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A Guide for the Savvy Consumer on Aluminum, Wood, and Vinyl Replacement Windows

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Facelifts for your home

Is it time to improve the appearance of your home with new replacement windows? In spite of the relatively poor economy, you may want to take advantage of sales prices and other opportunities to capture some of the best prices for window replacements, designed to improve and update even the oldest homes. In fact, you will be surprised at how new and modern your home will look with window replacements from some of the best known companies such as Pella and Anderson.

Homeowners sometimes think that the best time to replace windows is when you are about to sell your home. However, the advantages to having energy efficient windows instead of the old wood framed windows will readily be apparent both in the form of comfort for family members and in the savings realized when your heating and cooling bills are decreased.

Most homeowners replace older windows with vinyl replacement windows which come in nearly any color and are virtually maintenance free once they have been installed. The vinyl replacement windows are usually the most popular, but if you are partial to the look of wood, you can also get wood clad windows which give you the convenience of vinyl with the appearance of wood. Finally, a modern alternative to old wooden sashes is the new insulated aluminum replacement windows. Like vinyl, they can be ordered in a wide variety of colors and are easy to install and maintain.

Paned WindowYou will find many window manufacturers, but, as mentioned above, the most popular names are Pella and Anderson, and most dealers carry both brands. If you do choose a less common name, check the Energy Star rating and look for windows with double or triple glazing and argon or krypton gas between the panes. The glass should also have a low E coating which will reflect the sun out but keep winter heat in. Additionally, regardless of the make or model, purchase a tilt type window so you easily remove the panes for cleaning from the inside.

Looking for the least expensive? You'll find that the vinyl replacements are generally the lowest cost both in the initial purchase and in maintenance requirements in the future. They will not leak or peal, and as long as they are not in the direct sun, they will not discolor.

Are Windows a "do it yourself" project?
Window dealers may advertise the ease of installation of their products. If you have a more or less modern—but not new—home with square joints and window openings that will accommodate today's windows, the brave homeowner may be perfectly comfortable with installing his own windows. However, if your home is much older or if you would like to change the shape and install palladium windows or windows with sidelights, it may be worth the extra money to hire a professional installer. Such a person will be able to guarantee your satisfaction and will be insured in the event of mistakes. If you make a mistake in installing your own window, you will also bear your own cost. Hiring a professional will give you an opportunity to take advantage of creative options such as frosted or stained glazing as well as unique shapes.

Third Party Certification
The best windows are certified by NFRC, a national rating council. The dealer you use should be able to give you the certification information for any windows you are considering. You will also want to look for the AAMA Certification. This indicates a high standard of performance on residential windows.

Decorating and Siding Information

  • Home Decorating via the Internet? Now you really can...and you'll be working with a professional decorator!

  • Considering new siding for your home? Go to 1st-Vinyl-Siding.com for buyer guides and detailed information, including prices, on aluminum, vinyl, and wood siding.

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