New windows aren’t the same as the windows of yesteryear. The simplest way of describing the changes is a wordy testament in modern building code which explains the expectations window manufacturers are required to abide by. The fact of the matter is new houses have new windows, older houses have old windows unless you’ve replaced them. The difference between new and old windows you see and experience daily as a homeowner is far more important than any explanation a contractor can give about why you need new windows.
Older Style Windows
Older style windows have a surface appearance of wood and glass construction. What you don’t see is a counter weight inside the wall, attached with a rope to offset the weight of the window when you want to raise or lower it. That was high technology in the years between 1892 until the late 70’s. The actual window was made of a single piece of heavy glass which would show condensation on a cold morning and could crack on days when the weather changed from warm to freezing. Replacing the glass required a contractor to come by and take measurements, order the new piece, and then install it properly.
Double Hung and Sliding Windows
New windows have addressed the problems of older windows to become more efficient in every aspect. Double panes are filled with gas to assure insulation and reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home. Rather than using counterweights on a rope which will eventually break, modern windows have internal springs adjusted to allow you to open, close, or set the window in any position you would like. Should the glass break, the window is easily removable from the frame so whether you take it to a glass shop or hire a professional, the repair can be finished in an afternoon.
All of these features are available in any window format to suit your home’s needs. The typical window is a double hung in which you open it by sliding the lower half upwards, or alternatively can lower the upper portion of the window to bring in fresh air on a nice day. A sliding window, on the other hand, moves horizontally, but otherwise functions the same.
There are plenty of options available with modern windows to suit your personal tastes, the overall style of the home, or the requirements of your neighborhood homeowner’s association. The upper and lower portions of the window can be divided at the halfway point, or you can have the lower portion be two-thirds or three-quarters of the entire window. You can choose a vinyl frame in your favorite color, or you can have a stained wood finish to match your home’s general design. Every window is custom built, so sizing for the design of your home isn’t an issue. The general idea is to discuss what you want with a design specialist who represents the window contractor to determine what will best suit your needs.
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