To broaden your chance of selecting the right replacement window, narrow your criteria.
Choosing the right replacement window can be an overwhelming task because of the seemingly limitless options available today. If you focus on only three criteria, you’ll triple your chance of choosing successfully. The three essential criteria to weigh are, your window budget, the window U-factor and the window warranty – everything else is ancillary.
How much do you want to spend?
It’s common when asked, what is your budget for replacing your windows most people try to skirt the question, because they think it will prematurely eliminate options. Replacement windows can range from inexpensive windows at around $150-400 all the way up to $750-1000 per window. The reality is that when it comes to replacement windows knowing what you want to spend per window is the best place to start. Price narrows the material choices, wood, fiberglass, composite or vinyl. In a nutshell, wood windows will be the most expensive and if you want stain options, you’ll add additional costs. Fiberglass windows look like wood and will also be in the higher price range. Composites usually cost less than Fiberglass and promise similar durability. If you want a less expensive window you can select from a range of vinyl options.
Vinyl windows may not be as durable as the other three options, but if you select the best vinyl windows you’ll have a better product. Window manufacturers offer a range of products and within a particular product category; such as vinyl, they will offer lower end lines and high quality lines. The upper end lines typically have lifetime warranties, better U-factors, higher quality weather stripping and extrusions.
What is the U-Factor?
One of the primary reasons to replace your old windows is to realize the benefits of more energy efficient window technologies. How well the window insulates is measured by how much heat transfers from the inside to the outside, this is the U-factor.