Posts Tagged ‘best windows to buy’

What Are The Best Windows To Buy?

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Often people ask me, “Marty, what are the best windows to buy? Aluminum, Wood, PVC or Hybrid?”

When it comes to the environment, most windows and doors today are energy efficient especially if you buy ones that are Energy Star Rated with thermal glass, low E coating and argon gas. When it comes to decor, cost and durability, however, differences become more apparent.

The first question I ask my clients is, what do you want to look at?

Let me give you a few things to think about.

Windows made of aluminum inside and out are the least popular today. Aluminum has become more costly and is much colder to the touch in the winter and seems to radiate cold off the aluminum.  Decorating options are limited with aluminum, mostly bright white inside and a few more colours for the outside. Again – what do you want to look at?

Which brings us to why PVC windows have become more popular. They are very energy efficient. Although they are mostly bright white plastic inside and out, they are the least expensive, are warmer to the touch and don’t give off that feeling of cold that aluminum does.

Wood windows are often the preferred choice. They are warm to the touch, are highly energy efficient and create a much richer look.  Wood windows give you unlimited decorating options as they can be painted or stained any colour to suit any interior decor.

The outside of the house is another matter. What goes best with the colour of your brick or stone ? Here is where the term “Hybrid” comes in. What that means is combining two materials – aluminum outside, wood or PVC  on the inside. For the outside of a house aluminum is very durable and is factory painted in many available colours with a finish that is guaranteed for many years. In addition, it makes the exterior of wood windows maintenance free, protecting the wood from the elements.

When shopping for windows, you may become confused by terminology that doesn’t really mean much to you. You see your friends‘ windows and they tell you how happy they are. My advice: Drive around and look and see what white plastic looks like on a dark brick or a rich stone house and ask yourself, “what do I want to look at?” then call in a professional to get a real assessment of your needs.