Replacing the windows of your Maryland home isn’t something you decide on a whim. It’s a significant home improvement and a substantial investment. But the long-term benefits make it well worth the cost. Once you decide to move forward with a window replacement project, the next step is determining what type of windows are best for your home. After all, you’re going to be living with these new additions for years to come and you want to be happy with the choices you’ve made. Spending a little time carefully weighing the options will minimize any chance of buyers’ remorse in the future.
Deciding what is the best type of windows for your Maryland home starts with choosing a frame material. Modern replacement windows come in four options:
This traditional option has come a long way over the last few decades. Today’s premium wood windows are durable, insect resistant, and far less prone to warping than their earlier counterparts. And their aesthetics are hard to beat. Wood windows are, however, more expensive than other options. They also require periodic maintenance such as sanding and refinishing any bare spots and repainting the entire window every five to 10 years.
Vinyl, or PVC, is the most popular type of window material in the nation—and for good reason. Vinyl windows are affordable, durable, and energy efficient. Vinyl windows are also easier to install than some other options and come in a variety of colors. Want more? They’re also impervious to insect and moisture damage and require very little maintenance. One downside to vinyl windows is that they’re not as environmentally friendly to manufacture as wood and metal windows.
Because of their strength, durability, and energy efficiency, fiberglass/composite windows have become another window frame option in the U.S. Fiberglass combines the structural rigidity of aluminum, the insulating capacity of wood, and the easy maintenance of vinyl. What’s not to love? The price. Fiberglass windows cost more than vinyl and are on par with premium wood windows. They also come in fewer color options than other types of windows, and since fiberglass can’t be painted, you’ll have to settle for whatever hues are available from your chosen manufacturer.
Standard vs. High-Performance Windows
In addition to frame material, homeowners also need to consider whether to opt for higher-end windows that cost more but offer better performance or storm protection than standard windows. For maximum thermal performance, triple-pane windows with gas fills are the way to go. These windows can be up to 50% more efficient than single-pane windows and 20% more efficient than double-pane windows. That amounts to a saving of between 7% and 15% on home energy costs.
For impact windows, you can expect to pay on average $125 more per unit than standard windows. If you live near the coast or in a region prone to strong storms and high winds, the added cost can be justified by the peace of mind it provides. Impact windows feature laminated glass that won’t break into shards if struck by a windblown projectile. Their frames are also reinforced to better withstand extreme weather events.
Many homeowners don’t realize they can swap out one style of window with another during a window replacement project. If your existing windows don’t provide the views or functionality you desire, consider an alternative. Upgrading from single-hung to double-hung windows is one obvious possibility, but you don’t have to stop there. Casement, awning, sliding, and picture windows are all viable substitutes. Garden windows are great options for kitchens, while bow and bay windows can create a striking visual focal point for your home’s exterior.
If you’re updating the windows of your home in central Maryland, the company to turn to is Integrity Home Pro. We offer and install ProVia®’s entire line of premium, custom-made windows. Contact us today to learn more.