f you are researching windows to install in your home and come across one called a bow window, don’t worry. It’s not a typo. Bay windows and bow windows are very similar, but not identical. If you are unsure which one best suits your space, learn more about what each has to offer.
</p><p><strong>Bay </strong></p><p>A bay window isLynn a three-paneled window that juts from your home, and typically features a window seat or storage bench below it, on the inside of the house. It is an attempt to bring the outside indoors. By creating the illusion that while in your living room, you’re simultaneously in your yard, the bay window creates a unique space in your room and eye appeal.</p><p><strong>Bow </strong></p><p>Bow windows are typically larger than bay windows, but serve a very similar purpose. Usually, bow windows have five panels, which cause them to curve like a bow instead of appearing more rigid like a bay window. The size makes them a prominent feature in your room, so it’s important that you have the wall space to incorporate them, and that you are comfortable with the light and exposure they allow.</p><p><strong>Customizing </strong></p><p>Once you have decided between bay and bow windows, the fun begins! You can customize with finishes such as:</p><p></p><ul> <li>Wood color</li> <li>Glass type</li> <li>Hardware</li> <li>Grilles</li> <li>Screens</li></ul><p>These choices will dramatically change the look of the window, so before you commit, envision the window with all of your selections. Have a good sense for the finished product before you head home. Otherwise, you may have an unpleasant surprise when the window arrives for installation. Once the window is in, you also have the opportunity to create a new internal space.
I can give you an absolute answer about who makes the best replacement windows. I know that you have probably come across a lost of differing opinions on this subject and what you will read below will also be contrary to what you have seen. Do read right to the end so you fully understand my angle.
First the best answer is simple, there is no one best company in the country that can claim to make the best replacement windows. Best is a subjective statement and is in the eyes of the beholder. Each company is best at something and not on some - hence the presence of strengths and weaknesses. Keep this in mind as I mention a few companies below.
Other than these there are other responses that came up when I asked about who makes the best replacement windows. These were not as prominently mentioned but they showed up in my list: Simonton, Softlite, Traco, Xact and Park Avenue windows.
Most of these best replacement window companies have representation all over the country and one branch can perform better than the other. So before you pick any of them you need to learn more about them especially about the one in your area.
Replacement Windows: No Big Secrets, Some Negative Aspects? (Part 1)With the price of heating and cooling rising almost daily I started looking at my old windows and wondering if it wouldn't be worth it to replace them with newer, more energy efficient ones. I had read about Energy Star® Ratings and how they are (supposedly) indicative of the most energy efficient appliances and building materials available.I started to do a little internet research to see if it would be a good investment to install more efficient windows in our townhouse. I wanted to find out if they could really pay for themselves and how long the payback period would take.After a little searching I found a simple calculation that will yield your payback period for installing new energy efficient windows.According to Energy Star, "An average household spends over 40 percent of its annual energy budget on heating and cooling costs. You could reduce those bills by up to 15 percent with ENERGY STAR® windows."We can break that claim down into a simple formula:(Your average monthly energy bill (if you have gas and electric just add them together) X.4 ) X.15 = projected savings per month. Divide this number into the cost of upgrading your windows and you have how many months it would take to recoup your investment.To make a long story short, projected savings are 6% of your monthly energy bill.For our house the calculation looks something like this:Average month's electric bill: $141.20* Times 6% X.06 = Avg energy savings per month $8.472Cost to replace 6 windows with Energy Star windows: Approx $330 (at the low end) per window X 6 windows = $1980 (if you have special tax rebates available in your area subtract those from your total).Next I figured out the projected payback period:$1980 / $8.472 = 233 months or 19.5 years (Update: since I wrote this article the Energy tax credit has been phased back in, so you would subtract the $1500 credit available (0r 30% of the cost of the windows not including instalation costs and take whichever is smaller) before dividing by monthly usage ratio. In the example you would take 1980-1500 = 480 and divide by 8.472 = 56.66 months until payback).Based on my math the investment without the tax credit hardly seemed practical. I calculated this based on costs which include installing the windows myself. Now including the tax credit in our calculation the payback period is 4.72 years, making it a very worthwhile investment, to get that return on an investment I'd have to get a 50% return on your money....pretty good huh?)You can take this same calculation to decide between replacing your windows with cheaper ones or going for the added expense of putting Energy Star rated windows in, just subtract the cost of the cheaper windows from the cost of the Energy Star windows and see the projected payout period differential.While the additional expense doesn't seem worth it for my project, perhaps with better tax rebates available in your area, and/or a higher energy bill it may be worthwhile for you. Just remember before making any major purchase, first DO THE MATH!*Note: I already knew my average monthly bill, but you can get a fairly accurate estimate of the average for your home by calling your local utility and asking them about their monthly budget plan. The budget plan amount for your house and family will be a fairly accurate estimate of your monthly energy bill customized to your home size, number of occupants, and your geographic area.
Replace Your Old Windows With New Vinyl Double-Hung WindowsWith energy costs on the rise, more and more homeowners are looking at ways to save money on heating and cooling. Reducing energy usage is also a high priority for many as environmental issues are moving to the forefront of media attention. If you're looking to cut back on energy costs and usage, replacing your older, leaky windows is actually one of the most efficient solutions!Old single pane windows are surprisingly inefficient. Because they are not insulated and typically aren't treated with heating-reflecting or low-E coatings, they allow a great deal of heat transfer in and out. Meaning whether you're cooling or heating your home, some of your energy is escaping through the thin glass of your windows. And, if your windows are broken or damaged, they're probably leaking, regardless of whether they're single or double paned.To make your home more energy efficient, you need replacement windows. In fact, according to a Consumer Reports October 2007 article, double pane replacement windows can save you between 10% and 25% on energy costs annually (vs. single pane windows). You'll want to select new windows with insulating features for the greatest energy savings; options include heat-reflecting film, double panes, low-E coatings, and argon gas filled windows. Many windows include more than one of these elements for superior energy retention. More than 50% of replacement windows in the U.S. are vinyl: these windows are relatively inexpensive and low-maintenance as well as frequently including energy efficient features.Replacement windows are available in practically every size and style, from double-hung windows to picture windows, so no matter what type of windows you have in your home, a replacement is likely available. Custom sizes do tend to have higher price tags, but don't forget that energy savings will eventually offset the cost of window replacement.Ideally, you'll want to replace all of the older windows in your home, but you'll also see impressive energy savings by simply replacing damaged windows or even doors. You'd be amazed at how much warm air a cracked window or a door with crumbling weather stripping can let in or out!Your windows and doors are more than just aesthetic elements of your home: they also protect you and your family from wind, precipitation, and storms. Quality, energy-efficient replacement windows are the best way to safeguard your family and decrease your energy costs at the same time. Contact your local window contractor today to learn more about replacement window installation in your home!