8 Best Window Brands for Home Insulation of 2023
Often overlooked, the windows on your home affect everything from your curb appeal and resale value to your monthly energy bills. Having professionally installed, attractive, energy-efficient windows is an investment that pays off in more ways than one. While living in your home, you’ll see savings reflected in your monthly electric bill with energy-efficient windows.
When you’re ready to sell, having beautiful windows could positively affect your home’s value.
Replacing the windows on your entire home varies on how many windows you have, how large the windows are, and what kind of windows you intend to replace them with.
The median price range for installation is around $300, but prices vary depending on the size and type of window you choose to install - so do some research before getting started.
A total window replacement may be expensive in the short term, but the long-term energy savings and an increase in your home’s total value could put money back into your pocket.
Compare the coverage and cost of the best window brands picked by PropertyNest expert editors.
Best Window Brands for Homes
- Anderson: Best Window Brand Overall
- Simonton: Best Energy-Efficient Windows
- Pella: Best Window Brand for Selection
- Jeld-Wen: Best Affordable Windows with Quality
- Weather Shield: Best Window Brand for Warranty Coverage
- Atrium: Best Windows for New Construction
- Marvin: Best for Custom Windows
- Window World: Best Windows For Solar Protection
Andersen Windows: Best Window Brand Overall
Andersen Windows and Doors, offered and installed by Home Depot, is a Minnesota company with locations and authorized retailers nationwide. It's probably the most trusted brand national brand, as Andersen has become synonymous with quality and offers one of the best warranties in the industry.
Their lifetime warranties are transferable, meaning if you sell your house, you can transfer the warranty to the new owner (which then becomes a limited warranty). Andersen also incorporates and offers a state-of-the-art composite material across their window lines called Fiberx, which is paired with superior craftsmanship.
How Much Do Andersen Windows Cost?
The 100-series price range will start at around $500 a window, while the 400 series jumps up to about $700 a window. Pricing will also vary across dealers along with sizes, features, and materials, so it's essential to compare. Don’t forget to include installation costs into your budget as well, bringing your total close to or well over $1,000 per window.
Window Lines and Series
The Andersen windows are classified by series; they offer the 100-series as their entry-level windows, the 200-series as the mid-grade option, and the 400-series as their premium option.
In addition, Andersen offers two top-of-the-line architectural collections, the A-Series and E-Series, which both boast architectural authenticity as well as the finest materials and energy efficiency.
|100||Usually, considered the most affordable line. All 100 series windows are made with Fiberx which boasts some advantages over vinyl.|
|200||This is an intermediate line. Unlike the 100, the 200 series windows pairs wood with vinyl for added protection.|
|400||This is their signature series of all-wood clad windows, and considered an industry standard, with one of the best warranties in place.|
|A||Specialty windows, designed to be architecturally accurate to particular styles, are hurricane-grade windows, and offer the option of triple-panes.|
|E||Specialty architectural windows with wood interior and reinforced weather-resistant aluminum exterior with different exotic wood species options.|
Andersen Brand Windows Pros & Cons
- Excellent warranty program.
- High-performance windows.
- Authorized realtors nationwide.
- One of the best industry reputations.
- Fewer budget-friendly options compared to competitors.
Simonton: Best Energy-Efficient Windows
Simonton makes affordable vinyl windows in stock and custom sizes. What sets Simonton apart is its budget-friendly approach to timeless window styles. If you have a home with standard-sized windows and you aren’t trying to spend a fortune, offered and installed by Home Depot, Simonton makes it easy to find classic window styles in stock sizes through your local home improvement retailer.
Even with their budget price tag, they use energy-efficient glass and partner with ENERGY STAR, giving you confidence that you’ll conserve energy and save money on your monthly power costs. They also provide a 20-year warranty on their glass with a few different energy-efficient options. Some of their window lines also come with a residential limited lifetime warranty, which sometimes has limited transferability.
