ChecklistIn order to choose the best window replacements for your home, there are a few things you should consider. Style, performance, design and material are all factors that make up your windows. Hopefully you’ll only have to replace your windows once or twice in your lifetime, so it’s important that you make an informed and well thought out decision.



Have you considered the many different window style options available? Different styles may work better for certain rooms, and some styles may even look better when used together. Styles include:

  • Double hung: Traditional double hung windows are ideal for just about any room. They feature two sashes that slide vertically and tilt-in for easy cleaning.
  • Sliding: Modern sliding windows have two or three sashes and slide left or right.
  • Casement: Casement windows are hinged on one side and open with a crank.
  • Awning: Hinged at the top and open outward. Often placed below larger fixed windows to allow for ventilation.
  • Picture: Picture windows don’t open but provide maximum viewing and natural light.
  • Bay: If you’re looking for a dramatic view, bay windows are a good choice. Three windows extend from an exterior wall, with the middle window typically being fixed, and two operable side windows.
  • Bow: Bow windows also open up any room to the outdoors. Four or more windows form a curve, and the windows can be fixed or operable.
  • Garden: Garden windows are often found in kitchens and project out from the home to allow the perfect amount of sunshine to filter through the four sides for growing plants or spices.
  • Hopper: Hoppers are your typical basement windows. They are hinged at the bottom and open inward at the top.



If you have old windows that are leaking air, difficult to open and close, don’t lock, or are just in generally bad shape, they clearly aren’t performing well. Your windows should enhance the performance of your home, not take away from it. When considering the performance of your new windows, keep the following in mind:

  • Glass: Double or triple panes of glass with gas fills offer up to nine times the insulation of single-pane windows, while the right Low-E option helps maintain the temperature of your home.
  • Energy Efficiency: U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Light Transmittance all combine to make sure your windows are as energy efficient as possible, saving you on heating and cooling costs.
  • Sound Resistance: Keep the sound of your neighbor’s barking dog outside with sound-control windows.
  • UV Resistance: UV rays can damage your carpet and upholstered furniture. Look for windows that provide coatings to prevent those harmful rays from ruining your interior.



Pick and choose the finer details to really tailor your windows to your unique tastes. Whether that’s classic, modern, bold or traditional, you can find a window design to match your home’s style.

  • Color: Choose from various interior and exterior colors for your window frames and trim accessories.
  • Designer Glass: If elegance is what you’re looking for, than designer glass is for you. Classic and Original patterns add old world style and sophistication while Contemporary styles offer hints of Deco and Modern Prairie. Or, consider going with a Designer Glass option that features obscure glass to create a focal point and conversation starter in any room.
  • Shapes: Think a round window will suit a space better than the typical rectangle? Give it a try! Quarter rounds, extended eyebrow and half circle windows are unique choices as well.
  • Finishing Touches: Finally, grilles and hardware in various patterns and finishes complete the windows you choose for your home.



The most common choices for window materials are aluminum, vinyl and wood. You should consider the benefits and downsides of each type before making your selection. We recommend vinyl replacement windows as they are:

  • Non-conductive
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Affordable
  • Long lasting
  • Customizable to match the look and style of your home

When choosing the right vinyl window replacements for your home, keep these elements in mind. We also encourage you to find a dealer to assist you during your research. Great Lakes Window has a knowledgeable network of dealers that are happy to help you find the perfect option for your home. You’re going to have to look at and operate these windows for a long time, so give this decision some thought and ask questions. Style, performance, design and material all play a major role in your windows. Use this list during your research to check all your boxes to ensure you make the best decision.

12 responses to “Checklist for Choosing the Right Windows for Your Home”

  1. Maris says:

    Thank you for sharing the checklist! I’ve been wanting to switch to energy efficient window in order to be more eco friendly as possible. For style, I think it’s better to choose sliding combined with affordable and durable designed glass.

  2. Shad Morris says:

    It’s interesting that you say to make sure that the windows you choose have double or triple panes with gas fills. I know that I would want to insulation that this type of window offers, and would appreciate the energy that it saves in the process. We will definitely have to watch out for that the next time we need windows.

  3. Lucy Taylor says:

    I really like how you break the process of finding the right window into four categories. It helps me to feel like I really have considered everything and am capable of making a choice I can be sure of. I have thought about different styles, but I appreciated your point to pay close attention to things like performance and material. I love the giant window I have in the front room. It brings in a lot of light, and that’s important to me, but I live very close to the train tracks and keep thinking about what I could do or change about the window to help stop the sound of the train passing by in the middle of the night. It’s nice to know that I could get them replaced with sound-control windows! It was also very valuable to learn about the various materials windows/frames could be made of, should it come up that I ever do replace my window.

  4. My wife and I have some pretty old windows on our house, but we weren’t sure how to find the right company to replace them. It makes sense that you should look for windows that are going to be long lasting, yet affordable. Since the windows we have now aren’t the best for lasting longer than they have, it would be nice to choose something that will give us many more years.

  5. I had no idea that there were so many different types of window styles to choose from. I like that when replacing your windows it is possible to customize the windows that you want as much as you can. I also like that there are some windows that are more energy efficient than others. I personally think that when choosing new windows it is important to consider the long run and what will last the longest. Another thing that I would consider is how effective and efficient they will be for my house before making a decision.

  6. My brother recently moved into an older home with his family. He has been trying to find ways he can improve the efficiency of the home and lower his energy bills. I didn’t realize that replacement windows can improve efficiency through having a low solar heat gain coefficient. I’ll be sure my brother is aware of this information.

  7. Burt Silver says:

    Thanks for the information on replacement windows. I didn’t realize vinyl windows were both long-lasting and low maintenance. That is really nice, because we want something durable that won’t take a lot of work. We are thinking about replacing some of our windows this summer, so we will definitely keep these tips in mind.

  8. Choosing the right window for our home is really essential for us. It helps to improve the home appearance, so before the construction or during the construction of our house, we should take care of the window and door selection. In that case, we need to take the help of an interior designer or we may also follow different sources to develop the appearance of the home.

  9. I didn’t realize how important it is to choose a window replacement material that is long lasting and customizable to ensure you get the look you want. My sister just bought an older home in the woods. Hopefully, she can use this info to get windows that can improve the efficiency of the house.

  10. Gloria Durst says:

    I agree that the shape of a window would play into the overall design. Finding windows that match the overall style of your home would probably make things look uniform and nice. My brother needs to replace some windows that his son recently broke, so he’ll have to consider the design of them first.

  11. My wife and I have noticed that there are a lot of problems with our current windows, so we thought it might be a good idea to get them replaced. One thing that really stood out to me is that you say you can actually choose from various colors for your interior and exterior! It would be nice to choose something that is going to match the style of the house in the end.

  12. Thanks for your tip to choose new windows for your house that use durable glass. I like how you said that the type of glass that you use can help keep the temperature of your house where you want it. My husband and I need to upgrade the windows in our living room and we are considering getting new windows that are high-quality.

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