Choosing the Right Replacement Windows

Picture Windows

Energy efficient windows are one of the biggest investments you can make for your home. New windows affect the appearance of your home from the inside and outside and also make your home seem brighter, more spacious, less drafty, and quieter. Shopping for new replacement windows can be quite a confusing process because the modern market offers more variations than ever before. Use this guide to help decide which features are most important to you. This will make your final decision process easier.

Start the process by educating yourself. There are many different windows on the market and not all windows are created equal. There have been recent advances in replacement window technology such as frame materials, glass options and cosmetic options. Working with a knowledgeable professional will help you understand the latest technology used in modern replacement windows. When requesting an estimate for your replacement windows be sure it includes all aspects installation containing no hidden costs, is valid for an extended period of time, and keeps your project on budget. Once you have figured out what features you want, you can then decide where to splurge or where to be frugal.

Do your homework! When it comes to replacement windows they can range in price from approximately $300 to $1000 per window. The least expensive window might not be the best purchase. They are often made of inferior materials and can breakdown in just a few short years. A good quality window system should provide decades of performance and include a transferable lifetime warranty. In the long run, this will save you money and increase the value of your home should you ever sell.

Your replacement windows are only as good as the installation. Anchoring, insulating, and seals are key parts of the installation. If the installation is not done properly it can compromise the durability, energy efficiency, and appearance of the window system. Take time to verify that your installer is properly trained and certified on the current installation methods for the type of replacement window system you are choosing. To avoid having any issues with your installation and replacement windows you want to be sure the company you choose is reputable, respected, and well established.

Maintenance is more of a convenience than a feature; however, it does make a difference when choosing what features are important to you. Look for hardware that is easy to operate and maintain such as grilles that are in between the panes of glass and sashes that are designed for easy cleaning from inside of your home. You can then determine how important exterior maintenance is. Different frames require different amounts of up keep. Wood frames will need to be painted and/or treated periodically, where as, vinyl frames are virtually maintenance free.

Finally selecting a replacement window style is a personal preference and design consideration. Choosing the wrong style can potentially downgrade the look of your home and lower the resale value. Having someone familiar with modern design to help you choose window and glass styling options will help ensure you are happy with the final result. Answer these questions to determine what styles are available to you: Where are the windows located that you will be replacing? Would you like them to stay closed or be able to open? If you want them to open how will they open slide, tilt, or pivot? You can also use this general rule of thumb when selecting the replacement windows for your home: smaller double hung windows for a traditional/colonial home, larger, picture windows for a modern/contemporary home, or look around at homes designed similar to yours, to help you narrow down options. The windows you select should look good from both the inside and outside.

Planning in advance and using this information will help make sure you are not unprepared as you shop around for a window system and company that best fits the needs of your home and you. With a good plan in place you will feel great about your decision, whom you are working with, your new replacement windows and the replacement windows will make the dramatic difference you envisioned.


  • Jen Pack

    My husband and I are in the process of remodeling our home and we are planning on replacing the windows. I like how you point out that it is important to do your homework before choosing replacement windows and a company to do them. I imagine that an internet search would be one great way to do this. We’ll be sure to follow these tips, thanks for sharing them!

  • I had no idea that windows could cost as much as $1,000 per window! It makes sense that the least expensive might not be the best option though, as it could lead to earlier replacement like you mentioned. I imagine a different possibility to economize a little would be to repair instead of replace the windows, provided the damage isn’t too extensive. My sister has a few damaged windows she has been thinking of having replaced, maybe I’ll recommend she consult with a professional before moving forward.

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