Are you considering the purchase of replacement windows for your home? If your windows are badly damaged, you may need to. You will find that there are many options available to you to fit different budgets and needs. Residential replacement windows come in a variety of materials and glass options, and many are designed to be energy efficient. To make the best choice, take your time to mull over the possibilities, then answer the following key questions:
1. What Material Should You Choose For the Frames?
There are a variety of materials used to make residential replacement window frames. You will find wood, aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass to be the most commonly used materials. Which should you choose?
Wood: If you like a natural and rustic appearance, wood might be your best option. One of the major benefits of choosing wood window frames is the flexibility they offer. If you tire of one color, you may re-paint or stain the frame in a new color of your choice. Wood frames also provide adequate insulation and durability. The one drawback to wood is that it does not typically hold up well to the elements. Rain may cause the wood to rot over a period of time. Direct sunlight may lead to peeling and cracking of the wood.
Aluminum: This choice is often less expensive than wood, making it an ideal choice for the budget-conscious homeowner. It's a good choice for mild climates since it does not insulate as well as wood. Aluminum frames offer decent durability and the option of color choices, too.
Vinyl: Durable and resistant to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, vinyl is another good choice for those on a budget. Keep in mind that you cannot paint vinyl, so you will be limited to the color you initially choose. If you live in a cold region, vinyl window frames will provide good insulation. Vinyl is relatively low maintenance.
Fiberglass: This material is highly weather resistant and extremely durable. It is also a strong insulator, making it a good choice for colder climates. You will also find it is available in many colors.
2. Should You Choose Single-, Double- or Triple-Pane Glass?
If you live in a mild climate and you are on a budget, you might opt for single-pane glass. Keep in mind that it will not provide much insulation. It is also less commonly used in modern homes.
Double-pane glass will provide protection from heat loss with its double layers. The metal coating is invisible but provides extra insulation. Look for Low-E glass as an addition. The coatings on this glass will help to minimize the level of UV rays that filter through the glass.
If your region is extremely cold, consider installing triple-pane glass windows. Argon or krypton gases are sealed between the glass panes, which provides great insulation. Triple-pane windows are the best for energy efficiency. While they typically cost more than the other options, they can save you money on your heating bills.
3. What Style Should You Choose?
Sliding Widows: These windows offer a fine, unobstructed view of the outside. Keep in mind that a sliding window will only partially open. Because of this, you may find it does not provide adequate ventilation.
Double Hung Windows: This design slides upward and downward and is commonly used in traditional-style homes. You may raise one panel from the bottom, or you may lower the other from the top. These windows are often available in custom sizes and colors. They're considered energy efficient as well.
Casement Windows: These are tall and stylish, with pivoted hinges that open, much like a door. These are an ideal choice for a modern home.
Bay Windows: Here is a good choice for small rooms, as bay windows can make a room appear larger.
Your replacement windows are an investment, so choose wisely. With all the many factors to consider, you might want to consult a professional for a home evaluation and installation advice. To learn more, check out websites like http://www.gulfcoastbuildersinc.com.