When your old windows start rattling, warping, and leaking, you know it's time to replace the windows on your Michigan home. But if you're like many homeowners, you quickly become overwhelmed by the many choices for new home windows. To make the right choice, you'll need to break it down. Keep reading for a look at each major decision you'll need to make when replacing your windows, along with the pros and cons of various replacement window options.
Full-Frame Window Replacement, or Inserts?
Rather than opting for full replacement windows, some homeowners choose what are known as window inserts. These are pieces of glass encased in a sash — usually made from vinyl — and implanted into the existing window frame. While inserts are typically more affordable than a full-frame replacement windows, they are more prone to leaks and inefficiency. As such, a full-frame window replacement, in which all parts of the window are replaced, is usually the better option. While you'll pay a bit more upfront, you will save money on energy and repairs going forward.
Vinyl, Wood, or Fibrex® Composite?
Next, you have to choose the material from which your windows will be made. Vinyl windows are widely available, inexpensive, and maintenance-free. However, they are prone to leaks as they age, especially in Michigan homes where temperatures fluctuate often, weakening the vinyl. Wood windows have a classic look and are energy-efficient when new, but they require a lot of upkeep. Fibrex composite windows offer the best of both worlds. They look like wood windows, require little to no maintenance, and resist cracking, warping, and other damage when exposed to fluctuations in heat and humidity.
Same Window Type, or Different Window Type?
There are several common types of windows, including double-hung, casement, awning, and sliding windows. If you are happy with how your current windows operate, you can simply replace them with new windows that operate the same way. However, if some of your windows do not operate in a manner that suits your lifestyle, you can easily make a change. For example, if you never use the double-hung window over your kitchen counter because you can't reach to push it up, you can replace it with an awning window, which opens with a little crank that you can easily reach and turn.
Same Style, or Different Style?
Finally, you'll need to decide whether you want your windows to preserve the current style of your home, or give it a new style. If you have thick, traditional, white-framed windows that give your home a traditional farmhouse appeal, you can have a custom window designer make you new windows that look exactly the same. On the other hand, if you'd like to update your look, you could go with thinner-framed replacement windows in black or another dark color. You can also choose to add grilles to some or all windows, add a unique interior color, or embellish a room with a bold bay window. That's one benefit of working with a custom window company — the windows can be designed specifically to match your style.
If you need to replace the windows on your Michigan home and are feeling overwhelmed by choices, schedule a free, in-home consultation with Renewal by Andersen. We will discuss your needs and preferences, enabling us to recommend the right replacement windows for you.