Are you planning to buy new windows or replace your existing ones? If yes, you might be wondering about the types of windows available in the market, their features, and the things you need to consider before purchasing. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven questions you should ask when buying windows.
Is there a difference between replacement windows and windows for new construction?
Yes, there is a significant difference between these two types of windows. Windows for new construction are designed to be installed during construction, while replacement windows are installed into an existing window opening without removing any siding.
What terminology do I need to know to talk about buying windows?
Knowing the terminology associated with windows can be helpful when shopping for them. Fenestration, the design and arrangement of windows, is a complex topic that involves several key terms. Every window, regardless of type, consists of glass panes, called glazing, secured within a four-part frame. The independent, framed glazing is called a sash. The vertical members of the sash are called stiles, and the horizontal pieces are the top rail and bottom rail.
What types of windows are available?
Manufacturers offer a range of more general-purpose window styles, but most homes use six basic categories for classification:
Double Hung Windows: These windows boast two sashes that slide up and down on tracks, making them a popular choice. The double-hung window offers excellent ventilation as the airflow is restricted to half the opening size, while single-hung windows have one fixed sash at the top and an operable bottom one.
Casement Windows: This type, also known as crank-out windows, are single-frame windows that hinge on one side and open with a hand crank mounted inside their sills. They provide total airflow when opened and are tightly sealed when closed.
Awning Windows: These windows are hinged at the top and swing outwards, often by cranks. They typically hang from high places on walls and are prevalent in basements. Hopper windows have a similar design but face inwards.
Bay and Bow Windows: These three-window units extend beyond the walls, increasing light penetration and providing a surface for plants or seating. Bay windows tend to be one large picture window in the center and narrower, tall side windows on each side. Bow windows typically consist of at least four or five identical windows, creating a more curved shape than bay windows. Both types of windows usually feature roof structures to protect them from the elements outside. A more innovative style replaces the roof with overhead glass for a more immersive experience – think large greenhouse window.
What options do I have in terms of window glass?
High-quality windows typically consist of multiple panes of glass within the frame separated by thin gaps filled with an inert gas (usually argon) and sealed. These insulating units reduce condensation and heat loss through the window. Triple-pane (tri-pane) windows generally offer slightly better insulation properties than dual-pane ones. Furthermore, window glass that meets high-quality standards typically receives a Low E coating of microscopic metallic materials like silver which blocks UV radiation and radiative heat transfer.
Codes in hurricane-prone areas require that windows have impact glass, which is resistant to breakage and won’t shatter like regular glass if broken. A combination of laminated, tempered, and impact glass, this type of glazing must be used where someone could fall into the glass, such as floor-level windows and staircases.
What is the best material for buying windows?
When selecting materials for windows, window frame frames, and trim, there are four major types you can choose from – vinyl, fiberglass, metal, or wood. In some instances, two materials might be combined – wood on the inside and aluminum outside – as each has distinct design advantages and performance attributes. When deciding on which material is ideal for you, consider factors like climate conditions where you live, house design style, and personal aesthetic preferences.
Wood for windows and cladding has solid structural integrity and enough flexibility to allow some movement when temperatures and humidity shift. Furthermore, unlike other materials, it is simple to shape and can be stained or painted. Popular species of wood used in windows are pine, Douglas fir, oak, and mahogany.
Windows By Toll
Do you need new windows and doors to revitalize your home? Whether you want double hung windows or a bay window, Windows By Toll can help. We’ll help you select the best windows for your needs and budget. Contact us today at 203-580-9945 and see what we can do for you.