How Much Do Simonton Windows Cost?
Entry-level windows at Simonton can cost as low as $120 per window, not including installation. Most of their higher-end windows range from $400-$800. Their most premium custom windows cost roughly go for around $1,000.
Window Lines and Series
While Simonton specializes in predominantly vinyl windows, it offers many different lines to choose from. Most of their window series are designed for replacements.
Their ProFinish Builder, Contractor, and Brickmoulds are all focused on new construction windows.
The rest of their window lines focus on replacements. A few lines like Daylight Max, Madeira, and Verona are only available for a select number of states in the western United States.
Stormbreaker Plus is available for both new construction and replacement windows.
Energy efficient ProSolar Low E with Argon Gas fill glass comes standard with most or all Simonton windows. Superior glass options may be available for more premium-grade series.
|Reflections 5050||Simple entry-level replacement windows.|
|Reflections 5500||The 5500 is available in many more styles, sizes, colors, and finishes than the 5050.|
|Asure||Asure features narrow framed windows for maximum light. Constructed for the easiest replacement installation.|
|Impressions 9800||Impressions offer window replacement mimicking the look of real traditional wooden frames.|
|Stormbreaker Plus||Designed for coastal areas that face powerful storms and can withstand hurricane-velocity winds and flying debris. Features energy-efficient and sound-insulated glass.|
|ProFinish Builder||Entry-level Simonton windows for brand new construction. The Builder series offers simple clean flat frames with high-efficiency glass.|
|ProFinish Contractor||Welded frames and sashes make these windows extra durable, with more styles, sizes and glass options.|
|ProFinish Brickmould 300||The 300 is the starter series in Simonton's new windows for those want want the look of wooden frames. Also, includes their limited lifetime warranty on vinyl.|
|ProFinish Brickmould 600||The Brickmould 600 is for those who custom fine wood detailing on traditional-looking frames. Realistic-looking woodgrain finishes are available along with more glass choices than the 300.|
|DaylightMax||DaylightMax is offered for window replacements in select areas in the western U.S. Like the Asure the DaylightMax features thin-framed windows for maximum light.|
|Madeira||The Madeira series is a window replacement line for homeowners who want wide-frame windows. Large selection of styles, sizes, and efficient glass packages. Highest rating for energy efficiency.|
|Verona||Verona is an entry-level window replacement that features narrow frames and a sleek contemporary look.|
Simonton Windows Pros & Cons
- Affordable options.
- Low-maintenance material.
- ProSolar energy efficient glass option available for all windows.
- Wide selection of different specialty shapes and sizes available even with entry-level windows.
- No premium material options-predominantly vinyl.
- Limited customization.
Pella: Best Window Brand for Selection
Pella is a name that you should recognize; aptly named for its roots in Pella, Iowa, is one of the most well-known brands of windows. Pella windows have been in the game since 1925. There are plenty of styles and options to choose from, including windows made from vinyl, fiberglass, and wood. They also offer one of the most robust number of product lines to choose from.
A big selling point is the value of their vinyl windows. You get high-quality windows at a relatively low cost, even compared to competitors. Pella also offers a limited lifetime (non-transferable) warranty on their wood windows and a 10 to 20-year warranty on different components for their vinyl and fiberglass windows.
How Much Do Pella Windows Cost?
Your budget-friendly option from Pella is their vinyl windows; coming in at around $150-200 a window for their most basic option, you’ll get the most window for your dollar with this material. For wood, you should expect about $300-$500 per window, depending on the style. As always, adding the installation cost might double or triple the expense.
