An In-Depth Guide To Buying Window Replacements

  • Justin Woo
  • January 22, 2020
  • Window Guide
  • Window Replacement

Getting gorgeous window replacement makes a massive difference to your home. The difference is both in practical terms and in terms of aesthetic. When you are choosing the types of replacement windows that would be the best fit, feel free to make use of our buying guide. Our guide includes a range of factors to consider such as ventilation, window temperature and light. Our team of installers are also available to help in replacing your windows, making sure that you get the best service and fit.

What is the difference between new and replacement windows

  • types of windows

New windows are usually used for new construction. New windows have a nailing flange that attaches them to the rough opening in the wall. Using nails, they are secure to the exterior sheathing around the window opening.
Technically replacement windows are, in fact, also new windows. The difference is that replacement windows fit into an existing frame also they have no nailing flange. Replacement windows are so much easier to install, and this makes them the preferred choice. The only exception is in cases where the existing frame is damaged and needs to be replaced or when extra insulation is required between the frame and the wall.
It is worth noting that installing windows needs very high precision. As a result, it is recommended that you have a professional do the installation. Professional installers will make sure your windows fit perfectly in place. You can schedule a consultation with our trained experts and we will send them over to your home to help.

Types and styles of windows

Sliding windows

Sliding windows usually have one or more fixed panels. One or more of the panels slide in horizontal tracks. Even though you can only open half of the total window at the time for ventilation, sliding windows are an effective way of sealing in energy.

Double-hung windows

Double-hung windows are a classic style that features an upper outside sass. The upper outside sash slides down while the lower inside sash slides up. Friction devices, weights or hidden springs, or help to position, lift and lower the sash. There are certain types of sashes that can be tilted, removed or rotated for easy inside cleaning. If only one of the sashes slides, the window is known as single-hung or vertical siding.

Casement windows

Casement windows are hung singly or sometimes hung in pairs. They are operated by cranks, the cranks swing the sash outward or inward. Since they open fully to ensure easy cleaning and provide excellent ventilation by scooping in breezes, they are quite a popular choice for both replacements as well as new construction windows.

Accent and picture windows

Accent and picture windows come in a wide range of styles, this makes them favourites with customers. They are available in unique shapes, such as the octagonal, round, bay, bow and traditional rectangular.

Window materials

Windows are crafted from a wide range of materials, including steel, aluminum, wood, vinyl and fibreglass, or a combination. Generally, those that provide the best weather protection will cost more. Having said that, they typically pay off because they require lower maintenance and offer higher energy savings.

Wood windows

Wood is usually to be the most popular window material because it does not conduct cold or allow condensation as much as all the other materials. They usually come unfinished unless if you order them that way. If you plan on painting them, it is better to buy them primed on the frame and sash to cut down on extra work for you. You can always purchase pre-painted wood windows that come in standard colours to avoid painting altogether.

Clad wood windows

Clad wood windows that are wooden on the inside and clad with a tough exterior of extruded aluminum or sometimes vinyl. They come in several stock colours, the cladding covers the sash as well as the frame. The cladding keeps the windows virtually maintenance-free for many years. For vinyl cladding, the colour permeates the material in a way to make sure that scratches don’t show. Aluminum cladding might scratch, but it is stronger, easier to paint and available in a wider range of colours. Whether you choose aluminum or vinyl clad windows, they will not rust or rot.

Vinyl windows

Vinyl windows are crafted from impact-resistant polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They are rigid and have hollow spaces inside, making them more resistant to condensation and heat loss. In the replacement market, vinyl windows are quite a popular choice.

Window construction

Most wood windows come standard pre-hung incomplete frames. The frames fit into a rough opening in the wall. They are typically secured in place using nails that are driven through the exterior wall sheathing. The wall sheathing is the part around the window opening.

On the outside vinyl and aluminum windows as well as some wood windows with a vinyl or aluminum cladding have a factory-installed nailing flange. This flange is then attached to the perimeter of its rough framing.

Different ways that windows can be opened

Cranks

Casement, hopper windows and awning windows use cranks for opening and closing, some of the older styles use push bars. Some manufacturers provide cranks in non-metallic finishes such as white. Some of the newer types come with fold-down handles, making them less conspicuous.

Latches and locks

Latches on the frame hold a window tightly closed. For hinged windows, we recommend two latches on tall or wide frames. For double-hung windows, the sash locks pull the upper and lower sash together. Keyed sash locks are an option to improve security. For sliders, we suggest looking for security locks in order to keep the operable sashes from being jimmied open.

Sliding mechanisms

Most of the sashes on vinyl and aluminum windows are quite lightweight, they are able to slide in the sill tracks. For large sashes the size of a door, you will need to support them using rollers.

Counter-balances

For double-hung windows, weights or as torsion screws are used to counterbalance the sash is on the sides. On some types of replacement windows, friction may be all that is required to hold the sash in place.

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