Are you considering new windows for your home? If so, you’re probably overwhelmed by the number of window styles as well as the new window features that are available. Knowing what options exist—and whether they are worthwhile—is very important, as new window features and other upgrades can add as much as 50%–or more—to the base cost of your windows. Read on for a guide on how to choose new windows:
- Framing: When it comes to the look of your new windows, framing is an important feature to consider. Not only is it one of the most visible window components, it’s also responsible for limiting transfer of heat and cold between indoors and out. Each type of frame is offered in a variety of window styles and shapes, and each have their own pros and cons. Here are the options best suited to the New Jersey climate:
- Vinyl frames are often the most affordable, and, when they are well-made, offer good value and solid performance, which can be improved further if insulation is added to the interior of the framing. However, some people don’t like the look of vinyl windows, especially on older and historical homes. Vinyl also offers a limited range of color choices, but it never needs to be painted.
- Wood frames offer the classic, timeless appeal that’s desired by many. Wood has been used as a window frame choice for hundreds of years, and for good reason. It offers the excellent insulative value, though the trade-off is the increased upkeep that it requires. Nevertheless, wood remains a very popular choice due to its warm good looks and enduring quality.
- Wood-clad hybrid frames combine a low-maintenance exterior, often made of vinyl, with a wood frame interior, which, while attractive and highly insulative, can be prone to rotting and leakage. These windows can offer a wonderful compromise for homeowners who love the look and insulative performance of wood and the durability and value of vinyl, but to ensure maximum performance and longevity, they should only be put in by highly trained professionals.
- Composite frames are designed to look like wood but are actually made from several materials. A combination of recycled plastics and particle board or wood shavings make this type of window frame a maintenance-free and environmentally friendly option with excellent thermal properties.
- Glass: when you’re choosing new window features, glass is an undeniably hot topic. Regardless of the window styles you choose, you’ll need to decide what type of glass you want inside those window frames. The options can be confusing, and it’s easy to get sucked in to buying more window than you really need. Keep in mind that most new windows are going to offer excellent energy-efficient properties, even without fancy upgrades.
Double-pane glass windows with low-E glass and argon gas vacuum-sealed between the panes offer an excellent value. Free of extra coatings, extra layers of glass, or pricier gasses, these windows will lower your home’s utility bills without the need for costly upgrades. The windows described above have features that will protect your home from the sun’s searing UV rays and heat in the summer, while keeping inside air from escaping. While there are some extreme climates that call for the addition of these extra features, in New Jersey, those extras are often more of a dent to your wallet than to your utility bills. The key is to choose well-constructed windows made by reputable manufacturers as well as expertly trained pros who will ensure your windows are properly installed.
- Style: The style of your window will depend on what your current window openings will accommodate, but many people prefer casement and double-hung windows, both of which open to allow for maximum ventilation. These window styles also have features that make them easy to access and clean safely from the inside of your home. Choose a fine-mesh screen over a standard version for the best visibility and protection against insects.
Figuring out how to choose new windows is no easy business, especially with all the new window features out there. We hope we’ve helped you cut through the clutter to zero in on the best windows for you. Have more questions? Still not sure how to choose new windows for your home? Relax! We’ve got you covered. We’re backed by the best names in the business and we’ve been around for more than 35 years. Give George J. Keller and Sons a call today at 973-927-0963 and we’ll give you a free estimate!