So far I have discussed benefits like energy savings, ease of maintenance and operation, comfort and style. However, there are a couple of other things to think about.
Different varieties of windows, as well as different product lines and manufacturers can have varying lifespans. A lower cost option may have the same operational features, offer the same number of panes and even provide Low-e and gas filled sealed units. However the lower price will always come at a tradeoff for lifespan. Many of the lower priced manufacturers will only offer 3 to 5 year warranty coverage. While we can provide you with any windows you want, our manufacturer of choice offers fixtures with warranties as high as 20 years.
- Reinforced PVC
- Fiberglass or Composite Materials
- Steel Clad (PVC or Wood underneath)
The basic materials that your window frames are made of can play a big part in the efficiency and durability (lifespan) of your new windows. A low cost PVC window with no reinforcement within the frame will certainly not last as long as a reinforced one, and ease of operation will start to deteriorate almost immediately as the frame warps and settles. Wood frame windows, while beautiful to look at, tend to be expensive and require repeated staining or painting. At the same time, a very expensive steel reinforced carbon fiber unit is almost certainly more robust than necessary.
The hybrid varieties are wood or PVC frames clad in painted steel. These are a popular choice for our high end installations and are stunningly beautiful, while offering lower maintenance than say a fully wooden frame.
These are questions you will want to consider.
How secure are your windows? Can an intruder easily open the window from the outside? In the case of a fixed sash style window, can the sealed unit be removed from the outside to gain easy access to your home?
In our years of experience we have come across all kinds. Some product lines are incredibly easy to disassemble, or open from the outside. Certainly a fixed sash or casement operated by a crank will be much more difficult to open from the outside than the sliding variety. Along with the operation of the windows, consider the quality of the locking mechanism, if one exists.