Replacement Window Comparisons

by Ben Kripps
Ben Kripps
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on Jun 10 in Clearview Construction

At some point every home will need a replacement window. Whether a homeowner is replacing one window or every window in their home, the need to compare the various products available is inevitable.Replacement Window Comparison Table

A replacement window can come in a vinyl, fiberglass or traditional wood. Each of these types of windows has strengths and can be used in various situations.

As you consider a replacement window for your home, consider the amount of durability you expect, what you prefer aesthetically and the energy efficiency (savings) you hope to attain.

Given the climate we contend with in the Madison WI area, a replacement window is an important investment. The benefits to you in making a good choice include enhancing your home’s beauty, increasing its market value, reducing outside noise, decreasing the amount of cleaning and maintenance required as well as energy costs.

Replacement Window Options

A replacement window is available in a variety of types, styles and colors. It is often a great idea to visit showrooms to gain a full understanding of the options you have. The ClearView showroom on South Stoughton Road offers a wide selection of the most popular vinyl and fiberglass replacement windows.

A replacement window designed to resist the elements and save energy is often a good place to start your process. Be sure as you research and compare, the replacement window you choose is specially designed to provide the highest insulation performance for your home so you can better deal with Wisconsin's unpredictable climate.

The Energy Efficient Replacement Window

A replacement window with specially coated low E glass provides up to 98.5% Ultra Violet (UV) radiation blockage reducing damage and fading of household items and furniture as well as helping to decrease energy costs for heating and cooling. With a ClearView replacement window, you will be able to accomplish a number of positive things, inclluding - 

Lowering energy bills

Reducing condensation

Slowing or eliminating air leakage for less draft in winter (USIP)

Curtailing solar heat gain in the summer (SHGC)

Increasing comfort with smart window technology, keeping warmth in during winter and and heat out in summer. (U Factor)

Up to R-5 full frame for double hung windows which exceed Energy StarTM standards. (R Factor)

Vinyl and Fiberglass Equal Replacement Window Longevity

ClearView  Sunrooms and Windows specializes in selling and installing vinyl and fiberglass windows. They are made for state-of-the-art materials and will not rot, will resist mold and will strongly resist all environmental factors.

A wood replacement window will be affected by all environmental conditions. Even when clad, can collect water and moisture which will accelerate material failure. A wood replacement window is more susceptible to material failure than ever before because the windows are made with farmed pane wood, a softer species of wood. This makes the replacement window less rot resistant that an old growth wood it is replacing.

To help you get a better handle on what replacement window is better for your situation, review the information below. If you would like more information, do not hesitate to call, email or visit our showroom

Expected Replacement Window Life Span

            Promotion Quality Low End PVC Vinyl  -  5 to 15 years

            Premium UPVC Vinyl  -  30 + years

            Painted Fiberglass  -  Longest possible – yet to be defined

            Wood with Metal Clad  -  10 to 25 years

Replacement Window Warranty

Promotion Quality Low End PVC Vinyl  -  Limited lifetime or limited by years. Not usually transferrable

            Premium UPVC Vinyl  -  Limited lifetime and transferrable

            Painted Fiberglass  -  Limited lifetime or limited by years and transferrable

Wood with Metal Clad  -  Limited by years, usually 20 years or less. Not usually transferrable and there is no rot warranty

 Maintenance of Replacement Windows

            Promotion Quality Low End PVC Vinyl  -  None needed – window cleaning only

            Premium UPVC Vinyl  -  None needed – window cleaning only

            Painted Fiberglass  -  Painting exteriors every 5 – 10 years – Possibly re-varnish wood interiors

            Wood with Metal Clad – Approximately every 5 years – sand and refinish wood interiors

Structure and Durability of Replacement Windows

Promotion Quality Low End PVC Vinyl  - Fusion welded frames – somewhat durable. Expands and contracts to heat/cold. Has low number of sealing components. Thin material and less rigid with low quality mechanisms

Premium UPVC Vinyl  -  Fusion welded frames – very durable. Expands and contracts to heat/cold. Has high number of sealing components. Has thick material added rigidity with internal support materials. Has highest quality mechanisms.

Painted Fiberglass  -  Corner keyed screwed frames which are the most durable. No expansion by heat/cold or moisture. Components are the strongest materials and most rigid. Highest quality mechanisms.

Wood with Metal Clad  -  Screwed frames – very durable (except for rot). Expands and contracts to moisture levels. Low number of sealing components. Thick materials and very rigid. Extruded aluminum, outside cladding and highest quality mechanisms.

Insulation within Replacement Windows

Promotion Quality Low End PVC Vinyl  -  possibly Energy StarTM rated. Hollow or foam filled frames. Double, possibly triple pane options.

Premium UPVC Vinyl  -  Best Energy StarTM ratings. Usually foam filled frames. Double and triple pane options.

Painted Fiberglass  -  Usually Energy StarTM rated. Hollow or foam filled frames. Double, possibly triple pane options.

Wood with Metal Clad  -  Possibly Energy StarTM rated. Wood frames have less insulation than foam filled options. Double, possibly triple pane options.

Cost Of Replacement Windows

Promotion Quality Low End PVC Vinyl  -  Entry level advertised pricing. Installation labor same as other windows.

            Premium UPVC Vinyl  -  Best value for the price. Less than fiberglass or wood.

            Painted Fiberglass  -  Usually less than wood. Long lifespan.

            Wood with Metal Clad  -  Highest priced. Most maintenance issues.

For more replacement window information contact Ben Kripps – ClearView Sunrooms & Windows – 608 226-9800


Replacement Window Comparison Guide

Replacement Window Frequently Asked Questions

Cost Vs Value Survey - 2013



About the author

Ben Kripps

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