According to recent JELD-WEN research, 67 percent of homeowners surveyed said that they need to replace their existing windows. When it comes to windows, the choices are nearly endless. Because windows can make a significant impact on the overall style, comfort and efficiency of your home, it’s important to consider these factors:
The most common materials used for windows are vinyl, wood, clad-wood and aluminum. Your choice depends on what factors are most important to you.
- Vinyl – A strong plastic material that is used for its durability, energy efficiency and ability to stand up to the elements. This material will never fade in color, flake, peel or rot.
- Wood – Wood comes from trees that grow in a variety of species, such as fir, pine, mahogany or alder. Each species has a range of characteristics, like grain, color and sap content, which contributes to its unique appearance.
- Clad-Wood - Like a coat of armor, cladding is a strong layer of metal on wood, providing extra protection and low maintenance benefits with no exterior painting required.
- Aluminum – A lightweight and strong material that is a cost effective alternative to wood. This material is corrosion-resistant and performs well in most climates.
Window energy efficiency is achieved by a combination of factors. Wood and vinyl reduce heat transfer and help insulate. Look for Low-E glass, a special glass coating designed to reflect infared light, keeping heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer. Low-E also reflects ultraviolet light to protect interior furnishings. Dual glass panes insulate much better than single panes. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label, which means the window will meet the efficiency requirements for your particular region.
Awning, bay, bow, casement, double-hung, fixed, garden, single-hung, sliding and tilt and turn – windows are available in many shapes, sizes and combination units.
In general, wood is more expensive than vinyl or aluminum. We also offer different pricing scales within our window lines – from custom and premium, to more modest options. When it comes to budget, it’s important to factor in long term value beyond the initial purchase price. Energy efficiency and a longer warranty can all help save maintenance and replacement costs over time. Resale value is also a key consideration – beautiful, more efficient windows are a big selling feature.
Vinyl is today’s dominant choice for updating old wood and aluminum windows, representing 65 percent of the replacement market. The easy-to-install pocket replacement window made popular in vinyl is now available in reliable AuraLast Wood. Wood and clad-wood double-hung pocket windows are designed for installation into existing window frames. The process is simple, quick, and preserves more of the home’s structure, which is especially important in historic renovations. Experienced DIYers who replace existing windows with pocket windows or sash replacement kits can save as much as 60 percent on material, time and labor costs when compared to traditional window replacements.
Different options can add maximum functionality and style – an important purchasing consideration. For example, for screens, we offer integrated Phantom Screens® Technology that allows the screen to roll up and out of sight when not in use, as well as BetterVue™ screen which is a finer mesh that allows for better views. Hardware finishes and wood species preferences are important to consider for wood windows. Vinyl windows include adding BetterVue screens. Ordering these options as part of a new window package helps avoid potentially costly add-ons later.
Warranties are important: proper installation and following the manufacturer’s specific maintenance requirements are a must to maintain warranties and keep windows looking and performing beautifully for years to come. We offer an industry-leading limited 20-year warranty on our wood windows built with AuraLast Wood, limited 10-year warranty on aluminum windows, and a limited lifetime warranty on energy efficient, low maintenance vinyl windows.