How to Choose the Right Windows for Your Home Remodel

How to Choose the Right Windows for Your Home Remodel

January 27, 2019
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
the right window size

Renovating a house can be exciting. This is your chance to replace out-of-date building materials with energy efficient options that save you money while also helping to save the environment.

When it comes to finding and selecting the most energy efficient building materials for your home, it’s important to know how to pick the right window for reducing energy loss and adding value to your home.

Let’s take a look at a few things you’ll need to know before making your final decisions on how to make your house look its best.

Are you getting ready to remodel your home? Keep reading to learn how to choose the perfect windows for your home.

Choosing the Right Window Design

New windows have the ability to transform the look of a home, both from inside and out. Yet not every window style is right for every room. That’s why you have to know what to look for.

When shopping for windows, it’s important to keep in mind that different styles of windows serve different functions.

If you’re designing your home to be eco-friendly, you might want to consider a window design that moves away from radius-style window shapes such as circles or half-moons, due to the fact that they can’t be opened.

A better choice for this type of home would be active transom windows. These serve two purposes. The aesthetic purpose is that the casing on an active transom window is deep, thus it’s more attractive. The practical purpose is that they serve as an inlet for fresh air.

Choosing the Right Kind of Glass

The type of glass you choose for your window will have a significant impact on your home energy bill.

For example, a double-pane window made with low-E glass and a vacuum-seal argon fill might cost more upfront, but you’ll pay less to heat and cool your home. This type of window protects the inside of the house from UV rays and the sun’s heat during summer months and helps keep warm air from escaping during winter months.

Two of the factors you need to keep in mind in terms of window glass are the U-value and the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC).

U-value is the measure of a window’s resistance to heat loss. The SHGC measures the amount of heat that enters a home through the glass. For both of these measurements, you want the lowest number-rating possible.

Believe it or not, the most expensive windows don’t necessarily equal the highest quality. For example, choosing windows with triple-pane glass and denser gas doesn’t necessarily equate to greater insulating properties. In fact, you will likely end up spending more money with diminishing returns of energy efficiency.

Choosing the Right Kind of Frame

Now let’s take a look at the different types of window frame materials available on the market.


Aluminum is one of the more popular materials used for window frames. This is mostly an economic issue. Aluminum is cheap.

The material itself is not top-performing when it comes to heat loss and transfer, yet they tend to be strong and hold up well in rainy and humid climates.

Aluminum window frames also tend to work well in areas of the country that experience hurricane-level weather conditions.


Another inexpensive option for window frames is vinyl. Vinyl windows are a good choice for budget-conscious homeowners wanting maximum value for every dollar.

Vinyl might have a limited color selection, but they perform well against air leakage.


Composite windows mimic the look of wood yet are made from plastic resins and scrap wood shavings. This is recycled material, making it an ideal choice for homeowners who have a desire to use products that are environmentally friendly.


Fiberglass windows are more expensive than windows made of other materials, but many people consider them worth the price. After all, they are extremely energy efficient, offer low thermal conductivity, and are very durable and strong.

Fiberglass is technically considered a composite material, due to the mixture of glass fibers with polyester resins. And unlike vinyl windows, fiberglass window frames can be repainted and won’t warp or twist as wood and vinyl can.

Proper Installation

Each type of window has its own installation requirements. You can perform the installation on your own, but we highly recommend hiring a professional to ensure that the job is done right.

Remember that some windows are more efficient than others, and proper installation will have a significant impact on how well they perform. Keep in mind that flashing and proper caulking are necessary for preventing water leaks and other issues.

Making Your Home Look Its Best

When remodeling your home, the right window makes all the difference. For most homeowners, every dollar counts, yet cutting corners on the type of windows you install could end up costing you more money in the long run.

This article will help you make the right decisions when it comes to choosing windows. Because knowing how to pick windows will save you money while also keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Click here to see the best windows to enhance natural light.