Buying and understanding the best replacement windows, a Columbus, Ohio perspective
When purchasing a replacement windows, it is important to understand how windows is manufactured and replaced.
Depending on the country in which your home is located, some factors may vary.
Although I wrote based on my experience in Columbus, Ohio, I hope you will find a lot of useful information about the best way to change windows, no matter where you live
Hi, My Name Is Bruce and it\'s been 30 years since I installed replacement windows in central Ohio.
I replaced so many different brands of replacement windows during that time, and to be honest, I can\'t remember.
There are a dozen vinyl window brands, at least 3 fiberglass, 6 or more wood window brands, and one or two composite materials.
In windows of these brands, I also installed most, if not all, windows of different series or quality levels.
One thing I learned is that all the replacement windows are not equal, but there are a lot of similarities between brands.
Of course, they will tell you that their windows are the best.
So unless you know what to look for, picking the best for your home is not the easiest job.
However, if the installation is incorrect, even the best replacement window will not work properly.
Again, if the installation is correct, even the most affordable replacement window can be reasonably executed.
As a subcontractor, I work with many different window replacement contractors and it is very clear that all companies are not equal.
Therefore, it is equally important to choose the right contractor.
While I will be talking about the product here, I would suggest that you understand the installers of any potential contractor you can use.
Most companies will use subcontractors (
They are not always honest though)
It\'s usually the cheapest, not the best.
The most important thing is to define for yourself what you are looking for and why you want to change windows before shopping.
Then you can separate those companies that want to sell you what they want from those that are willing to sell you what you want.
I hope this will help you in the process.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions and I will be happy to help you as much as I can.
First of all, to buy replacement windows, it\'s good to know what you\'re buying and the differences between windows products.
I won\'t talk about pricing because there are a lot of variables, but if you want to check my profile for contact information, although I may not be able to provide a window for you, I am willing to give you an idea of the installation cost of your project.
Regarding the price, I would say so much that companies that advertise a lot usually charge more.
If high-pressure sales are involved, the price is usually two to three times that of it.
Learn about replacement windows that you have used or purchased before to replace windows, and you may not know the parts and different types of windows in it.
This is just a quick overview of the basics.
Most windows are made up of a main frame that is anchored on the House and supports the window frame.
The window frame is part of the window that holds the glass and opens and closes.
In some cases, the glass is directly attached to the main frame and there is no window frame.
The common term for these windows is direct glazing, which does not open.
What is the type of Windows?
The three most common styles of windows are double hanging, open doors and pictures (or fixed)
Windows, hung up on the double, the cracks moved up and down and hung by the balance system so that they could easily be raised, kept open and not fall.
The change in this regard is a single hanging window, the window frame at the top is fixed where only the bottom window frame moves, the glider (or slider)
Sashes slide side by side and slide to the left and right.
On the window fan style, the window frame opens outward.
A change in this is the awning window that is extended or rolled out from the bottom.
The picture window has a glass unit that does not open.
Many manufacturers produce different types of floor-to-ceiling windows to suit the style of the windows it places, that is, the double-hanging picture windows are made with window frames that match the double-hanging window frame lines, so the glass line matches.
Window Fan picture window is usually a window fan without a crank, and the window fan is fixed on the main machine with the same appearance as the window fan.
Also, as mentioned earlier, use fixed glass pictures when the appearance doesn\'t matter, you want to maximize the visible glass size, or the manufacturer needs to use it on larger windows.
Other styles: there is a hopper window and the window frame pulls in from the top (
Usually used in basement).
There are also geometric shapes (
For example, the top, Polygon and triangle of the circle)
Depending on the manufacturer, any possible shapes can be made that will not open.
Windows can be configured together in many ways.
Top adjacent to each other or stacked together.
They can also be configured from the house;
There are two bay windows that go out at a certain angle (
Usually at 30 or 45 degrees)
There is a center window in the outward part;
There are bow windows with 3 or more windows tilted outward and backward at equal angles;
The windows of the garden are usually separated by the windows on both sides and the outward part, and there is also a glass roof that is tilted down from the outside of the House to allow the rain to flow out.
