Frequently Asked Questions For Replacement Windows

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Replacement Window FAQs

Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about replacing your windows.

Question: What are the best replacement window companies?

There will always be debate on who the best replacement window companies are. However, many would argue that the following constitute some of the best window companies. These include Pella, Andersen, CertainTeed, Marvin, Anderson, Hurd and Alside. For additional information, see our article on replacement window companies.

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Replacement Windows Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What are vinyl windows?

Vinyl windows are the most popular choice for replacement windows. Made of polyvinyl chloride, they provide durability, require low-maintenance, and improve energy efficiency. For someone other than a chemist, they also pose a spelling challenge and may be labeled anything from vinal to vinil.

Polyvinyl chloride is a very versatile material of which vinyl windows are constructed, is generally referred to as PVC or simply vinyl. Essentially, PVC is a compound of salt and petroleum, very similar to plastic. First, petroleum is heated and filtered in a process called cracking, which breaks it into its core component, ethylene. The ethylene and chlorine, formed by mixing salt and water together using a process called electrolysis, are combined to form ethylene dichloride, which is further treated to produce vinyl chloride monomer, a gas. One final step, polymerization, turns the gas into a powder, which serves as the basis for a resin.

The resin is combined with other materials for strength, heat resistance, and color, heated at very high temperatures to form a gooey semi-liquid, and then squeezed into molds to shape the frames and sashes of the windows. The resulting shapes are placed in vacuum chambers that cool the vinyl. The finished pieces are cut into window pieces and welded together, forming one solid, water- and air-tight unit. Finally, the window is glazed and handles and other hardware are attached.

Question: What are awning windows?

Answer: Awning replacement windows are pretty straightforward, and are similar to casement windows. They are like casement windows turned on their side, actually, but with slightly different dimensions. They are usually wider than they are tall (long and rectangular for placement over doors and windows, for instance), but they are available in many shapes and sizes.

Awning windows tend to let in more light than casement windows. They are relatively common in homes that have traditional double-hung windows, because they are so complementary. You will also often find them above picture windows.

Because the hinge opens from one fixed side, like casement windows, awning windows use compression seals and are thus very energy efficient. Compression seals provide a tighter seal, and casement and awning windows use compression seals on three sides. Windows that slide, such as gliding or double-hung windows, only use compression seals on two sides.

Question: How much do replacement windows cost?

There is a wide range of pricing for replacement windows; from low end vinyl windows (which might run you $100-$300), to new construction Pella replacement windows (where the window and frame are replaced) that could exceed $1000 per window. Additional pricing factors include the number of windows being ordered, the manufacturer, type of material (vinyl, wood, steel frames), custom features, gas fills or no gas fills, as well as energy saving features. Our window cost estimator can provide you with a general range of prices for your replacement windows.

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