Window Lines and Series
Pella has quite a number of different window lines that offer the average homeowner lots of options, cost, and material-wise. Their lowest cost lines are the Encompass and 250 lines, with the Defender, Hurricane Shield, Impervia, and Lifestyle series at a more intermediate cost. Pella's expensive and premium lines include the Architectural Series, as well as bot their Reserve lines--Traditional and Contemporary.
|250||A budget-friendly energy-efficient super-strength vinyl windows. Great for security and privacy.|
|Encompass||Encompass is a low-cost low-maintenance high-quality vinyl window option.|
|Defender||A vinyl series notable in their ability to block nearly all UV rays. Great for storm defense and noise reduction.|
|Hurricane Shield||This line of windows can withstand hurricane force winds, impact-resistant, and is an intermediate-priced option for such homeowners.|
|Lifestyle||This line offers customers wood-clad windows at an intermediate price. Cost starts around $530-$650 per window. Energy-efficient and sound reduction optiosn available.|
|Impervia||Impervia is their super durable fiberglass line of windows which offers the homeowner extra security and energy efficiency. Pricing starts at $570-$810.|
|Architect Series- Traditional||All the windows in this line are wood or aluminum-clad wood and provides the option of triple-paned glass and in some cases, retractable screens.|
|Reserve-Traditional||Designed for historical accuracy with detailed in the National Historic Registry, this line is perfect who want authentic-style vintage windows available in wood or aluminum-clad wood.|
|Reserve-Contemporary||This is the line offers the same superior quality as the reserve traditional but in contemporary styles.|
Pella Brand Windows Pros & Cons
- Affordable and cost-effective options.
- Lots of variety.
- Plenty of showrooms nationwide.
- Virtual Appointments available.
- Warranty is non-transferrable.
- Doesn't offer cutting-edge composite materials.
Jeld-Wen: Best Affordable Windows With Quality
Jeld-Wen makes energy-efficient windows and doors in different styles and materials, ranging from basic vinyl to premium wood windows. They also do a wide range of custom options, which is helpful if you own a home with unique windows that may not fit the standard sizing. Conveniently they are also sold through major big-box retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s as well as other window dealerships.
If you’re looking for a window that requires minimal upkeep, consider their Aluminum windows, although they also specialize in vinyl and wood-clad windows as well. What's more is that Jeld-Wen's vinyl windows come with a limited lifetime (non-transferable) warranty, while their wood-clad windows come with a 20-year warranty.
How Much Do Jeld-Wen Windows Cost?
At an entry-level price, you can get beautiful, low-maintenance vinyl windows, starting at around $150. Another stand-out option is their premium vinyl windows, which are sophisticated and low-maintenance and cost only a little more than the regular vinyl, starting at around $215. Expect their wood windows to start at a higher price point but remains very competitive for wood windows.
Window Lines and Series
Jeld-Wen has plenty of window lines to choose from. They only offer one series of aluminum windows, but you can find plenty of choices from their vinyl and wood window lines. Builders Atlantic Aluminum Windows are specifically designed to withstand the challenging conditions of Florida weather at a low cost.
Their vinyl lines include Builders Vinyl (V-2500), Brickmould Vinyl, Flat Casing Vinyl, Premium Vinyl (V-4500), Premium Atlantic Vinyl, and a hybrid line called DF Hybrid Vinyl. Jeld-Wen's wooden window offerings are the W-2500, W-5500, Siteline, EpicVue, and Custom Wood Windows.
|Atlantic Aluminum||Limited aluminum option but highly affordable, specially designed for the storm-wrought Atlantic climate.|
|Builders Vinyl (V-2500)||Entry-level high-quality energy efficient vinyl windows.|
|Brickmould Vinyl||Jeld-Wen's quality vinyl in the style of traditional wood windows.|
|Flat Casing||Similar to other vinyl windows except offered in more colonial-style framing.|
|Premium Vinyl (V-4500)||At the premium level, extra energy efficiency from frames and glass, with more options in models and accurate architectural details.|
|Premium Atlantic Vinyl||Premium vinyl windows specifically designed to withstand Atlantic storms, clad with impact-resistant glass.|
|DF Hybrid Vinyl||Get the low maintenance traits of vinyl strengthened with aluminum cladding. Low to medium-cost option.|
|W-2500||Entry-level wood at a relatively affordable starting price point. Made with AuraLast pine to guard against wood rot and water damage.|
|W-5500||Also made with AuraLast pine, but designed for more energy efficiency. Many more styles, models, and colors to choose from in this range. Higher priced than W-2500.|
|Siteline||Siteline adds extra termite protection, while offering a large selection of styles and options. Moderate to high price range.|
|EpicVue||Premium contemporary-style models and wood reinforced with aluminum cladding. Expect premium pricing.|
|Custom||Hand-crafted wood windows. Choose many models with the most customization options. Jeld-Wed's most expensive offering.|
Jeld-Wen Brand Windows Pros & Cons
- Lots of affordable options.
