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Windows, Skylights & Solar Hot Water

The Residential construction industry has seen an explosion in window types and manufacturers. The days of single-pane, wood windows and divided light grilles are gone. But what windows are right for me ? To help answer this question, lets first point out that Residential Windows can be broken down into two (2) main categories; New Construction Style and Replacement Style. You may be currently asking yourself:

When should I go to New Construction Style?

  • If your existing window frames have rot. - We can't install a new replacement style window in a rotted frame.
  • If I have a window style that cannot be done as a replacement. - Eg. Casement Windows, Bow Windows, Sliding Windows, Whole Bay Windows and Awnings.

When should I go to Replacement Style?

  • If your existing window manufacturer is out of business and you need a Custom Sized Replacement unit to match up.
  • If you don't want the hassle of added paint or stain work
  • If cost is more important than losing a little glass area

We'll make sense of all this by taking a look at the different style options and manufacturers. Some examples and descriptions of each are as follows:

New Construction Style

A new construction window has a structural frame with a nailing flange. They are available in three (3) different styles; Vinyl, Aluminum Clad / Wood Interior and All Wood. Vinyl is the cheapest and All Wood is the most expensive (See manufacturers and options for more info). They are installed by:

  1. Framing the opening ( If required )
  2. Installing the window
  3. Installing trim on the exterior and interior
Advantages
  • You don't lose any glass, like you would with a replacement style window
  • Everything is new, including framing, insulation and trim
Disadvantages
  • Higher cost than Replacement style
  • Some manufacturers available sizes may not match up with the specialty sizes in your house
  • More painting or staining is required because of the new exterior and interior trim

Replacement Style

A replacement style window has no nailing flange and is placed within an existing window’s framed-opening. They are available in two (2) different styles; Vinyl and Aluminum Clad / Wood Interior. Vinyl is the cheapest and Aluminum Clad / Wood Interior is the most expensive (See manufacturers and options for more info). They are installed by:

  1. Removing the existing window sashes / panes
  2. Installing the window unit
  3. Installing trim or coverage to the exterior and interior (if required).
Advantages
  • Lower cost than New Construction style
  • Faster installation and less painting or staining required because the interior casing is usually not replaced.
  • Custom made-to-fit your house
Disadvantages
  • You lose glass area by placing a window within a window.
  • You still have the old existing framing

Manufacturers and Options:

Now that we know the difference between a New Construction Style window and a Replacement Style window, lets look at some manufacturers and unit options. There are hundreds of window manufacturers in the U.S., but generally we have experienced the highest demand for the following companies:

casement windowCasement
Hinged windows with sash that swing outward, to the right or left

casement windowAwning
Windows, hinged at the top, in which the bottom of the sash swing outward

casement windowDouble-Hung
A window with two vertically sliding sash in a single frame


casement windowGliding
Windows with two sash, at least one of which slides horizontally past the other

casement windowPicture / Transom
Rectangular windows that do not open. Placed individually or above another

casement windowSpecialty
Windows in unusual sizes or shapes that do not open.

casement windowBay & Bow
Configuration of three or more windows projecting out from a home in an angled or curved formation.

Harvey Windows
Harvey Windows and Doors
(Window Sizes Made-To-Order)
- Vinyl New Construction & Replacement style
- Aluminum Clad / Wood New Construction & Replacement style

Harvey Windows are made locally in New Hampshire. They offer all the same unit options on glass, grille and colors as the larger manufacturers, but usually at a lower price. Harvey’s, however, can be ordered in a wide variety of configurations which can sometimes make it difficult for consumers to compare bids.

Andersen Windows
Andersen Windows and Doors
(Window Sizes Standard and Made-To-Order)
- Aluminum Clad / Wood New Construction style
- Aluminum Clad / Wood Replacement style [Woodwright Replacement]

Andersen Windows and Doors is a nationally recognized window and door manufacturer. They provide a good quality unit at a market average price. They can be ordered in a wide variety of configurations. Andersen has also entered the market as a “Franchised Installer,” selling a lesser-quality unit only through franchised dealers. This makes it difficult for homeowners to assess bids.

Pella/Marvin Windows
Pella/Marvin Windows and Doors
(Window Sizes Standard)
- Aluminum Clad / All Wood New Construction style

Both manufacturers represent the more elite quality of Window and Door Products. Additionally, both have their own Pro’s and Con’s and are very similar to Andersen in that they sell lesser-quality units through limited dealers.