How to Select the Best Replacement Windows for Your Home

How To Select the BEST Replacement Windows For Your Home

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When selecting replacement windows for your home, a variety of options exist for materials, style and quality.

Numerous options exist to maximize your home’s value, beauty and comfort. However, new windows often require an investment, so you will want to make a well-informed decision that will serve you well for years to come.

When replacing windows, you have three options: new construction, retro-fit or insert replacement windows. New construction windows work best when you are planning to replace siding material or stucco in the near future. It involves cutting the siding back anywhere from four to six inches from the edge of the window, removing the window and installing new flashing paper. This allows your new windows to be the same size as your old ones. During the retro-fit process however, the perimeter frame of the old window will not be removed, and the new window will be designed to fit inside the old parameter — making the new window slightly smaller than your previous one. This option remains the most affordable, and causes no siding or stucco damage.

Secondly, you must decide which material you prefer for your new windows, either vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass or wood. Each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. If you are looking to match existing windows, there is a replacement option for nearly every style, color and size.

Vinyl is the most popular choice for window replacement, because they are relatively inexpensive, do not require maintenance, insulate well and operate smoothly. The downside is that they only come in select white and tan colors, and cannot be painted.

Aluminum insulates poorly, but newer aluminum windows have better insulation properties than older aluminum windows. This may be an option if your house has existing aluminum windows, and you do not plan on replacing them all — and you want the new window to match the style of the others.

Fiberglass windows, though expensive — similar in price to high-end wood windows — have few other negative traits. They insulate very well, are maintenance free, are available in dark and light colors and they are paintable, unlike vinyl.

Wood windows are good for those who want to match the existing style of their home, or want to maintain the architectural details of a historic home. They must be painted regularly, and custom sizes are often expensive or difficult to obtain, especially in the case of retro-fit windows.

Another consideration with window replacement is a sash replacement, with the sash being the part of the window that holds the glass. It is the least intrusive option, and involves only replacing the sash and the hardware, if the remainder of your window is still in good condition. This is a quick and easy way to resolve some common window problems. However, full window replacements remain preferable when the entire window is particularly old or in a state of disrepair, or if you are undergoing a larger home renovation. A window replacement expert can go over these options with you in greater detail, as well as discuss the different window styles that you might want to consider to best suit your needs.

For more information about selecting the best replacement windows for your home, please contact the window experts at AOA Window & Door or call us directly at (616) 226-8742.