Our industry expert replacement window advice and tips can help you make a more informed decision when it’s time for buying replacement windows. By following some of our replacement window tips and advice, you can be a more educated consumer and will have a better chance of choosing the replacement windows that will best meet your needs, as well as your budget.
Replacement Window Advice & Buying Tips
Buy From A Reputable Dealer, Company Or Store
It is best to buy your replacement windows from a local replacement window retailer or wholesale distributor, so you can easily go back to them if there are any problems. These businesses also typically have qualified installers that you can use or can refer you to recommended window contractors to get the job done right. Make sure you get a good feeling from them – never go with a company that seems shady or gives you pause.
Research Manufacturers Before You Buy
It’s a good idea to do some checking into replacement window companies to see which ones have good feedback ratings and have developed a good reputation. Check into what people have to say about the company, check if any complaints have been lodged against them with the Better Business Bureau, and also do some research into their warranties, including what they cover and for how long.
Check Installer References
You’ve narrowed down your choices based on price, window specs, contract terms and warranty. Now it’s time to check installer references and if possible, go see 1 or more jobs they’ve completed. Or simply call the homeowner and ask about the installer/contractor and how well the windows have held up over time. Awesome installation can turn an OK window into a great investment (and vice versa).
The price may be a little higher up-front than standard stock-sized options, but the benefits are usually worth the extra price. When replacement windows are custom made specifically to fit your window opening, you have an easier installation process (resulting in lower replacement window costs because there is less “extra” work to do). And, since the windows will fit better, your energy bills will be reduced due to enhanced thermal performance of your new windows.
Additional Replacement Window Advice
Consider Vinyl & Fiberglass Frames
When it comes to actual performance numbers (how well the window insulates), a high quality vinyl is at the top of the heap. Fiberglass is just below this and wood windows are at the bottom. This doesn’t mean that wood windows perform poorly, just that over the life of the window, they will not insulate as well as a high quality vinyl or fiberglass. Plus wood is more expensive and requires more maintenance, i.e. staining or sealing them once in a while. If you love the look of wood and can afford them, go for it – they are the most beautiful windows out there. If you can live without them, go with a high quality vinyl from Soft-Lite, Okna or Sunrise or a fiberglass composite from Marvin.
Consider An Upgraded Glass Package
The most important factor in energy efficiency is the type of window glass and seals that are used. An upgraded glass package is probably the single most recommended upgrade from contractors across the industry. You should opt for a high quality low-e double-paned glass and may want to bypass the hefty price associated with triple-paned windows. They may not offer you that much additional energy efficiency and can be rather heavy, causing increased strain on the mechanics of the window. Triple paned windows also have twice as many seals that can eventually go bad and cause air leakage. Instead, look for double-paned glass that has the most space between the panes. The wider the space, the more insulating air or gas that exists between the glass, making them more energy efficient.