New Windows: 5 Tips for Selecting Replacement Windows

December 16, 2009

Replacement windows are available in a wide variety of colors, shapes, materials and styles. How you select new windows can impact your overall satisfaction with them. Here are some things to consider when shopping for replacement windows.

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  • Purpose: How you want your new windows to function affects the type of windows you'll buy. Do you want to save energy? increase light indoors? Are you looking for a specific architectural or artistic effect? Is the safety of small children or pets a concern? Make a list of what's important to you and refer to it when shopping online or visiting window retailers.
  • Energy savings: Energy efficient windows can help you maintain your home's interior climate while saving on utility expenses. Look for energy star windows, and energy efficiency ratings provided by the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC).
  • Budget: Pricing should not be the first or only consideration when shopping for new windows. Replacement windows can add value to your home and improve energy efficiency; these benefits help reduce the initial cost over time.
  • Interior and exterior decor and lighting: Selecting window materials, styles, and colors impacts your home's interior and exterior appearance. Vinyl windows are a popular choice, but cannot be repainted. Choosing neutral tones for window frames can provide more decorating flexibility.
  • Manufacturer's warranties and installation: Some window manufacturers require installation of replacement windows by factory authorized installers. When choosing an installer, check references and ensure that the installation company meets manufacturer's installation requirements.

When shopping for windows, feel free to ask questions and make notes. Don't be pressured by deals that "expire today," or other sales tactics. You want to choose new windows carefully and enjoy them for many years.

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