If some (or all) of your windows need replacing because they’re in disrepair, broken or just plain unattractive, you should know this is a major project and can be costly, depending on how many windows you replace and the replacement style you choose. And because windows are a significant investment financially and in the look of your house, you want to make a wise choice. Here are some guidelines to consider when deciding which are best windows for your home.
Best Windows for Your Home
#1 Aesthetics and Architecture
You should first consider your home’s architectural style when shopping for windows. If you have a contemporary home, large sleek windows without sashes may be preferable so they complement the angular lines of your home. If you have a traditional style home, symmetrical windows with sashes will better fit this style. Your window choice should be pleasing when taken in combination with the aesthetics of your home, not as a standalone choice.
#2 Energy Efficiency
If you’re eco-conscious and/or constantly combating high heating and cooling bills, your windows may be part of the problem. Opt for Energy Star windows to keep hot air out in summer and cool air out in winter. In addition to glass thickness, the coating you choose is important. Windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings block out more of the sun’s rays and reduces the amount of UV light that enters your home. This insulates and protects your skin and belongings from UV.
Not all windows are created equal. Some, like picture windows and fixed windows let light in, but do little else. Many other windows are designed to open and shut, but you may not need this functionality in every room. Windows that slide horizontally are a nice choice for kitchen windows and vertical windows are nice in dormers and bedrooms. Another option to consider is tilt or swing windows to maximize airflow. Even stationary windows can be replaced with tilt-ins to increase ventilation.
#4 Sun and Climate
The climate where you live and the amount of sun you get are important considerations when shopping for windows. If you live in an area that’s battered with sun, UV coatings are important. In Seattle, you actually want the opposite impact so that the sun warms up your home. Look for replacement windows with a higher Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). These are rated from 0 to 1, you want one closer to one. Also, you want materials that will stand up well to damp, moisture and rainy weather.
Frame material is a big concern in Seattle because you need it to be mold and damp-resistant. Wood is a great insulator, but is high upkeep and has rot-risk in the Pacific Northwest. Vinyl is low maintenance but may be not be fully color customizable. Aluminum is a good choice if it compliments the style of your home and is especially durable in wetter climates. Fiberglass is both durable and energy efficient but costs more. Composites are nice because they look like wood but are lower maintenance.
If cost is a concern, you should assess the difference between repairing your existing windows versus replacing them or only replacing windows that are problematic. Contact Associated Glass today for a free consultation and estimate on the best window options for your home, style and budget. We’ve been serving Seattle area families for more than 55 years and are ready to help you too!