What is the window made?
There are at least 6 different types of building materials used to make replacement windows.
There are vinyl/PVC, wood, fiberglass, composites, aluminum and steel.
Depending on your budget, family or business needs, any of them may be the best for you.
Because of its economy, good insulation and no rot, vinyl/PVC is used.
For better insulation and strength, these are usually built with multiple chamber frames.
Since Vinyl is not particularly strong, the biggest drawback of vinyl is that the frame is usually larger than other types and the result is less glass.
Vinyl is manufactured by only a few companies and must be formed during extrusion.
Vinyl is made for window companies of certain shapes and is then used by window manufacturers to assemble windows.
When comparing different vinyl replacement windows, it is not uncommon to find windows with the same appearance, as they obtain vinyl frames from the same supplier.
Vinyl has a small amount of color to choose from, white and beige are the most common, and this color is usually added to vinyl.
This, coupled with the quality of vinylla maintenance, makes the maintenance window very low.
However, heat and vinyl will not mix, but the color of vinyl will fade over time and vinyl will become brittle.
A high quality vinyl window should last at least 25 years.
In my experience, many companies have turned to painting vinyl to provide more color, although the integrity of the paint is still questionable.
The vinyl window was originally developed as a replacement window, usually 1/4 thick and can be placed in the pocket of the old wooden window.
Newer vinyl windows for new buildings can be equipped with thinner frames, but these windows are traditionally referred to as builder-grade windows and are not designed to be used as replacement windows, although some companies will try to use them to reduce costs.
The difference is not worth the loss of quality.
Many houses built less than 15 years ago had major problems with these windows.
Sales promotion about welding angle.
This is where the corners of the frame are reclined, the ends are heated to the melting point and pushed together.
When they cool, the vinyl in the two pieces of plastic is welded together.
This will produce stronger corners and prevent leakage without seams.
I saw a sales pitch the other day saying, \"Most manufacturers don\'t do that,\" but of course they did.
In my experience, it\'s hard to find windows that don\'t weld corners these days.
I really don\'t want to draw the corner without welding.
The biggest difference between vinyl frames is the thickness of vinyl.
You can only see this by comparing Windows adjacent to each other.
Wood is used for its inherent beauty.
It has good insulation value and can be shaped, so the aesthetic lines are usually more beautiful than vinyl, and each manufacturer has a rather unique look.
The biggest problem with the wood is that it can\'t adapt well to the weather without repeated maintenance.
Today, most brands use perishable young growing pine trees.
However, a well built and maintained wood window can last a lifetime and it will be helpful to choose a hard wood window, although it will usually be more expensive.
In order to reduce the maintenance of wooden windows, most manufacturers provide so-called cladding windows.
This is where they cover the outside wood with vinyl or aluminum.
Aluminum is the best because the color can be baked and more durable.
There are many colors to choose from and some manufacturers will also offer custom colors.
There are two ways to apply aluminum.
One is the rolling form (sheet metal)
This is formed to be mounted directly on the wood.
This is also the way vinyl coating is applied.
The other is the extruded metal frame, which basically forms the entire external part of the frame.
I think it would be better to squeeze the frame because if for any reason the moisture would fall behind the coating (
The extruded frame allows it to escape without touching the internal wood, in which case the form of the roll can capture the moisture between it and the wood.
This retained moisture can cause wood to rot.
I have seen cladding windows like this, and the wood behind the cladding is almost completely spoiled.
Fiberglass is used for its strength, durability and insulation value.
Only a few companies build fiberglass windows and only a few can find decent windows.
It provides a rot-free frame that is durable inside and outside.
Although its appeal is that it is better than vinyl, they are priced at the same price as wood, so they haven\'t really found a strong position in the market yet.
I expect the price of fiberglass to drop in the future.
The composite window is made of a variety of composite materials but is not well documented.
I believe they were built to create a builder window that is more affordable than wood, but in many cases the product has not been successful.
