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Replacement Windows 101

Most likely, if you're reading this article, then you're at least thinking about replacement windows for your home. While this might seem like a pretty simple task and something you can tackle yourself, it's a bit more complex than most people think.

The first thing to ask yourself is what are the benefits of replacement windows for your home?

There are many good reasons. Taking out older, less efficient windows actually will increase the value of your home. Sometimes considerably, especially if you're considering selling your home sometime soon. Older windows that are cracked, dingy or don't function well hurt the resale value. Nice, new windows make your home look more modern and up-to-date, and show home buyers you care about your investment.

Saving money on your home energy bills is another good reason for replacement windows. As heating and cooling costs rise, installing something that doesn't leak air or even something that has more efficient construction can help. Double-pane or Low-E windows are considerably more efficient than old single-pane windows.

And, in considering energy efficiency, a lot of local governments are offering tax rebates or local utilities are offering incentive programs to help people upgrade their homes. Check with your local government or utilities for any programs in your area.

After you've decided to replace your windows, you have to pick what you're going to replace them with. There are a myriad of types, sizes, coatings, construction types and other options you can choose from. The choices can become overwhelming very quickly.

    A quick rundown of the more common types of windows are:
  • Single Hung: The bottom of the window is able to slide up and down and the top part of the window does not open.
  • Double Hung: Both the bottom and top panes of glass will open, usually raising or lowering.
  • Slider: A horizontal opening window. Normally one-half of the window will open and/or close and the other side is fixed and doesn't open.
  • Casement: A "crank-out" window. These windows usually have cranks on the bottom that open the window out at an angle away from the house.
  • Picture: Normally just a pane of glass, these types of windows do not open or close. Mainly larger windows that allow for a great view, these windows are usually less expensive than operating windows.

The options on windows are staggering. Double-E? Low-E? SmartSun? Take a look at one of our other articles that describe what these window options are and how they can benefit you and your home.

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