Tips for Finding the Perfect Windows

"If eyes are the windows to our souls, then windows are the eyes into the soul of a house." -Rose Tarlow

Windows are important not just functionally but also for the aesthetics and curb appeal of your home. They accent the home, provide light and beauty. When choosing new windows, whether it’s to upgrade or replace existing windows, it’s important to select the right ones. 

However, when it comes to buying new windows the styles and options can become very overwhelming very quickly. There are many places to shop from, different brands to choose from and all with varying styles, materials and prices.

Choosing the right windows can be a challenge for homeowners and contractors alike. But, as a building supplier who works with many brands, we understand what’s necessary for finding the perfect windows for a home. We wanted to share those tips with you so you too can find the perfect windows for your home improvement project.

Below you will find 7 tips that will help you understand how to select the perfect windows. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out.


Understand the house’s architectural style

Every house is created with an architectural style in mind. As you’ve seen driving through various towns and neighborhoods, homes vary greatly in looks and styles. These styles all have their own unique aesthetics and key features that give it that special look.

One of the particular aesthetic features is the windows used. By understanding a home’s architectural style, one is able to get a starting point for what type of windows they should use. 

Here are some examples of architectural home styles one might find. 

  • Colonial
  • Farmhouse
  • Contemporary
  • Greek revival
  • Mediterranean
  • Ranch style
  • Victorian

This is just to name a few. 

The benefit of identifying a house’s architectural style is that it gives clues as to what windows you would want to consider. 

For example, a farmhouse style or colonial house may use simple yet elegant double-hung windows. While a contemporary house may use specially designed custom windows. 

Keep in mind that not every style will necessarily follow the same building designs. With modern versions of more traditional architectural styles and designers using their own creative flair, it may be possible to discover that a window style traditionally used for a specific type of house may not apply. However, understanding the home’s style will still be a great place to start when looking for the perfect windows.


Choose the right style

When choosing windows there is a myriad of options to choose from. Each style has its own unique look, purpose and function. Understanding what these styles are and the performance you require can help in your search for the right windows. 

Here are the different window styles to choose from: 

  • Single-hung
  • Double-hung
  • Casement
  • Awning
  • Bow and bay
  • Sliding 
  • Skylights
  • Specialty windows
  • Custom designs

In addition to the different styles of windows, there are also extra accessories and features that can bring extra elegance or flair to your windows.

No matter what a home looks like, there are windows that will fit it perfectly with the functionality that the homeowner will love.

Knowing you have options with varying styles and functions means that you can find the perfect windows for each individual room in your home. 


Choose the right materials

Over time, as technology advanced, manufacturers were able to create different materials to build with. This has allowed for windows to be created with a number of varying materials:

  • Vinyl
  • Wood
  • Aluminum 
  • Fiberglass
  • Wood-clad
  • Composite

Each of these window materials has its own various look, advantages and disadvantages. 

For example, wood is strong, beautiful and can be painted to match any decor. However, it is susceptible to vulnerabilities like weather or pests. Vinyl on the other hand is energy efficient, more resistant to bugs and weather but there’s less flexibility in design and color choices.

What is important to you in a window? Design? Cost? Longevity? Eco-friendliness? 

When choosing windows, understanding what you want from your windows will help determine the material which brings you one step closer to your final choice.


Explore window manufacturers and brands

There are various manufacturers and brands that offer windows. Each manufacturer holds itself to a certain standard and each has its own specialties. When looking for windows, you may know what style and material you want but get stuck once you realize the number of brands to choose from. 

While many offer similar products there are a few things to consider before buying from a specific manufacturer or brand:

  • Quality and performance
  • Price
  • Warranties and guarantees
  • Stock, delivery and availability
  • Specialties

When researching window manufacturers, you may find that one has better warranties than another, or that one is known for higher quality standards than another. In some cases, specialty designs or materials may only be offered by a select number of manufacturers. 

If you’re curious about a manufacturer or brand, speak with a building supply specialist, like the experts at American Cedar. A building supply specialist will have a working knowledge of various window manufacturers and can help give you the information you need to make your selection.


Visit a window showroom

Modern technology allows us to buy everything online, and yes that includes windows. However, when it comes to windows you want to see them in person before you buy them. Visiting a local window showroom will allow you to see the window first hand.

When visiting a showroom, you get the opportunity to compare brands, styles, materials and explore what different features are available. Seeing windows in person helps to better visualize what it will look like in your home, and you also get a chance to touch and feel them. 

A showroom visit can help you avoid bad decisions, give you direction when you are unsure or solidify your decision for windows. 

(visit one of our showrooms in Lewes, DE, Baltimore, MD, Millersville, MD, or Raleigh, NC. )


Consider shopping from a local buildings supply company 

Traditionally, homeowners will shop at big box stores while contractors will shop at a lumberyard or building supplier. But, there’s no rule as to where anyone can shop. 

Big box stores are often more convenient and can have some affordable options, but the quality is not always the best. They are often conveniently located to get in and out, and could also be open at more convenient times especially on the weekends. 

When shopping at a building supplier, one has the option to find higher quality windows or even have the option of having custom windows built. 

What’s important to you? Quality windows? Convenience? Service? Knowledgeable staff to ask questions? 

Shopping from a window supplier (like American Cedar) can provide you with the opportunity to find unique high-quality window options you may not find anywhere else.


Speak with a window expert

Not every homeowner, contractor or design specialist is a window expert. Even if someone has the gifts of design or has been a contractor for most of their life does not mean they understand all there is to know about windows. 

Sometimes, it is in your best interest to speak with a window specialist. They can provide you with the rundown and insights on various types, styles, and special features of windows. Additionally, they will be able to answer any questions you may have. 

If you are stuck in your window selection, take the time and connect with a specialist. You will be glad you did.