Windows are one of the most important–and expensive–products to install in a home. Good windows will not keep out the elements and keep your home properly insulated, but also look stylish. High quality windows should last for decades if they are properly maintained — including having the dealer check latches, locks and slide functions on a regular basis.
Be Mindful of Material Choices
Material choices need to be considered when it comes to the frame* of the window. Currently, window frames can be made out of several types of materials:
- Wood: the oldest material used for window frames, wood can last longer than other types of frames if maintained well–the downside being if this maintenance doesn’t occur, they can be a hassle.
- Aluminum: durable, long-lasting, and lightweight, these frames are often sleek and minimalist, but can be prone to corrosion and denting.
- Vinyl: these frames are highly resistant to scratching and corrosion and come in a variety of different finishes, but can’t be painted–making exact color-matching difficult–and aren’t quite as strong as other frames.
- Fiberglass: these frames need no maintenance and hold their structural integrity excellently, but generally cost much more than other frames and are more difficult to install
*Includes the frame as well as the glazing (the transparent material layered on windows to reduce heat).
Notable Best Window Brands
Andersen: Andersen has a complete line of wood, composite and aluminum windows, with Builder Magazine recognizing their wood-clad windows as a customer favorite. What’s more, the company has developed its own answer to vinyl windows with their Fibrex product. Composed of 40% recycled Ponderosa pine wood fibers and 60% polyvinylchloride (PVC, or vinyl), Andersen claims this blend has superior insulating properties and is more resistant to rot than wood.
JELD-WEN: This company does beautiful custom-crafted work. They have a line called Siteline that is built from Auralast and wood (pine), accompanied with the mantra “The wood that never rots.” However, their vinyl windows are most notable, according to Builder Magazine.
Pella: This exclusive top-of-the-line brand offers wood, fiberglass, and vinyl window options, as well as a ‘design your own window’ option for total customization.
Fleetwood: Founded in 1961, this company manufactures modern, chic, and timelessly American windows and doors. They also make an effort to be environmentally conscious, frequently using recycled glass and always recycled aluminum for their products.
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