A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Replacement Windows

If you’re looking to replace your windows, this guide will help you weigh your options and figure out which styles and materials will work best for your home.
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Making a home better, more attractive, and energy-efficient is the dream of every homeowner. Some go as far as renovating the whole house, but you can do the renovation part by part when on a budget. Primarily, this may mean having to start with the floors, then windows, the walls, landscape, and so on.

Replacing your home’s windows can improve your curb appeal and help you save on costs owing to the reduced utility bills. Since getting replacement windows means you get more efficient and secure windows, you end up with lower utility bills and relatively safer home.

However, you do not wake up one day and decide to take down your windows. Having an analysis of what to buy, the type of window best suited for your home, and how much it would cost is crucial to your planning. Here, we have done extensive research to provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you determine:

• Why and when you need a window replacement
• The types of window frames you can use.
• The various types of replacement windows
• Enhancements you can employ to improve the performance and security of your windows.
• Types of glasses to use on your windows
• The proper maintenance for your windows to boost longevity
• Finally, how much would it cost you to replace your windows?
So, let’s get to it:

Why and When You Need a Window Replacement

Knowing when and why you should replace your old windows with new ones could save you hundreds of dollars per month and improve your house’s worth.

However, you must consult with a professional before you go knocking your windows down. You’d not want to take down perfectly functioning and efficient windows due to misinformation from different sources.

Why Would You Need to Replace Your Windows?

Several reasons could prompt the need to replace your windows at home.

The common one is when your windows are damaged, which compromises your safety and overall home efficiency.

Since windows affect your living space’s overall feel, you should consider having them in the best shape at all times. However, replacing or installing new windows is not cheap. And that is why you should always go for a repair immediately after a window breaks.

But repair does not always work. So, when you cannot repair your window, and the only solution is a window replacement, then you should do that.

Windows that no longer open due to wear and tear over time, a shift in the foundation or deformation, is another reason to replace them.  

When Do You Replace Your Windows?

Your house may not tell you it’s time to replace the windows, but you will start noticing specific signs that will nudge you in that direction.

If you are having a rough time opening or closing your windows, and once you open them, you have to use something else to keep them open, then it is high time you looked into replacing your windows.  

  Other Signs Include:


High Energy Bills

Much of the energy generated in your home to maintain a conducive indoor living space environment escapes from your home if you lack proper insulation. One of the common culprits for energy loss is your window. If you feel that you have had enough of relatively high energy bills and want to have a more valuable yet energy-efficient home, then it’s time to replace those windows.


Post-Storm Repairs

Severe storms can take a toll on any home. Your property might still be standing, but a lot of the structures could be compromised, waiting for that moment to fall apart. So, before you go back to your everyday life, taking precautionary measures such as repairing electrical wiring is essential. However, when it comes to your windows, it is almost sure that they will need a replacement, especially if they are old.


When You Want a Makeover

Renovating a home brings about a sense of joy that every homeowner looks forward to with a measure of satisfaction. You get to enjoy a new, improved, and more efficient design in your old house. However, going through the makeover process involves your windows in no small part. You could want to introduce new windows or replace the old ones for a more efficient and attractive view.


When The Windows Are A Threat To Your Safety

Though many house break-ins happen through the front door, the second most common entry point is the windows. When your window fails to open or close well, is a single pane with no added security feature, or has a damaged lock, then they are a threat to your safety. To protect your property and family, then a window replacement would come in handy.

If You Have Warped, Damaged Or Broken Windows

Here, consider the cost of repair vis-à-vis replacement. If your windows need new weather-stripping, locks, or other minor hardware changes, then a repair is the cost-effective approach. However, if you need significant changes, such as damaged, deformed, and broken window frames, then a replacement becomes the plausible solution to avoid inconveniences in the future.


Moisture Damage

When you notice that the walls near your windows are experiencing water damage, your windows are probably leaking. The repair solution for this concern entails sealing the window with a waterproof material, but this can only last for so long. Instead, you can choose to replace the window to avoid any more breaches on your windows.


Read This Categories Before Replacing Your Windows

Windows Material Options Overview
Various Types of Replacement Windows

How to Reinforce Your Windows

Types of Glasses to Use on Your Windows

The Proper Maintenance for Your Windows

Final Remarks

Hiring A Windows Contractor

The Most Common Materials Used To Make

Window Frames For Homes Include:



Wood is famous for its natural beauty and diversity. It is best used for the interior parts of the structure, rather than the exterior. This is because water, humidity, extreme temperature fluctuations, scorching sun, and insects are not best friends with wood.


