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Custom or Standard Windows? How to Decide

Custom or Standard Windows? How to Decide

When you’re remodeling or having a new home built, the type of windows you’ll have installed is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Windows, like doors, are among the first things people notice when they look at your property. They set the stage for enjoyable times spent with friends and family. They also play a large role in buyer interest, when the time to sell your home comes.

Like many things in life, there are several options to consider when purchasing and installing new windows. Safety, durability, function, and aesthetics all play a role.

Thankfully, it’s possible to narrow down the decision and select windows that work best for you and your lifestyle. Here’s how:

Assess Your Goals

The first step in deciding whether to get custom or standard windows is to take an honest look at your wants and needs, understanding that styles and preferences will change as time goes on.

There are times when the details of a home’s structure will make the decision for you. For instance, irregular sizing will require the use of custom windows. Other times, it will make more sense to match custom windows to the existing home design, rather than trying to update standards windows to fit in with the overall flow.

As you make these choices, it’s a good idea to keep cost in mind. Custom windows require patching, filling, trimming, and adjustments. Unless you’re an expert at window installation, you will likely need to solicit the services of a qualified professional.

Inspect the Situation

If your existing window frames are in good condition, you might not have to replace them. This will allow you to keep the existing interior and exterior trim, which maintains the current appearance. All of this adds up to cost savings.

In other scenarios, you might get away with only having to replace the sash. Provided it’s compatible with the old frame, this is another way to save.          

There are times, however, where it makes both fiscal and environmental/health sense to replace the entire window and start fresh with a new unit. For instance, if your windows are single pane, or your sashes and frames are temperature-conductive, you should consider replacing them. Windows that don’t function properly (don’t open/shut or are difficult to operate) pose a safety risk to you and your loved ones.

Remove the Glass Guesswork

Quickly becoming the ‘go-to’ request from homeowners, double-pane, low emissivity (Low-E) windows filled with a vacuum-sealed argon gas contribute to markedly lower utility bills. Providing increased insulation over single pane windows, this option keeps out heat and harmful UV rays during the summer, and keeps heat from escaping during the colder months.

Those who live in harsher climates — including areas subject to severe weather such as tornadoes and hurricanes — often opt for sturdy and impact-resistant triple-pane windows.

Many windows can also be outfitted with a UV-repellent tinting film. Unnoticeable to the naked eye, this option helps preserve paint and hardware, in addition to keeping the house cooler than un-tinted windows.

Don’t Forget the Frame

While frames “finish” the look of any window, they go beyond mere aesthetics. Quality frames contribute to the life of the entire unit. In addition, they complement the home design, both inside and out. There are many frame options to choose from, including vinyl, wood (and wood-clad), aluminum, composite, and fiberglass.

Serving Florida customers for more than 60 years, we’re experts at building and installing materials that can withstand the sometimes harsh environment of the Sunshine State. Contact us today to discuss the best windows and frames for your physical and environmental requirements.

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