Woodrow Aames | Improvement Center Columnist | December 14, 2011
From encompassing a picturesque view to allowing more breeze to flow through, replacement windows can improve the look, livability and energy-efficiency of your home. Check out these popular styles to find one that matches your architecture:
Examining the pros and cons of 5 popular window styles
- Double hung windows: If you're looking for better ventilation in a bedroom, kitchen or den, double-hung windows offer great flexibility. They're well-suited to French, Colonial and Craftsman homes. On the downside, only the top window opens; and they are not the most energy-efficient style available.
- Sliding windows: Sliders open horizontally, and are available with double-sliding or single-sliding panes. They're a good choice for any room in a Prairie, Ranch or Tudor home. One major con: Sliders are prone to mold and mildew from air leaks caused by dirt or obstructions in the slider weeps. They must be kept clean and dry.
- Casement windows: Casements open outward using a handle and are easy to operate. They're ideal for kitchen counter tops and small spaces. Casement windows look handsome in Contemporary, Ranch, French and Prairie homes. Cons: They can block side breezes and are prone to hardware failure.
- Picture windows: If you want unblocked views of the great outdoors, or plenty of ambient light indoors, there's nothing like a picture window. They work well in a large rooms with most home styles, and there are no moving parts to break. They're great insulators, too. On the other hand, picture windows are expensive to replace, may increase unwanted heat gain in summer, and provide no ventilation.
- Hopper windows: Mounted sideways, hoppers can be installed in basements or in a row to add additional light to a dark room. They open inward, so they're poor choices for wet climates, where rain water can leak into the cellar.
New window styles: weighing the costs
No single window style is perfect for every home. For energy efficient, Low-E glass and windows with low U-values, you may spend more initially, but the money you save from improved insulation could be worth it in the long run. For Energy Star approved windows, you receive a 10 percent federal tax credit. The tax break on windows is capped at $200, but adding new doors and skylights can earn you up to $500 in tax savings.
Whatever style of window you choose, make sure that the window manufacturer you buy from has a reputation for quality. You will also want the cost of installation to be affordable and dependable. To best weigh your options: Know your price point. Choose a style. Then get your windows intalled. For a free window installation estimate, fill out the form on this page.