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Most home improvement projects, even something as straightforward as window replacement, take careful planning. As a homeowner, you not only have to anticipate how much the project will cost, you also need to carefully plan out the entire project– from choosing a contractor, hammering out the specific details of the contract and finding warranties that’ll ensure your investment is well-covered. Amidst all these decisions you have to make are other seemingly simple yet crucial choices, such as determining which types of replacement windows to buy, and ensuring that they not only meet your specific needs but also match your home’s overall look.
Why is this so important? Having your windows replaced gives you the perfect opportunity to maximize your home’s beauty, indoor comfort, and energy efficiency. Here’s how you can ensure they fit perfectly with your home, which will allow you to make the most of this exceptional upgrade:
Choose a window that complements your home’s architectural style.
Windows, after all, aren’t just for function. Aside from letting in light and air, they also serve as a lovely, highly visible design element in the home. That’s why when you’re in the midst of deciding which window styles to have installed, you should always make sure that you pick out replacement units that can add to your home’s overall appearance. Here’s a quick overview of popular window styles and the homes they’re traditionally associated with:
- Double-Hung Windows. Recognizable by their two operable sashes and clean, simple design, double-hung windows work well with traditional homes, like Colonial, Farmhouse, and Craftsman. These windows are versatile enough to suit practically any room in the traditional style.
- Casement Windows. One of the oldest operable windows ever created, casement windows swing outward fully via side You’ll usually find them adorning French Tudor, Spanish Mission and Cottage homes, where they add a sort of rustic charm.
- Picture Windows. If you own a Contemporary or Modern home, then getting yourself some picture windows is the obvious choice. Sleek frames and expansive glass highlight the minimalistic, open design of these distinctive home styles.
- Bay and Bow Windows. Nothing offers the unique charm–with asymmetrical lines and bold color choices–more than bay and bow windows featured prominently on Queen Anne homes.
If you want something more distinctive for your home, get specialty windows. They can be customized into any shape and style, which removes the guesswork from matching your new windows with your home.
Consider your home’s energy efficiency requirements.
You’ll certainly want replacement windows that can both improve the indoor comfort of your home and do away with high energy costs. This can be achieved easily by:
- Choosing a window that increases natural ventilation and supports daylighting. For example, double-hung and casement windows can cool your home naturally when opened. The former can do this by improving air circulation in your rooms with their two sashes, while the latter can be opened fully or angled to direct cooling breezes into your home. For windows that can reduce artificial lighting costs, get picture units. Their expansive glass lets in plenty of natural light.
- Choosing a window framing material with great insulating properties. One such material is the Fibrex® composite offered by Renewal by Andersen®. It can offer the strength and insulating value of wood, creating an airtight seal that prevents significant energy loss.
- Choosing an energy-efficient glass package. Modified low-emissivity (Low-E) glass is a prime example. It reduces heat transfer in your home, allowing for cooler, more comfortable spaces in summer. In colder months, it helps keep heating energy inside the home for a pleasant indoor environment.
Customize your new windows.
Most window companies offer you the opportunity to design your replacement units. They’ll work closely with you to ensure your new windows complement your home’s style and exterior palette. There are a couple of ways of doing this:
- Interior-Exterior Window Trim. You can either go classic or bold with your window trims. Some window manufacturers even offer a stainable wood grain finish like oak, maple and engineered pine. These options help add warmth and class to your new units.
- Hardware Finish. Focusing on even the smallest details, like the window’s hardware finish sets a quality window apart. Get hardware with a metallic finish to give your new units a more elegant look.
- Grille Pattern. Customizing your replacement windows with the right grille pattern is especially handy when you have an older home. Grilles can add to a home’s historical accuracy while harnessing the benefits of new windows.
Work only with a reputable window expert in your area.
If you want your new windows to be beautifully crafted and properly installed, choose a trusted professional contractor who can guarantee these things. They should be licensed and manufacturer-certified. This way, you’re sure the work will run smoothly and on schedule, plus you can benefit from extensive warranties.
Your window contractor of choice must be experienced, so your new windows provide the exceptional performance you expect. Be sure to ask for proof of insurance as well, as an insured window installer can protect you and your investment should issues arise during the project.
Once you’ve taken these essential steps into account, matching your new windows with your home should be worry-free.
Alex Esler works as a Marketing Manager for Renewal by Andersen, the window replacement subsidiary of Andersen Corporation, a company that has revolutionized the window and door business for over 110 years. Always eager to help and known to maintain a positive outlook in life, Alex remains driven and inspired by her work and the causes she cares about.