A Guide for Replacement Windows

If you’ve done any kind of research into replacement windows, you’ve probably already discovered that there are literally endless possibilities which you can think about. While it’s nice to have all kinds of options to choose from, it can get to be a little overwhelming when you’re trying to narrow down the choices into exactly what you want for your own home.

The following guide is provided to you so that you’ll at least have a starting point on thinking about the most important aspects of purchasing replacement windows. There are undoubtedly many more considerations which you could take into your window-shopping project, but if you stick to the basics described below, you’ll probably have most of the bases covered, and you’ll be able to arrive at a good solution for your household.

Budgeting for replacement windows

As you might expect, there are quite a few factors which impact the final price of any new replacement window. For example, the brand name and the quality will certainly influence the cost of your window, as will the particular type of material it’s made of, and the size of the window you’re buying. As a rule of thumb, you can anticipate paying somewhere between $450 and $600 for one vinyl window.

If you want to install wood windows, those would be a bit more expensive, and that could run you somewhere between $800 and $1,000 for a single window. By all means, obtain estimates from any contractor or retailer that you might be working with, but before you get any information from them, you can use the figures above as a working estimate. Don’t forget to add in approximately $50-$100 as the cost of having the window installed.

Window Types

The types of windows you will have to choose from will each be designed to serve a different role within your household, so when you’re thinking about window types, give some thought to the function that particular window will provide to the room where it’s installed. Hopper windows, awning windows, and casement windows are all different types of tilt-out windows, each of which has a single pane and which opens outwards. For the most part, these are operated with a handle which can open or close the window, and have it locked in place with a single motion.

Casement windows usually have a hinge on one side and will open up in the opposite direction. Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outwards at the bottom, while hopper windows have a hinge along the bottom and open outwards at the top. Single-hung windows are equipped with two sashes that are hung in vertical fashion. As opposed to double-hung windows, only the bottom sash of a single-hung window is operational, as it moves upwards when opened. Some manufacturers intentionally design the operational sash on their windows to tilt inwards, so they can easily be cleaned.

Double-hung windows have two sashes which are both hung vertically. Both of these sashes are operational, with the top sash moving downwards to open up, and the bottom sash moving upwards. Quite a few manufacturers design their double-hung windows with sashes that can be tilted inwards, which makes it very easy to clean the outside surface of the window.

Bay windows add a great deal of architectural interest to any home, and they are generally constructed of three windows which are placed at sharp angles, and which extend outward into the environment. Sliding windows are equipped with either two or three sashes, all of which are hung horizontally. The operation of these windows will vary from one manufacturer to the next, so it literally depends on which brand you buy to determine how exactly it will be operated.

Window Materials

There are four basic type of window materials which you can choose from, these being vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, and wood. The type of material you choose for your replacement window will depend on which features you value the most from each. Vinyl windows are very popular because of their affordability and because of their low maintenance. They are extremely resistant to all kinds of weather, and they are also very energy-efficient. Vinyl windows are probably the single most popular replacement window currently available on the market.

Fiberglass windows are relatively new to the industry, which means there are not a great many of them already installed in homes. However, their popularity is steadily increasing because a great many homeowners have already found that they are extremely durable, and are highly resistant to any kind of weather extremes.

Aluminum windows are not as popular as they once were, simply because other window materials have overtaken them due to the advantages they can provide. However, aluminum is a very strong material, which means it can accommodate larger glass components and thinner frames.

Wood windows have been popular for quite a long time, because of their natural look and because they can be painted or stained to match any kind of exterior which your home may have. Wood is also a natural insulator, which means it should prevent conditioned air from escaping the home, provided that there are no leaks or drafts around the frame. You can count on wood windows being more expensive than vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum, and they will require more maintenance than vinyl windows.

Glass Options

It’s important to think about the glass options which are available with any replacement window you might be considering. Some glass options provide greater energy efficiency, some offer enhanced security features, and some are simply better for the type of climate where you live. If you happen to live in an urban environment where there’s lots of background noise, you may want to consider a window which offers greater insulation against noise.

If you live in an area which is subject to hurricanes or tornadoes, you might want to consider impact-resistant glass. Other characteristics of glass that you should consider are those with low-emissivity coating, which prevents sunlight from heating up your household, and double-glazing, which includes a gas layer between each of the panes of glass in a window. By understanding what some of the most important glass options are, you’ll be able to make the most intelligent choice for your replacement windows.