- Custom options.
- Sold at numerous local retailers and readily available throughout the country.
- More entry-level options than premium options.
Weather Shield: Best Window Brand For Warranty Coverage
Weather Shield Windows and Doors is a family-owned and operated company that sells wooden windows, making it a more premium option right from the start. They are a well-regarded national window brand with authorized retailers all over the United States.
They offer traditional wooden windows as well as aluminum-clad wooden windows. Weather Shield boasts a 20-year warranty for craftsmanship and a 30-year warranty for wood rot, so your investment is protected. This is far longer than most other top window brands by 5-10 years and, in some cases, more.
How Much Does Weather Shield's Windows Cost?
Typically, prices will start lower with vinyl or hybridized windows. Because Weather Shield only sells wooden windows, their prices start at about $350 a window and continue to climb depending on what you choose.
Window Lines and Series
Weather Shield has four different collections. The Signature Series is their entry-level windows which still offers a myriad of options, including a choice from their five different energy-efficient glass packages.
The Premium Series and Contemporary Collection offer premium choices, including more types of wood species, colors, finishes, and other customization, including more window styles. The Signature, Premium, and Contemporary collections are offered in aluminum-clad wood, but Weather Shield also offers durable all-wood frame windows. Buyers have a choice of several wood species and a number of styles.
|Signature Series||One of the most affordable options from Weather Shield, the Signature series offers aluminum clad wood frame windows.|
|Premium Series||The Premium series is the next step in Weather Shield windows. Also, aluminum-clad, these wood windows combine true craftsmanship with cutting-edge materials and technology.|
|Premium Coastal||Constructed for coastal areas. Each window is certified to withstand high-velocity winds, including category 3 and 4 hurricanes.|
|Contemporary Collection||Premium line of contemporary-style windows custom-made for high-end homes.|
Weather Shield Brand Windows Pros & Cons
- Excellent warranty program.
- Premium wooden windows.
- Only sells wood windows.
Atrium: Best Windows for New Construction
Atrium Windows and Doors have been in business since 1946, which is a testament to their loyal customer following. They are based out of North Carolina, and they also have a manufacturing facility in Dallas, Texas.
If you live in an area with many bugs, you may appreciate Atrium’s flex-screen offering. It’s a unique product to Atrium, and does away with the bulky metal frame on a traditional window screen. The slim, flexible frame of the screen allows for greater viewing space while still keeping pesky flying insects at bay.
However, one thing to note is that Atrium does not sell directly to consumers. Instead, they authorize installers who sell their products to customers, which means that you won’t be able to buy directly from Atrium. In fact, the company has distinguished themselves by mostly marketing towards architects and builders; hence Atrium's product lines are very popular in new development.
Atrium also has one the highest number of product lines from any window manufacturer.
How Much Do Atrium Windows Cost?
Atrium only manufactures vinyl-framed windows. Starting cost for vinyl windows are generally lower than competitors who offer wood or other composites. Atrium windows range from about $140 up to $500 per window, depending on what style and material you choose. If ordering something as extensive as bay or bow windows, expect to pay $700-$800. They offer a variety of low, mid, and higher-end options with different customizations to meet your needs.
