As a husband, one of the things that drives me nuts is “window shopping”. I go shopping when I need to buy something. I choose the store I will buy it from, I walk in and buy it. Simple as that. Unfortunately, that is the worst thing you could do in building a house. You must be knowledgeable about all your options, the different places you can buy, and finding the happy medium of quality and what fits your budget. There are about 5-6 important items in the house that can make or break your budget (flooring, kitchen, doors, siding,HVAC, and bathrooms). Lucky for you we will talk about all of those, but for today I am going to hit some highlights on window shopping.
Windows are easily misunderstood. They are made out of different materials, different shapes and sizes, different designs, and different glasses. All of these options make the price of the windows vary GREATLY!~ Here is what i mean:
- Materials- Vinyl, Wood, Aluminum, Fiberglass, Composite, and Wood-Clad
- Shapes and sizes- Some brands have default shapes and sizes. Other brands will custom make to your wishes.
- Design type- Double-Hung, Casement, Picture, Bay, Awning, Gliding
- Glasses- Gas filled (Argon or Krypton are most efficient), Heat-Absorbing Tints, Low-Emission Coatings, Reflective Coatings, Single-Pane, Double-Pane, Triple-Pane
Here is an awesome link from the Consumer Report website that is all legit information and gives the basic information and helps understand different types of windows and what to look for to achieve the right window for your budget.
Windows for a new-construction, depending on amount of windows, can range from $4,000-18,000 for an average home.
Most commonly used windows are vinyl. It is an affordable option, without sacrificing efficiency. Fiberglass windows are probably the most efficient and most pricey.
The common size window in a new home is 3’x5′ double-hung. That means the window is made of 3 pieces- frame, upper sash, lower sash. Each sash can be removed from the frame for cleaning or replacing.
Double-hung windows are commonly stacked side-by-side to create a larger window. They are usually referred to as “double 3’x5′” and “triple 3’x5′” such as the window below:
Do your homework with the reputable window dealers in your area and make sure you are getting the best product you can that fits within your budget.
Consult your contractor on what windows he has used and get his/her take on what is a good brand and the pro and cons he/she has worked with. It is one thing to buy a good window, but remember that down the road if something happens to your windows you want to make sure you are buying from a company with a warranty and good service to ensure you get a good response to fix the problems you are having. To us, we feel like the service for your windows is worth just as much as what you spend on your windows. You want to know you can depend on the service you are getting for your windows.
As a wife, if all this information is not enough and you have already picked what type of window and the brand well guess what there is more. Take a look at what is around your window… Let’s start with the outside. In the above picture you see windows with shutters and a decretive crown above the window. Be thinking when you pick your windows if you want both of these or one or the other. Also think if you want thick border of trim around the window shown below, or just the vinyl regular thin casing around the window. All of these except the standard thin border of vinyl that is standard with windows will cost extra so make sure you factor this into your budget.
Now for the inside. Their are 2 types of the way your window can look: You can have dry wall return windows or windows with trim here are 2 examples so you know what i mean:
One thing we feel like we have found out so far is if you feel like you need the BEST of everything in your house, you will end up building a house that you can’t afford, and may not be able to live in it as long as you would like. Keep in mind you can add decorative or more elaborate trim and moldings later, don’t let it break your bank. If you like shutters but its over your budge hang tight you can add them later. So stay strong, stick to your budget, and all will work out!
Thanks for reading and letting us share our journey of building our home with you! We love your feedback and your questions. Please share with a friend!
-Shannon and Jamie