Choosing the right replacement windows can be complicated. That’s why Paramount Siding and Windows has been helping homeowners across Denver metro select and install windows for over a decade. We make the process simple and straightforward, and you’ll work with just one team of experts from start to project completion. So, if your windows are more than 20 years old and inefficient, or you just want a fresh look for your home, let’s talk about choosing the right replacement windows.
What’s Your Motivation?
Appearance plays a big part in replacement windows, but it’s important to keep function in mind as well. Updating your windows will not only transform the appearance of your home inside and out, but also significantly improve the insulation and overall energy efficiency of your home. If you’ve gotten accustomed to drafty, uninsulated windows and compensate for them by cranking up your home heating or AC, choosing the right replacement windows can stop the madness.
To balance the upfront investment, your home will be less costly to maintain at a comfortable temperature. Your home will also produce a smaller carbon footprint, and it will be easier to sell if you decide to go down that road in the future.
Take a look at a few guidelines put together by our professionals here at Paramount. And if you need help choosing the right replacement windows, feel free to contact us with questions.
Replacement Windows or New Windows?
Most homeowners are not clear on the difference between replacement windows and new windows. Replacement windows are those that can be easily slotted into the space left by your old windows. They are a good option when the existing frame or trim is still in good condition, and you are happy with the shape and location of the window. And if your previous windows were stock size, it is usually easy to find a variety of styles in the same size to replace them.
Completely new and custom windows can be installed if you want to change the size, shape or location of the window. In addition to a new sash, you will have to invest in a new frame with molding and trim. This is a more complicated job than installing simple replacement windows. New windows require a contractor to change the structure of your exterior walls to make new or modified openings. The added labor will increase the cost, but it does allow you more freedom to design the exact shape and location of the window you want.
Selecting the Style
Finding the right style of windows shouldn’t be too complicated. Window contractors will usually offer display models so prospective buyers can test out the mechanisms and get a better idea of how the window will look once installed. If you look closely at the windows in the homes of your friends and family, you will probably find that they are one of the following popular styles.
- Casement windows are hinged vertically and can be opened outwards, usually by a crank lever. These are particularly common in kitchens, typically installed over the sink.
- Awning windows are hinged at the top and can be opened by tilting the bottom out. The window sash is held open by support arms and gives the appearance of a sash.
- Slider windows consist of separate sashes which can be slid horizontally across each other in order to open. These windows provide excellent ventilation and are practical if there is not a lot of room available to accommodate windows that swing open.
- Single or double hung windows are structured as two sashes placed vertically, one over the other. Single hung windows open by sliding the bottom sash upwards, whereas, with double hung windows both sashes can be moved.
The next step in choosing your replacement windows is deciding on the type of material used. For restored homes, or homes in historic neighborhoods, wood windows can be aesthetically pleasing. Wood does offer excellent insulation properties, and with the right maintenance, wood windows can last much longer than the average person’s lifetime. The upfront cost of wood windows, in addition to costly maintenance, are practically the only downsides.
Modern materials such as vinyl are now more popular than wood. Vinyl windows are very low-maintenance and can provide excellent insulation when combined with the right glazing. These windows are affordable and are found in many different colors and finishes. Vinyl windows offer the best of both worlds, with the look and feel of wood frames on the inside of the window yet a practical, vinyl covering on the outside.
Choosing the Glass
This is one of the most critical steps in choosing the right replacement windows for your home. Most windows now come with double glazing or even triple glazing. Multiple panes of glass with air or an inert gas between them will provide excellent insulation and better soundproofing. For homes in hot or cold climates, this is especially important. Well-insulated windows can make your home more comfortable during extreme weather and lower your energy bills.
An optional Low-E coating can be added to one or both surfaces of your glass to decrease heat transfer further. This can help to keep your home warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. Another feature currently on the market is impact-resistant glass. This type of glass will withstand wind and hail remarkably well. However, it can still be broken by force. If it is broken, the glass will not shatter and fly everywhere like regular windows.
Once you have chosen the style, the frame material and the type of glass for your window you will have 90% of the work done. One important thing to remember when selecting your windows is to check the warranty. Most reputable window manufacturers will offer a 10-year to 20-year warranty on manufacturing defects or problems like glass fogging.
The last thing on your to-do list is to hire an experienced, professional window contractor to install your replacement windows. For Denver residents, Paramount Siding and Windows is the obvious choice. In addition to providing an efficient, affordable installation, we can also assist our customers in choosing the right replacement windows for their home.