Replacement window options and features

Thinking of replacing windows in your Indianapolis area home?

If you have done some research, you know there are many brands, types or styles, options and features to consider.  Here is a quick overview of what you will find:

Window Brands:  There are many brands of windows available. Of course there are the big players, namely Pella, Anderson, Marvin and JeldWen. There are also some lesser known options such as Lincoln and Windsor. No matter which brand you choose, do research on-line and try to guage overall customer satisfaction. Read online reviews and forums, especially those relevent to your area and climate. Keep in mind, just because one brand might be a big name does not mean it will necessarily out perform a lesser known brand. However, a well known manufacturer might give you the comfort of warranty and service work availability

Replacement Options:  There are three main types of window replacement jobs:

  1. Sash replacement – This option reuses the existing window frame and sill. New jamb liners and sashes are installed. This is the cheapest option and a decent choice if the frame/sill of the existing unit is in good shape
  2. Window insert – This option inserts a new frame and sash unit between the existing jambs of the window unit. A good mid-range option if frame/sill are in good shape. One con is that it will reduce the amount of visible glass that you are used to in that opening.
  3. Complete window unit replacement – This is the most expensive option, but also the best. This option completely removes the old unit and a brand new unit is installed in its place. This is the best choice if there is significant damage to the existing window frame/sill. This also allows the opportunity to properly seal between the new unit and the framing of the existing opening.

Window Type:  As is the case with brands, there are many types of windows: Casement, single or double-hung, awnings and sliding windows are the most commmon.  Casement windows are hinged on the sides and crank out. Single and double hung units slide up and down. The difference between single and double is that only the bottom sash of a single hung moves up and down whereas both top and bottom sashes move in a double hung. Most modern single and double hung units will tile-in for ease in cleaning. Awning window units can be thought of a casement, with a sash hinged at the top. Sliding windows are a lot like a sliding patio door where one or both sashes slide, side to side.  Gettum Associates recommends replacing your windows with the same style as the existing, which most likely will compliment your homes’ design the best.

Window Options and Features:  Modern windows have many options. The materials used in its construction, the exterior and interiors materials, glass used and hardware are all options to be consider.

  • Window construction – Modern windows frame and sash components are typically constructed of wood, fiberglass or vinyl. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
  • Exterior Options – Window exteriors, if wood, can come as pre-primed wood, OR come clad with either aluminum or vinyl cladding, which eliminates the need for repainting and maintenance.
  • Interior options – Window interiors, if wood, can come as bare wood (in a variety of wood species), primed, or pre-painted or pre-stained.
  • Glass options – Modern glass is almost always insulated dual pane. The addition of LowE coatings and gas encapsulated between the panes serves to increase energy efficiency. Glass can also come in a variety of tints and textures, such as obscure glass which can be used in a bathroom window.
  • Hardware – There are several different types of hardware and many colors to choose from. For example, casement windows can come equipped with traditional crank handles or you may have the option of fold-down crank handles. Choose a color that matches your decor.

This is meant to be a quick introduction and summary to the many options available to homeowner’s thinking about replacing their windows. Keep in mind, no matter what brand, type or options you choose, a window is only as good as the installation. Be sure to have your windows installed by a reputable contractor.

As an award-winning Indianapolis remodel contractor, we are always willing to answer any questions you may have about window replacement options or any other home improvement or remodel project.

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