectural style can also decrease the value of the home.

Your climate

Your climate will determine which type of glass is best for your home. If you live in a cold climate, double or triple-pane glass is the best choice. Double or triple-pane glass provides excellent insulation and draft protection during the winter season and it can also help reduce your energy bills. If you live in a hot climate with above average sunshine, you should choose glass that will help reflect the sun’s hot rays away from your home. This will help keep the home nice and cool during the summer months.

Your lifestyle

Believe it or not, having the right windows can make your life easier. So when assessing your lifestyle, you should consider the following:

  • If you have great views from your home, you should consider high-transparency screens that work well with your replacement windows. High-transparency screens will not interfere with your view, and the look is subtle so they won’t diminish the appearance of your home.
  • If you have children or pets, you might choose replacement windows with built-in blinds or shades. This will protect the blinds or shades from dust, dirt, pet hair, paint, and other things kids and pets can get into. The cords are hidden as well, so this reduces or eliminates the threat of kids or pets becoming tangled in them or getting hurt by them.
  • If you have a hectic schedule, consider choosing vinyl, wood, or fiberglass replacement windows. These materials require very little maintenance, so frequent painting and scraping is all but eliminated. 

Your budget

When choosing replacement windows, cost is a major factor for most homeowners. However, initial cost should not be the only deciding factor, mainly because the least expensive choice in the short-term can end up costing more in the long-term. If the window is poorly constructed or the material isn’t right for your climate, you will end up paying more money in frequent replacement costs over the years. In general, steel and wood are the most expensive choices, fiberglass costs considerably less than steel and wood, and vinyl is the least expensive of all window materials.

Window manufacturers typically include base prices on floor models and in advertisements. The final cost for a replacement window will vary based on factors such as brand, size, and type. Replacement windows can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars up to a thousand dollars or more. Add special features such as high-performance glass and built-in accessories, and the price can increase even more.

Manufacturer

After carefully considering style, climate, lifestyle, and budget, the last step in choosing the right replacement window is to choose a manufacturer or brand. There are a  significant number of high quality window manufacturers on the market, but some of the top names in the industry include Andersen, Marvin, and Pella. (Author does not have a relationship with these manufacturers).

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