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A Window Buying Guide for Homeowners: How to Get the Right Ones

Nowadays buying new windows for your home comes with a myriad of options and can become very confusing…very quickly. Thankfully we are here to help you with our window buying guide.

With windows being such an important part of your home you will want to choose some that will withstand the weather, minimize your utility bills, and look good.

image - A Window Buying Guide for Homeowners
A Window Buying Guide for Homeowners

Keep reading to get all the details on choosing the right windows for your humble abode.

A Window Buying Guide for Homeowners

Before you set off on your window buying adventure you will want to figure out what window designs you love, your budget, your windows needs and the functions you can’t live without.

Because windows are not a cheap project you will want to make sure you do all of your research and choose carefully. Do not rush into new windows without first doing your homework.

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First up on the list is the type of glass you want and prefer. When choosing your glass take the weather in your area into consideration. For example, if you live in an area with a long winter and cold temperatures you will want to stay away from single-pane glass. Same goes for an area with extreme heat, single-pane glass isn’t a good idea.

Double-pane glass are typically the best option unless you live in an area with very mild climates. Double-pane consists of layers of glass with a sealed air space in between. This prevents cold and hot air drafts.

Triple-pane windows are another glass option that are sealed with gases such as argon and krypton. This is a smart option for homes that are located in cold climates because they will help keep the cold weather outside and keep the heating bills lower.

Keep in mind that the better the windows are insulated the fewer condensation issues you will have.

Window Material

The three main window options are fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum. Depending on your style and your home’s style you will want to choose your window material carefully.

Wood material is a common frame option because they offer a classic look. If you are remodeling an older home going with wood will help match existing windows and will also help the home retains its original look and style. Wood does require the most maintenance and is typically painted to match the home.

New construction typically opts for clad-frame windows that have either an aluminum or a vinyl shell. If you go for the vinyl option you will have a variety of colors to choose from. Vinyl material is cheaper than wood material and insulates almost as well as wood does.

Fiberglass window material is stronger than vinyl material and it has a higher price tag as well. They have low thermal conductivity making them very energy efficient. They are currently some of the most durable windows on the market.

Energy Efficiency

Who doesn’t like to save money every month on utility bills? While you’re window shopping you will want to take the R-value into consideration. This is your indication of how energy efficient the windows are. The lower the R-value the less insulating properties it has.

For example, a clear single-pane window has an R-value of 1 while a good quality triple-pane window can have an R-value between 5-7.

Another factor to look at is the U-factor. This will tell you the rate the window conducts non-solar heat flow. The lower the U-factor is the more energy efficient it is.

Something else you can consider adding to your windows is film to help increase their efficiency. This guide to window films will come in handy if you want to look more into this option.

Your Style

Choosing your window style is not only based on personal taste but also on your current home design. If you have an older home and you are only replacing a few windows then you more than likely will choose windows to match the current style in your home.

Sliding Windows

This style requires little maintenance but they do not provide much ventilation when you open the windows. This window will only open half way but will give you an unobstructed view of the great outdoors.

Double-Hung Windows

This window style slides up and down and gives your home a traditional look. Modern double-hung windows have a spring mounted mechanism. Older double-hung windows had a weight and pulley system instead.

Casement Windows

This window style has hinges on the side of the window frame. When you open them it feels like you’re opening a door because of the hinges. This style tends to be taller vs wider.

This style gives you an unobstructed view of the outside just like sliding windows. If you like a more modern and contemporary look then casement windows might be the best window style option for you.

Bay Windows

This window style can add a lot of character to your home. They tend to make a room feel and look larger than it is. If you want to give the room a dramatic statement and give you a great view of the outside world then this is the style to choose.

These are popular choices in dining rooms, and breakfast nooks.

Ready for New Windows?

Hopefully, our window buying guide will make your window shopping experience less overwhelming and more fun. The simple window shopping of yesteryear is history but thanks to all the fun modern options in today’s world you can truly choose windows you love and are unique to your style and taste.

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