Best Replacement Windows – What To Look For?

  • Justin Woo
  • April 9, 2021
  • Bay and Bow Windows
  • Bay Windows
  • Casement Windows
  • Window
  • Window Replacement
  • Window Styles
  • Windows

>When people have finally made the decision to get rid of their old windows, they’ll typically begin researching on the best replacement windows that will work for their home. Many people aren’t even aware of where to buy windows, and it’s no surprise because window installation isn’t something that you do many times in your life. Learning how to buy windows can be an intimidating process because there are so many different styles, colors, and designs that can be selected from. The best thing you can do is to write down every single question that you have and then contact a window contractor to carefully go over each question. Windows are an expensive purchase, and you won’t want to have regrets later down the road after spending so much money. This window guide will help you better understand the parts of a window, what styles are available, the types of materials that are used to construct the window, and additional things to look out for.

Choosing windows shouldn’t be a super complicated process that will cause you stress and worry. It should be just as easy as selecting a paint color for your bedroom or deciding on a certain type of flooring for the kitchen. Reading through this guide should bring you some peace of mind, understanding, and additional knowledge about windows that you might not have known before.

Parts Of A Window

It’s important to develop a solid understanding of the anatomy of windows so you’re familiar with how they operate.

Head Jamb

The head jamb is also commonly referred to as the head of a window. This is the horizontal top piece on a window frame.

Grills/Muntins

The tiny pieces of wood, metal, or vinyl that separate panels or make the window look like it has divisions are known as grills or muntins. It’s not overly complicated to install grills between the different panes of glass, and many like the increased aesthetic appeal that they provide to their windows. The main purpose of them is just for an added decorative touch, and a lot of companies will let you get rid of muntins for free.

Glazing

Glazing is more of an older window term that refers to a window pane. There are single-glazed, double-glazed, and triple-glazed windows. Many people refer to them as single-pane, double-pane, or triple-pane windows nowadays. Most windows on the market are double-pane or triple-pane because of the added insulation and energy efficiency they offer.

Window Pane

The sheet of glass in a window frame that will let natural light into your home is known as a window pane. A window pane will keep the cold and warm air outside where it should be. Throughout Canada, the standard window will have two panes of glass. If a customer wants to customize windows to be a single pane, a company will also most likely provide that service.

Sash

The part of a window that can be moved is known as the sash. There are many different types and styles of sashes available to customers, and you can get pretty creative to how you want your sashes to look.

Sash Lock

The two-part mechanism that will secure the sash to the middle area of the frame is known as the sash lock. Casement and double-hung windows will have sash locks, and these locks will keep your home more secure.

Jamb

The part of the window that provides structural support and integrity is known as the jamb. Jambs can be located on the side or top of a window, but it all depends on what type it is. Sometimes you’ll see tracks or rails in the jams so that the window can be opened smoothly.

Stile

The vertical portion of a window that is situated on each side of a sash is called the stile. Every window on the market will contain stiles, and the length of them will vary from one window to the next.

Rails

Double-hung windows are the ones that usually contain rails. The purpose of rails is for opening and closing the window. Many rails are two-piece ones, and the area that the window locks at is known as the check rail.

Sill

The sill of a window is the piece of trim on the bottom part of a window frame. The purpose of sills is to prevent water from getting inside. Sills will direct the water and any other particles away from the home. Many people like placing plants and other ornaments on their window sills because the natural sunlight will shine right on them throughout the day.

What Are The Different Styles Of Windows?

Windows comes in a variety of different styles, and because there are so many of them, it can sometimes be difficult to pick the right one. Some windows are specifically designed to increase the amount of airflow throughout your home, while others are designed to increase the number of natural lights. Some are better suited for basements, while others are designed just to add some decorative appeal to your home.

Single-Hung Windows

Single-hung windows are a popular choice among people because they are so easy to clean. the bottom sash on these windows will tilt inward to allow a lot of extra airflow into the home.

