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5 Steps to Buying Replacement Windows

How to Choose the Right Replacement Windows For Your Home

Think all replacement windows are basically the same? The truth is that there are actually many subtle differences amongst all the products on the market these days, especially when it comes to glass quality and performance.

If you’re on the market for new windows for your home but don’t know where to start, our guide to choosing the right windows will walk you through all you need to know about the process.

Step 1: Decide on What You Need: Repair, Replace, or Retrofit

Choosing the right windows begins with carefully considering the condition of your existing windows and frames. For example, if it’s only the glass of your windows that is broken, and your frames are in good shape, you can get away with just replacing the glass. But if your windows are constantly foggy, more than 20 years old, or increasingly drafty – and you’re all out of DIY solutions – it’s time to consider replacing your windows.

Depending on the type of windows you already have installed, some new window frames can be retrofitted onto your existing frames, making the job quicker and more cost-effective. However, if there is extensive water damage, or you’re looking to expand the size of the window, you’re looking at complete replacement costs for both the frame and the glass.

If you’re not sure about the answer to step 1, professional window installers can help sort out whether you need completely new glass windows or if the existing ones can be repaired. Your best bet is to contact a local window repair shop and ask for a free quote.

Step 2: Choose Your Style

There are two main reasons why homeowners choose to replace their windows: energy efficiency (which we will get to in a moment) and improving the aesthetics and comfort of their home overall. The appearance of your new windows and how they will blend with their exterior should be top of mind.

Looking at the architecture of your home is the best place to start when considering the style of window to go with. For instance, colonial, craftsman, and rancher-style homes usually have the classic double-hung windows that open and close with two operating sashes and tilt inwards for convenient cleaning. Another common window type is casement windows, where one side opens for top to bottom ventilation.

If you have a heritage or character home, you might be looking at more specially shaped, geometric windows. Modern homes often have larger windows, often floor to ceiling. These too can be custom cut to any shape required. Is there an opportunity or desire to add a bay or panoramic window? How about a slider patio door?

You can also choose from a variety of decorative finishing touches like stained or etched glass, diamond or square grids, and decorative grille marks that turn a basic window into one that looks like it has several separate panes. As for colour, that’s all dictated by the frame-choice:

Step 3: Choose Your Frame Material

There are three main types of window frame materials to choose from: wood, vinyl, or aluminum. Things to consider here are price, required maintenance, and suitability with your existing exterior.

  • Wood: Wood framed windows are timelessly beautiful and offer endless colour options, but they are expensive, require a lot of maintenance such as painting, and can warp or even rot over time.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl frames are customizable, easy to maintain, energy efficient, and won’t succumb to termite or water damage. Plus there is never any sanding, staining, or painting involved, ever!
  • Aluminum: Aluminum frames have all the virtues of vinyl frames, but with the added benefit of being super thin and low-profile, so you end up with more glass and less frame.

Step 4: Choose Your Glass Style

When choosing the best type of glass package for your replacement windows, consider things like:

  • Budget
  • Local climate
  • Size of the windows required
  • Direction your house faces
  • Amount of shade on your property
  • Security, sound-insulating, and energy-saving properties you may want

Your window installation specialist can help you select the best type of glass for your windows by considering the factors listed above. 

Step 5: Look for the Right Energy-Saving Properties

Over the years there have been many recent advancements in technology that have greatly expanded the types of window glasses there are available on the market. For example, there is storm-resistant glass for homes in coastal areas, insulated glass, tinted glass, and so on.

For the best energy-savings possible, select windows that come with the components that make up an energy efficient glass package, including dual or triple pane glass, argon or krypton gas between the dual panes, and low-emissivity (Low-E) glazing or coatings.

Pro Tip: When it comes to windows, never sacrifice quality for cost-savings! Ultimately, you will get what you pay for. Windows that are priced extremely low don’t typically have the technologies to help lower your energy bills throughout the year.

Step 6: Sourcing Your Custom Replacement Windows

When it comes to sourcing your replacement windows, select a window manufacturer and installer that offers a lengthy warranty and guarantees their work. While it’s possible to buy from a big box store and call it a day, you’re far better off to go with a well-established company that has been around for many years, as their longevity in the industry and good reputation will serve you well for years to come.

Our professional window installers take the time to ensure each product fits precisely into your home’s exterior. We do this by producing custom-fit windows made to order—which isn’t something you can get from the big box stores.

Whatever your home glass needs are, Modern’s professional window installers have got you covered. Functional, beautiful windows add to your home’s value and can greatly increase your comfort and satisfaction as a homeowner. The glass specialists at Modern can help guide you through all your window repair, replacement, and retrofitting needs. We specialize in helping our clients improve their exteriors.  Request a free quote online, or call us today at 1-866-934-2599 and let’s talk windows together!

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