Unfortunately, navigating the world of windows is no easy feat, and knowing what to look for can be pretty tricky. You need to be able to see through catchy packaging and fancy lingo to identify genuine, high-quality window products.
To know which windows really are the best, you have to do your research. Don’t worry, though. We’ve done the legwork for you. This article breaks down the differences between genuinely high-quality windows and windows to steer clear of, so you can make the best choice based on your needs and budget.
7 Qualities to Look for When Choosing Replacement Windows
There are several clear distinctions that separate top-level manufacturers from low-level companies. Knowing the difference can save you time, money and your sanity. Here are seven things you should look for when choosing quality replacement windows.
1. Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is one of the top, most sought-after qualities in the home improvement space — and that includes window replacements. Energy-efficient windows reduce the temperature transfer of hot and cold air, saving you money on heating and cooling expenses. Who doesn’t want that?
Remember to look for windows that are Energy Star certified, a qualification that indicates whether a product meets rigorous energy-efficiency standards. This is the best way to know if you’re buying energy-efficient windows.
2. Weather Resistance
Windows are in constant contact with the outside elements, so you’ll want to choose windows that can stand up to the weather and conditions in your area. As a general guideline, look for windows built with high-quality, virgin materials (aka non-recycled materials). This ensures you get a stronger window from the start.
In addition, if you live in a high-humidity area, you probably want to steer clear of wood windows because they’re more susceptible to rot and water damage.
Ultimately, you want to choose replacement windows that won’t fade, crack, peel or rot. Choosing windows made from top-quality materials will help ensure longevity and durability.
3. Design and Style
Another consideration is how the windows will look. After all, you want your replacement windows to match the style of your home. From classic and historic to more bold and modern, the style of your windows will either elevate your home’s design or detract from it.
For example, if your home is more traditional, you probably want to choose a classic, like a white or stained wood, single-hung or double-hung window. On the other hand, if your aesthetic is more modern, you might go with oversized, clear-glass windows in black or a bronze hue.
To really highlight your home’s design, consider choosing a manufacturer who can help you customize your windows. From color to grid style, find a company that will help you customize your windows to fit your home’s design and style.
If you want help customizing your windows, the professionals at Paradigm Windows can help.
In addition to energy efficiency, weather resistance and style, there are also many different window materials to consider, including aluminum, wood and vinyl.
Aluminum windows are affordable, lightweight and relatively easy to install, while wood windows are sophisticated, stylish and can last for decades. Or, to get the best benefits of both of those windows, choose vinyl. Vinyl windows are incredibly durable, long-lasting, cost-effective, energy-efficient and come in various colors and styles.
Don’t forget about the window glass, either. The type of glass used in a replacement window is almost as important as the window material. It can have a huge impact on the window’s overall durability and energy rating. You can even get glass with different designs and patterns, providing obscurity for enhanced privacy.
There are many different types of windows you can choose from. So it’s smart to go with a manufacturer that offers a wide variety of window styles so that, if you want to use multiple styles within your home, all the windows you buy will match.
This helps ensure the accessories, colors and sightlines (aka the thickness of the sash) are all cohesive. It also ensures that your warranties are all from the same place, and the quality of each window will be consistent.
Paradigm Windows has a wide array of replacement window styles that are ideal for any home, including:
- Double-Hung Windows
- Single-Hung Windows
- Casement Windows
- Awning Windows
- Hopper Windows
- Slider Windows
- Picture Windows
- Bow and Bay Windows
- Sliding Doors
- Specialty Windows
When you choose Paradigm, you’ll be able to work with the same company for all your window needs.
6. Product Standards
When researching different window brands, you should definitely take the time to review each company’s testing information. Then, choose a manufacturer that meets or exceeds standard industry performance requirements.
For example, certifications from the AAMA Manufacturer of Certified Products, The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and Energy Star are earned through quality product testing, so be on the lookout for those certifications.
Here at Paradigm, we’re proud to have a Gold Certification with AAMA and meet NFRC and Energy Star requirements. Not many window manufacturers can say that! Gold Certification on the entire window, AND PAINT!
Warranties are also an important area to review while searching for replacement windows because warranties help make sure you’re protected if your window is faulty.
Higher-quality windows will have warranties. While you might find cheaper windows without warranties, you’re only hurting yourself in the long run. If a company doesn’t offer a warranty on their windows, it’s a good sign they don’t stand behind their product. In other words, it’s a good sign to spend your money elsewhere.
Take your time evaluating the manufacturer warranty to understand what’s covered and what isn’t before committing to any windows.
Why You Should Choose Paradigm
Paradigm Windows has been a trusted partner for contractors, home builders and homeowners for over forty years. As window solution experts, our top priorities are to provide cost-effective, durable replacement windows that reduce energy costs and bring in more natural light. We merge innovation with the highest measurable standards in the industry to create products that last.
Buying windows can be anxiety-inducing, but it doesn’t have to be. Our First-Timers Guide To Window Purchasing is a valuable resource to get you started.