How to Choose Replacement Windows
Replacing the windows in your home is one of the largest and most important home improvement projects you can undertake. Choosing the right windows for your home and your budget are very important as windows are a long term investment and a significant impact on both your home’s value and comfort.
There a number of things you should consider when choosing replacement windows. Read on below to learn more about what you should consider when choosing replacement windows for your home.
Windows come in a variety of shapes, sizes and types. Choosing the right windows can be difficult, so there are several things you need to take into consideration: your home’s style, your budget, and how you want the window to perform.
Some windows, like casement windows, awning windows, and sliding windows offer ease of operation. Casements and awnings utilize a hand crank system for opening and closing the windows while sliding windows use a low-friction rolling slider system. These features allow for ease of operation, making these types of windows popular for hard to reach areas such as the bathroom, over sinks, or behind counter tops.
Other windows make great centerpieces in the room and are ideal for letting in light and exposing great views. Fixed-pane special shape windows are great for adding an aesthetic element and natural lighting in an area that would otherwise go unused.
A window replacement expert can help you decide which windows are ideal for specific locations in your home, ensuring maximum lighting, ease of operation, and performance.
Windows are made from a variety of materials, most commonly wood, aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass. There are also a number of clad windows that utilize a combination of these materials. As a general rule of thumb, windows with better energy efficiency and protection cost more, but they will recover their additional cost in time through energy savings. The most popular types of windows today are:
- Vinyl – Vinyl windows are the most popular type of windows today. Their low cost, low maintenance, and relatively good energy efficiency make them a popular choice for homeowners.
- Aluminum – Aluminum windows have decreased in popularity with the rise of vinyl windows, but they remain a popular choice, especially for homeowners looking for a strong and high quality window product.
- Wood – Wood windows remain exceptionally popular, particularly for high-end window buyers who are seeking architectural authenticity or those that are bound by historic requirements. Wood windows typically have the highest cost, so many window buyers will opt for clad windows with wooden interiors.
- Fiberglass – Fiberglass windows are known for exceptional durability and energy efficiency. They are generally higher in cost than vinyl and aluminum windows, but offer superior thermal protection and a longer lifespan.
Window Orientation and Size
Obviously the view outside the window is an important consideration to make. Windows connect your home to the world outside and can enhance your experience inside the house.
The type of window, size, and features should all be taken into consideration when choosing replacement windows. For example, if your windows are facing south, they will receive the most sun exposure, so large windows will give you excellent natural lighting. The downside, however, is that windows are poor insulators compared to other building components, so you want to make sure that southern facing windows are equipped with a slew of energy saving features to keep your home comfortable in addition to well-lit.
All glass is not created equal. Today, there are a number of high efficiency glass options (aka low-E glass) on the market designed to reduce heat transfer into the home and UV radiation that can fade carpets, furniture, and other items in the home. On a cold day, low-E glass can also prevent the radiant interior heat from escaping through the glass, reducing your home heating bills.
Do you live in an area that is subject to extreme weather? If so, impact resistant windows are a great choice. Impact resistant windows look and operate just like regular windows, but they have protective layers of shatter-resistant glass that protect your home from high-impact projectiles resulting from severe weather. If you are building a new home in areas prone to hurricanes or other forms of severe weather, local code may even require impact-resistant windows.
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Replacement Windows in Maryland & Northern Virginia
If you are looking for awning windows in the Washington, DC metro area and would like a window replacement estimate, contact the replacement window professionals at Quality Window & Door today or visit one of our showrooms in Maryland or Northern Virginia.
Simply fill out the contact form on the right or call us at 800-370-8751 to request a free in-home replacement window consultation today!
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