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OTHER/NOT SURE
Select this option if you need multiple types or assistance in determining the best type for your project.

SKYLIGHTS
Allow natural light into top floor rooms such as attics that may not have walls for windows.

AWNING WINDOWS
Like casement windows, they crank out, but the sash opens upward instead of sideways.

STORM WINDOWS Protect older windows against energy inefficiency and are an economical option.

SLIDER/GLIDER
These windows feature a sliding track allowing the sashes to move left and right.

SINGLE HUNG WINDOWS Only the bottom sash opens. The top half of the window is stationary.

DOUBLE HUNG
Both sashes move up and down. Generally both sashes will pop in for easy cleaning.

BAY/BOW WINDOWS Generally protrude out from the exterior wall of a home, creating a wide view and wide window sill inside.

CASEMENT WINDOWS These windows crank out and allow maximum air flow in and out of a home.

BASEMENT EGRESS These maximize light in a basement and are also used for safety.

Some brands our contractors use

Composite Replacement Windows

Composite windows are a line of products that make the distinctive claim of offering the best qualities of both vinyl and wood. These products are made from some of the same materials that have become so popular in use for deck building. They are gaining in popularity in window manufacturing for the same reasons: they offer an attractive look that more closely resembles that of wood than it does vinyl, while delivering the same low maintenance performance that characterizes their vinyl counterparts.

Concern for aesthetics is sometimes the top issue buyers have when they are trying to select the right window materials to go with. While price is always at the front of our minds and performance is certainly not far behind, anyone getting ready to make this kind of financial investment in their home has to wonder what the end product will look like and how it will fit in with the general architecture and décor of the home. In today's houses the look of a composite is completely appropriate and even preferable to other materials if wood frames are being removed for performance reasons but the look of wood is still desired. In more modern homes the distinctive look of composite offers something to think about for the most discriminating consumer. Composite windows are gaining ground in popularity as they get more publicity and as prices come down.

Performance of Composite Windows

Composite window frames compare favorably with wood frames or aluminum replacement windows as far as thermal properties are concerned, but composites deliver much better resistance to moisture and decay. The BTUs lost per hour on composite windows is extremely low compared with steel, aluminum, and even glass. These frames are made from the same resins used in the manufacture of automobiles, which is a telling sign of the strength and durability of these products as well as their ability to retain their color and resist color fade over time. Certainly this is one observed weakness in certain vinyl materials, although it is one that has been addressed to some extent with newer products.

Anyone looking to replace windows in their home ought to at least take a look at this material option as something to keep in mind. The incredible strength, heat and impact resistance of this material makes it ideally suited for use in residential window applications. And the composition of the window frame itself is also significant, drawing from many materials that would have otherwise been scrapped or thrown out. The reused wood involved in the process, for example, would otherwise be discarded if it were not utilized for these unique windows.

Building Material Composites and Recycling

Many manufacturers and salespeople will tout the recyclable nature of these composite windows, and certainly this feature deserves some consideration. But a few points must be hit upon to fully cover this area. First of all, there is currently no requirement for manufacturers to reveal the post consumer content of these products. Composite windows potentially could be made from significant post consumer content, but this is not necessarily always the case. And second, it is not always clear how the products actually break down or how they would be disposed of if a house were later dismantles for one reason or another.

So the recyclability of composite windows is still largely unknown at least in public circles. But with that being said, it is possible to know a little bit about what has gone into composite replacement windows even if manufacturers are not mandated to share it. Some are willing to give this information, even going so far as to include it on the product packaging. Replacement composite storm windows that were made with reused or recycled vinyl or other plastics are environmentally friendly in the sense that their manufacture did not create additional atmospheric emissions.

As with any other plastic material, there is always the potential danger of off gassing. But thanks to the rigid structural design and relative inflexibility of these windows, composites generally do little off gassing, something that is important to remember when considering their overall environmental impact. This type of consideration has to be done with any artificially produced material, and not just in windows. But composite windows appear to score very well in this particular category.

Proper Composite Window Installation

As with any similar product, proper installation is critical to the energy efficiency of composites. Anyone who has spent enough time and is willing to spend the money to choose these products should also take care to designate a qualified installer. Our site allows users to locate top window companies in their home area. Take the time to consider all the possibilities before making a choice, and remember that finding a good installer is just as important as picking the right composite replacement windows.

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