4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying New Windows

1. What Type of Windows Do You Want?

There are many different types of windows. For example, if you want traditional windows, would you prefer single-hung or double-hung windows? Should the window slide side-to-side or up and down to open, or would you rather have windows that open outward? If you do want windows that open outward, you can even choose if they open like a door (casement window) or like an awning.

Of course, there are more unique styles of windows you may want to consider too. For example, if you want a better view, a picture window, bay window or bow window may be the right choice because they provide large views. Plus, bow windows offer a partially panoramic view. Other types of windows to consider include egress windows, garden windows, glass block windows, and skylights.

2. Do You Want a Traditional Window Frame?

You’ll also need to consider what type of window frame you want. Most windows have a vinyl, wood, or aluminum frame. Vinyl window frames are desirable because they have great insulating properties. However, in some styles of homes, such as Victorian homes, vinyl frames can look awkward and stand out like a sore thumb, so wood may be the better choice.

In other cases, different types of windows may do well with different materials. Windows that open usually do well with vinyl frames because the frame provides a better seal when the window is shut. Metal like aluminum, however, is more prone to expand and contract, which can hinder the seal when the window is closed.

However, a picture window naturally has better insulating properties since these don’t open at all, so you may be able to get away with an aluminum frame.

3. Do You Want Fiberglass Windows?

Again, most window frames are made from wood, aluminum, or vinyl. However, more homeowners are considering fiberglass windows. Vinyl is the more affordable option, costing an average of $7,700 to $9,800 for 10 48-inch windows. The same amount and size of fiberglass windows would cost closer to $8,720 to $10,993.

Vinyl is also easier to install and more readily available than fiberglass. Fiberglass also requires more maintenance than vinyl because it fades in sunlight and needs to be painted.

The advantage of fiberglass is the energy-saving properties. While vinyl expands and contracts much less than metal, fiberglass doesn’t expand and contract at all, which means less wear and tear on the frame and fewer gaps. Typically, a vinyl window will last about 30 years, but a fiberglass window may last 50 years.

4. What’s Your Budget?

Before you replace any window, make sure you determine your budget. This is particularly important because it’s often best to replace all your windows at the same time. If you don’t, you won’t benefit as much from the energy-savings and boost in the value of your home. When you replace all your windows at the same time, the return on investment is high: about 75.8 percent for vinyl windows.

Once you know your budget, plan out the windows you want. For example, if you really want to turn one of your windows into a bay window, consider cutting costs elsewhere by replacing some traditional windows with picture windows, which are more affordable because they can’t open.

Having a clear budget is the first step in creating your window-replacement plan. Mixing different types of windows can go a long way to boost curb appeal while keeping your project affordable. For more information about window replacement, contact us at 1st Choice Windows & Siding.

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