9 over 9 vinyl windows with grids

In the last post I covered how understanding U-factor can be an asset when shopping for home windows.

Next we will cover 5 things you must know when buying new windows.

Okay so you made up your mind to buy replacement windows.

That’s great, buying replacement windows is one of the few  home improvement investments that pay you back while you still live in the house and will continue to pay you year after year in energy savings.

So let’s take a quick look about the five things you need to know when buying replacement windows.

1. Type of Material– Window manufacturing technology has greatly improved in recent years and now more than ever there are many choices in the type of material your windows can be made of.

The most common replacement windows constructed above 100% vinyl, but, there are several other options.

There are wood windows with an exterior cladding of vinyl or aluminum and just recently you can get replacement windows constructed of fiberglass which are a composite of fiberglass and sawdust. Each of these windows has their own pros and cons be sure to research which type of window material is best for you and your needs.

2. Energy Efficiency– The energy efficiency of your replacement window is a large factor on how much you can save on your heating and cooling bills. At minimum you want your window to have an Energy Star rating on it, this will help to maximize your energy savings.

Also a window with an Energy Star rating will qualify for tax rebates ask your window salesman or accountant for what rebates the government is offering at this time. Furthermore  in some states when you purchase Windows with an Energy Star rating there is no state sales tax.

3. Warranty Information– Every window manufacturer should offer a warranty on its product and if they don’t do not buy them. At minimum you should get a 20 year warranty on the glass of the window meaning that if you get a stress crack or a seal failure in the glass it should be replaced at no charge. Secondly you should get some sort of warranty on the construction of the window 10 years is pretty standard.

This covers things like locks, the balance system, basically anything else pertaining to the window that is not glass. Finally some window manufacturers offer any accident warranty, typically about five years, meaning that if you accidentally break the window it is covered.  An accident warranty is not a standard feature but it’s a nice one and is worth asking to see if it is offered.

4. Who Is Installing The Windows– Obviously if you are installing the Windows yourself you do not need to read this paragraph. You see sometimes when we are shopping for replacement windows we get so engrossed in the actual window that we overlook this very important aspect of your replacement window project. You should ask your replacement window salesman a few basic questions about who is installing your windows.

Questions like all are your installers are hourly employees or subcontractors? Do you drug test and background check employees when you hire them? How experienced are your installers? Now I know a salesman can lie to you, but see how they answer the question their body language are they searching for an answer these are keys that may tell you he is being deceptive.

5. Does Your Quote Include Everything- This may sound like a silly question but it’s worth asking and what do I mean by this. You see when you install replacement windows with storm windows, for example, when they remove the old storm windows the blind stop behind the storm window is left exposed after the new replacement window is installed. This piece of wood needs to be painted if you have wood siding or covered with aluminum if you have vinyl siding with aluminum clad trim around your windows.

This is just one example but there are many different small things that may need to be done to complete the project after the replace the window is installed i.e. minor aluminum work on the exterior or minor touch up paint on the interior.

Got a Question?

We try to cover as much as we can in our post, but there is always more as everybody’s situation is different.

If you need some help we would love to hear from you, visit the Ask the Advisor page and fill out the short form.

Or check out our Facebook page and post your question right on the timeline, just “like” page and post your question and you will be notified once we answer.

Pretty neat, right. Also include pictures if you have them this really help us to best serve you in our answers to your question.

Next Time

We explore if replacement windows always add value to your home.


by Brian Kiernan

Educating homeowners on replacement windows and providing simple information to get them a great product at a great price done quickly by a reputable window pro.

  • Hard to say why your windows won’t lock, but today’s vinyl is much improved from 25 years ago. Fiberglass should not give you that problem and new vinyl windows really should not give you that problem either. Many vinyl window company’s have lifetime guarantees on the construction of the window. Would be a good question to ask when buying.


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