From materials and types to features and options, here are some of the choices you’ll encounter when shopping for replacement windows.
There are so many window options to choose from, giving you the opportunity to tailor products directly to your lifestyle. At the same time, too many good options can add stress and make it difficult to choose. Let’s walk through some of the choices you’ll need to make as you shop for replacement windows.
Step 1: Decide How to Buy
At America Home Quotes, we offer several different ways to purchase windows and this is one of the first choices you’ll want to make as you begin shopping.
If you’d like expert help as you shop for replacement windows, visit a local America Home Quotes showroom or schedule a free in-home or virtual consultation. These options allow you to touch products in person and ask questions to a window professional. Assessing your home firsthand gives the America Home Quotes expert the opportunity to inspect your current windows, take measurements and study your style goals. Afterward, they’ll show you a range of options and make recommendations.
Another option is to buy windows online. This allows you to browse options from the comfort of your home without having to interact with someone in person. You’re able to take charge by measuring, selecting and installing on your own — a perfect choice for the confident do-it-yourselfers. You can also purchase windows at your local Lowe’s store. This option is a happy medium, letting you do it yourself but still giving you the option to talk to an expert along the way.
Step 2: Choose Replacement Window Material
Selecting the appropriate replacement window material is a crucial decision in the renovation process. The choice of material directly impacts energy efficiency, durability, maintenance requirements, and aesthetics. Common options include vinyl, wood, fiberglass, and aluminum. Vinyl windows are known for their low maintenance and cost-effectiveness, while wood windows offer a timeless and classic look. Fiberglass windows combine strength and energy efficiency, making them a durable choice. Aluminum windows are lightweight and modern, often used in sleek and contemporary designs. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each material to determine which best suits your needs and complements your home’s style.
Step 3: Select How Your Window Opens
Choosing the ideal window opening style is a pivotal aspect of the replacement window selection process. Different opening mechanisms offer distinct benefits and functionalities. Common options include casement windows, which provide excellent ventilation and an unobstructed view when opened outward using a crank; double-hung windows, offering the flexibility to open both the upper and lower sashes for increased airflow; sliding windows, which glide horizontally to save space and provide easy operation; awning windows, designed to open outward from the bottom, ensuring ventilation even during light rain; and fixed windows, which don’t open but provide ample natural light and a seamless view. Consider your practical needs, aesthetic preferences, and the room’s layout to determine the most suitable window opening style for your replacement project.
Casement Replacement Windows
Casement replacement windows offer a blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal. Hinged on one side, these windows open outward with the help of a crank, allowing for easy operation and efficient ventilation. The unobstructed view and ample natural light they provide make them a popular choice for various settings, from kitchens to living rooms. Their tight seal when closed enhances energy efficiency and minimizes drafts, contributing to a comfortable indoor environment. Casement windows come in a range of styles and materials, making it easy to find an option that complements your home’s design while delivering practical benefits.
Double-Hung Replacement Windows
Double-hung replacement windows offer a timeless and versatile solution for homeowners seeking both aesthetic appeal and functional convenience. With two movable sashes that can be independently operated by sliding them vertically, these windows provide excellent control over ventilation and airflow. This design also facilitates easy cleaning as the sashes can be tilted inwards. Double-hung windows seamlessly blend with various architectural styles, making them a popular choice for both traditional and modern homes. Their ability to accommodate air conditioning units and screens further enhances their practicality. Whether you’re looking to maintain a classic look or introduce a contemporary touch, double-hung replacement windows offer a harmonious balance between style and usability.
Sliding Replacement Windows
Sliding replacement windows present a sleek and functional window option that suits modern aesthetics and space-saving requirements. Operating horizontally along a track, these windows effortlessly glide open and closed, offering an unobtrusive way to enjoy fresh air and natural light. Their streamlined design often complements contemporary architectural styles, and their ease of use makes them an ideal choice for areas with limited space, such as patios or walkways. Sliding windows also provide a clear, uninterrupted view of the outdoors while maintaining efficient insulation. If you’re seeking a practical and visually appealing window solution that adds a touch of modernity to your living space, sliding replacement windows are a smart choice.
Step 4: Choose Features and Options
When shopping for windows, most of the choices you encounter will fall in the features and options category. From which direction the window opens to the color and hardware, there are so many ways to configure each window to fit the unique needs of your lifestyle and space. You can also add on features like different types of glass, grilles, blinds or shades and screens. Below we’ll outline just a few of the most popular features that people choose to add.
Insulated Glass Options
There are dual- and triple-pane window glass options optimized for energy efficiency, security, privacy and security, sound control, impact resistance and more.
- Energy-efficient glass: To get the best replacement windows for your region, select the Low-E glass coating optimized for your specific geographic area. This will help maximize energy efficiency by blocking the sun’s harmful UV rays, affording you with both comfort and savings. You can also choose tinted glass to block some of the sun’s rays and keep rooms cooler.
- Privacy and security glass: Obscure glass creates privacy while allowing natural light, ideal for areas that require extra privacy, such as a bathroom or bedroom. Tempered glass is available where safety glass is required by code or needed to help increase the strength of the glass. This type of glass is incredibly strong, but when broken, it shatters into smaller pieces of glass rather than jagged pieces to help lower chance of injury.
- Sound control glass: For areas that experience lots of outside noise, Sound Transmission Class sound glass uses mixed glass thicknesses to help dampen sounds. When different glass thicknesses are paired, they help dampen sounds at different frequencies. Laminated glass has a polymer layer sandwiched between two layers of glass that cuts outside noise and harmful UV rays and offers added protection against forced entry.
- Impact-resistant glass: Impact-resistant glass helps protect your home from intruders and storms such as hurricanes. Designed to help maintain the structural integrity of your home, this glass features a strong polymer interlayer sandwiched between panes of glass.
- High-altitude glass: For homes located in high-altitude areas, like the Rocky Mountains, the air-filled insulating glass assembly is typically vented to prevent over pressurization of the system. If argon gas fill is used, the insulating glass is filled to a pressure level tailored for higher elevations.
Another popular add-on is grilles-between-the-glass. Grilles add design interest to your home and make your windows look distinctively yours. There are many grille patterns available, including traditional grids and modern prairie style. These grilles are permanently sealed between the panes of glass, protecting them from damage and allowing for easy cleaning.