When you think about home improvement, your mind probably goes directly to major renovations—a sleek new kitchen or a cozy finished basement, for example. But what about improvements that are a little more subtle (but certainly no less important)?
Replacement windows and doors may not be immediately noticeable to visitors, but it won’t take long for you to see the change in your utility bills—especially if your old windows and doors weren’t in great shape to begin with. And if you’re considering putting your house on the market in the next few years, you’ll see a better return on your investment when you replace your windows and doors than if you were to renovate your kitchen or a bathroom instead.
Ready to get your window and door upgrade project started? Keep reading to learn more about the window types and door materials available as you make your final decisions.
Awning windows. Awning windows are hinged at the top and open vertically from the bottom of the frame. This window style is common in basements and other rooms in the house where you might want extra ventilation without worrying about leaves (and rain) coming in through the window.
Bay and bow windows. Bay and bow windows have a similar effect on the overall appearance of your home, but they are different in design. A bay window has three distinct sides, while a bow window forms one continuous curve.
Casement windows. Casement windows open vertically, usually outward, via a hinge and crank mechanism. This type of window offers an unobstructed view out of the window and is growing in popularity in the US market.
Double-hung windows. Double-hung windows are one of the most popular window types on today’s market. They’re cost-effective and available in a wide range of materials—and because both the top and bottom sash open, they’re very easy to clean.
Picture windows. Picture windows are typically quite large and are often installed in rooms that face the backyard (or other attractive, picturesque scene). Because picture windows feature one large pane of glass, be sure to opt for an insulated unit to prevent spikes in your utility bills.
Single-hung windows. Single-hung windows are similar in appearance to double-hung windows, but the only moveable part is the bottom sash.
Wood. Wood doors are a classic, elegant choice that give you plenty of color and stain options. Solid wood doors are on the higher end of the cost scale, while foam-core wood panel doors are a more economical choice. Be prepared to have your wood door repainted or restained every few years to protect the wood from moisture-related deterioration.
Fiberglass. Fiberglass doors are a popular choice because of their cost effectiveness, durability, and wide range of colors, styles, and textures. The hot, humid Atlanta summers are no match for a fiberglass door, so you won’t need to worry about the door warping or deteriorating.
Steel. Steel doors are your best option if security is a concern. Constructed with an insulating foam core, steel doors will also improve your home’s energy efficiency.
If your windows need to be replaced, you have replacement windows installed, right? Not necessarily!
In fact, be wary of a contractor who only gives you the option of replacement windows. Here’s why: A replacement window only replaces the glass area of the existing window—it doesn’t replace the entire window unit, the window frame, or the flashing surrounding the window.
Replacement windows are quick to install, but the installers don’t have a chance to assess the condition of the structure surrounding the window. This means that problems such as rotting wood and failing flashing are typically overlooked and left to worsen over the years.
New construction windows, on the other hand, are what contractors use when they’re building a house from scratch. The installation of new construction windows requires a lot more labor and time than replacement window installation, but you’ll have the peace of mind that any problems will be caught and corrected before your new windows are put in place.
In some cases, however, especially in older homes with wood windows or detailed, intricate trim, replacement windows are indeed the best option. If your home falls into this category, be sure that your window contractor plans to reuse the existing frame after removing the sashes and jamb liner.
Choosing a reputable company to handle your home’s window and door needs doesn’t have to be a headache. At Best Pick Reports, we do all the legwork for you. Our extensive homeowner survey process and objective research methodology allow us to present the best of the best to you.
And when you work with a Best Pick expert, you can relax in the knowledge that your experience will be fantastic—we guarantee it. Call a Best Pick window and door replacement professional today and see for yourself.