Forget what the ads say. Saving money on your energy bill is not the reason to replace your windows. Replace and choose windows because you want to enhance the look of your home, complete the design theme and possibly frame the beautiful view you may be lucky enough to have. Bring the outside, in. On the west coast, we have such gorgeous views, that most people want to embrace that beauty and make it part of their home.
As far as energy saving, it could take decades to recoup the $8,000 to $24,000 you'll spend on new windows and installation. Its more advertising than reality. So do yourself a favor, and choose what you love, not what the Ads tell you, you need.
Our Madrona Drive remodel has a facade of picture windows to bring in the stunning view. This slide show demonstrates that
Which ones keep you more comfortable and dry? There are significant differences between brands in types and frame materials. Given the high cost of replacing windows, the more you know, the better.
You can save money on materials and labor, by using partial replacement units ( pocket replacements ) when the existing frames and sills are sound and square. Otherwise, full replacement windows are in order. These include the frame, sill, jambs, and usually a nailing flange that attaches the window to the outside wall around the opening. We can show you catalogs of window styles or if you are doing the remodel or build yourself, you can go to stores and check out the windows, inspect the frames, try the handles and compare prices.
Even the best windows won't deliver the look or comfort you expect if they're installed poorly. Using us for purchase and installation can minimize the chances of problems arising later. We are happy to include specifics such as window brand, number of windows, size and type, plus any add-on features. Installation details will be noted, and labor and material costs will be broken out.
Wood window frames and all-vinyl are popular, fiberglass are less popular. You may still find some all-aluminum windows, but their popularity decreased with the development of vinyl. There are excellent and mediocre double-hung wood-frame and vinyl-frame windows. Following are material types and styles
Most are solid wood, though some may include composite materials (plastic with wood fibers embedded in it). Today's wood-framed windows are clad in aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass to protect the wood from the elements and eliminate painting. They tend to be the most expensive but are more attractive than other materials. Many brands offer various wood types, such as pine, maple, and oak, for the interior and it can be painted or stained at the factory or you can add it to your to-do list. You can choose from a variety of hardware finishes, allowing you to pick a style that matches your home.
They're typically the least expensive and do not need to be painted or stained, but most are white and usually they can't be painted and there are fewer hardware options. Among casement windows there is little difference between vinyl and wood frames.
A popular choice, especially for full screens, the lower inside sash slides up and an upper outside sash slides down, improving air circulation. Double-hung are easy to clean. Some double-hung are better at keeping out cold air or water. That's important if you live in a chilly, windy, wet area like Vancouver Island, BC.
They look like double-hung but usually cost less and only the bottom sash moves. The top sash is sealed to keep out cold air and water but without the ventilation benefits of double-hung windows
Casement windows are hinged on one side, like a door, and a crank lets you open them outward. Aesthetically, they do not obstruct ones view. When fully open casements allow for good ventilation and easy cleaning. They're usually more airtight than double-hung because the sash locks against the frame to close. They excel at keeping out cold air and rain and can be used in any area of BC
They're hinged at the top and open outward. Like casements the sash presses against the frame so they close very tightly. They also offer better ventilation than other windows the same size and can be left open when it's raining since they deflect rain, but they're harder to clean
The opposite of awning windows, they're hinged at the bottom and can open either inward or outward. They're often installed above a door or another window to improve ventilation. You ewill definitely get less air leakage than with sliding and single- or double-hung windows because the sash presses against the frame when locked.
These are used where lighting but not ventilation is important. These windows are airtight and are available with decorative glass accents or in unusual shapes. But fixed windows do not open, so they provide no ventilation but give unobstructed viewing and beautiful design features
Vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass covers the exterior of a wood-frame or composite window, which eliminates painting.
Double-glazed windows have a sealed space between two panes of glass filled with air or gas. Gas provides better insulation and is standard on many windows, but the energy savings won't justify paying more for it. Triple-glazing adds a third layer of glass, which reduces noise significantly. Energy savings are improved, but not enough to justify cost in all but extremely cold climates ( like Alberta ) or where there is a constant and very loud noise
It's transparent and improves the efficiency of the glass by reflecting heat yet letting light in. The coating is applied to the outside glass in warmer climates to reflect the sun's heat out and in colder climates it's applied to the inside glass to keep heat in. But keep in mind that any coatings applied to glass, no matter how transparent, reduce the visibility.
On single and double-hung windows the sashes can be tilted in for easy cleaning.
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All images used with permission from Dylan Conrad