A window at its core is simple: a piece of glass in a sash, held in a frame. Finding that perfect window for your new home is not that simple.

In today’s world the homeowner’s have many different options; what style of frame, wood, clad, or vinyl? What style of glazing, clear insulated, loe, or coated? What color, red, blue, green, ….? After you have decided on these choices, you need to decide what style of window you want casement, double hung, gliding? All of these choices need to be answered before you can order your windows. It is great to have all these options, but at times it can be very confusing, so the following is some information to help you.

Frame Choices

All vinyl: least expensive, least efficient, easiest to maintain. It is recommended that you not paint these frames so generally you have a couple colors to choose from.

All wood: hardest to maintain (you must paint them and keep them in good shape or the wood will rot), middle price range, good efficiency.

Clad wood: easy to maintain good efficiency, middle price range. Generally many different colors to choose from.

Composite: higher price range, easy to maintain, great efficiency. Generally do not need to be painted.

Glazing Options

Single glazed: not a good choice for our climate.

Clear double paned: most window manufacturers offer this option as their minimum option. Good efficiency and middle price range.

Loe and argon double paned: most window manufacturers offer this as their upper end option. Great efficiency, upper price range. The loe coating is on the glass and reflects heat (summer keeping out, winter keeping in.) The argon is between the panes and is heavier than air (thus slowing the transfer of heat.)

Heat mirror and other specialty products: very rare to find in residential construction. The price is so great that it can not outweigh the cost savings from energy savings. More often found in commercial buildings than residential.

Color options

Most window manufacturers have 4-8 color options available as standard pricing. Any color is available for the right price.

Style Options

Casement: sometimes referred to as crank out. Provide full height openings (good for egress) and full unobstructed views. Most efficient window style. Not a good choice where they would open onto a deck or patio.

Double-hung: most popular style of window. New ones generally tilt their sash in for easy cleaning. Not a good choice where you need to reach to open (sink, bath, etc.)

Gliders/Sliders: functions like a double-hung on its side. Very good choice for those areas where the casement will not work.

Awning: Just like a casement only hinges on top, no the side. Good for areas close to the ground.

As you can see there are many different options and choices to make before you can order your windows. If you need help find a window expert to help you through your decisions. He or she will be a valuable asset in the final result; your new home with beautiful windows.