My sliding glass doors are fogging up on the inside. It’s time for a replacement.
If you’ve had new windows installed recently, what kind did you get? Vinyl, wood, or metal? What brand did you choose? Has it performed well? Did you have terrible problems with any manufacturer? Does Milgard Windows and Doors make a good product?
In an October 2007 article, “How to Choose,” Consumer Reports offers this information:
- Weigh partial vs. full replacement. If the old window frame is structurally sound, think about changing only the window instead of replacing the entire frame to save on installation costs.
- Pick a frame material. Vinyl and clad-wood windows are widely used. Aluminum windows have all but disappeared from window replacement because they readily conduct heat. Fiberglass is available in dark colors and can be painted.
- Match your climate. Use Consumer Report’s Ratings to identify windows with the performance needed for your area.
- Customize performance. Consider buying vinyl or fiberglass windows for areas near or below grade even though you're buying clad-wood windows for other areas. Termites and other pests find vinyl and fiberglass less attractive. Triple layers of glass can increase energy savings, but it also increases the window replacement payback period.
- Check the warranty. Product warranties usually cover the seal between the panes of glass separately from the sash, frame, and other parts. They can range from one-year to "limited lifetime." It’s important to carefully read about the exclusions.
Is there anything else about purchasing new windows that I need to know?
Copyright 2008, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist