Sometimes, it’s good to go back to the basics. Here at BM Windows, we deal with replacement windows all day, every day. We forget sometimes that most people in San Diego have never purchased replacement windows before. They’ve probably never even thought about them before. They may have just assumed that when it’s time to buy new windows, they would just find a local contractor and pay him or her to purchase and install them on their behalf.
Once they start looking into replacement windows, however, they start to understand that it’s a bit more involved than that. They realize that it matters what brand and line of windows they purchase, and it also matters (quite a bit, in fact) who installs those windows.
If you’re just getting started in your search for replacement windows in San Diego, here are some important things we think you should know:
What Are Replacement Windows?
Let’s start from the beginning. What are replacement windows? (If you already know, feel free to skip to the next section.)
Replacement windows are windows that are installed within the frames of your current windows. When you place an order for replacement windows, careful measurements will be taken so your new windows will fit perfectly in the opening, once your old windows are removed.
You can replace old, drafty single pane windows with new, energy-efficient dual pane windows that are virtually airtight. This will help insulate your home from the outside elements, allowing you to spend less on your monthly heating and cooling bills.
One of the great things about replacement windows is that there is no damage to the surrounding walls during the installation. You won’t have to have your drywall, stucco, or siding repaired after having new windows installed. And when you choose the right replacement windows for your home, they will look like they were always a part of the home.
Just like any product on the market, there are varying levels of quality from brand to brand. You can get high-quality replacement windows that are extremely energy efficient and durable. Or, you can get cheap windows that will look good at first but that won’t hold up well over time and won’t give you the energy savings that you are likely looking for. Choosing the right replacement windows for your San Diego home is an important decision. Make sure you work with a company like BM Windows that will give you an honest assessment of the various brands and lines of replacement windows that are available in San Diego and help you get the best bang for your buck!
Different Types of Replacement Windows
As you look around your house, you will probably notice that you have several different styles of windows. You may have windows that slide open horizontally, and some that slide open vertically. There may be some windows in your home that don’t open at all and others that you open using a crank mechanism.
Different styles of windows have different pros and cons to them. You don’t have to understand all of them, but it’s important to work with a replacement window company that does!
Here is a general overview of the different types of replacement windows that are available in San Diego:
Sliding windows are defined as those that open and close by sliding one or more panels (called “sashes”) horizontally in a track or groove. In the category of sliding windows, you will typically see single sliders, double sliders, and 3-lite sliders. These types of windows are very common and will often be found in larger, ground-level rooms, such as family rooms and bedrooms.
Single hung windows and double hung windows are also very common in San Diego homes. These types of windows allow you to open and close them by sliding the sash vertically. You’ll often see these windows in smaller rooms, such as bathrooms and small bedrooms because they don’t take up a lot of wall space, but they still allow in a good amount of fresh air. Double hung windows are great for upstairs rooms because they allow you to clean the exterior glass from inside the house.
Casement windows are windows that open up via a cranking mechanism. The window swings open, away from the exterior of the home, just like a door does. These types of windows let in a ton of fresh air and provide you with a great view of the outdoors.
Awning windows are similar to casement windows in that they swing open, away from the exterior of the home, but in an awning window, the hinge is at the top, allowing the window to swing up instead of out. Awning windows are typically on the smaller side and are horizontally oriented. They are great for small rooms in which you want some ventilation, such as bathrooms.
A picture window is a type of window that is great for a room in which you want an unobstructed view of the outdoors, with no frames or screens to block it. Essentially, the frame of the window frames your view. A picture window is known as a “fixed sash” window, in that there is no sash that can be opened or closed.
Geometric windows are those that come in a variety of shapes, such as round, half-round, or octagon. Custom shapes are available as well. Geometric windows are often installed to add visual interest to a room. They are fixed sash windows that can’t be open or closed.
Bay and Bow Windows
Bay windows and bow windows aren’t technically types of windows, rather, they are ways in which multiple windows can be arranged. A bay window is an arrangement of three windows that project out from the exterior of the home. The windows are joined at 30- or 45-degree angles. Often, the center window will be a picture window, and the outside two windows will be operable (either casement windows or single hung windows).
A bow window is similar to a bay window, with the difference being that there are more individual windows in the setup. A bow window will have four or more panels, joined together at smaller angles for a more “rounded” look.
Bay and bow windows provide architectural interest to a home and are typically found in homes with more traditional styling.
Purchasing Replacement Windows for Your San Diego Home
There are lots of places from which replacement windows can be purchased—home improvement stores, replacement window companies, directly from replacement window manufacturers, or through general contractors. We highly recommend working with replacement window specialists at an independent replacement window company like BM Windows.
An independent company can give you access to multiple brands of replacement windows—some of which may not be available for the general public (or even general contractors) to purchase. A replacement window company can help you compare the various brands on the market and assist you in selecting the brand that is best for your home, based on your budget.
An independent replacement window company is also the most likely to provide you with expert installation. Replacement window installation is not as easy as the YouTube videos would have you believe. Our installers are well trained in the best installation methods. Proper installation ensures that your new windows will be as energy efficient as possible and will keep the manufacturer’s warranty intact. Make sure whoever you go with for your new windows provides you with expert installation, and doesn’t subcontract out the installation to individudals who aren’t trained specifically in window installation.
If you need more guidance in the replacement window purchasing process, take a look at our eBook on the topic: A Homeowner’s Guide to Buying Replacement Windows. It is free to download, and we don’t even require that you give us your email address to access it. It truly is a free resource that we hope will help you navigate the process.
If you have any questions about anything related to replacement windows, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to receive a quote on new windows, contact us at BM Windows.