There are so many things to consider when you choose the best replacement window option these days, it’s hard to tell – which one is right for me? It can be confusing…Vinyl? Wood? Fiberglass? Casement? Double-hung? Each homeowner’s needs and preferences are different, luckily there are a lot of choices out there and with enough education and guidance the perfect window can be found and installed.
There are a few questions we ask our homeowners at the beginning of every meeting. Why are you looking to replace your windows? (Have the seals broken? Are your windows no longer providing insulation from the elements? Are you looking for more energy efficiency and cost savings on your energy bills? Are you looking to update the look of your home?) Do you have any city or HOA requirements that narrow your choices of window? And, What is your budget?
Today’s windows are manufactured using 1 of 3 main materials. Vinyl, Fiberglass, and Wood. All 3 materials can be manufactured with the same glass packs – providing similar energy efficiency, glass thickness and UV protection. So, it’s not the glass that will make your decision, but the material of the frame.
Vinyl windows are the most cost effective option of the 3. The way most vinyl is manufactured today allows for a virtually maintenance-free product. They come in a wide variety of colors and styles and never need to be repainted. Vinyl windows stand up well to severe weather and temperature changes and won’t warp, peel, or chip, making this product a wonderful choice in mild regions as well as regions with more extreme weather. Most manufacturers offer great warranties, extending to the lifetime of your home and transferring to the next owner of your home. Vinyl windows can also be manufactured in a wide variety of custom shapes and color options allowing for the most flexibility. Visit our types of windows page to learn more about the different styles of windows.
Fiberglass windows are quickly gaining in popularity. Like vinyl, fiberglass windows have high energy efficiency ratings and require little to no maintenance. Fiberglass, by nature, is a stronger and stiffer material than vinyl. This means that the frame of the window can be thinner, allowing for a larger area of glass and larger view. Fiberglass won’t warp, crack or peel and stands up well to severe weather. It can come in a variety of colors and styles and does a fairly good job at mimicking the look of real wood. Fiberglass is more expensive than vinyl but many homeowners today are seeing the benefits.
Wood windows are a premium choice for homeowners who want to add warmth and authenticity to their home and are willing to pay more for it. Wood windows can be manufactured to look like a piece of furniture in your home and can be painted or stained any color you can find. Many wood windows today are aluminum-clad on their exterior. This is especially useful in regions with severe weather and temperature fluctuations – you still get the beauty and warmth on the inside of your home, but your windows are protected from warping, cracking, and peeling on the outside. Maintenance on wood windows is more intense than vinyl and fiberglass. They need to be repainted or resealed often to protect the wood from cracking and warping. Wood windows also come in a wide variety of styles and options. As with vinyl and fiberglass, you can order your windows to be double-hung, casement, picture, etc. There are also fun options like adding blinds to the inside of your window. Imagine never dusting your blinds again!
No matter which material you choose, you can be guaranteed an energy efficient, beautiful window that will last for many years. Our experienced HRTI window consultants are always available to help you wade through the options and choose the best replacement window for your home. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.