It can be stressful to purchase new residential replacement windows for your home in Texas.
Not only will your choices play a major role in your home’s appearance and the amount of natural light that enters it, but they will also affect everything from security to housework to your energy bill.
That’s a lot to remember when planning with a local window company, like us at Universal Windows Direct Central Texas. Instead of getting lost in the overwhelming details and a plethora of seemingly limitless window options, here are some useful tips to guide you in zeroing in on the residential replacement windows that are right for you.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Residential Replacement Windows
While you must consider your budget for an elaborate project such as residential replacement windows, knowing how much you’re willing to spend early in the process is crucial. Many variables determine the final bill; don’t get too attached to a particular style or material until you’re sure your wallet can accommodate it.
If you are doing a large window project, you’ll also likely consult with a reliable window company like us at Universal Windows Direct Central Texas, and your budget is one of the first things we will ask about.
2. Energy Efficiency
Windows do not just let light into your house. Also, they let hot and cool air out, potentially increasing your energy bills and creating an unnecessary waste of funds. With every decision you make in your window installation journey, you weigh other factors against energy loss.
Luckily, our window technology has come a very long way in recent years, offering a wider range of stylish, safe, and energy-efficient window options. Energy efficiency is also important as you set your budget since there are many features you may include that could add to the initial sticker price. But ultimately, they save you money by lessening your energy bill.
There are two key measures to know when comparing different residential replacement windows’ energy efficiency:
U-Factor: The U-Factor suggests the thermal conductivity of your residential replacement windows. In other words, it indicates the amount of hot air that escapes the feature when it’s cold outside and vice-versa. The scale normally ranges from 0.2 to 1.25: the lower the number, the better your home is insulated by the windows.
Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC): SHGC indicates the amount of solar energy the residential replacement windows let in. You might want a higher SHGC if you’re more concerned about letting the sun heat your home during winter and a lower one if maintaining cool temperatures indoors in a hot climate is the priority.
3. Your Home’s Setting
Your home’s architecture and the surrounding landscaping have a key role in how your windows function and look once installed. Maybe you are looking for the best residential replacement windows in Central Texas, or maybe you have a modern home and want to go for a contemporary window option.
It would help to consider where the sun rises and sets over your house. In parts of the house that receive more direct sunlight—such as west-facing rooms—you might want to spring for more UV protection or opt for a smaller window. It does not make sense to get an elaborate picture window for those places with less-than-ideal views or that don’t receive much light.
4. The Frame Materials
Window frames come in various materials, each offering advantages and disadvantages regarding cost, maintenance, insulation, and appearance. The most common choices include:
Vinyl: Low-cost, highly durable, and energy-efficient, but they offer a more limited range of design choices.
Wood: Offers a classic, best possible energy efficiency and easy-to-customize look, but they demand more upkeep than many other alternatives
Aluminum: Highly durable and inexpensive, but rated worst in terms of energy efficiency
Fiberglass: Combining strong insulation, durability, and a wide variety of style options, fiberglass frames have lots to recommend, but they have a high price tag
Those are not the only options—composite and wood-clad frames, for example, have become more widely available in recent years. Other factors may influence your decision, so fully research the various window frame types before deciding on your residential replacement windows.
It is easy to forget that windows can pose various safety risks. If you have young kids or are planning to have some soon, consider residential replacement windows that don’t open or are double-hung and only open from the top, on the upper floors, to avoid any chance a person could tumble out.
Consider what kind of protection your windows afford against break-ins on lower floors, whether through security bars or locking mechanisms.
For each window you replace or install, you need to decide how many glass panes you want to be included. Although single-pane is an option, such residential replacement windows are unpopular because they shatter easily and let heat escape easily. Double-pane windows are the standard choice.
They provide energy efficiency and comfort through the extra pane and the gas that usually fills the gap between the two, offering additional insulation.
If you have trouble maintaining the house’s temperature or live in a particularly loud area, you could also spring for triple-pane glass. Nevertheless, the massive price tag rules out this option for most homeowners without such needs.
There’s a nearly endless array of distinct window styles to suit various functions and tastes if you choose customized windows—but some of the most common include:
Double-hung: Far and away, the most popular window design since the 1980s, double-hung windows have two operable sashes, letting you tilt the window open at both the top and bottom.
Single-hung: For years, single-hung windows were the most common type in homes. They feature one sash to open the bottom half of the window, but the top stays inoperable.
Sliding windows: These windows have one or more panels that move horizontally.
Hopper and awning windows: Common in basements, hopper windows have a hinge at the bottom and open inward and downward. Awning windows, common for higher levels, invert this, where you can see the hinge at the top.
Folding windows: This style lets you (you guessed it) fold down the window to get fresh air.
That is just the tip of the iceberg, so explore the full range of window types before making a decision.
Your residential replacement windows’ high quality would not make a difference if they’re not installed properly—and there’s a lot of room for error. Thus, it would be best to work with a reliable window company like us at Universal Windows Direct Central Texas.
We have years of experience installing top-notch windows in Texas, so you can rest assured that your window project is in good hands with us.
9. Warranty Protection
Almost all window manufacturers provide warranties for their products, but the coverage details vary, and it’s important to know how you will and won’t be protected. Some “lifetime” warranties only cover the 3-4 years following installation, while others are good for 15 or even 25 years. Almost all warranties cover the glass, some cover problems stemming from poor installation, but very few would replace or reimburse for hardware.
Furthermore, understand if the warranty is transferable if you sell your house since it could influence the resale value.
10. Cleaning and Maintenance
Before becoming swept up in the beauty that a floor-to-ceiling or picture window adds to your house, consider the ongoing maintenance your new residential replacement windows require. Are you ready to wash the window as frequently as needed to keep it beautiful? Or, if not, to pay another person to do it?
Additionally, various frames are likely to require different maintenance levels; steel and wood, for instance, need constant upkeep compared to fiberglass or vinyl.
11. Ease of Use
Ease of use is also another essential factor you can easily overlook while shopping around for residential replacement windows. How easy would it be to open and close that elaborate design as the weather changes? Do you live in a climate where the winter heating will cause your wood frame to expand, making it more difficult to adjust in other months? Those sliding windows might bring the most light into the kitchen, but they pose a problem when you have to ventilate the room since they don’t open all the way.
How to replace residential windows?
Replacing windows might seem like a complex task, but it doesn’t have to be. By working with us here at Universal Windows Direct Central Texas, you save yourself the trouble and stress of making sure that your windows are installed properly. We have been servicing homeowners in Central Texas and neighboring regions, and our satisfied customers speak volumes about the kind of quality service we provide.
What are the best residential replacement windows?
Many kinds of residential replacement windows are available, and the best one for you will depend on your needs, budget, and preferences.