Window Lines and Series
Atrium has many lines they offer, but not every style of window is available through every line. The main differences between Atrium's many window series are whether they are replacement or new construction, colors, finishes, glass options, and warranty.
|130||Entry-level energy efficient windows only available in picture, tilt single hung, sliding, and architectural shape windows for both replacement and new construction.|
|150||Brickmould vinyl welded frames that offer better insulation and barrier again noise and air. Only available for new construction picture and tilt single-hung windows. Also, includes a limited lifetime warranty.|
|151||Brickmould vinyl welded frames, similar to the 150 but offered only for new construction sliding windows.|
|450||The 450 has more integrated features and construction that make them more energy efficient. Built-in J channels makes this series the perfect choice for home with exterior vinyl siding.|
|700||Replacement casement windows, featuring narrow frames and air tight seal as well as exceptional insulation.|
|750||Like the 700 but casement windows for new construction.|
|5700||An affordable option for a rigid energy-efficient weather-proof vinyl frames. Available in the following new construction styles: picture, side load single hung, and sliding with limited lifetime warranty.|
|8050||Replacement window for side load single hung window. Easy to clean with weather-tight seal.|
|8100||Replacement window for tilt-open single hung window.|
|8300||Replacement windows with energy efficient glass along with welded vinyl frames that insulate from air, water, and noise. Includes a transferable limited lifetime warranty.|
|8700||Replacement windows with low-E glass with argon gas fill with other premium features. The 8700 includes a transferable limited lifetime warranty and a 25-year warranty on glass breakage.|
|8900||Atrium's top-of-the-line replacement window series. Atrium's transferable limited lifetime warranty and lifetime warranty on glass, make this the industry's best warranty.|
|995||Replacement series for garden windows which include features like multi-point locking system, durable hardware finish, and a transferable limited lifetime warranty.|
Atrium Brand Windows Pros & Cons
- Lots of options (low, mid, and high-end windows).
- Flex-screen offering.
- Can’t buy directly from Atrium.
- More expensive starting price point than competitor options.
Marvin: Best For Custom Windows
Marvin opened its doors as a family-owned company in 1912, making it one of the oldest companies on this list. They sell windows, doors, and skylights and utilize local retailers to sell their products directly to consumers. Marvin has a lot of different options to fit the needs of your home.
Their selection is quite impressive, with their product line including different sizes, shapes, and material needs. While many window manufacturers do offer some customization options, Marvin pays extra special attention to the customer and what they're looking for in a window--so much so that they release new window lines that meet those needs.
Marvin also produces their windows from a few different materials, such as wood, extruded aluminum, and fiberglass.
How Much Do Marvin Windows Cost?
Marvin doesn't offer low-cost materials such as vinyl, so expect starting prices to be higher. While the starting cost for a small window can be around $500, including installation, the average window from the Essential collection seems to be over $1,000. Keep in mind that the Essential line is their entry-level series. While Elevate is the next level, the price difference is not great.
Window Lines and Series
Marvin has three collections in their Signature series that offer premium options and features. If you’re looking for some window inspiration, consider checking out one of their window collections, such as their Modern or Coastline collections. With a Modern window, you get larger viewing spaces enclosed by thin, clean frames.
Meanwhile, Coastline gives you reinforced aluminum and impact-resistant glass, an important consideration in the coastal areas affected by tropical storms and hurricanes.
Signature Ultimate is their top-of-the-line collection.
Marvin's Essential line their entry-level series, with the Elevate collection following as the next step in quality and performance.
|Essential||Entry-level window series from Marvin means fiberglass windows (both interiors and exteriors).|
|Elevate||The Elevate line while offering the beauty of wood windows, also utilizes the strength of fiberglass for their exteriors.|
|Signature-Coastline||Marvin's version of coastal windows made to withstand hurricane force winds and graded for Florida's requirements for windows.|
|Signature-Modern||The Modern collection offers aesthetics of modern design in high-density fiberglass frames. Homeowners can expect maximum light with sleek narrow frames.|
|Signature-Ultimate||As Marvin's utmost premium line, Ultimate means the ultimate number of design, materials, and customization options.|
Marvin Brand Windows Pros & Cons
- Themed collections.
