Your dream home will feel more like a nightmare if it has old windows in it.
Old windows can drag down the curb appeal of a home and affect its overall value. They can also hurt a home’s energy efficiency and put a strain on its HVAC system. They can even make a home less secure than it should be.
For all these reasons, replacing old windows with new windows should be your first order of business when you buy your dream home. Purchasing new replacement windows will improve the appearance of your home and make it more comfortable inside.
But you shouldn’t buy just any old windows for your home. Instead, take your time when shopping around for windows and choose the right ones for your specific home.
This window buying guide features 7 useful tips that will help you settle on the best windows for your house.
Figure Out Which Window Materials You Want
Years ago, just about all of the windows that were installed in homes were made out of wood. Wood was, by far, the most popular window material on the market for many decades.
There are still lots of window manufacturers creating wood windows today. But there are also a whole host of other window materials that you can choose from when you’re shopping for replacement windows for your home.
Some of the most popular window materials are:
There are benefits that come along with using each of these window materials.
For instance, vinyl windows are known for being energy efficient and durable. They’re also less expensive compared to some of the other window materials and don’t require much maintenance.
Fiberglass windows, meanwhile, are some of the strongest windows that you’ll find, which makes them durable and great for those looking to make their homes more secure. They also come in a wide range of colors and can provide a home with sound resistance.
And aluminum windows are ideal for those interested in windows with design flexibility. In recent years, many designers have turned to aluminum windows because of how easily they can be manipulated. In addition to these benefits, they’re also affordable and durable.
Your job is to find the window materials that will look and perform best when your windows are installed in your home. Walk through a window showroom on your own or with your contractor to get a better feel for which window materials will work for your home.
Take a Look at the Different Types of Windows
Once you know which window materials you want to use in your home, the next step will be to figure out which types of windows you would like to install. There are many different types of windows on the market today.
Most people are familiar with standard single-hung windows. These windows have two sashes, including a bottom sash that can be moved up and down. The top sash is sealed so that air and water can’t work their way into a home.
Single-hung windows seem to be the preferred window selection among most homeowners. But in recent years, double-hung windows have also become a popular choice.
Double-hung windows look just like single-hung windows, aside from one big exception. Both of the sashes in double-hung windows slide up and down.
This gives double-hung windows a leg up on single-hung ones in a few ways. With double-hung windows, you can:
- Improve the air circulation in your home
- Clean the inside and outside of your windows with ease
- Install a window air conditioner without a problem
With these things in mind, it’s not hard to see why so many homeowners are choosing double-hung windows these days. Although they’re often priced slightly higher than their single-hung counterparts, they’re worth the cost for many people.
These aren’t the only types of windows you can buy, either. There are also other types that operate differently than single-hung and double-hung windows do.
Some other windows you should consider include:
- Casement windows
- Awning windows
- Bay windows
- Picture windows
- Slider windows
- Transom windows
- Sealed windows
This is yet another instance in which it would be beneficial for you to take a trip to a window showroom to see some of the different types of windows in person. Visiting a showroom will give you the opportunity to see windows in action and pick out the ones that’ll provide the most value to your home.
Check Out the Energy Efficiency of Windows
When you have windows installed in your home, it’ll obviously boost the visual appeal of your home. Replacement windows have a way of making a home look more modern while also giving curb appeal a boost.
New windows have a way of making a home look more modern while also giving curb appeal a boost.
But the windows that you purchase for your dream home will do more than just look good. They’ll also make your home a lot more energy efficient than it is right now.
Look for windows for your home that have either double-pane or even triple-pane glass in them. This kind of glass is far superior to the single-pane glass found in many older windows. It’ll prevent air from sneaking in and out of your home at will.
If possible, find Energy Star certified windows for your new window installation. These windows can reduce your home’s energy bills by about 12 percent as you move forward and save you a bunch of money.
These windows will also provide you with an amazing selling feature if you ever decide to get rid of your dream home. Buyers will love to hear that you took the time to invest in energy efficient windows for your home.
Find Windows From the Best Manufacturers
There are hundreds of window manufacturers scattered all across the U.S. right now. You can find everything from gigantic companies that bring in more than $1 billion every year, to much smaller companies that make a very high quality window, but might not be as familiar of a name.
You’ll be surprised at the quality of some window manufacturers out there from large to small!
So, which one should you trust to provide you with the windows you need for your home? Here are a few of the things a reputable window manufacturer should offer to you:
- Decades of experience in the window and door industry
- Large selection of all kinds of windows made using many different window materials
- Commitment to producing the most energy efficient windows possible
- Window warranty that proves they stand behind the products they manufacture
- Fair and affordable prices on windows
Do your homework on the different window manufacturers that are out there before choosing one over the others. Find out everything you can about them and make sure they have a well-earned reputation for producing great windows.
Window manufacturers you should consider include:
- Simonton Windows
- Windsor Windows
- Ply Gem Windows
Whatever you do, don’t just pick the window manufacturer that produces the least expensive windows and go with them. You’ll be setting yourself up for another window replacement just a few years down the road, or you’ll have buyer’s remorse.
Do your homework when researching or try to talk with a replacement window expert about new windows.
See How Much Maintenance Windows Need
How much maintenance are you prepared to do on your windows once you have them installed in your home?
If you’re like most homeowners, you just answered with four words: “As little as possible.”
And who can blame you? Maintaining windows sounds like the last thing that most people want to be doing on a Saturday afternoon.
The good news is that almost all of the new windows on the market today require little maintenance once you put them into place.
Take vinyl windows, for example. To maintain them, all you need to do is:
- Wipe them down with a dry cloth occasionally to remove loose dirt and dust
- Use a damp cloth and a mixture of mild dish detergent and warm water to wipe away stubborn dirt and stains
- Vacuum window tracks to remove dirt, dead insects, and other debris from them
- Clean the window glass on a cloudy day with a window glass cleaner or a mixture that includes one part distilled vinegar and one part tap water
- Hose down the outside of your windows or allow a hard rain to do the job for you
Sounds simple enough, right? And it’s like this for most modern windows.
You will need to do a little more maintenance if you opt to go with wood windows over vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum ones. Maintenance for wood windows may require you to paint or stain wood windows every few years to keep them looking their best.
But generally speaking, there shouldn’t be too much cleaning and maintenance associated with the windows you have installed. Just make sure you do some research ahead of time to see what you can expect.
Consider How Long Different Windows Last
Installing windows in your dream home will require a sizable investment on your part.
The final cost will depend on everything from the number of windows in your home to the type of windows you pick out.
Therefore, it’s important for you to choose windows that are going to last a long time. You don’t want to invest a bunch of money into windows only to discover that you need to replace them again in 10 or 15 years.
It’s impossible to predict exactly how long windows will last. But there are some rough estimates that you can keep in mind while window shopping.
Vinyl windows will often last for about 30 years before they’ll need to be replaced. Fiberglass windows, on the other hand, can last for about 50 years before window replacement will need to take place.
You can, of course, extend the life of windows by taking good care of them and making the necessary repairs. But it’s good to know about how long you can expect your windows to last on average.
Find the Right Window Installers
You can buy the most beautiful windows in the world for your dream home. But if you don’t have the right installers put them in, it’ll all be for naught.
If you’re in the process of building or renovating your dream home, you should consult with your contractor with regards to your window installation. They’ll likely be equipped to tackle the job for you.
But if you need to hire a window installer to help you, make sure you find the right person or company for the job. A great window installer should have all of these qualities:
- Licensed, bonded, and insured
- Experienced with window installation and window repair
- Knowledgeable when it comes to all the different window materials and types of windows
- Prepared to install your windows right away to avoid exposing your home to the elements
- Recommended by other homeowners in your area
- Ready to offer a warranty on their work
Don’t make the mistake of bringing the wrong window installers in to perform window installation for you. It could turn into a huge headache and end up costing you a lot of money if they don’t know what they’re doing.
You’ll sleep better at night knowing your windows were installed by someone who checks all the right boxes. You’ll also ensure your replacement windows last a lot longer than they would otherwise when you have them installed the right way.
Buy Replacement Windows for Your Home Today
Buying new replacement windows for your home can be a confusing and overwhelming process for many people. There are so many windows to choose from, which can make it difficult to narrow down a window search.
Our window showroom stretches across more than 7,000 square feet and is filled with a variety of windows from the best manufacturers in the business. Make a reservation to come and see it for yourself.