Wood has an elegant and warm look, which naturally improves your curb appeal.

Wood is a poor conductor of heat. It offers thermal insulation when used as a frame, which helps you save on energy bills.

Wood is durable, meaning you get value for your money. High-quality wood could last for years with proper maintenance and care.

Wood rarely expands and contracts with fluctuation in temperature. Therefore, it is unlikely to warp and remains versatile for a wide range of designs.


Well, nothing is perfect, including the impeccable piece of wood. Some of the disadvantages associated with the use of wooden frames include:

You need to paint

wood Since wood is a biodegradable material, it starts to wear out with time. To maintain the beautiful aesthetics associated with it, you need to paint the wood.

Wood is expensive-getting new, high-quality, treated wooden window frames relatively more costly than other materials.

High maintenance

Since wood attracts an array of insects like termites and does not interact well with water, you need to keep up with high-grade maintenance for the wood to last long.


This rigid, high-strength poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) material is impact-resistant and is very durable. Its construction design features air pockets in the material to help slow down the heat transfer, meaning that they are energy-efficient.



Vinyl window frames have an excellent thermal performance rating. With the right brand, you get an air-tight, efficient, and smooth operating design for your home.

Low maintenance

Unlike wood, you do not need to paint vinyl window frames to preserve them. Also, vinyl windows are easier to remove and clean, making them a favorable choice for homes.

Lasts longer

Vinyl is more durable compared to other window frame materials in the market.


Vinyl windows are more affordable compared to wood and fiberglass


Well, nothing is perfect, including the impeccable piece of wood. Some of the disadvantages associated with the use of wooden frames include:

You need to paint wood Since wood is a biodegradable material, it starts to wear out with time. To maintain the beautiful aesthetics associated with it, you need to paint the wood.

Wood is expensive-getting new, high-quality, treated wooden window frames relatively more costly than other materials.

High maintenance Since wood attracts an array of insects like termites and does not interact well with water, you need to keep up with high-grade maintenance for the wood to last long.


Fiberglass is another excellent choice for window frames. It is a composite material, meaning it is highly eco-friendly, among other benefits.


It is durable Fiberglass can easily outlive metal, wood, and wooden-clad window frames.

Low maintenance

When a stray stone, hail, or baseball hits your fiberglass window, you can replace the glass instead of the whole unit. This is better compared to vinyl, whereby you may have to replace the entire window.


Fiberglass is highly adaptable. You can change the appearance of the window to match your home. The multiple designs and allowance for painting the window give you the freedom to choose your preferred appearance.


Fiberglass windows are highly efficient, both for your pocket and the environment. They have a hollow space, which reduces heat transfer. And since the fiberglass window frames comprise of recycled glass, they are more eco-friendly.


Fiberglass is expensive, and you end up with a longer wait time when you decide to go for these window frames.


Most metallic window frames are aluminum-based. It is an economical option for homeowners since it’s light plus durable. Likewise, due to their corrosion-resistant nature, they tend to need less maintenance.


These materials feature a combination of beautiful wood and the low maintenance of aluminum. The cladding extends the life of the exterior part of the frame by preventing the wood from rotting.

Consult with an expert on your home’s requirements and the cost before you can settle on one type of window frame.

The Various Types of Replacement Windows


The beauty of replacing your windows is that you get the opportunity to fit in a different design and style of windows in your home. Some of the most common types of replacement windows include:

Double-Hung Windows

Double-Hung Windows This type of window has both sashes (a framework of vertical or horizontal rails containing a glass sheet) open. The top one slides down, and the bottom sash opens upwards. These classic windows allow the warm air at the top to escape and let cool air enter your house through the bottom sash.

With a different design, you could have the double-hung windows tilt outwards, making cleaning a lot easier, especially if you live on a higher floor.

If you intend to have a window air conditioning unit, then the double-hung windows are the right choice.

Single-Hung Windows

These windows are similar to the double-hung windows, but only one sash moves. The bottom sash moves up to open the window and down to close it. With a modern design, you can have one that also pivots, making your job of cleaning the window easier.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are the best for people looking for an unobstructed view. The hinges on one side allow you to open the window once you crank the lock open.