- A variety of materials and options.
- Great customers reviews on service and quality of product.
Window World: Best Windows For Solar Protection
Window World is a well-established brand that touts the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. They sell their products through their Window World storefronts and have locations across the United States.
Window World is known for its replacement windows with energy-efficient glass with Argon gas fill and SolarZone Low-E coatings. The Argon gas is an additional barrier between the heat and the window glass, trapping heat instead of letting it enter your home. Meanwhile, the SolarZone Low-E coating is a microscopic metallic coating on the window’s glass that repels the sun’s longer rays during the summer months and invites in the sun’s shorter rays during the winter months.
They use vinyl for their windows, with stock-size offerings and options for custom window sizes. The best part about vinyl windows? You won’t have to re-paint them.
How Much Do Window World's Windows Cost?
Because Window World only offers vinyl replacement windows, the starting price point is affordable. It starts under $200 (not including installation) for their entry-level windows. At the high end, expect to pay around $1,000 (without installation) for a custom replacement window.
Window Lines and Series
Window World's replacement windows are offered in three main series--2000, 4000, and 6000.
Beside standard window styles like double hung, sliding, awning, single hung, casement, and picture windows, Window World also produces nonstandard replacements such as bow/bay windows, garden windows, and architectural shapes.
|2000||Entry-level replacement vinyl windows, the 2000 series are designed to be sleek, durable, low maintenance windows, with double barrier weather stripping along with other great weather insulation features.|
|4000||The 4000 makes use a narrow beveled frames for maximum beauty and light. This series has features such as extra insulations from the elements, a built-in screen, better water run-off, and an extra solar glass package option. A maintenance-free window with a limited lifetime warranty adds cost but a lot of extra value.|
|6000||The 6000 series is Window World's premium line with even more weather stripping, superior screens, air-tight insulation, improved window ventilation when opened, standard superior energy efficient glass, limited lifetime warranty, plus much more.|
Window World Brand Windows Pros & Cons
- Durable windows.
- Energy-efficient coating and insulation options.
- Direct Retailer.
- No other material options besides Vinyl.
How to Find the Right Window Installation Professional
Purchasing the right window and finding a professional who's going to do the job right might be an overwhelming task, especially if you've never done it before. Often window vendors either sell one brand of windows or sell a variety of windows from different manufacturers.
Window vendors either have in-house installers to complete the installation or contract local professionals to do the work for you. You can always look online on review sites or sites that help you find local installers. However, this involves a lot of personal research.
Go With a Nationally Recognized Brand
Finding nationwide service is the most convenient option, especially if you go with a well-recognized brand or service. If you know you want to work with a nationally-available window brand such as Andersen, Pella, or Window World, you can always contact their sales or window replacement departments. Installation services for window replacements are readily available through these major brands.
For brand-new window placements, however, you will need to work with your own contractor, or you can opt to do the work yourself if you're handy enough. The other very accessible option is to go with a national chain such as Home Depot Services or Lowe's. These big box home improvement retailers offer many different types of in-home installation services and windows are a big area for them.
The best part is that a consultation with an expert, whether virtual or in-home, is absolutely free of charge, and you know you won't have to go very far to access one of these stores. Furthermore, they offer several window brands, styles, and sizes to choose from, so you aren't stuck with a small selection.
How to Shop For Windows
Not all windows are created equal. Navigating the different brands of windows and their associated costs and features is an important part of ensuring you are getting the best value for your investment. When shopping for windows, consider the following:
Are You Replacing or Putting in Brand New Windows?
This is an important question because, believe it or not, windows for replacing and brand new windows for either new construction or putting in a window in a new area are quite different. You'll need to figure this one out before you proceed.
