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Replacement Window Buying Guide
How to Choose the Best Replacement Windows
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.
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 major decisions. There are several signs you need new windows, and being sure to take everything into consideration is key.
Some key signs of needing new windows includes:
- Cracked, broken or missing glass are issues that can create safety hazards and contribute to higher utility bills.
- Drafts leaking in from the outside is a common issuewith single pane windows, which do not provide good insulation from weather.
- Solar heat gain from not blocking out radiant heat can contribute to increased cooling costs in the summer and cause damage to home furnishings.
- Foggy or cloudy glass 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 – oftentimes, wood frames can weaken and rot.
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.
Top Benefits of Replacement Windows
There are few projects that brings as many benefits as replacement windows. Here are some of the benefits you’ll be able to enjoy once your windows are replaced in your home:
- Increased Home Value: New windows can help to increase the value of your home, as you are making your home more modern, secure, energy-efficient, and much more.
- Enhanced Safety: New windows can help with your peace of mind by helping to keep your home safe. Older windows may be easier to break into, or may be more prone to breakage.
- Improved Energy Efficiency: Replacing your older windows with new ones is a great way to save big on your energy bills as well as decrease your negative impact on the environment.
- Increased Curb Appeal: With a wide array of wood types and hardware finishes, replacement windows are a way of update your home’s style and make it more modern.
- Increased Warmth: New windows can help to reduce the draft in your home and provide better insulation.
- Easier Cleaning: Many replacement window styles tilt in for easy cleaning of both the interior and exterior glass from inside your home.
How to Choose Replacement Windows
Understanding how to choose replacement windows may seem like a difficult task. Given the 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. There are many factors to consider when looking for new windows, including cost, type of window, window frame material, and warranty.
What is the Cost of New 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, number of windows needed, style, quality and installation requirements, but 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. However, if it’s solid with minimal damage, you may be able to simply install new glass, which can help save you money. It’s important to understand that saving money on your energy bill is a benefit when you replace your windows, and could take years to recoup the money you’ll spend on new windows.
Although replacement window prices may seem steep, it should be looked at as an investment and a way of improving energy efficiency, comfort and increasing your home’s value.
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 popular styles to look into:
Double-hung windows are the most common type of window, because of their versatility and ease of operation. 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. Both top and bottom sashes tilt in for easy cleaning. They’re also beneficial if you plan to install a window 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 windows 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 a durable frame, the casement window adds protection, functionality, and energy savings.
Picture windows allow you to take in the 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 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 high quality materials for maximum durability and energy efficiency.
Bay & Bow Windows
Bay windows are typically comprised of one center picture window that allows light to enter your home. This center window is usually bordered by your choice of casement or double-hung windows on each side.
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 add dimension and light to your kitchen. Garden windows typically include shelving space, making them ideal for an in-home herb and vegetable garden.
Window Frame Material
What are the different types of window frame materials, and is there such a thing as the “best” frame material? Here are some of the more popular types of materials:
Wood Window Frames
Wood window frames are made of solid wood with the exterior covered in aluminum or vinyl to protect the wood from the outside elements. These wooden frames require maintenance over time.
Vinyl Window Frames
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. Many window manufacturers can paint the exterior of the windows to compliment the exterior of your home.
Aluminum Window Frames
Aluminum window frames require little maintenance and are very durable. They can stand up to the elements, and won’t rot or mold. However, they aren’t as energy efficient as other window frame materials. Since they are also a more expensive option, their limitations on energy efficiency can make these frames ideal solely for homes located in certain climates.
Fiberglass Window Frames
Fiberglass window frames are strong and low maintenance. These frames are composed of glass fibers and resin and are beneficial for environments with changing temperatures since the frames are resistant to expansion and contraction as a result of temperature changes. These frames look and feel like wood without rotting or warping and are more energy efficient than wood frames. Fiberglass windows are generally the most expensive replacement option.
Finding Your New Windows
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.
If you’re in the market for new windows or are just looking for more information for now, you can explore Thompson Creek’s many replacement windows, take a virtual tour of our windows showroom or visit a showroom to see them in person. Contact Thompson Creek today and get a free estimate for your new window installation.