Casement windows offer the best ventilation and are also easy to clean. Compared to the double-hung windows, casement style windows provide a more air-tight closure. However, they’re not suited for window air conditioners.

Glider windows

Also called sliding windows. These windows have a rail at the top and the bottom, and the sash slides horizontally to open the window. The maximum you get is a half window open, which is sufficient for ventilation.

These windows are perfect for people who want a broad view but lack interior or external spaces to install any other window that pivots or tilts to open.

Bay and Bow Windows

Both bay and bow designs feature a protruding construction. However, the bow style comprises small windows of the same size, making the curve while protruding. The bow windows feature three or more windows fixed at certain angles so that they protrude outwards.

Bay style windows, on the other hand, have two angled-side windows. There’s one large window at the center and another smaller window.

Hopper Windows

Hopper windows open at the top and have hinges at the bottom. This design is specific for these windows to help prevent water from flowing into the house. They are most common for basements.

Picture Windows

These windows are fixed in place. They do not open but have an unobstructed view to allow maximum lighting for your indoor space.


These are windows fixed on the ceiling. You can either have them repaired or operable. And with modern designs, the skylights can distribute light from the ceiling to your hallways and bathrooms.

Since these windows are small in size, they can be used with any roof, without any special reinforcements.

How to Reinforce Your Windows

A few enhancements on your windows can go a long way to ensure their energy-efficiency and safety. And investing in a top-notch replacement window not only saves you cash in the long run but also increases the market value of your home.

So, the better and more efficient you go, the more valuable your home becomes.

Some of these enhancements include:

Argon Gas Fill

If you’re going for a double or triple-paned window, you can improve the window’s performance and lower heat transfer rates by adding argon gas between the window panes. The argon protects your window from damage caused by temperature fluctuations and increases insulation.

However, you need an expert for this, lest you end up with a leaking window sill.

Low-Emissivity Glass

Low emissivity or Low-E glass windows reduce the UV and infrared light reaching your home. However, they do not affect the amount of light you receive. That means you get adequate but safer natural light.

The Low-E windows have a thin coating that reflects heat, thus keeping your indoor temperature consistent, regardless of the time or season.

And since UV and infrared light are known to increase fading, you can protect your furniture and drapes from losing color.

To measure the effectiveness of low-E glass, you should consider:

• The U-Value

This is a window rating showing how much heat loss it allows.

• Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

The amount of heat entering your home from the sun’s radiation, compared to the total heat reaching your window.

• Visible Light Transmittance

How much visible light passes through the window into your indoor space.

• Light to Solar Gain

A ration of the visible light transmittance to the solar gain coefficient rating of a window.

Dual Cam Locks

Any high-tech lock on your window is always a plus. The dual-cam locks protect the window, making your home more secure from burglars.

Sloped Window Sills

By choosing a triple-stepped sloping design for your windows, then you offer more protection from damages caused during storms. The slope guides the water away from your window, considerably limiting any damage to your window sill.

Double-Strength Window

Instead of using your regular strength window pane, a double-strength glass offers more protection from bumping and forceful entry. With a thicker glass, the intruders will need a lot more effort to force it open or break the glass.

Fiberglass aMesh Screen

The fiberglass mesh is resistant to the effects of temperature fluctuations. So, it does not crease, meaning that your window retains a vibrant, clean, and pleasant appearance, even years after installation.


As mentioned before, severe storms could be reason enough to get new windows since they compromise your home’s integrity. So, once you replace your windows, it would be wise to install storm-breakers to protect your windows from future damage.

And if the windows can get to withstand strong winds, hail, and everything else in a severe storm, then you can expect it to stop intruders from entering your home.

Types of Glasses to Use on Your Windows

Maybe you have considered replacing your windows and thought that only one type and size of glass fits all needs. You could not be further from the truth.

Like the number of different types of coats you wear, the same applies to the glass you can use on your windows. But before you learn about the various classifications, let’s take a look at a few factors to consider when making your choice.

These Variables Include:

• The climate in your area

• The type of window you aim to have

• How much natural light do you want in your home?

• Where is the window located?

• Does the glass you want match the overall design of your house?

• Once you know what requirements you are fulfilling, then selecting the glass type for your windows becomes easier.