So I don\'t recommend them until I\'m familiar with high quality composite windows.
I \'ve heard that some manufacturers have now developed honeycomb PVC windows, which may have some promises, but I\'ll wait and see until I get more information about them.
Aluminum for its strength and durability (
Aluminum does not rust)
In some parts of the United States, it is used far more than anywhere else.
Even if thermal breaks are placed in the frame, they are difficult to improve energy efficiency due to the very good cold conduction of aluminum.
The most common complaint, other than not sealing cold, is condensation.
The best thing to say about aluminum is that the frame tends to be narrow due to its strength, allowing for more glass.
These are no longer used due to the problem of meeting energy standards, except for commercial applications.
Finally, steel is used for its strength, durability, and has a better thermal quality than aluminum.
Steel windows are mainly used in commercial buildings and I have heard that they are designed to have a reduced energy level.
While some new developments may make them more accessible, it is quite rare to find them for residential purposes.
There are many options to add or close a window.
They are extras that allow the windows to fit your home and special needs.
In some cases, these options may be the biggest difference between the replacement window and its price.
The company will want to sell you as much as possible.
Again, know what you want before shopping.
Each manufacturer has its own choice and the price is different.
Buyers must verify the available products with each brand.
I will discuss some options further, but here are some options listed: different types of glass for energy efficiency, strength and appearance; grids (mutins)
Between the glass or the surface of the glass;
Internal and external colors;
Indoor simulation of wood grain or solid wood;
What about the glass?
In terms of energy efficiency, the glass unit of the window should be considered the most important.
When the energy was cheap a few years ago, there was only one piece of glass that made the window.
Now the only way to get a single pane window is to do a special sort of it, and the only reason is that the history save item.
To meet the minimum energy requirements, all windows must now be made of at least double glazing.
This is two pieces of glass, there is an interval between them, sealed together around the edge, forming a dead air space without humidity to prevent any condensation between the glass.
You need to talk about condensation when you talk about Glass.
I have a link below to discuss condensation in a more complete way, but here are a few key points.
If you have a double glass unit, condensation or fog will occur between the glass, because the seal around the edge has broken and allows moisture between the glass and the glass unit, so it must be replaced to fix it.
Moisture on the outside of the glass has nothing to do with sealing, in fact it is usually not related to the window, but may be a symptom of atmospheric conditions near the window.
Condensation is formed by the correct combination of humidity, temperature and insufficient air movement.
Since the glass has a tendency to keep it cool, it has an easy way to develop condensation.
I told people that Glass is a very bad insulator, but since they haven\'t found something better yet, you can see it and we get stuck with it.
The most common place of condensation appears at the bottom of each piece of glass.
This is because when the air hits the glass and falls to the bottom, it cools enough to condense.
Usually the most common time of the day is early morning, and it is also the day after the rain and the temperature drop.
Because there are several factors that can lead to condensation, it will be different how you keep your house, such as how much you cook, what type of stove do you have, if you have a humidifier, what kind of curtains do you have.
Since glass is a bad insulator, it is very important what is done to the glass unit to help the thermal efficiency of the glass.
The first is by creating dead air space between the glass panes as a thermal break, and therefore a double-layer glass.
Other enhancements are usually available as options.
The most common is the use of low emission coatings (Low-e);
Fill the space with gas heavier than the air, such as ar and Krypton;
And different types of spacers around the edge of the glass unit to control the cold or heat transfer around its edge.
The spacing system around the edge of the glass holds the glass sheet together as a single unit of seal to allow a dead air space between the glass.
Sealing between glass panes is important for preventing wet air from entering and causing condensation between glass panes.
The most reliable system is called \"Super gasket\", which is a non-
The metal foam system provides the best insulation between the panes, and also has the best record of keeping the seal.
You can also go to three layers of glass and create two dead air spaces between glass or solar thermal film to replace the glass in the middle.
Low with different levelse.
