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Replacement Window Buying Guide

Posted by Edward Curtin on Aug 18, 2016 1:00:00 PM
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Replacing your older, less efficient windows will not only enhance the look of your home, but make it less drafty, more comfortable and quieter. They’re also easier to clean and maintain than older window designs.

But, where does one begin when choosing replacement windows?

There are many options to be considered, including materials, budget, and style.

Below I will outline two major categories for windows: Materials and Design. These two categories are the biggest focus for homeowners who are searching for new windows.

Window Materials

  • Wood: The most popular in aesthetic value, wood-framed windows are sold in a variety of shapes and sizes. If properly maintained they will last for decades, provide high R-values (the thermal resistance needed for good insulation).
  • Wood clad: If you consider the maintenance requirements of a traditional wood-framed windows a downside, aluminum-clad wood windows offer the best of both worlds. they feature the warm appearance of wood on the interior and improved weather resistance on the exterior.
  • Vinyl: A lasting, low-maintenance window material that resists moisture, vinyl costs less than wood., Although they cannot be painted, vinyl windows are available in a wide range of stock colors and a virtually infinite number of custom hues.
  • Fiberglass: Another option for homeowners who want the fine appearance of wood but less of the hassle, fiberglass windows excel in extreme conditions. They neither warp nor sag in high heat, neither shrink nor turn brittle in freezing cold. The glass of the window pane and the fiberglass expand and contract on the same plane.


Window Design

Different types of windows have different operating mechanisms and differently structured designs. The most common are:

  • Double-hung or single-hung: Both feature two sashes in a single frame, but in a double-hung window, both sashes slide up and down.
  • Casement: Hinged like a door, this window usually opens from the side.
  • Sliding: Sliding windows operate horizontally along a plastic or metal track. They have two sashes; one or both can be opened and closed.
  • Awning: Opening outward from a top hinge, awning windows have one panel of glass and typically appear in conjunction with another window style.
  • Hopper: Basement ventilation is the most common reason for hopper windows. They are bottom-hinged and top-opening.
  • Clerestory: Designed to admit abundant natural light, clerestory windows are usually installed in a series along the top portion of high walls. These are often called Transom windows.
  • Arched: Also known as radius windows, arch-topped windows are typically fixed in place but are also available in operable styles.
  • Bow: Composed of several same-size glass panels assembled into a curve, a bow window projects outward from the wall, rather than sitting flush to it.
  • Bay: Another protruding window construction, bay windows combine two angled side windows with one larger central window.


This list will help you begin to narrow down what is best for your home and pocket. Your GNH Lumber professional will also be there to help guide the way on your window replacement journey.  

For more great window ideas and guidance, visit our Windows Page today!


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Topics: Windows


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