New windows are one of the most impactful home improvements you can make. And while replacing your home’s windows is not a minor undertaking, it’s one that comes with many potential payoffs across everything from comfort to energy savings. The key to maximizing these payoffs? Becoming an informed consumer about windows and the window replacement process.
In this comprehensive guide to window replacement, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the best decisions when upgrading your home with new windows, including the following:
- The benefits of new windows
- The many types of windows
- Key considerations when choosing new windows
- How to find the best window dealer near you
Read on for a closer look at everything you need to know about elevating your home with new windows.
The Benefits of New Windows
If you’re working with a tight budget or deciding between home improvement projects, understanding the benefits of replacing your windows can help guide your decision-making process.
Here’s a look at four major benefits of upgrading your current windows:
1. Energy Efficiency
Thanks to advancements in window design and materials, today’s window options offer significantly increased energy efficiency than older windows. This translates to savings on your utility bill, less wear and tear on your HVAC systems, and a more comfortable home.
The degree to which your home’s energy efficiency will improve depends on the windows you choose. For example, vinyl offers excellent thermal resistance and insulation. Impact and/or insulating glass, glazing, and window fills and spacers can all improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Even the design of your windows can dictate overall energy use. For example, fixed windows are airtight because they don’t open, while hinged windows like casement windows and awning windows are also known for low air leakage.
While new windows can be a significant upfront expense, they can return value over time. In addition to reducing your monthly energy bills, they can also increase the market value of your home.
According to Remodeling’s 2023 Cost Vs Value Report, a vinyl window replacement makes the top 10 for home improvement projects in terms of recouped costs with a 68.5 percent return upon resale—and that’s not factoring in all the advantages you’ll enjoy by making this upgrade while you’re still living there.
3. Comfort and Health
The improved energy efficiency offered by new windows means it will be easier for you to keep your home at a consistently comfortable temperature with fewer drafts and hot spots.
New windows also help to reduce noise as well as dust and allergens. The result? A quieter and healthier home.
Materials like vinyl and aluminum, meanwhile, have minimal care and maintenance requirements.
4. Safety and Security
The strength, durability, and design of newer windows help to keep out everything from intruders to extreme weather—especially if you go with impact glass, which helps to deter forced entry because it’s so difficult to penetrate. Plus, new windows also offer the latest security measures, such as higher-quality locking mechanisms. (The same benefits apply to front door replacement projects.)
On the other hand, if you’re living with older windows that are difficult to open and/or painted shut, this may be a fire hazard.
In either scenario, new windows will make your home safer while also giving you new peace of mind.
5. Curb Appeal
Available in a variety of styles, shapes, and designs, new windows have the potential to beautify both the inside and outside your home.
Whether you install a large, grid-free picture window in your family room to “frame” a gorgeous view of your surroundings or casement windows in your kitchen and bathroom for charm and character, these upgrades will complement and enhance both the look and feel of your property.
Keep in mind that not all of these benefits apply to all types of windows. For example, impact windows have above-and-beyond advantages for energy efficiency, safety and security, noise reduction, and comfort.
The Many Types of Windows
As discussed earlier, all windows aren’t created equally. There are many types of windows to choose from, including the following:
This popular window type, also known as a single-sash window, has one operable sash that slides up and down and one fixed sash that remains fixed in place.
Offering similar functionality as a sliding glass door, horizontal rollers move side to side along a track built into the frame. In most setups, one or more panels slide along the roller while the other remains stationary.
Fixed picture windows don’t open or close. While this doesn’t allow for ventilation, it does offer other benefits—including beautiful views, abundant natural light, and an airtight seal.
Featuring side hinges that allow them to open outward via a crank mechanism, casement windows are easy to use and offer excellent ventilation.
Similar in design to casement windows, awning windows are hinged at the top as opposed to the side. They open outward from the bottom to provide airflow along with protection from the rain.
In addition to offering unique functional and aesthetic benefits, each of these window types is available in your choice of frame colors, grid options, glass tints, and other customizations. Additionally, they can also be configured alongside different window types to provide a particular look within your space.
Key Considerations When Buying New Windows
There’s no “right” or “wrong” choice when it comes to selecting new windows for your home. Rather, your space and functional and aesthetic goals may make a particular window type more appropriate than another. Primary factors to consider include:
How do you want your windows to look and feel? Do you want them to be focal points in and of themselves, or to showcase your property’s views or surroundings? Are you looking to maximize natural light or airflow? The right replacement window type can help you achieve the ambiance you desire.
Sustainability and energy efficiency are top priorities for today’s homeowners. In addition to the unparalleled energy efficiency of window types like picture windows and casement windows, impact windows shine—literally and figuratively—when it comes to eco-friendliness.
In addition to helping homeowners achieve their own goals for more sustainable living, impact windows can also be a major selling point for new homebuyers.
Safety is a priority for all homeowners, but if you live in an area that’s prone to extreme weather or with high crime rates, certain types of windows—especially impact windows—promise enhanced security.
Window code requirements vary depending on where you live. For example, if you live near the Florida coast, Florida Building Code (FBC) requires that you have impact or otherwise protected windows. These laws were enacted following the devastating effects of Hurricane Andrew, which resulted in catastrophic damage to many homes with windows and doors as key points of entry for wind, rain, and debris.
Cost to Replace Windows
According to Thumbtack, window replacements and installations span from $150 per window to upwards of $4,200. While more expensive doesn’t always correlate with higher quality, it’s important to look at value when deciding which replacement door or windows to buy. In many cases, paying more upfront for high-performance impact windows will lead to more savings in the long run.
How to Find the Best Window Dealer Near You
To ensure the quality and compliance of your new windows and window installation project, choosing a well-known local window company is critical. In addition to protecting your home and family, this will also help to avoid unnecessary modifications if you end up with a non-compliant window. An experienced and reputable local company can also make sure you know about the latest incentive programs for homeowners who invest in energy efficient upgrades.
At CGI, we have decades of experience offering high-performance impact windows and doors engineered to help Florida homeowners live more safely, sustainably, and comfortably in their homes.
To learn more about impact windows, window glass replacement, or another topic related to improving your home with award-winning CGI windows, contact your local dealer today.