Brett Roth's Insight Into Windows
What is a replacement window?
A true replacement window is a window that's custom built to fit within the opening of an existing window. It's built to fit precisely and can be installed without disturbing the interior and exterior areas around the window.
What are the advantages of custom replacement windows over pre-made, standard-size windows stocked at home centers and lumber yards?
Because custom windows are made to fit perfectly, they provide the best energy efficiency (which saves energy costs) and install much more easily and with very little mess. Also, because of the myriad of options available that affect appearance and efficiency, custom windows allow consumers to design exactly the windows they need or want.
Standard windows typically cost less in the beginning, but other expenses and factors—like additional labor and the disruption to the home—far outweigh the original savings. For example, installing stock windows requires that you add brick or siding to the exterior, and drywall or other materials to the interior. In addition, custom-made windows allow you to choose the best solution to the problems you want to solve by replacing windows.
Do replacement windows really pay for themselves or is that just a sales line?
It's true, if you select high-quality, energy-efficient windows. Savings will vary, but expertly engineered and well-built windows lower home energy consumption. With vinyl-framed windows, maintenance is also virtually eliminated. No need to scrape and paint windows. These energy and maintenance savings will allow you to recoup your window investment over time.
How are replacement windows any different from older windows in terms of cleaning?
Many high-quality windows are actually engineered to make cleaning easier. For example, double-hung windows with the latest internal constant force balance system allow a home owner to easily maneuver the sashes up and down. They tilt in—and lock securely in place—for safe, easy cleaning. Quite a difference from old wood windows that stick and are difficult to move up and down.
Numerous factors, including how the frame and sashes are engineered and built, the type of glass used (single-, double- or triple-pane), the weatherstripping, the type of low-emissivity coating on the glass and the presence of argon or krypton gas.