Building An Addition: A Homeowner's Guide

Tips for Selecting Replacement Windows

by Toni Richards

If you're having your home remodeled, one thing you may want to do is replace the windows. If you have an older home with the original windows, they probably aren't very energy efficient since energy efficiency wasn't a factor decades ago. New windows allow you to freshen the appearance of your home while making it more energy efficient too.

While you'll probably want to stay with windows of the same dimensions as the original windows to save money on installation costs, you'll still have plenty of decisions to make when it comes to choosing the style of windows along with the frame and glass materials. Here are some things to consider.

Choose Glass for Energy Efficiency

Modern windows usually have at least two panes. The space between the panes often contains gas that acts as insulation. This vastly improves energy efficiency when compared to older, single-pane windows. In addition, you can choose coating for the glass that reflects UV rays and reduces heat transfer.

Talk to your contractor about choosing the most energy efficient windows for your budget. You'll want glass that is Energy Star rated and carries certification for meeting industry standards for energy efficiency. The higher rated windows cost more, so you'll need to decide on the type of glass based on your climate and budget. Although the windows may be a substantial investment initially, they will save money on your power bills and increase the value of your home.

Select Frames for Style

Window frames are made from a variety of materials such as vinyl, aluminum, wood, wood clad, composite wood, and fiberglass. Each material affects the appearance of your home on the outside as well as the inside. Each material also has different maintenance requirements. Wood offers a traditional look, but it also requires the most care. You could choose composite or wood clad windows if you want the look of real wood on the inside but you don't want all the work of maintaining the wood outside that is exposed to the weather and UV rays.

When choosing the type of frame material for your replacement windows, consider the age of your home and its architectural style. If you have a historic Victorian house, you may want to avoid newer materials such as vinyl or aluminum and stay with the original wood frame material to match the architecture.

Pick a Fresh Design

The design of your current windows could be dating your home. For instance, you may have some jalousie or louvered windows that were popular decades ago. You can replace these with double-hung or sliding windows for a more modern look. A new design could also make your home safer.

For instance, jalousie windows may protect you from intruders and storm damage, but they could trap you during a fire. If security is a concern, you could choose new windows made from security glass to keep out intruders but still allow for an easy exit from your home. Other design changes you can make include buying glass with grilles that divide the windows into smaller sections or installing a bay window that adds character to your home.

Choosing the best replacement windows can be an overwhelming decision if you want to change the appearance of your home. To learn more about your options, contact companies like Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling, Inc.