Replacement window purchases are more common purchases than brand new placements as homeowners don't get new windows installed in new areas of the house as often as replacing old ones.
Size and Dimensions
As you might guess the exact measurements will be needed for either replacement or new windows. If measuring for brand new window placements you should consult a contractor or a professional installer. Measuring for a replacement is a bit easier and entails basically measuring the height, width, and depth. However, you need to make sure that you measure from the sills.
Why You Are Replacing or Installing New Windows
What are your goals for your window replacement or new installation? Is it aesthetic purposes, increase my home’s value, energy savings, or are your old windows just falling apart?
How Is a Replacement Window Different From a New One?
We've already mentioned that a replacement is different from a new installation. In fact, they are pieced together and sold very differently; that's why sometimes you have to go through a different vendor or portal.
A new construction window is meant to be installed in a new opening in a wall with no sills or frames yet in place. They also come with nailed attachments or flanges on the exterior for installation. Ironically, new installation windows are easier to install for a DIY-er than a replacement window.
Replacement windows come with no flanges or fin attachments and are meant to be slid right into the window. However, installation can be tricky and usually requires a professional to install.
What Are the Different Types of Windows
There are so many different choices when it comes to selecting the type of window you want. We'll go over the most common types of windows found in residential buildings and homes. However, expect to find many more varieties available.
Casement windows were once the prevalent type of windows available in the United States. While you can still find them in many homes across the country, they were replaced at one point by single or double-hung windows.
Casement windows are also the dominant window used in Europe. They swing open from the side rather than opening from the bottom or top. Casement windows can either be pushed open directly from the side or a crank winds it open and close. Recently, many homeowners and real estate developers in the U.S. are opting to install casement-style windows in new homes and buildings. Generally, less effort is needed to open casement windows, especially when it comes to using a hand crank.
Pros and Cons of Casement Windows
- Easy to open and close.
- Excellent air flow and circulation.
- Air-tight seal and well insulated.
- Cannot be used with window air-conditioning units.
- Placement has to be planned carefully to mind how the window swings out.
- Mechanical parts can break down
Single-Hung and Double-Hung Windows
These windows are opened by sliding up or down. Single-hung windows are usually opened from the bottom and pushed up, with the top portion being stationary. Double-hung windows can be opened from the bottom, and the top portion can be opened from the top.
Pros and Cons of Single and Double-Hung Windows
- Widely available.
- Window might be hard to open or not stay open.
- Seal is not as air-tight.
Bay windows add a beautiful ambiance to any room. They are commonly three windows angled to protrude from the house or building. They can, however, include many more windows and add square footage to your room. Bay windows add a lot of extra light and can even increase your home's curb appeal.
When there are more than three angled windows, this is called a bow window.
Pros and Cons of Bay Windows
- Architecturally appealing.
- Adds light and square footage to your home.
- Requires professional installation.
Awning windows open from the bottom and top but swing up rather than slide up. They are similar to casement windows but open in the other direction. They offer the same advantages as a casement but with the added benefit of guarding the window against any rainfall when they are open.
They can come in all kinds of shapes but are commonly seen in rectangular form. Like casements, they can be swung open directly, but hand-cranked versions are more popular.
Pros and Cons of Awning Windows
- Seal is weather-tight.
- Can remain open in rain.
- Cranking mechanism can break down.
- Like casements, awning windows have to be placed carefully to prevent obstructions.
Picture windows are most commonly seen in new modern-style construction. These are usually large-scale, although not necessarily floor-to-ceiling. They frame your view of the outside much the way a picture frame does, hence the name. Picture windows generally have a huge impact on the room they're situated in, not just allowing the occupant an incredible view of the outside but also letting a lot of natural light in. However, it's important to note that these windows are usually stationary and cannot be opened.
Pros and Cons of Picture Windows
- Beautiful views.
- Lets in lots of natural light.
- Weathertight seal.
- Cannot be opened.
