Sometimes selecting window replacements are not as easy as it may sound, as there is a wide selection of different types of frames, types of glass, applications and styles that are available, which can sometimes overwhelm homeowners. Do you know what the most prominent feature of your home is? If you guessed windows you are right and this applies to both inside and outside, so when it comes time to choose window replacements you should not take this lightly. Here are a few tips to help you to choose the right window for both your home and you.
A lot of people don’t talk about this, but one of your very first consideration needs to be with the legality and this applies to any remodeling or new construction project, you need to check with your local building code department before starting your project. Now, once the legal stuff is out the way, the next thing you should consider is the style of your windows. When it comes to style, don’t forget to find out about the functionality of that particular style, as a style has a direct impact on the functionality of windows. If your window replacements are fixed, then you will enjoy the benefits of fewer repairs, less rotting and a greater air seal, but these types of windows are limited when it comes to the insulation of your home.
You can get greater energy efficiency from horizontal sliding windows or if you prefer a more classic look than you can go for the vertical sliding windows. Single hung window is another name for vertical sliding windows that has one pane fixed, but if both panes of glass can slide then that is referred to as double hung windows. Then there are windows that do not slide but instead swing in or out, these are referred to as Casement windows. If you are looking for the most economical window, then vertical sliding or single hung windows will be the style you should go for.
You will find a variety of frame materials when you go to buy new windows, each material will have its own disadvantages and advantages. You will find that Vinyl is the most affordable option, the problem with vinyl though, is that you can’t paint them, so they will fade, crack or warp over time. Wood on the other hand is very popular as it is a classic material. Unlike vinyl, wooden window frames can be painted and they are very sturdy. However, they can rot and are very expensive when compared to vinyl. Then there are aluminum framed windows that are somewhat of a medium priced frame, they are not as attractive as vinyl or wood, but they are more durable and light weight. And if you live near a salt water body, you should not get aluminum as they will deteriorate around salty conditions.
Replacement windows have a lot of decorative options available, some will come with large panes of glass so they will be easier to clean and they give homeowners an uninterrupted view. There are also 6-lite or 9-lite, which are windows that are divided into separate small squares, the problem with this type of window is it will be harder to clean, as you have to clean each individual pane of glass, but the benefit will be that it will be less costly to repair if one of the panes break or needs repairs. Then there are windows that each glass pane will have a grid in between, these are easy to clean and are very attractive, but it will be expensive to replace or repair.
When it comes to choosing the type of glass, it is important to understand that the glass will not affect the look of your windows; instead it will directly impact the cost and energy efficiency of your window. Nowadays, with all the natural disasters and dependent on the area of the country that you live in, you will find that single pane glass is prohibited by the local code department, but if it is allowed this will be your least costly option. But either way you should consider double pane glass as it will improve the energy efficiency of your home. If you choose Low-E glass, you will find that these windows contain gases like argon gas in between each pane, which will give your home better insulation and they also have a special layer built in to reflect ultraviolet rays.
You can also choose to get the glass tinted, you may want to consider this if you want to reduce the amount of heat from that sun that comes into your home and it also reduces glare, the disadvantage of it, is that it reduces visibility as well. Something you should also get familiar with is the R-value of windows, what this value tells you the level of resistance the glass will have to heat transfer. The U-value will tell you how energy efficient your windows will be. Now if you are replacing sliding doors, most companies will recommend safety glass and the reason is they crumble instead of shattering if they are ever broken. The last thing you will want to do before going shopping for replacement windows is to check the measurements of your existing window and door openings, since most homes have standard windows you will find that these modern energy efficient windows will require an opening a little bit bigger than the real window dimensions. This is important as you don’t want to buy windows that can’t fit the wall space.