Replacement Windows Reviews

 and Research
Updated July 31, 2014

Replacement Windows Reviews and Research

1. ConsumerReports.org Home Windows, ConsumerReports.org, As of August 2014
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ConsumerReports.org rates and ranks replacement windows made of clad-wood, vinyl and fiberglass, looking at both double hung and casement styles. You'll also find a helpful buyer's guide that includes information on things to look for when shopping for a window, choosing and dealing with an installer, and special precautions to take when children might be around.
2. Remodeling & Makeovers magazine 2014 Cost vs Value Report, Remodeling & Makeovers magazine, As of August 2014
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Each year, Remodeling magazine surveys popular home improvement and remodeling projects, comparing their costs nationally, regionally, and in major cities, and then reporting on how much of that cost homeowners are likely to recoup when their house is sold. Those projects include window replacement, using both clad-wood and vinyl products.
3. This Old House All About Wood Windows, This Old House
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This slide show walks you through the benefits of wood windows, including wood replacement windows. Topics include how to tell if your old windows need replacing, costs of windows, installation and more.
4. Kiplinger.com Everything You Need to Know About Replacement Windows, Kiplinger.com, October 2013
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This article is a good primer on replacement windows. It discusses how to decide if your project is right for replacement windows, or whether a more complex remodeling job using new-construction windows is the way to go. Advice on types of windows and how to find a dealer and or installer can also be found.
5. Minneapolis Star-Tribune Window Replacement Part 2: Materials and Methods, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Jan. 21, 2014
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Minneapolis area contractor Ryan Carey shares his take on different types of replacement windows in this guest blog post. Topics discussed are popular types of replacement windows and when a new construction window is called for instead of a replacement window. Other parts of this three-part series offer hints on dealing with replacement-window salespeople, and Carey's takes on some major window manufacturers.
6. National Fenestration Rating Council Replacement Windows, National Fenestration Rating Council, As of August 2014
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The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is an independent organization that tests doors, windows and skylights, and rates them on several measures of energy efficiency (Energy Star qualification is based on two of the NFRC ratings). The NFRC fact sheets and a directory of NFRC-certified products are especially useful.
7. Efficient Windows Collaborative Replacement Windows for Existing Homes , Efficient Windows Collaborative
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The Efficient Windows Collaborative website is a joint project of the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota, the Alliance to Save Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The site is full of useful information about how to choose the best replacement windows for your climate and how to make sure they are installed properly.
8. DoItYourself.com A Guide to Choosing Replacement Windows, DoItYourself.com
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This article provides a brief primer on the different types of replacement windows. The pros and cons of wood, vinyl, aluminum, clad-wood, fiberglass and other windows are provided.
9. Inman News Best windows: vinyl, aluminum or wood?, Inman News, June 3, 2011
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This article on Inman News, a site for real estate brokers and agents, discusses the different types of replacement windows, and whether or not replacing your windows makes sense in the first place. He suggests that if you do plan to replace windows, you opt for wood if you already have wood windows, aluminum if you have aluminum, and to avoid vinyl altogether for aesthetic reasons.
10. About.com Vinyl vs. Fiberglass Windows, About.com
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Home renovations expert Lee Wallender compares vinyl windows to fiberglass ones. He notes that fiberglass is superior in most respects, but that lower cost makes vinyl still worth considering.
11. Angie's List Pros and cons of vinyl vs aluminum windows, Angie's List, July 17, 2014
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Angie's List owner Angie Hicks gives her take on whether to opt for vinyl or aluminum replacement windows. Vinyl gets the nod in most instances, though those living in mild climates that are also hurricane prone might find aluminum a worthwhile alternative. General advice on shopping for windows and hiring an installer are also provided.
12. CalFinder.com Window Replacement, CalFinder.com, As of August 2014
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CalFinder.com is a nationwide contractor referral service. This blog includes a wealth of information on topics related to replacing or updating your windows. You can also search for additional articles and topics, which are scattered across this sprawling site.
13. GreenHomeGuide.com Windows, GreenHomeGuide.com, As of August 2014
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Building pros answer questions from readers in this forum. A search under the topic "windows" brings up a series of questions and answers about how green and/or energy efficient different types of windows are and how to improve existing windows' performance.
14. Sensible Home Fiberglass replacement windows are efficient, maintenance-free, Sensible Home
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Home expert Jim Dulley shares his take on fiberglass replacement windows. His opinion is that the advantages of fiberglass makes the initial extra cost worthwhile. Dulley also offers a downloadable PDF file that lists some of the options available from various window companies. Although not dated, it appears that much of the information is still current.
15. Remodeling & Makeovers magazine Why Fiberglass Windows Are Gaining Popularity, Remodeling & Makeovers magazine, July 17, 2013
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This article deals with the growing popularity of Fiberglass windows. It notes that, for now, Fiberglass remains a niche product, with just 2.6 percent of the replacement window market. However, growing awareness -- partly because more manufacturers are offering them -- could push its share higher. Because of cost, however, wood and vinyl will continue to be more popular.
16. NACHI.org Vinyl Windows, NACHI.org
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The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors posts this article on the positives and negatives of vinyl windows. While the content is aimed at new construction windows, much applies to replacement windows as well. Nick Gromicko and Rob London conclude that home inspectors should be on the lookout for certain defects that are unique to vinyl windows.
17. American Architectural Manufacturers Association Vinyl Windows: An Impressive Growth History, American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Mar. 27, 2013
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Joe Hums of Quanex Building Products discusses the AAMA's 2011/2012 market study for the door and window industry, and what it says about vinyl new construction and replacement windows. In general, he notes, vinyl has become an overwhelming favorite among window buyers. He cites energy efficiency, low maintenance, durability and affordability as reasons why.
18. American Architectural Manufacturers Association Fiberglass: Green and Sustainability, American Architectural Manufacturers Association
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This article on the AAMA web site addresses the environmental factors that make fiberglass a good replacement window choice. Issues addressed include fiberglass's energy efficiency, its chief ingredients, and recycling.
19. Buildllc.com Top 10 Things to Know About Aluminum Windows, Buildllc.com, Dec. 11, 2012
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The architects at Build LLC lay out the reasons why they use aluminum windows in many of their projects. They cite cost, functionality and the materials clean lines. The poorer energy efficiency of aluminum is addressed, but dismissed as being outweighed by aluminum's advantages: "We believe that the potential energy loss through the frame is more than offset by the durability, low maintenance and clean aesthetic," they say.
20. DIY Network How to Install a Replacement Window, DIY Network
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This instructional guide includes a video overview and demonstrates how to replace a double-hung window. Other instructions on the site show you how to install a window sash replacement kit, how to repair and repaint old window sashes and more.
21. Contractor Talk Windows, Siding and Doors, Contractor Talk, As of August 2014
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Contractors discuss their experiences with different types and brands of windows in this online forum. This is a great site to look for specific information and opinions from people with experience in the building industry.
22. GardenWeb.com Windows Forum, GardenWeb.com, As of August 2014
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Homeowners discuss and ask questions here; you can post your own question or search for information about specific windows or types of windows. It can be a little hard to sort through some back-and-forth and find information you can trust, but it's worth reading.