“If you’re a homeowner in the market for new windows for your home, you’ll want to be well-versed on the options available to you,” said Lance Dahl, CR, Senior Sales Representative – Exterior Products with Callen Construction, Inc.
From a curb appeal standpoint, it’s vital that new windows seamlessly align with the style of the home. “Beyond aesthetics, it’s important to evaluate energy efficiency, window types and materials, and installation time when shopping for new windows,” said Lance.
Not surprisingly, the energy efficiency of windows can have a significant impact on a home’s energy bills. Therefore, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the primary factors homeowners consider when replacing windows. “If you’re interested in saving money every month, it’s advised to select energy efficient windows for your home,” Lance said. “In order to verify that the windows you select are Energy Star labeled products, simply check the product label.”
Another key question to consider is the types of windows available, with some of the most popular types being bay, bow, casement, awning, double hung, single hung, sliding, and picture. “The key to selecting the right type of windows for your home involves determining the main purpose you’d like the windows to serve as each type is designed with specific forms and functions in mind,” he said.
For instance, bay and bow windows extend beyond the wall, helping the room feel larger. They also provide expansive views and filter plenty of natural light into a space. Casement windows are known for simple lines and come in large sizes to offer increased daylight and fresh air. Their hinges are fastened to one side, allowing the window to open inward or outward. “Conversely, awning windows only open outwards, but you can always count on them to provide your home with a fresh breeze,” he said.
Double hung and single hung windows are characterized by their versatility and user friendliness. Both types open vertically, but as the names suggest, double hung windows have two movable sashes, while single hung windows only have one. Sliding windows are known for saving space and their usability, as they open horizontally with a minimum of one operating sash. Picture windows are large immovable windows that offer an unobstructed view and ample light. “To summarize, once you’ve established the window functions that best suit the space (or spaces) in your home, choosing a type should be a cinch,” Lance said.
Equally important to window type, is the material selected for a window’s interior and exterior, with common options including wood, aluminum, and fiberglass or a combination of these materials.
Wood can withstand extreme temperatures, it’s a high-quality insulator, it’s exceptionally customizable, and it emits a warm and cozy feeling. Extruded aluminum, which is often applied to window exteriors in order to maximize protection, is durable, strong, and resistant to the elements. It’s also adaptative, meaning it can match even minute details without diminishing performance. Fiberglass, which comes in different forms, will expand and contract at a rate relative to glass, which helps maintain its shape and performance long-term. This holds true even when fiberglass is faced with harsh temperatures, rain, snow, and high winds. “Ultimately, each material is a solid choice, but your selection should be dependent on your specific project and personal preference,” he said.
Many homeowners are under the impression that window installations are heavily dependent on the weather. “Extreme weather phenomena excluded, windows can be installed at any point during the year,” said Lance. “Although a fall or winter installation may require a little extra planning and preparation, it can be done. If you’re replacing multiple windows, drafts can be sequestered if the doors within the room remain closed.” In the long run, the decision on when to schedule your window installation comes down to what is most convenient for the homeowner.
If new windows for your home are long overdue, remember to do your homework prior to installation day. “Carefully consider energy efficient options, window styles and materials, as well as identify the most opportune time for installation for your family,” Lance said. “Completing these steps ahead of time will help ensure your confidence during the process and your satisfaction with the end result.”