Published: Oct. 6, 2023
Sometimes, it’s easier to make a big decision when you know how other people shop. It brings perspective.
New windows and doors are no different. So what do other people think about when buying new windows or doors for their home? Cost, security, durability, appearance and energy efficiency are top of mind. Let’s take a quick look at each concern.
1. Cost: The cost of replacement windows can vary dramatically from one quote to another. Understanding why can help you select the right product for your budget. So what determines how much you pay? Different types of replacement windows are priced on four main factors: quality, the type of material used in the frame, how many panes of glass are included, and the operating style. The cost of new windows is also impacted by where you buy them.
2. Energy efficiency: Replacement windows can help to improve the energy efficiency of your home, but how do you actually buy energy-efficient windows? It’s important to choose windows that are Energy Star certified for the specific zone where you live (Arizona has 4 zones), and have a high NFRC rating.
With replacement windows, you’ll want low-E4 glass, plus gas insulation (typically Argon) between the panes.
Energy efficiency is measured a little differently for doors, so be sure to discuss this with your salesperson(s) and compare the ratings, so you fully understand your options. For a front entry door, fiberglass is an energy efficient option, more so than most other materials. For patio doors, double-paned glass and argon insulation is a given, since there is so much glass. Aluminum frames are common, so you’ll want to choose product with a thermal gap to prevent heat transfer inside the home.
And when thinking about smart energy-efficient upgrades? We suggest avoiding triple-pane windows, unless you want to reduce noise or live in a cold climate, like Northern Arizona. They’re effective in cold weather, but not in hot weather.
3. Security: Replacement windows should be secure and help to protect your home from intruders. While it’s rare that a broken window is the point of entry, you do want a secure locking mechanism that prevents them from being opened. This should come standard with any window you select, but if you ask the salesperson, they’d be happy to discuss the specific hardware that comes with any product you’re interested in.
If you’re thinking about replacing a patio door, sliding doors are the least secure and particularly vulnerable to break-ins, so you might consider French doors if that’s an option. This might be an area worth an upgrade, or where the hardware on two comparable products differ enough to help you make a decision.
4. Durability: Replacement windows should be durable and withstand the elements. Choose windows that are made from high-quality materials and have a good warranty. There are many different types of windows, and the materials used for the frame have a major impact on durability and lifespan. If you’re wondering how often you should replace windows or how long they might last, you can expect a lifespan of 30+ years for today’s vinyl windows, and 40+ for fiberglass.
5. Appearance: Replacement windows should also complement the appearance of your home. Consider the style, color, and finish of the windows when making your selection. Some colors may add to the price, such as black windows or having a different color on the exterior frame versus the interior, so it’s good to know if there’s an impact on price based on the color(s) you prefer. Consider asking.
Other concerns that homeowners may have when buying replacement windows include:
Choosing the right type of window: There are many different types of replacement windows available, such as single-hung, sliding, casement, and awning windows. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the type of window that is right for your needs.
Finding a reputable installer: It’s important to have your replacement windows installed by a reputable and experienced installer. This will help to ensure that the windows are installed correctly and that they are covered by a warranty. (We have a few tips in our free ebook on this topic, if you’d like to learn more.)
Dealing with unexpected problems: Sometimes, problems can arise during the replacement window installation process. It’s important to choose a company that has a good reputation for customer service and that will work with you to resolve any problems that may occur. Looking at their customer reviews will help you understand their commitment to customer service and, of course, be sure to check their record with the BBB and the Arizona Registrar.
If you are considering buying replacement windows, it’s important to do your research and compare different companies and products before making a decision. This will help you to find the best windows for your needs and budget.
Additional Quick Tips
- Get quotes from multiple companies before making a decision.
- Be sure to ask about discounts, rebates and tax incentives, and consider financing options, if needed.
- Look for windows that are Energy Star certified and have a high NFRC rating.
- Low-e4 glass and Argon gas insulation between the panes is essential.
- Choose windows that are made from high-quality materials, such as vinyl, fiberglass, or wood.
- Look for windows that have a good warranty.
- Ask about the expected lifespan of the windows.
- Consider the style, color, and finish of the windows when making your selection.
- Make sure that the windows complement the overall appearance of your home.
- Ask the window company to show samples, so that you can see how the windows will look in your home.
- Choose a reputable and experienced window installer.
- Ask about the warranty (1) on the windows and (2) the installation. These are separate.
- Get everything in writing before the installation begins.
- Be prepared for unexpected problems, such as bad weather or delays in the delivery of the windows.
We hope these tips help you find the best replacement windows for your needs and budget. And of course, if you schedule an appointment for a cost estimate, our salespeople will do their very best to help you understand options, and the pros and cons of different products. We won’t pressure you into a sale, but we do consider it our job to do everything in our power to help you make an informed decision. We’ll answer every question you throw our way!
(Disclosure: AI Assisted Content)