Windows are especially vulnerable to normal (and, of course, extreme) wear and tear. Daily use plus constant exposure to the sun, inclement weather and other outdoor conditions may cause slow and possibly irreparable damage over time. As a result, the typical lifespan of a window is between 15 and 20 years.
However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Replacing old windows can elevate the look and style of a home or business while simultaneously increasing energy conservation. Of course, with new and emerging innovations in window technology, it may be challenging to know which replacement window is suitable for your needs.
Here’s everything you need to know about replacement windows to get you started on your journey.
Types of Replacement Windows
Whether you want windows to match the ones you’re replacing or want a fresh start, there are many window types to choose from.
Double-hung windows offer a classic look with a modern upgrade to their functionality. They’re operable from the top and bottom sashes, meaning you can open them from both ends. They also provide energy efficiency, increased ventilation and are easy to clean. Some models even allow the window panes to tilt inward, which makes cleaning them from inside your home a breeze. This is especially beneficial for windows above the ground floor.
Single-hung windows have been the go-to option for many years. They look just like double-hung windows, but they only open from the bottom. The bottom sash slides vertically while the top sash is fixed in place. They’re energy-efficient, durable and easy to clean. This is a classic window option that is incredibly popular among homeowners, contractors and homebuilders.
A hybrid window operates most like a single-hung window while utilizing the unique functionality of a double-hung window. It comes with a removable screen track that, once removed, allows you to slide the top sash downward, making it easy to clean and perform routine maintenance.
Casement windows have a single sash attached to one or multiple hinges at the side of the frame. So, instead of sliding vertically along a track, these windows open outward. This provides superior ventilation and allows you to see the outdoors without obstructions. They also come with multi-point locks, offering enhanced security. They’re a perfect option for any residential or commercial property.
Awning windows provide a modern, clean look for any commercial or residential property. This window type is attached to a hinge at the top, opening outward. This offers enhanced circulation while keeping rain, snow, and other precipitation from getting inside. This is a unique window option that delivers comfort, style, privacy and security.
Hopper windows are most similar to awning windows, with two exceptions. They are hinged at the bottom (instead of the top) and open inward (not outward). This design maximizes circulation and airflow in the parts of the home that need it most. This window type is often used in bathrooms and basements, where ease of use and privacy are necessities.
Slider windows open from left or right, sliding on horizontal tracks to open and close. They’re most similar to single-hung or double-hung windows — but sideways. This style provides a full view of the outdoors and is an excellent option for projects where vertical wall space is limited. They also come in various sizes and require fewer parts than other window types, making them easy to repair and maintain.
Picture windows are typically large, square or rectangular in shape and dominate an entire wall. Since they don’t have hinges, these windows do not open. Instead, they’re utilized to provide natural light and unobstructed views of the outside world. Since they don’t have locks or hinges, these window types also offer an additional level of security that other windows do not.
Bow & Bay Windows
Bow and bay windows protrude outward from the main walls of a home or building, creating space and a wide, panoramic view of the outdoors. Bay windows typically consist of three or more windows, while bow windows are larger, with four to six windows and less of an outward curve.
Now that we’ve discussed the types of replacement windows, it’s essential to understand the various materials used. Different materials provide different benefits, ranging from security, durability, energy efficiency and style.
Let’s take a look.
Aluminum is an affordable option for replacement windows. It’s lightweight, easy to install and durable. It’s also corrosion-resistant and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. The biggest downsides to this material is that it isn’t as energy-efficient as some of the comparable alternatives and doesn’t have as many aesthetic and color options.
Wood is a high-end and luxury window material option. It’s aesthetically appealing, as the natural look of real wood is hard to beat. Plus, it can be painted or finished in any style you want.
It’s also energy-efficient and long-lasting if it’s correctly maintained — and that’s where the negatives come in. Wood requires more maintenance than some of the alternatives because it’s vulnerable to natural elements, including the sun, inclement weather and insects.
Fiberglass windows don’t bend, warp, rust, crack or rot. They’re waterproof, long-lasting and durable. With lower heat conductivity, they also won’t expand or contract like other materials under extreme weather conditions. However, they’re much more expensive than vinyl window frames, which provide many of the same benefits.
Vinyl windows are, by far, the best option for replacement windows. They’re low maintenance compared to other window types. Once they’re installed, you won’t have to do much to keep them clean and functioning properly.
Additionally, vinyl frames are strong, durable, long-lasting and easy to install. They’re known for reducing energy costs, as they provide state-of-the-art insulation. They’re incredibly affordable, making them perfect for any project or budget. There’s a reason that vinyl is the trusted window frame for countless homeowners, contractors and builders everywhere.
Where To Find the Best Replacement Windows
Paradigm products have been a trusted source for residential and commercial replacement windows for 40 years. As window solutions experts, our primary goal is to reduce energy costs, bring in more natural light and decrease the amount of time you typically devote to window maintenance. We merge innovative technology with the highest standards in the industry. That’s why you can find the best replacement windows on the market among our exclusive collections.