How to Choose a Replacement Window

Check the labels for energy-efficiency features and other information when buying replacement windows. Also, consider a sash-replacement kit, which gives an existing window frame new movable parts (including jamb liners) and the upper and lower sashes.Replacement Window

Unlike full-frame windows, these do not require significant alterations to your walls or trims and are installed in the original opening. They’re often less expensive than full-frame windows.

There are different types of replacement windows available for your home depending on the style, design preferences and the architectural style of your home. The type of window you choose will also depend on how the window is going to be used and your energy efficiency needs.

New construction windows are great for new homes or major remodeling projects. They attach their nail fin frames to the studs in your walls, holding them in place until the surrounding wall construction is complete. These windows can be installed over an existing window or in a new window opening.

They can be a little more expensive than other options, but they do provide better weather protection and energy efficiency. They also tend to be larger in size, allowing for more natural light.

If you’re looking for a more unique window, consider a bay or bow window. These are great for creating a reading nook in your home and can really make a statement with their unique design. These windows are also often more expensive than other options, but they can offer a more luxurious look for your home.

Other window styles include double-hung windows, sliding windows and casement windows. Double-hung windows are one of the most popular types of replacement windows for homes and offer increased ventilation and easy cleaning. They have two vertically sliding sashes that can open either the top or bottom, letting you control airflow in your home and easily clean your windows.

Sliding windows are another common replacement window and can be used in many different types of homes. These windows can be opened from the left or right side and provide excellent ventilation for your home. They can also be a good choice for hard to reach places in your home that are difficult to clean.

Casement windows are hinged on the side and swing open like a door. They offer excellent ventilation and a tight seal when closed. They also work well in homes with modern or contemporary architecture. They are also easier to clean than other types of windows because you don’t have to hang out of them to get them clean.


For a long time homeowners didn’t have many choices when it came to materials used in the manufacture of replacement windows. But today, thanks to technological advances, there are a lot more options that give you the chance to choose frames and other parts of your new windows that will best suit your style, energy needs and budget.

The most common window material is vinyl, but fiberglass and clad wood are also available. All of these have a variety of styles and colors, and they offer a range of benefits that can help you find the best fit for your home.

Vinyl is durable, low maintenance and offers a high level of energy efficiency. It’s also available in several different finishes to match your existing trim and siding. And it’s available in all kinds of shapes and sizes, including double-hung, casement, slider, awning, bay, bow and more.

Wood windows are a traditional choice, and they can be custom made to fit any size window opening. They’re especially popular for older homes where maintaining the original look is a priority. And because they’re wood, they can be stained or painted to match any color scheme.

Fiberglass is a relatively new window material that’s extremely strong and durable, with less expansion and contraction than wood. Some manufacturers even offer fiberglass with a wood interior, so you can get the best of both worlds. And because of their durability, fiberglass windows are usually backed by a lifetime warranty.

Aluminum-clad wood is a hybrid solution for value-conscious consumers. It’s basically a wood-frame window with an exterior layer of aluminum that helps protect the frame from weather and other damage. And because aluminum is more durable than wood, it holds up better to corrosion.

In a full frame replacement installation, your new windows will be installed into the rough opening left by your old ones. These windows attach their metal nail fins to the studs in your wall to create a secure fit. They’re a good option for replacing larger windows in historic homes where the existing frame may need extensive repair.


Once the old window is removed, a pan will be put into place at both the top and bottom of the frame to help direct water away from the wood and prevent rot. Flashing tape will also be used around the edges and perimeter of the window to provide another form of weather protection. Then shims will be placed between the new window and frame to fill in that 1/4 in. space that is needed to properly level the window.

After the shims are in place, the contractor will test the window by opening and closing it. They will also check that the sashes are parallel with the sill and that they align perfectly where they meet in the middle. After this is done, they will loosely fasten the new window to its frame by driving screws through the lower left and upper right screw holes. Then they will use a level to check that the window is plumb and square. They will adjust it by adding more or less shims until the window is completely centered in the frame and that the sides are straight.

When they’re finished, the installer will add caulking to the inside edge of the frame where it meets the siding and the sill and trim where it meets the window. They will also apply caulking to the gap between the frame and the casing or blind stops on the outside of the frame. If you’re having a full-frame replacement done, the installer will also caulk around the inside and outside of the frame to seal it.

It is important to remember that when choosing a replacement window, it is a good idea to have your contractor do a full-frame replacement and not just the sash. This will save you money in the long run and will increase the energy efficiency of your home. Also, be sure to ask your contractor what type of warranty they will offer, and whether it includes labor as well as the cost of the windows themselves. If you don’t feel comfortable with their answer, you may want to look elsewhere.


The warranty offered by a company is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a replacement window. A warranty provides assurance that if something goes wrong with your windows or their installation, you can be covered by the manufacturer and contractor. There are several types of warranties available, including limited lifetime, transferable, and double lifetime. Some warranties include a deductible while others may have provisions for non-original owners to only receive a fraction of the cost of a replacement.

It’s crucial to understand the difference between a limited lifetime and a full lifetime warranty when shopping for new windows. The term “lifetime” can mean different things depending on the manufacturer. If you’re looking for a true lifetime warranty, look for it to state this clearly in the terms and conditions. This type of warranty guarantees the quality of certain parts of the window for as long as you own your home.

A limited lifetime warranty can still provide excellent protection if the terms and conditions are followed. Many manufacturers offer this type of warranty for a period of time that is often the expected lifespan of the window. These limited warranties can also be a great option for homeowners who are considering selling their home in the future.

The most robust type of warranty is a double lifetime warranty. This type of warranty offers window coverage for twice the amount of time as a standard lifetime warranty. It can also be transferred to the next homeowner in most cases, making it an attractive feature for homeowners who want to increase the value of their home.

When choosing a replacement window contractor, look for one that is both a manufacturer-authorized dealer and licensed window installer. This shows a commitment to the products they sell and install, as well as a desire to do their best work. A warranty that includes a workmanship guarantee will give you the most peace of mind that your investment in your windows is protected from errors made by contractors during installation. A reputable contractor should be able to provide you with an outline of both the manufacturer and workmanship warranties they offer, as well as answer any questions about them in detail.