Investing in a window replacement, especially when you’re new to the upgrade, can be a bit daunting. It doesn’t have to be, however. This home improvement project, in fact, may prove to be easier than you expect. Just consider these handy tips to get started:
Select Window Styles that Match Your Home and Needs
Windows serve as an exterior design element so they should match perfectly with your home’s architecture and exterior color palette. They should also meet any specific needs your home may have. That’s why, when investing in window replacement, it pays to know all the options and relate them to your home’s functionality and visual appeal. Here are your leading window choices:
- DOUBLE-HUNG. This window style is recognizable by its clean and timeless design, allowing it to complement most traditional homes, including Colonial, Farmhouse, Craftsman and Cape Cod. In fact, double-hung windows are versatile enough to suit any room. They cool your home naturally: just open both top and bottom sashes at the same time to let in cooler, fresher air and let out warm, stale air.
- CASEMENT. Unlike sash windows, casement units swing effortlessly outward via their side hinges. Their neat and simple design helps add charm to the rustic feel of Cottage, Spanish-Mission and Tudor homes. When opened wide or angled outwards, casement windows can direct cooling breezes into your home. When closed, the sashes of this window style press firmly against the frame and create an airtight seal that helps prevent energy loss.
- SLIDING. If you own a Modern or Contemporary home, then sliding windows are a staple. They feature a sleek look, but what makes them stand out is their space-saving benefit. Instead of swinging out, these windows glide smoothly along their frame and fit neatly to the side. This helps maximize available space in your home. Their expansive glass area allows for greater access to natural light.
- BAY AND BOW. Without a bay or bow window, Queen Anne homes seem to be lacking. These windows offer a unique design that fits nicely with the brooding look of this residential architecture. Bay and bow units are known for their deep sill area, which helps optimize floor space in your home. You can use this extra space as additional seating, like a breakfast nook, a reading lounge, or as a small storage or a surface for displaying decorative items. Bay and bow windows also have a large glass area that allows plenty of natural light in from different angles.
- PICTURE. They resemble sliding windows, only they’re bigger and inoperable. Picture windows are used primarily to maximize the home’s viewing area–a very handy way to take advantage of that sunset, mountain or ocean view. With their slim frames and expansive glass, picture windows allow for a brighter, more spacious-looking home. Because they’re fixed, they create a more durable, airtight seal to keep costly heating energy trapped inside your rooms.
- SPECIALTY. Create something awesome from a negative wall space by investing in specialty windows. They offer many opportunities for customization, ensuring increased curb appeal for your home. Because they are available in many different shapes, sizes, and combinations, you can create replacement window designs that are uniquely yours.
2. Choose the Right Framing Material
Your choice doesn’t just affect your new windows’ form and function–it also makes a huge difference to longevity and performance. Make sure to choose one that’s stable, durable and provides excellent insulation, like wood. You should also look for low maintenance requirements, such those offered by vinyl. Additionally, an ideal window frame should offer superior weather resistance and sleek good looks, like aluminum.
Fortunately, there’s a window framing material available that combines all these exceptional features into one. The top pick is composite Fibrex®️, exclusive to Renewal by Andersen®️ windows. It offers a host of benefits that make it a worthy choice.
- Fibrex is durable enough to be shaped into any window style. Because of this, Fibrex allows for replacement windows with thinner frames and a more expansive glass area.
- It is a good material choice for those looking for maintenance-free performance from their new windows.
- Fibrex is painted and finished at the factory. It holds its vibrant and durable color for longer, so there’s no need for repainting.
- This material can resist most weather- and moisture-related damage. It won’t rust, rot or corrode.
- Fibrex offers the insulating value of wood, helping ensure that heating energy remains inside your home.
3. Choose the Right Glass Option
Window glass can have a hand in home energy efficiency and comfort. For this reason, you should consider getting ones with a low-emissivity (Low-E) glass coating. A prime example of this is the High-Performance™ Low-E4®️ SmartSun™ glass offered exclusively by Renewal by Andersen. It has a multi-pane design, comes with inert argon gas blend, and features stainless steel spacers. These help the window reduce heat transfer in your home, allowing for better indoor comfort in any season, minus the high energy bills. Plus, this glass can block a significant amount of harmful UV light, preventing extensive sun damage to your interiors.
4. Hire a Reliable Window Replacement Contractor
Your new windows have to be installed right to function well and to last longer. Only by working with a reliable contractor can you guarantee this. Your contractor needs to:
- Carry necessary licenses, bonds, and insurance.
- Meet manufacturer standards in window installation.
- Offer a wide range of high-quality replacement windows.
- Follow an established installation process.
- Provide solid product warranties and workmanship guarantees.
Making informed purchasing decisions around your window replacement is already half the battle. Working with a pro for the installation earns you the big win–reliable, long-lasting performance from your new windows and the healthy return on investment you expect.
5. Cleaning and Maintenance
One thing you shouldn’t forget when selecting replacement windows is the amount of time you’ll spend cleaning your windows after installation. The kind of material you choose has something to do with its cleaning and maintenance requirements. It’ll also determine the possible costs of ensuring that your windows remain functional and good-looking.
You’ll also want something that goes well with your window treatments. You can also make your own curtains or order something online such as DIY blinds from Shades by You. Either way, it’s best to choose materials that can easily blend with your style sense.
When replacing your windows, you want something that’s high-quality, easy to clean, and requires minimal maintenance. There are several options you can choose from such as aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass windows. These options have the following qualities:
- They’re durable and strong
- Require low maintenance
- Withstand harsh weather conditions
- Give a classic look and don’t need constant updating
Expect that materials like steel and wood will need a higher level of maintenance. Vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum, on the other hand, don’t warp or corrode. They also don’t need repainting, and they can be easily cleaned and maintained with wiping down dirt and dust.
Your windows do more than just let light inside your home. These also allow you to enjoy your view outside. If your old windows have served their time, it’s time to replace them with something new. To make finding window replacements easier, use the tips given above.
Dawn Dewey is Marketing director for Renewal by Andersen, a premier window and door company serving New Mexico, San Diego, Tucson and Boise, and Dreamstyle Remodeling. One of Professional Remodeler magazine’s 40 Under 40 for 2015, she’s responsible for spreading Renewal by Andersen of Boise’s name far and wide. Catch her updates through the company blog! Aside from home improvement, Dawn is also passionate about animal welfare, the environment, and civil rights.