The Good and Bad of Replacement Windows

House Needing Replacement Windows  If Your House Needs Windows

No BS.  No Hype.  Just The True Facts About  All Replacement Windows.

What Are The Best Replacement Windows For A House? 

Are Replacements  The Way To Go? 

Do these questions have answers? Yes they do, but it's not a simple ones. It really depends on numerous factors relating to what you're trying to accomplish with your windows. In some cases wood replacement windows are best. In other situations vinyl replacement windows are best. Then there are metal windows, fiberglass windows, and replacement windows made from composite materials. They are all good, and all have an appropriate use. There are manufactures you have never heard of, and brands that you may be acquainted with like Andersen Replacements, Marvin Wood, Marvin Fiberglass Windows, Pella, Alside Vinyl Windows, many and others. See our Links page for more information Keep in mind that they all have pluses and minuses no matter who they are.

Exactly what is a replacement window?

A true replacement window is a window that is custom built to fit within the opening of an existing window. It is custom measured and designed to fit exactly, and can be installed without having to do any "major surgery" to the walls of your home. It can be installed without disturbing the interior and exterior areas around the window. A typical fit would be to 1/4 inch on the width, and 1/2 inch on the height. This allows the window to slide in the opening (from inside the house) and allows a little room to shim the window as most openings are not square to begin with. It will also have a snug fit plus most replacements come with an inch or two of foam insulation around the perimeter of the window to fill in any gaps that may exist.

You should certainly consider custom-sized windows for the very simple reason that they'll fit better. Stock-sized windows can require extensive carpentry work both inside and outside your home. Such work can be costly and inconvenient. It can domino into other expenses like rewallpapering and painting both inside and outside the house.

Then there is the huge question of installation, or rather who will measure and install the windows? You can have the best window in the world and if it isn't installed properly, it isn't worth a damn. You should seek out companies that do not sub-contract their labor. They maintain more control and if there is a problem, there is no "finger pointing" as to who is responsible. If you're lucky enough to find the window you want and it comes from and is installed by the manufacturer, that's even better yet. Just one source of responsibility. Remember the installation is just as important as the window.

Don't forget there are all the specs and jargon to wade through, and this is topped off by the fact that each salesman tells you his window is the best. How do you decide? Who do you believe? Don't despair, you're not alone. Many others are having the exact same problem.

This is where this site comes in. We're not here to sell you anything just to give you the facts. I'm a retired window man with over twenty plus years of experience. I've done thousands of homes (literally). I've used vinyl windows, wood windows, and composite windows. You'll get the straight facts, and nothing but the facts. It may not be what you want to hear, but it will be correct. I'm not here to tell you what you want to hear, I'm here to tell you what is correct and true.

Let's start on this page with the single most important factor in a window. From here you can go to each page to see the strong and weak points of each type of window.

Okay, to get back to the question as to the most important thing in a window. Do you know what that is? It's structural strength. Why? Simply because this is what keeps the window square. If it's not square it will not function correctly.

Structural strength also adds to the life expectancy of the replacement window. This is why wood windows have been around for hundreds of years. They have their own problems. They require maintenance. They swell on a damp day, which is why they get tight sometimes. Then they dry out and they shrink. This is why they warp and eventually rot. But they do last a long time (40+ years) because they are strong. This is why metal windows got popular 40-50 years ago. They were strong, and 50 years ago with oil at $.15 per gallon no one cared that they were cold. Today it's a different kettle of fish!

This is the major problem with vinyl windows. Vinyl has a lot of nice features; strength is not one of them. This is why vinyl windows are at the bottom of the food chain as far as strength is concerned. This is also why any vinyl window you consider should be reinforced with either steel or aluminum. Don't worry, all the good ones are. Look for the window to be "Energy Star" rated. If it's not, do not consider it. This is especially true since an "Energy Star" rating is not that hard to get.

Enjoy the information. The site will constantly grow so come back often. In the meantime check out the other pages for the specifics on all the different types of home replacement windows available. We will discuss, wood, metal, and composite windows, and the pros and cons of each.