With a newer advanced low
E. coating and gas combination, double-layer glass can work almost like a typical three-layer glass window.
Now, this can be discussed fairly technically, but the most important thing is the energy efficiency of windows and glass.
This can be done by making u-
The factor and solar thermal gain coefficient ratings that should be listed on each window with the Energy Star label.
There\'s a basic low
Both ratings should be below.
It is considered good.
Windows with a higher rating is rated below both levels. 30.
Between Models of Excellence. 20 and . 25.
Simonton windows has a great brochure to explain some of them further.
A way to compare the meaning of difference between u-factor of . 35 and .
20 is to convert them into R-
Factors used to measure the insulating material used in the wall.
The first is converted to R-2.
8, the second conversion to R-
5, only R-2. 2.
The insulation material entering the wall needs to be at least R-13.
Compared to the walls of a well insulated home
2 is not very significant.
Since the amount of improvement is not large, the cost of getting the best rated glass will not increase extra, as this may not make you pay off in terms of energy saving.
Short note on window ratings: There is still a lot of work to be done to standardize window ratings in the USS.
I think the energy rating mentioned above can be considered reliable. AAMA (
American Association of Building Manufacturers)
Have the most reliable window certification plan, but window manufacturers can choose the grade they want for their windows.
This means that if they market their windows for residential use, they only need a certain rating even if their windows may exceed it.
This is considered a minimum level for them and they are sure that all their windows will be reached.
Other companies seem to have chosen the highest rating for their windows for marketing purposes, but this may mean that some of their windows will not match that rating.
This seems to be in the design pressure level (DP rating).
The good news is that DP ratings are very important for windy places such as coastal areas and high-rise windows, which are usually higher than most homes, and window companies will design and manufacture windows specifically for these places.
This is one reason why steel is still used for commercial purposes.
Here is a simple value that you can use.
If the DP level is 35 or higher, this means that it has been tested for wind speeds above 115 mph.
So, DP rating is a minor issue unless you are building a tornado Defense House.
Glass can have different thickness, called single strength and double strength glass.
Double strength usually comes with a glass breakage warranty, which is usually better in terms of reducing external noise.
There is blurry glass that allows light to come in, but frosted, so only the shadows can be seen through the glass.
This is commonly used in the bathroom.
In addition, the building code in certain areas of the home requires tempered glass, usually based on the size of the window glass and the combination of the approach to the entrance, the bathtub, or the floor
Check whether the local building code meets the requirements.
Colored glass is another common option and I would only recommend using it if it is most important to limit the amount of light.
UV rays are usually limited and reduced by buyers.
The E-coating does reduce them without significantly coloring the glass.
My advice on who is the best replacement window?
There are many window manufacturers in North America that are far beyond my experience and most brands are usually only available in limited markets.
I will share with you some of my best suggestions from my experience and make some reasons.
All these companies have been operating for many years and have stood the test of the economic storm.
Of course, when selecting the best windows, there are always other considerations to consider other than the quality, although these are not the cheapest options, but they can be competitive with higher quality windows
I had the best Vinyl Windows experience on Simonton windows.
Their windows have a very sturdy frame with a welding angle and are easy to install because they usually sit at the opening due to rigidity.
They carry many of the best glass options to provide huge energy efficiency.
On their double bows, they used the best constant force balance system I have ever seen, which provides durability for the smooth operation of the windows.
Most importantly, they have very few manufacturing defects or service problems due to good quality control and support their products well.
Their only downside is that the pricing is a bit high.
The most common model in my area is the 5500 reflective series.
Simonton is a company that will produce the same windows for a specific company that is basically the same, so that these companies can say that they have an exclusive Simonton window (
Of course, those companies will say they are better).
One of the products I am familiar with recently is RBS Performance Plus.
It is a special design product for Midway doors and windows supplied by Richards Building (
Royal Bank of Scotland, a wholesale supplier in Chicago)
There are some good features of the market.
The price is better than Simone.
Its frame is a little smaller than Simonton, but its energy level is better than the standard option of 5500.
They were named Energy stars in the United States.
