Replacement Window FAQ

If you have questions about windows we have answers. Our replacement window FAQ page is the best resource on the entire internet. We’ll start out with some questions and answers to get the ball rolling. If you have questions that have not yet been answered post a common below and we’ll answer your questions for everyone to see.

What is the best window frame material?

Common window frame materials are vinyl, composite, fiberglass and wood.

For most residential projects vinyl windows are the best option. Vinyl windows will be durable, energy efficiency and cost effective. Fiberglass and composite windows will generally be more expensive and less efficient with higher air infiltration rates. Wood windows are also more expensive and they need more upkeep. That is why vinyl windows make up a huge share of the market.

Are block and tackle balances better than constant force balances?

Yes. Windows with upgraded hardware like block and tackle balances are general considered to be nicer windows. The upgraded hardware is typically tested to last longer and operate better.

Can you get prices for windows online?

Yes. In the past you could only get prices for replacement windows from an in-home salesperson. That was a process that many customers were unhappy with. Now you can get prices for windows online with no pushy salesman in your living room. You can get a window quote completely online here.

Are all windows custom made?

No. Most companies that make windows for remodeling projects will use custom made windows. This is the case because every house is different and the windows need to fit into the existing openings without modifying the walls.

New construction windows will often come in standard sizes since builders can just plan for the standard sizes when designing the house.

Do all windows use virgin vinyl?

Yes. Almost all replacement windows available today will use virgin vinyl in the frames and sashes. Window salesmen will still try to scare people by saying that “the other guys” use recycled or regrind vinyl, but that’s just not true. It hasn’t been true for a very long time. Find common window sales tactics here and info on virgin vinyl here.

How much should windows cost in 2022?

As with everything in 2022 prices for replacement windows are up. The exact pricing can vary quite a lot based on the nature of the project and the amount of commission the salesman wants to make. In general basic vinyl replacement windows will run between $600 and $100o per window installed. Some features and options can be more expensive. Find more info on 2022 window prices here.

How long does it take to get new windows in 2022?

The supply chain issues of 2021 and 2022 have impacted replacement windows. Most manufacturers are on extended lead times due to covid issues and increased demand. In the last custom windows would routinely be available in 2-3 weeks. Today that’s likely to be a bit longer. In our company we’re seeing projects completed 10-14 weeks from when the customer placed the order. Some product lines can take even longer. It’s important to ask your dealer or installer for timing estimates. Find more info on how long it takes to get windows in 2022 here.

What are the best replacement windows to get in 2022?

The best high quality windows of 2022 are:
1. Gentek Signature Elite
2. Revere Berkshire Elite
3. Okna 600 Series
4. Sunrise

There are many models out there and the best option for you will depend on the local dealer offering the windows. There is no need to buy windows from a dealer you don’t like or a dealer who doesn’t treat you well. You can always find someone else offering a perfectly good solution.

What is a good window warranty?

Most nicer window companies will offer lifetime warranties on their windows. That means the warranty will last as long as you own the house and it may be transferable when you sell the house.

Some window manufacturers will offer glass breakage warranties too which can be a very nice feature. Sometimes this warranty is included and sometimes it’s available for an additional cost. Be sure you ask your dealer for the warranty info so you know what to expect down the road.

Can you buy replacement windows online?

Absolutely. There’s no need to deal with some pushy window salesman sitting in your living room. You can order windows completely online. Then they’ll be custom measured, custom manufactured and professionally installed. This service is available in most of the country and you can find information and get an online window quote here.

Do all replacement windows have double strength glass?

No. Most nicer replacement windows will come with double strength glass, but cheaper options will not. For example, many Simonton models will come standard with single strength glass since these are cheaper windows.

Double strength glass is thicker which makes it stronger and more durable. You should pick double strength glass when available as it will make for a better result.

Do replacement windows go on sale?

No. Often times pushy in-home salesmen will tell you there is a sale that just so happens to expire today. They tell everyone this so that they can try to get you to sign a contract on the spot with no time to think it over. This is just a window sales gimmick and is not based in reality. It is also a sign that you’re getting a bad deal as people selling a good value don’t need to play sill games like that.

Is a neighborhood discount on windows a good deal?

No. This is a sales gimmick that has been used for decades and it is typically a sign that the company is trying to manipulate you. There are many window companies who will send out teams of people to canvas a neighborhood. They knock on doors and tell everyone that they’re working in the neighborhood and can offer special pricing while they’re in the area. They say this to everyone, there is nothing special about the pricing. In fact these companies are usually the most expensive companies in the area. Find window sales tactics here and lies told by window salesmen here.

Why are window salesmen so annoying?

It’s just the nature of the business. Typically home improvement projects are sold by commission salespeople so they need to close the deal in order to get paid. They usually have a lot of discretion when pricing the projects and they get paid more commission when they sell the projects for a higher cost.

This is a very old fashioned business model. Many companies, like Window Universe, are moving away from that model and are offering clear and transparent pricing. This is still the exception as most window companies are still living in the past.

Are fiberglass windows better than vinyl windows?

No. The only real advantage to fiberglass windows is the look. They can look very nice. The downsides are that fiberglass windows are more expensive than vinyl windows and they’re often less efficient with higher (worse) air infiltration rates.

Fiberglass window salesmen will make claims about the strength, durability or the expansion and contraction. None of that is based in reality. The only real advantage of a fiberglass window is the look. If the look is not worth the substantially higher cost then vinyl will make more sense. Vinyl windows are the most popular type by a wide margin.

Does argon gas leak out of a window over time?

No. Sometimes customers worry that the argon gas will leak out of their windows and they won’t know it. They are afraid that they’ll be left with less efficient windows and won’t be aware that anything has happened. That’s not how it works.

If the seal were to fail on an insulated window the argon gas could leak out. In that case something would need to leak into the glass unit to fill the space. If outside air gets into an insulated glass unit there will be moisture or condensation between the panes of glass. You’ll know it right away and that would be covered by the warranty on most replacement windows.

Is it easy to replace a window sash?

Yes. Most manufacturers design their windows to be very easy to service. If you have a window that breaks or a seal failure with moisture between the panes you can typically order a new sash from the manufacturer and install it yourself in a matter of minutes.

If you don’t know the original manufacturer or if they are no longer in business this gets much more difficult as a replacement sash won’t be available. In that case you can order a new insulated glass unit and install it into the existing sash. This can be harder and may require a professional, or at least an adventurous DIY type of person.

What is Low-e glass?

Low-e stands for low emissivity and it means there’s a coating on the glass that reflects the heat from the sun. This is something that is offered by every window manufacturer and it’s required by the building codes in many areas. Low-e glass makes the windows substantially more energy efficient.

How can you find a good window company?

Finding a good window company is harder than ever these days. The barrier to entry is low so there are always new companies who say they’re the best but they might really be much riskier than you think.

You can find our recommendations for the best window companies in the country right here. That’s the best resource we know of for finding the best replacement window company.

Do you have a question about replacement windows that was not answered? 

Post a comment below to let us know. We’ll add your question to the list so everyone has more info. If you think we’re wrong about anything post that too and we’ll be happy to address your concern.

You can also find detailed window reviews hererecommended window companies here and common window sales tactics here.

Happy window shopping!

Update: We now have more recommend LOCAL window companies than ever before.   Click here to see who we recommend in your town.  It's 100% free.  You'll thank me.  There is no better resource; you're going to love it.  See for yourself right here.  

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