In my time spent doing various home-improvement gigs, I’ve put in a window or two and I’ve always been getting the same questions: “Do you think these are good windows? Should I have gotten something else?”
I’m not a window expert, but I’ve picked up a few things here and there (whether installing, or modifying, or whatever) about the different sort of windows you might want, and why you’d pick one over another. So without further ado, here’s Larry’s Guide to Replacement Windows!
Gonna start right off with the “top shelf” stuff here. Wood windows were basically the only kind installed in site-built houses up until like 1995 or so, at least at time of construction (Mobile homes? That’s a whole other post!) and they’ve still got their fans and uses.
Wood windows, for starters, have been proven a few times by universities and independent groups that wood windows hold up the longest out of any available window type. Better longevity means less replacement, right? Better yet they’re the best insulator out of the three of them, which could give you some long-term heating savings. But still, the initial installation price might be a bit off-putting to some. You should really ask yourself this: are you more concerned with price and function, or are you worried about keeping your home’s resale value? If you decide wood is the way to go for you, I’ve usually pointed people towards Caswell Window and Door Co. in White Lake.
Alright, I can already see a few of you rolling your eyes right now, but hear me out.
Vinyl windows had kind of a bad reputation after they were introduced in the 70s, but they’ve really come a long way. Now, full disclosure, I do have vinyl windows in my house and have installed a few here and there, but I’m being as fair as I can here.
Vinyl windows right now offer probably the most flexibility and highest value. They can be manufactured and cut to nearly any size and opening, and while they don’t insulate as perfectly as wood you can actually get filler material to tuck into the hollow parts that trap heat really well. Better yet? Much cheaper than any other kind! Longevity and house-value is a bit of a problem, but honestly you can’t beat the price for all the good they’ll do you. I tend to go to Wallside Windows for a lot of my clients who look for vinyl, they manufacture in-house which is nice.
So, admittedly, I have the least experience with these, but I’ve heard nothing but good things. Fiberglass, from what I understand, is kind of a midway point between wood and vinyl. A bit more expensive than vinyl, but not as expensive (or hard to install as wood), fiberglass gives good insulation and is much easier to paint/decorate but still won’t cost you an arm and a leg. At least that’s what I’ve been told. There’s a few manufacturers you could call for more information, but the big name around here is Majic Window.
As always, I hoped you guys learned something! I’m always open to discussion or further advice if someone has a comment. Talk to you soon! 🙂