Windsor Windows are definitely a quality brand, and you can expect them to last a long time after proper installation. They’ve been around since the 1940s, and have always used premium materials in their products. If you are considering staying in your home for a long time, then an investment in such quality products might make sense; you would have many years to enjoy what is installed, and likely, you will never have a problem for decades to come. Windsor Windows and Doors are a customer window manufacturer. That means, they make each window to the exact specification of a customer’s wishes. I understand that off-the shelf windows are also available, but their specialty is to deliver custom windows and doors. Since it is hard to know what your particular circumstances are, let me reiterate the considerations for window replacement in particular:
What kind of house are you living in?
Each house is unique, meaning there is no one window brand or type that is perfect for each installation. Indeed, it might behoove you to install one manufacturer’s product on one side of a house, and another manufacturer’s product on another side. Also, many manufacturers also have different window products for different circumstances. If your house is in a fancy neighborhood, for example, your choices might be narrowed by what is required by the local covenants. If you live in a modern, ‘green’ built home, you might even be required by law to install a certain type of window. If you house if one hundred years old, fitting ‘spaceship’ type windows to your home might make it look odd – or even older than it is – so the age of the house is also a consideration.
Where is the house situated?
Is your house on a main thoroughfare? Many homes in the Pacific northwest have experienced a huge increase in traffic down their once-was quiet house. Noise levels are way up, and it’s harder to sit in your living room in quiet with all of this. Modern windows can be great at sound insulation, and in particular, if they include triple-glazed windows. Perhaps you might pay for triple-glazing on the front of your home, and double-glazing on the rear.
Another advantage of multi-layers glazing (double, and particular triple-glazed windows) is that they block ultraviolet light more, and they add an extra degree of privacy. It’s harder to see into a home when the windows are triple-glazed, and this might be of value to you if there is a lot of foot traffic down your street. An apartment I lived in was down a quiet street when I first moved in, but several years later, they improved the road – which was nice – but the traffic increased rapidly after that. For two hours in the afternoon, cars inched by on every business day. Bored, they often looked straight into my apartment, so I ended up keeping my blinds closed a lot of the time. What that apartment needed was glass with a degree of privacy. I’d still like to be able to look out, and for some daylight to enter, but I don’t want to feel like a monkey in a cage.
Is your home in a heavily shaded area?
A heavily shaded area puts a particular kind of pressure on a house. While it might not be taking a beating by the rays of the sun, persistent moisture is also tough on anything created by humankind. A window frame which is damp and cold all year long will need to be made from materials that can withstand such pressure. Today, vinyl window frames can be made to perform better than another other material – within reasonable cost – across the board. Insulation, durability, strength and flexibility are four of the ways in which a vinyl frame can be superior to wood, aluminum or iron.
A window that is expected to get little of no sunlight needs a certain type of window frame. Consider aluminum frame first, but if you also need that ‘wood look’, there are also hybrids available on the market. On one side, they have a wood veneer, but on the other, they take advantage of a vinyl frame. Such hybrids are a little more expensive, but the real cost of windows has actually come down over the past couple generations, while the value, functionality and overall quality has increased.
Talk to your windows installer about what the options are
An experienced windows installation company, one that has been serving the region for years, will know what the good choices are. They won’t give the same answer to everyone, but it is always good to be aware of the latest developments, and what products will match which house. As I mentioned earlier, no two homes are identical – even if they were when they were first built – and such a windows installer will bring their knowledge and experience to bear on your particular situation.
My two cents worth: If I were planning to spend the rest of my life in my house, and I needed new windows, I would prefer to break the project into two phases, but go for a high grade product this year, then complete the project when I was able to invest in the second phase, rather than try to complete the whole project in one sweep.
More next week!