Your home’s windows play a bigger role in your day to day life than you might realize. They frame your view of the world, flood your home with natural light and keep you safe from the weather and intruders. Windows are a major factor in your home’s energy efficiency and curb appeal.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right windows for your home.
Five Things To Consider
When you begin your search for new windows, you need to keep a few things in mind before you start shopping. With so many options available, you’ll want to define your needs to help you choose the perfect window.
Before you shop, consider:
• Your Lifestyle
Do you have kids and need to keep blinds and shades out of reach of inquisitive hands? Does the area where you live experience weather extremes like freezing winters, and hot humid summer days? Your lifestyle matters. Consider all of the people, places and things in your life as you shop for your windows.
• What Can You Afford?
Your budget will directly impact your choices. Most window companies offer a free in-home consultation to help you get a better understanding of the products they offer, and the costs involved including window installation.
It’s important to understand the materials options. The most popular window materials are wood, vinyl, or fiberglass.
You have a wide range of window styles to choose from. If you’re not sure which is right for you, speak with an expert. They can help you understand the options available.
• Features and Accessories
Today, you can personalize your windows to meet your aesthetic and functional needs. You have choices in terms of colors and finishes, hardware, and can even purchase windows with blinds, grilles, or shades mounted internally between the glass.
Fiberglass, Vinyl or Wood?
Once you’ve defined your needs, you’ll probably still have some questions like:
• How important is energy efficiency?
• What style window is right for my home?
• Should I install double-pane or triple-pane glass?
… and so on.
One of the most important considerations, as you shop, is: Which material is best for my home? As we mentioned earlier, wood, vinyl, and fiberglass are three materials popular with homeowners. Each material has it’s own unique benefits, and style.
How do you make the right decision? Start with what features, options and benefits are most important to you. Then look at options that fit within your budget, lifestyle, and the climate where you live.
Let’s look at the benefits of each material.
• Wood Windows
Wood windows are the number one choice of homeowners thanks to their natural beauty, durability, and energy efficiency. They offer the most design options both inside and outside your home. Many wood windows include a low-maintenance, aluminum-clad exterior with a durable finish that resists fading and will protect your home from the weather for years!
Fiberglass windows offer exceptional strength and durability. They’re impervious to both heat and cold and will not expand or shrink. With a powder-coat finish, fiberglass windows need little maintenance, look great and last for years.
Vinyl windows need no painting, staining, or refinishing. They use strong, durable multi-chambered frame construction and welded sashes. Vinyl windows are the most affordable.
Style and Options
With so many styles and options available, choosing the right window comes down to your personal preferences, functionality, your home’s style, and your budget. There are nine main types of windows to choose from including:
• Double – Hung
• Single Hung
• Bay, Bow or Garden
• Special Shapes – Porthole, Octagonal etc.
• Custom Windows and Combinations
Windows come with a variety of options to personalize their look and functionality, including a wide range of colors and finishes to compliment your home’s interior and exterior. You can add grilles to give you a multi-pane look, include remote-operated between-the-glass blinds or shades, or add beautiful hardware to match the other decorative finishes in your home like light fixtures and cabinets.
Another consideration is choosing the right glass for your region. Two or three panes of glass can provide maximum energy efficiency. Windows that use Low-E insulating glass and argon gas between the panes can block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and provide maximum energy efficiency.
Educating yourself is the first step. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, talk with an expert. Start with an in-home consultation. The expert will come to your home, ask you questions about what you’re looking for, take measurements, show you samples, and provide you with a quote. A professional window expert can help make choosing the right window a pleasurable experience that will add value to your home.