Choosing the right replacement windows for your home is an important undertaking because quality windows have been proven to add significant value and increased aesthetics to a home. Most of the time builder-grade windows are installed in new homes. By replacing windows after the initial windows have served their purpose, it’s not only a great way to save on energy costs, but it is also the perfect opportunity to install the type and quality of windows you want. Replacement windows will last much longer, provide even better insulating value, and reflect your fashion and taste.
Over the past two decades, window technology has come a long way and new windows are increasingly safer and more energy-efficient. Upgrading your windows can transform your home’s appearance, increase its value, and catch the attention of prospective buyers. Your home is likely your largest investment, so it’s important to take pride in your home improvement projects to increase your home’s value. There are many factors to consider before installing new windows; such as the type of window, window frame construction and configuration, energy efficiency, and more.
Types of Replacement Windows
- Picture Windows – Picture windows are great for homeowners with a scenic view or who want a window that doesn’t open. The best way to enjoy a good view is with large, stationary picture windows. Not only do picture windows maximize your view, but they are wide and used to enhance the lighting and aesthetics of your home. They are commonly used in combination with other windows and don’t consist of any breaks or visible frames. It is recommended to place them in a larger space like a living room, kitchen, or master bedroom to enhance your view. They can be customized to fit almost every need.
- Casement Windows – Casement windows are hinged on one end and crank open outward to the left or right allowing for full ventilation. They are most common above kitchen sinks and are easy to open and close. While open, the casement window is completely unfolded to the outside. They also allow for easy cleaning.
- Awning Windows – Awning windows work like casement windows and open outwards. Their hinges are placed on top and have great ventilation. These windows are commonly opened when it rains because cool air can get in while the rain is kept out. Its modern look has become popular due to its minimalist style and unique size and placement.
- Single-Hung Windows – Single-hung windows consist of only the lower sash being operable. A sash is a square or rectangular frame containing the window glass. The top half of a single-hung window is permanently fixed. With fewer moving parts, single-hung windows are more weather resistant and cost less than double-hung windows.
- Double-Hung Windows – Double-hung windows represent the most common window style due to the ease of cleaning the window from the inside. They also have better airflow since both sashes can be opened. For homes with small children or pets, the double-hung windows’ top opening sash allows you to keep the lower sash shut while receiving a good airflow from the open-top sash. These Replacement Windows are very popular with homeowners since they provide better ventilation throughout the entire house.
When purchasing replacement windows, window frames are one of the most important factors to consider. The material a window frame is made out of affects heat transfer, weather resistance, and durability. A quality frame will keep a window functioning for decades. And it’s important to know what type and size frame you need before making a purchase.
Window Frame Construction
- Vinyl Window Frames – Vinyl frames are made out of PVC (polyvinyl chloride). They are more affordable and are known for providing good insulation and limiting airflow. Vinyl’s light and durable features provide great insulation against outside temperatures and its versatile material can be used to make the most out of many window styles. As an added benefit, vinyl windows do not require painting or finishing.
- Aluminum Window Frames – Aluminum frames are known for being a great economical option and low maintenance. They look best in many modern and sleek home styles. Aluminum is lighter than many other materials, which makes it easier to install. Aluminum window frames are often the choice for homebuilders since they are less expensive and look modern. They also let in plenty of sunlight and are resistant to mother nature’s mood swings. However, they don’t insulate well against temperature swings since metal is a conductor. Both cold and heat can enter easier through aluminum window frames. They can also leak in the corners if not manufactured well.
- Fiberglass Window Frames- Fiberglass frames are easy to maintain and have a similar shape to vinyl frames. Its versatile material is used in many applications beyond window frames. Fiberglass is strong, durable, and does not damage easily. It’s also known to resist weather and temperature changes better than any other material, which lends it to being a great insulator that works to prevent the transfer of heat.
- Wooden Window Frames- Wooden frames are just as durable and long-lasting as other window frame options when properly maintained. However, maintenance of wood frames will be more extensive than maintenance on other window frame materials. Quality wood frames are great insulators. They have since adapted to modern standards, yet still offer the same strength and aesthetic appeal. Wood’s warm look and natural material have captured the interests of many homeowners.
Replacement Windows Add Value to a Home
Replacement windows are well known for boosting a home’s value. Older windows tend to let conditioned air escape and outside air in and are not designed to block as many UV rays that tend to heat up the home; thus, your heating and cooling system will need to work harder. Many home buyers are looking for more energy-efficient homes. If your windows are outdated, purchasing replacement windows is a great way to increase the value and resale ability of your home.
Also, modern windows are known to reduce outside noise due to new and improved window technology. Double pane windows with vinyl frames can greatly reduce the amount of noise that comes into your home. If you live in a noisy area, these windows can be a game-changer. New replacement windows can also add a layer of security to your home. With secure locks and double-pane glass, your home will be much safer; thus, increasing your home’s value.
Energy Efficient Windows
Energy-efficient windows are designed to prevent your heated or cooled air from escaping your home. If your windows are 20 years or older and have begun to deteriorate, you should take steps to improve their efficiency by replacing them with new energy-efficient windows. A window becomes more energy-efficient when it has multiple window glass panes and high-quality window frames. Choosing to install energy-efficient windows means you will have a greater chance of controlling the heating and cooling of your home.
Energy-efficient windows can be successful if paired with vinyl, fiberglass, or wooden window frames. All of these are considered to be highly energy-efficient and great insulators. It is also important that you conduct your research to ensure your energy-efficient windows will be installed properly. High-quality energy-efficient windows can save you money over time by controlling your home’s temperature and lowering your expenses. You will also be living an eco-friendlier lifestyle!
With today’s new window technology, homes are becoming safer, more energy-efficient, helping the environment even more, and are being produced using high quality, durable materials. Each type of window has specific features and attributes. In addition to their appearance, you must consider how you’ll clean and maintain them, whether or not you want to open them, and the amount of light you would like them to let into your home.
Installing replacement windows is without a doubt an important decision when it comes to increasing your home’s value, appearance, and efficiency. Every house is unique, and you must determine which type of window will offer you the greatest return on investment and offer the most comfort to those living in the house. But, the bottom line is: If a home’s windows are 20 years or older, serious consideration should be given to replacing as many aging windows as possible to save energy, increase comfort, help with safety and increase the value of a home.