This comes from the same LowE coating as ar gas, but as a standard option, including non-
Metal gaskets for energy efficiency, like Super gaskets.
Depending on who you talk to, it\'s as good or almost as good as the Super spacer.
In addition to this, they also include a main frame for foam filling, which increases the rigidity of the frame and greatly improves energy efficiency.
So far, I am very satisfied with the reliability of the product. A mid-
I was very impressed with vinyl products, which brought me huge profits, this is the traditional series of vinyl Kraft.
The price is very competitive and the price is lower.
Attractive high-end Windows but definitely better products.
Although their vinyl frame is narrower than that of Simonton, it has good stability, which is obvious during installation.
Many medium and low grade windows often require a lot of careful positioning and securing the windows at the opening to make them Square as they lack strength, but the vinyl Kraft windows are hard enough to keep the square, this is critical for the normal operation of the window.
They seem to find a good balance between trimming the window and maintaining its structural integrity.
I noticed that there was a problem with the 40 inch wide double hanging windows and I was not satisfied with the performance of their sliding windows.
The front of the narrow frame is more glass, which is more attractive in aesthetics.
Windows are equipped with LowE and argon standards, the best part of these windows is the super shims, which are standard on all models, especially considering the price.
The super gap with most companies is an expensive upgrade.
The Super shims provide higher energy efficiency and longevity.
The two most common problems with any brand are balance (
Hardware that allows dual hungs to be lifted and lowered)
Seal failure (
Loss of sealing between glass pane, which allows condensation between glass).
Legacy has two things, a constant balance of strength and dinner spacers that provide the most trouble-free performance in these areas.
What Legacy does not offer is a variety of options, for which you have to upgrade to their higher model.
However, the main reason is that they do not use constant force balance on \"better\" models, and other brands show up at the same price.
Here are some other vinyl window companies that do well.
Alside Windows is one of the oldest window companies in the United States and has done a lot of work in recent years to really update their products, not just as a marketing strategy to change things.
They recently stopped making one of the best low-level windows, but still have one of the strongest high-end Windows in Ultramax. Milgard (
Now West of the Rocky Mountains)
There are some good innovations, although they have a lot of service problems when they are introduced to the Midwest, causing them to close the Midwest factory.
I was recently introduced to the high end windows of SoftLite and found that they are comparable to Simonton, but they only sell to a limited number of dealers, which usually means paying a higher price.
On the wooden window, I chose the window of Marvin\'s bag.
It has a huge extruded aluminum exterior that does not directly cover the wood, a paint additive that is anti-fading standard, as well as excellent color selection and interior wood selection.
They are beautifully designed, have few service problems, and have a price tag behind the product.
Marvin also made great fiberglass windows in its integrity and infinite model.
Solid wood interior integrity.
Integrity is a stain-able veneer that is easy to stain like wood, but can be scratched to reveal the white fiberglass underneath, unfixable.
The other wooden window I like is Pella.
While it uses a roll-like coating directly on the wood, it offers a number of popular unique options, such as the quality between glass blinds or curtains and roll screens.
They performed well and had little problem with good factory support.
In addition, GeldWyn has also made a drop wood window, which now has a lifetime warranty on wood rot and is more expensive.
I would recommend it if you use the bag brick mold.
It\'s more of a builder\'s grade window because its structure is not as strong as Marvin or Pera\'s, but the composite brick mold adds better rigidity.
I have recently installed some Pella Impervia fiberglass windows that are impressive.
In addition to low maintenance and no rot, the real advantage of the fiberglass is its strength.
Impervia is built with a relatively narrow frame but is very strong.
They only have three colors, white, brown and Brown (dark bronze)
The price is comparable to the low end wooden windows.
Another, the Pella product I just introduced is their vinyl window, which is made with a frame of 4 9/16 thick, rather than a frame of 3 1/4 common for most vinyl replacement windows.
I was impressed with it in some ways, but when I had the opportunity to install the job, I would look into it more deeply. Stay tuned. :)