Replacement Window Buying Guide

Replacing old windows can help to enhance the look of your home, improve your home’s value, as well as to add comfort to your home and provide energy savings. Our replacement window buying guide can help you learn which materials, types, and features are most important to consider. Thompson Creek Window Company specializes in replacement window installation.

Window replacement can yield near-immediate improvements in comfort and energy efficiency. Furthermore, according to a Cost Vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine, replacement projects continue to perform better in resale value compared to other types of home improvements.

How to Choose Replacement Windows

Understanding how to choose replacement windows may seem like a difficult task. Given the high cost of replacing windows, the more information you know, the more of an informed a choice you can make. Whether you’re building a new home or planning to replace existing windows, the key is to know which choices will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

What is the Cost of Replacement Windows?

Calculating the cost of replacement windows can be tricky, as there are many factors contributing to the final price. The cost will vary upon size, amount of windows needed, style and quality, and the installation requirements. Despite the many brands and options available, affordable replacements are easy to find if you know what you’re looking for.

Before you estimate replacement costs, it’s important to inspect the existing window frames for damage. If the window’s frame is showing signs of wear or cracking, it will need to be replaced. It’s important to understand that saving money on your energy bill is a good reason to replace your windows, and you can improve the comfort and value of your home.

Although replacement window prices may seem very steep, it should be looked at as an investment, and you can reasonably expect your home’s value to increase.

Types of Windows

When looking at different types of windows, there are different styles to consider, depending on your specific needs and wants. When considering the different types of windows for your home, here are a few styles to look into:

Replacement Window ConstructionDouble-Hung Windows
Double-hung windows feature a top sash that can be lowered and a bottom sash that can be raised. Both sashes can easily be locked in place for safety, or removed completely in an emergency. Both top and bottom sashes tilt in for easy cleaning. They’re also a smart choice if you plan to install a window air conditioner, though most now have a fairly high trim on the sill that may require significant shimming to stabilize the air conditioner.

Awning & Hopper Style Windows
Awning windows hinge at the top and open at the bottom, making them perfect fits for kitchens and bathrooms. On the other hand, hopper windows hinge at the bottom and open at the top, and are ideal for most basements.

Casement-Style Windows
Casement window can be installed as a single window, paired with another casement (creating a twin structure) or leveraged in a bay window structure. This style of windows hinge at the side and open via an effortless crank operating system that allows for easy cleaning from inside your home. Built with an extremely durable frame and our most energy-efficient glass package, the casement window adds protection, functionality, and energy savings.

Picture Windows
Picture windows allow you to capture the beautiful views of the great outdoors. These large, framed windows provide maximum light and visibility from both the inside and outside of your home!

Slider Windows
Slider windows are designed to maximize light when closed and ventilation when open. These windows typically feature two panels that slide from side to side and are constructed using the highest quality materials for maximum durability and energy efficiency.

Bay & Bow Windows
Bay windows are the perfect choice for creating curb appeal while adding light and warmth to your home’s interior. These window styles are typically comprised of one center picture window that allows light to flood into your home. This center window is usually flanked by your choice of casement or double-hung windows on each side. Every bay window is made with the highest quality materials and our most energy-efficient glass for maximum durability, comfort and cost savings.

On the other hand, bow windows are different from a traditional bay window, combining four or more fixed or venting windows to create a larger aesthetic addition to your home.

Garden Windows
Garden windows add dimension and light to your kitchen. Garden windows typically include shelving space, making them perfect for an in-home herb and vegetable garden.

Best Window Material

What are the different types of window materials and is there such a thing as the “best” window material? Here are some of the more popular types of window materials:

Wood Frame
Wood window frames are made of solid wood with the exterior covered in aluminum or vinyl to protect the wood from the outside elements. Wood windows generally require maintenance and will need to be refinished.

Vinyl Frame
Vinyl frames are typically the least expensive material and do not require any type of painting. Vinyl frames are usually white, which is something to consider if you were looking to coordinate your windows with the color of the exterior paint. Vinyl window manufacturers can pain the exterior of the frame to compliment the style of your home.

Composite Frame
Composite frames are made from fiberglass or from a combination of materials. These frames also typically do not need to be painted or stained. With that being said, you may have limited color choices. They’re also typically the most expensive type of frame and may have parts made of solid wood and others from laminated wood. The combination is oftentimes used to give the appearance of a solid wood window, while trying to make the underling structure more stable than that of solid wood.

Do I Need New Windows?

You may be wondering, “do I need new windows?” since you want to be sure you really need to replace them before you make any decisions. There are several signs you need new windows, and being sure to take everything into consideration is key.

Signs of needing new windows includes:

  • Cracked, broken or missing glass. These obvious issues can create safety hazards and contribute to higher utility bills.
  • Drafts leaking in from the outside. This is a common issue with single pane windows, which do not provide good insulation from weather.
  • Solar heat gain from not blocking out radiant heat. This can contribute to increased cooling costs in the summer and cause damage to home furnishings.
  • Foggy or cloudy glass. This occurs when the seal between two panes of glass in a double-pane window has broken.
  • Visible rot. Wood windows can rot over time and require ongoing maintenance.
  • Water damage to walls or inside the home. Wood frames can weaken and rot, allowing water to seep into walls or into the home itself.
  • Windows installed before 1978. These windows likely contain lead paint – a hazard for you and your family.

With advancements in window design, engineering and manufacturing, today’s replacement windows are more durable and energy efficient than windows built even 10 years ago.

The style of your home plays a big role in the type of window you choose for each room. Several other factors affect the window glass and other features you’ll want to use for a particular room. For example, the window styles you choose if your biggest concern is curb appeal may be different than if your goal is weatherization.

Explore Thompson Creek’s many replacement windows, take a virtual tour of our windows showroom or visit a showroom to see them in person.

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