Pam Lebowitz, Realtor® / Attorney's Blog
New windows can work wonders for a house. Depending on how old your windows are, replacements can make your home less drafty, and much quieter, but they can also spruce up a room that’s starting to look dated.
When you replace your windows you also might see a drop in your heating bill. However, the cost of replacing windows is steeper than you’re ever likely to save on heat. So, if you’re thinking of replacing your windows just to save cash, in the long run there might be better ways of doing so.
In this article, we’re going to talk about choosing replacement windows for your home. We’ll walk you through the different types of windows so you can find the type that fits your needs. Read on for our replacement windows buyer’s guide.
Choosing the right window style
There are endless types of windows that you could find in a given home. However, four main styles are what we normally think of when talking about replacement windows.
Single vs double-hung windows
First, there are single and double-hung windows. In double-hung windows, both the top and bottom sash are operable, or able to be opened. Being able to utilize both sashes is beneficial for airflow. Opening the top sash will allow the warm air escape, opening the bottom sash will allow cool air to enter.
In single-hung windows, only the lower sash is able to be opened and closed. But otherwise, they are very similar to double-hung windows.
Both of these types of windows come in variants that allow you to pivot the sashes inward to clean the exterior glass. However, if you buy single-hung windows you’ll only be able to wash the lower sash. Keep that in mind if you’re buying windows for a second floor or attic window.
Sliding windows are those which move horizontally on their tracks. They produce good ventilation and are easy to use. However, just like single-hung and double hung windows, they do slightly obstruct your view at the midpoint when closed. The rectangular shape of sliding windows, however, means you won’t likely be able to install an air conditioner.
Casement style windows
The last main type of window we’ll talk about are casement style windows. This type of window operates on a hinge like a door would. When they’re fully opened, they produce good ventilation. When they’re fully closed, they don’t obstruct the view at all.
However, just like with sliding windows, you won’t be able to install an AC unit. Furthermore, this type of window is more prone to malfunction due to the crank and hinge system, and cranking it open and closed all the time could be a minor annoyance for some homeowners.
Window frames come in four main materials--vinyl, wood, clad-wood, and aluminum.
Vinyl is the most common. They look clean and modern, and they also resist heat and condensation making them easy to maintain.
Wood frames are regaining popularity. Since they often come unfinished, you can easily customize them to your home.
Clad-wood frames are wood on the interior and aluminum on the exterior, making them rugged and resistant to weathering and rot.
Aluminum windows are economical, lightweight, and easy to maintain.
Now that you know a bit more about windows, you’ll be better equipped to decide what type of replacements to purchase for your home.