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are another common choice in many homes throughout North America. These windows are similar to single-hung windows, but they also have a top sash that can be adjusted. Each sash can be opened and this provides an even better chance for air to get into your home.

Casement Windows

More and more people are starting to install casement windows into their homes because they are so easy to operate. These windows have cranks on them and they are known to be very energy efficient throughout the winter and summer months of the year. That means your energy bills won’t be as high from month to month.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are a common choice for people installing windows in their basements and upper floors. These windows provide an ideal amount of ventilation because they hinge right at the top of them and will open in an outward motion at the bottom.

Slider Windows

Slider windows are another type of window that is super easy to operate. Lots of people install slider windows into bedrooms or bathrooms in their homes. Customers can get the sashes customized to slide in whatever direction they want. For those that want a greater degree of ventilation and airflow, they can get double sliding windows so that air will come in from each side.

Bay Windows

Bay windows are an elegant design that will have anyone walking by glancing at them at least twice. They add a little bit of room in your home because they just outwards from it. Bay windows are typically a set of three windows that will increase the amount of natural light flowing into your home tremendously.

Bow Windows

Much like bay windows, bow windows also increase the number of square feet in your home, much like how bay windows do. Bow windows are a curved design, and maybe people like to sit near their bow windows while reading a book. While they are a little more difficult to install, they are quite unique.

Customized Windows

In addition to all of the other types of windows listed above, a customer can also get a fully customized window installed in their home. You can get single-pane, double-pane, or triple-pane windows in a specific shape that will either add more natural light, increase the ventilation, or a combination of both. Many people like to get a customized centerpiece window for large living room walls.

What Materials Are Windows Made Out Of?

Window materials have varied quite a bit over the years, and there isn’t one window material that is the absolute best over the rest of them. Many people like to go with vinyl material windows because of how durable and long they last. Vinyl windows also don’t typically warp and bend out of shape like wood windows might do after a long time. Many older homes used wood for their window frames, and wood windows give them a unique, rustic look. The nice thing about wood is that it can’t be painted to whatever color you think might look good on your home. Fiberglass is another material that windows can be made with, and this is known to be the most durable of them all. Fiberglass windows can last for many years without any noticeable warping or fading in their colors. Everyone will have their own personal preference when it comes to what material they want their windows to be constructed with.

Window glazing is another thing that the customer will have to decide on. Double-glazed windows are the standard nowadays because they have increased energy efficiency over single-pane windows. For those that want the best energy efficiency, triple-pane windows are the ones you’ll want to go with. Even in the coldest of temperatures, you could stand right beside triple-pane windows and not feel any cold air drafting through.

Things To Consider With New Windows

If you’re doing a home renovation project and replacing all of your windows,  you’ll need to keep a few factors in mind.

  • Is your main purpose for replacing the windows to increase energy efficiency?
  • Do you just want better natural lighting in your home?
  • Who are you going to get to install the windows?

If your main objective in replacing the windows is to increase energy efficiency, then your best bet is to go with triple-pane windows that are made out of vinyl or fiberglass. If you still want your windows to be energy efficient but don’t have a large budget, then the best option is to go with double-pane windows that are made out of vinyl or fiberglass. Wood frame windows will also do the job effectively. Window shopping can sometimes be a stressful process for some people, but it doesn’t need to be. Do your research and figure out what windows will look best in your home. If you can’t envision how some windows will look in your home-based on pictures on the internet, sometimes it helps to visit an actual window showroom in person to get a better perspective.

When you visit a showroom, bring any questions you have to the window contractor. They are more than willing to answer any question you have regarding installations, replacements, timeline, and quality. You can also ask them to drop by your home and do an initial inspection. Most of the reputable window contractors will provide free quotes. After that, they will most likely take measurements. You’ll both decide on a date that works for the window installation, and it will usually only take them a day or two to finish the job, depending on how many windows need to be installed.

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