A Guide to Choosing Replacement Windows

A carpenter fitting beading to a new window

Heating and cooling costs are on the rise, and if your windows are outdated, your hard-earned money could literally be going right out the window. If your old windows are drafty and outdated, consider replacement windows. You'll add to the value of your home while saving money on heating and cooling costs.

There are many styles and types to consider, and they all have their own special attributes. There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of replacement window. Consider the style of your home as well as the versatility and durability of replacement windows when choosing one.


Clad windows offer the durability and beauty of wood inside the home, and the quality and resilience of weatherproof aluminum or vinyl on the outside. Offering the best of both worlds, clad windows are the most expensive replacement alternative. However, before purchasing one of these windows, think about the pros and cons of aluminum- versus vinyl-clad windows.

Vinyl-Clad Windows

Vinyl-clad wood replacement windows are nearly maintenance free, and they are available in a wide variety of colors and styles. Their insulating properties are excellent, and therefore a better choice for more drastic climates. Exterior scratches are less likely to show since color runs throughout the vinyl, and they will continue to look new and last for a number of years.

Aluminum-Clad Windows

Aluminum-clad wood replacement windows are also a great option, especially in milder climates. Insulating factors aren't as great, but aluminum-clad replacement windows are by far stronger than the vinyl clad variety. On the downside, they are more likely to become scratched, but they can be painted if necessary, unlike vinyl.


Wood replacement windows offer classic beauty and style, and they provide natural insulation. Although they look great when new, wood windows require protection from the elements, and they are one of the most expensive options. Wood replacement windows are popular, but if inadequately protected, they will eventually rot, split, or warp. They are also subject to sticking during bouts of humidity. However, regularly painted and maintained, they can last for generations.


Aluminum replacement windows aren't subject to splitting, warping, or shrinking, and they are exceptionally durable. They're lightweight for those who might have trouble raising heavier windows, and they'll provide many years of problem-free use. On the downside, improperly insulated aluminum windows are subject to condensation. But, they are a great choice if you don't live in coastal areas where salt in the air could quickly deteriorate the finish.


If you have unlimited resources, steel is by far one of the best options for replacement windows. They're usually installed commercially, and they are more durable and weather-resistant than any other material. Steel replacement windows will more than likely outlast any other type you could choose.


Fiberglass replacement windows are one of the newest varieties on the market. Their overall quality and durability exceeds clad wood, vinyl, aluminum, and solid wood replacement windows. They are also the superior choice when considering large windows because they are capable of supporting larger panes of glass. Additionally, fiberglass can be painted, and it won't warp, crack, peel, or split. This is a wonderful options for those who are willing to pay upwards of double the cost of ordinary vinyl windows.


Unlike vinyl-clad wood windows, regular vinyl windows are hollow inside, but they are still strong. Although they are dent-resistant and sturdy, they can become distorted in areas of extreme cold or excessive heat. All things considered, vinyl windows are still a good choice since they are affordable, and they provide good insulation for many years to come.