How to Choose Windows for your Home

Window replacement is bound to cross the mind of most home owners. Windows are one of the hardest-working components of your house, and they do wear out. As the years go by, you may find that your windows are no longer functioning smoothly, aren’t as weather-tight as you would like, or just look a little shabby. Maybe they were replaced by a previous owner with different taste, or technology that is no longer cutting edge.

A whole-house window replacement project is a big investment, and it can have big payoffs, too. You might be looking for increased curb appeal; a quieter home; greater energy efficiency; or you might just long for the smooth, reliable function of new windows. Think about your priorities carefully, and keep them in mind as you evaluate your options. 

Considerations can be roughly divided into two categories: Form and function. First, we’ll talk about the visual aspects of your choice, and then we’ll discuss the functional elements to consider. 

Visual Aspects of Window Replacement

Architectural Style

Typically, you want your windows to conform to your home’s architectural style. Trying to changing your house’s style by making a dramatic window change should be approached with caution. You can’t turn a farmhouse into a contemporary by installing big slider windows, or a contemporary into a traditional by installing double-hung windows. If your house doesn’t have its original windows, look around the neighborhood to help identify what the appropriate style is. Like with any rule, there are times to break this one, but it should be done thoughtfully. 

Here’s a list of basic window styles. Look them up online, or call us if you have any questions. 

  • Casement
  • Double-hung
  • Bow
  • Bay
  • Garden
  • Picture
  • Slider


Variety of Design and Color 

As you explore your options, look for suppliers with a wide range of colors and designs. Custom windows can be ordered according to your exact specifications of color, finish and design. 


Functional Aspects of Window Replacement

  • Window Frame Material

This is a pivotal decision point. Energy efficiency, cost, maintenance and ease of use are all factors to consider. Each choice has its pros and cons, so careful assessment is in order. 

  • Quality Construction

Above all, your replacement windows need to have weather tight construction. Evaluate the various quality claims and guarantees with different options. How long can you expect them to last?

  • Energy-Efficient Materials

Most older windows are single pane, and most new windows are double or even triple pane. The extra layer of glass, and the cushion of air between the two layers, will insulate against cold, heat and noise. This improved energy efficiency should be considered a return on the window investment, as you’ll probably see your utility bills dip. You can also choose glass that blocks UV rays.

  • Installation

Interview carefully for a qualified window installer. A reputable firm is happy to answer your questions, and eager to work with informed consumers. Ask about their installation guarantee, what degree of disruption to expect, how long it will take, and how many workers you can expect to be on the premises. Will the windows need to be painted? Communicate about who is responsible for that part of the project. 

  • Cleaning and Maintenance

Like everything in the home, cleaning and maintenance will be part of the package. As you’re comparing options, think about what it will take to keep them clean. Some double-hung windows, for example, enable you to swing the window sashes out of the frame and easily clean the outside. Any material which needs to be painted will eventually need to be repainted. 

At Hoyt Exterior, Inc. we have beautiful windows in a range of styles and materials such as wood, vinyl, fiberglass and composite. We’ve been leading the industry in the Twin Cities, and we’d love to talk to you about what you want in your window replacement project.

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