Checklist for Choosing the Right Windows for Your Home
By Great Lakes Window
In 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:
- Low maintenance
- 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.