- Special-ordered items/difficult to replace.
- Difficult to clean the exterior side.
Sliding windows are similar to single or double-hung windows, except instead of the window sliding vertically (up and down), the window slides horizontally (side to side). These windows, like casement windows, are being used with increased popularity in new construction as they tend to be easier to open and close than single or double-hung windows.
Pros and Cons of Sliding Windows
- Easy to use.
- Inexpensive and widely available.
- Can be difficult to open and close with wear and tear.
- Difficult to clean the exterior.
What Kinds Of Materials Are Window Frames Made From?
Windows come in a wide variety of materials, not just the types of windows. This is another important topic to explore as the different materials can offer a difference in quality, durability, tightness in a seal, and price.
Here we'll discuss the most common materials used in manufacturing windows.
Wood is probably the oldest material used to make windows, even before glass was used to make windows transparent! It's still hugely popular as wood is a highly versatile material and offers quality, durability, and a good value for the price. It is the most expensive option, but it will probably last the longest with proper maintenance.
Pros and Cons of Wood Windows
- Versatile: Can be painted or stained any color, as well as shaped and designed in various ways.
- Offers good insulation from cold and sound.
- Not as conducive to condensation as other materials.
- Higher in cost.
- Susceptible to rot, water damage, or insect/pest damage.
- Requires upkeep and maintenance such as painting and caulking.
Vinyl windows which are actually made from PVC is the obvious choice if you are looking to save money on new windows or replacements. Although the cheapest option, vinyl windows still provide good insulation. The downsides are that even though it is a good insulator, more materials and costs are needed to insulate against cold.
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Windows
- Most affordable option
- Versatile: can fit to any shape or size
- Provides good weather and sound insulation
- Color choices are limited as it's cannot be painted.
- Can appear dull and not aesthetically pleasing
Fiberglass, you may have noticed, is used to make many parts for construction, including insulation. That's because it is an excellent insulator, making it a perfect material for windows. It's especially useful for homes in areas with extreme heat or cold. Also, because the structure doesn't warp, frames can be made very thin, allowing for windows with more glass and, therefore, light. However, because it is more expensive than vinyl, it's not as popular a material.
Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Windows
- Insulates well.
- Strong durable material.
- Does not rust or fade.
- More expensive than vinyl.
- Material cannot be shaped or bent so many custom shapes are not possible.
- Fiberglass can appear flat and unappealing like vinyl.
Aluminum is another commonly seen option for window frames. It's versatility, lightweight, and durability make it an obvious choice for many builders and homeowners. Like any other material, it does have its drawbacks, the main one being that it's not a good insulator, particularly against heat. Additional measures should be taken to remedy this fact.
Pros and Cons of Aluminum Windows
- Strong, durable, lightweight, and low-maintenance.
- More versatile in how thin frames can be made.
- Less-costly than wood.
- Poor insulator.
- Susceptible to corrosion in certain conditions.
- Moisture can build up inside windows.
How We Picked the Best Window Brands
We researched 18 of the top window manufacturers in the USA and utilized data to compile this list of the best window brand for consumers.
For each chosen brand, we reviewed the following criteria: product accessibility, price, customer and professional reviews, and product features/options.
We chose products that were easily accessible through local or online retailers.
These brands are either available directly through their retail stores or sold through local retailers such as local hardware stores and national hardware stores (Lowe’s and Home Depot).
The brands in this list generally had affordable prices and stayed in the median market range for new or replacement window costs.
The median costs per window are around $200 to $300, including installation costs.
We chose brands that generally had good reviews on Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports rankings and ratings are unbiased and trusted, giving you insight into real people’s experiences with the brand and its products.
Determining factors in reviews and rankings include product durability and window weather resistance.
We included highlights of certain product features that could give insight into different brand’s offerings and what sets brands apart from each other within the market.
By reviewing the brand’s webpage, we selected the most unique product features that set the brand apart from its competition.