Replacing windows is the simplest way to improve your home’s energy structure and visuals with a single investment. However, buying new windows won’t do much if you don’t know what to buy.
Sure, a new window is usually better than the old one, but how are you getting the most value for your money? What type of window will last the longest? What if you live in a historic home and can’t replace old windows with new ones?
All of these questions and more will be answered promptly.
How do I choose a window style for my home?
The first thing you should understand about windows is that they’re a massive part of your home’s exterior and interior appeal. This is why you need to pick the window type that will fit the needs of your home.
First, you need to choose your priorities. Do you want it to be aesthetic or energy efficient? It’s not impossible to have both, but if you had to choose one, which would you opt for? How much would you allow the window to deviate from your home’s style if it offered incredible energy efficiency? Would you take inferior windows if they had the most beautiful frame you’ve ever seen?
Is your home in a particular style or a historically protected building? This may add an extra layer of what you’re allowed to use. The law may lock out some options.
Remember that, no matter how expensive, the last thing you want is to change your home’s entire façade because your windows are not working with the current setup. The project will be expensive as it is; the last thing you need is extra costs.
What makes a high-quality window?
You’re looking for high-quality windows, but what is a definition of a high-quality window? Which properties make it high-quality?
First of all, in 2023, a high-quality window will be energy-efficient. We’re not talking about high-end windows with argon gas filling between panes. Any well-made window should improve your home’s energy efficiency.
A quality window also offers some sound-proofing properties. Regardless if you want to keep your indoor activities private or cut off noise from the outside world, you need quality windows to achieve that.
Good windows are easy to install. This is a bit problematic since windows in standard sizes are considerably cheaper than their custom-sized counterparts. This is why, if you’re purchasing custom windows, they might be harder to install (even when well-made). After all, no one has enough experience with these scenarios.
Finally, your impression of the window matters. If you like the aesthetics, you can regard it as higher quality. A sleek design is not easy to achieve. This alone requires some manufacturing prowess.
What are some of the latest window trends?
There are a lot of new window trends in manufacturing, construction, and architecture. For instance, large, open windows allow more light and give a much nicer view. In smaller homes, they are great because they expand the space and make your home look like an extension of the outdoors.
Smart windows are also a trend that’s blowing up. This expensive addition to your home will pay off in time. They allow you to monitor how much energy you’re saving and automatically adjust the light in your home based on the amount of light coming in. This interconnectivity is huge in ambiance and even has some mental health benefits.
Windows with black frames are also quite a popular trend. They give your home a sleeker look and can be made to fit both in contemporary and vintage settings.
Finally, custom shapes and sizes are always great from an aesthetic perspective. However, they can make your windows much more expensive (several times more expensive).
What type of window is the most energy-efficient?
There are many energy-efficient options out there. For starters, if you’re using a single-pane window, you should replace it with double-pane or even triple-pane. Replacing your windows with double-pane ones can save you as much as $250-$300 per year. Considering this math, it might even be worth getting a loan against property.
We’ve also already mentioned gas-filled windows. These windows have a layer of krypton or argon gas between panes. They’re a top-notch installation, but they’re incredibly expensive. In other words, they’re made for those who value efficiency over cost efficiency.
Not everything is about panes. The material of window frames can be just as relevant. For instance, vinyl and fiberglass are the best for high-thermic properties and low maintenance. Timber can be just as good but requires more maintenance and is not as durable.
Of course, you don’t have to replace your windows to achieve higher energy efficiency; you could install storm windows instead. What is a storm window? Simply put, you install a window over your window to protect it. You don’t have to remove anything, and the installation is easy. Not to mention that this is the only option for those living in historic homes.
What type of windows lasts the longest?
This is a concept that’s usually not discussed in-depth. People just want to know what window lasts the longest, but they fail to mention in which region/climate. They also fail to address what kind of maintenance the window will get.
The durability of the window is usually determined by the manufacturing process and the material the frame is made of. The most durable materials are definitely:
These three can easily last up to 50 years with proper care.
While wooden windows are also a popular choice, they need serious maintenance to last anywhere as long.
So, before making a purchase, make sure to visualize what your home will look like after the window replacement. Second, remember that while you may not want anything trendy, modern trends affect the prices on the market. Also, windows are not something you replace every day (or every year); therefore, it’s always worth paying a bit extra to get a higher quality.
Lastly, when investing in cost-efficiency, make sure to remember that every window has its ROI. This depends on both the saving and the initial investment. In other words, when just looking at the ROI, sometimes storm windows are better.