The Different Types of Glasses Include:
Depending on the manufacturing process

Laminated Glass

The design of this window features a layer of plastic sandwiched between two glass panes. So, there are no glass pieces scattered everywhere in breakage because they stick to the plastic material.

Annealed Glass

During manufacturing, the glass is slowly cooled to improve its strength. However, if the glass breaks. It leaves large shards of glass of unpredictable sizes, making it unsuitable for use as safety glass.

Tempered Glass

This glass is made in high-pressure conditions. The strength comes from the compression and breaks into small dull shards, which means it is suitable for safety glass. And since it is very solid, it rarely fails.

Other types of glass windows you can use for your home include:

Obscure Glass

These privacy windows allow light to travel in one direction. That means you get the beauty of natural light but cannot see through them. They are mostly used for shower doors, windows, and street-side rooms.


Hurricane Glass

This type of glass is designed to withstand the impact of hurricanes. They are a type of laminated glass that has high impact resistance. Therefore, they do not break easily, even when hit with flying debris. If the window breaks, you don’t have to be concerned about flying shards of glass since they stick to the inner layer.


Insulated Glass

These glasses have two or more panes separated by a gas or a plastic material to improve their insulation index. These types of windows are perfect for anyone looking to improve the energy efficiency in their home. So, you keep your warm air in and the cold out, and vice versa when the seasons change.


The Proper Maintenance for Your Windows


Installing new windows will only serve you for so long before you are back on the drawing board—planning for a new window replacement. However, employing appropriate maintenance techniques improves the lifespan of your window.

Some of the most effective maintenance tips for a brighter and vibrant home include:

• Clean Your Windows Regularly

Even manufacturers understand the importance of cleaning your window. That is why they devise designs to make cleaning windows easier.

For a streak-free window cleaning:

• Make sure you rinse your window from top to bottom with clean water.

• Use the same pressure when cleaning your window horizontally then vertically.

• Rinse and dry the window quickly to avoid puddles on the vinyl surfaces.

• Rinse the window thoroughly, making sure that no liquid dries on the glass.

• Finally, wipe the window with a lint-free cloth.


• Additional Tips

• When the caulking around the window wears off or the sealant is cracked, especially for double or triple pane windows, call in a professional for repairs.

• Take care of the wooden frame by painting it or applying a wood finish.

• For the hinges, window tracks, and latches, make sure you lubricate them so that they don’t get stuck.

• For homeowners who live near the ocean, check on the salt spray, which results in faster wear and tear of your wood, vinyl, and fiberglass windows. Instead, you can clean the windows more regularly to remove the salt deposits.


What Is the Cost of Window Replacement?

The documented average cost of replacing a window ranges between $300 and $1,000. The price is inclusive of buying the window and hiring the services of a professional.

For an average window replacement in a 3-bedroom house, you could end up parting with about $4,000 to $10,000 in window replacement cost.

However, most homeowners report using an average of $5,000 to replace all windows in the house.

The following primary factors will help you narrow your total expense to a specific value with such wide price margins.

These include:

• The Window Frame Size

Large window frames cost more than smaller frames. For instance, living room windows measuring about 3*4 feet will cost about $300-$800. However, the average bedroom window measuring between 2*3 feet and 3*5 feet costs between $300 and $500.


• The Material For Your Window Frames

If you plan on using high-quality wood for your frames, you will have to pay more than a homeowner installing vinyl frames.


• The Number of Panes

Double and triple-paned windows offer increased protection to your home. However, they also tend to be a little more expensive compared to the average single-pane windows. So, when a single—pane window sells at $200-$450 depending on size, triple-pane windows go for at least $700 and could go as high as $2,500


• Design of the Window

Single-hung windows have fewer moving parts compared to double-hung windows. Therefore, they tend to be cheaper, going for $150-$600, compared to the double-hung windows that need about $300-$900 for installation


• The Services

Hiring a professional for your window installation is a wise investment. You lower the risks of injuries and the charges of buying or hiring new tools. However, experienced hands demand a fee, which ranges from $30 to $100 per hour.

Final Remarks

Replacing your windows comes with a lot of work and could cause a significant dent in your wallet. However, proper planning and research could go a long way in saving you a few dollars here and there. Also, you stand to enjoy the long-term benefits of a good window replacement service.

Following the guide provided above, you go into the renovation with a clear outline of the outcome you expect.