Be Sure You Know What You're Getting When You Replace Windows

Replacing windows on a house is a sure way to increase the home's value and make the home more energy efficient, as long as the windows are insulated. However, if you don't spend a lot of time at window stores, you might not realize what really goes into choosing and replacing windows. When you start your search for new windows, be sure you know what you're getting so that you end up with windows that are perfect for your needs.

Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

When people talk about insulated windows, they often mention vinyl as a synonym. Many insulated windows are made of vinyl, but some are also made of fiberglass. The panes themselves are glass in both, of course, but the frame material might be different. So don't assume that just because you and the salesperson are talking about insulated windows means you're talking about the same thing. Specify that you want vinyl because fiberglass is usually more expensive.


When you replace your windows, it's best to replace the screens as well. See if the company you're working with includes screens for each window in the price for the window, or if screens are extra. Getting new screens from the same company ensures that the screens and windows will not interfere with each other and that the screens will fit the windows perfectly.

Sill Space

Sometimes, when you replace an old aluminum window with a new vinyl window, you lose some sill space. The vinyl frames are thicker than aluminum frames. Normally, this won't take away a lot of space in a regular window frame. However, if you are already dealing with a thinner wall or custom configuration, ask about how much more sill space you'll have to give up.

Blind Location

Some companies use windows that take up the space in which you currently have blind brackets, while other companies use windows that do not need to fit into those spaces. (If your blinds are attached above the opening in the wall for the window, this won't really affect you, but if the blinds are attached to the inside surface of the space for the window, then you need to be aware of this.) Always ask about blind bracket placement and whether you'll have to remove the blinds or if you'll be able to use the same ones.

Replacing windows is actually rather easy if you have all your ducks in a row. Sit down with a representative from a window company and discuss everything -- be sure you know what you're getting and what you need to do to prepare. For more information, visit websites like