What is the right window for me? This is a question I get asked on a regular basis, but the answer to this question is not as simple as one might think. The process of buying windows can be similar to the process of buying a car. Some car buyers have already decided that they will only buy a Chevy or Ford, and they have already decided what bells and whistles they want. Making it a very simple process. I go into homes quite frequently and the homeowner tells me they will only use Marvin, as they have had Marvin for years and will never switch. Or it might be the exact opposite – they have had Marvin for many years and never want them again. This makes the process much easier, as the focus is then on designing a window that is right for you while eliminating styles and brands that are not right for you. But what should people do if they don’t have a predetermined favorite brand or style? Here is my go-to method for narrowing down the right windows for your home. The first thing you need to have in mind is a budget. In most cases, your budget will dictate the windows for you. The most important thing to remember with your budget is to set a realistic expectation of what you can or cannot spend. With that said, many people ask if they have to do all their windows at once. The answer to that is no. In fact, most of our window projects are two or three windows that the homeowner felt needed to be replaced. Now that the budget has been established, you can begin to think about your window options. There are thousands of options to choose from, but your smartest bet is to focus first on materials. Do you want the exterior to be fiberglass, vinyl or aluminum? Do you want the interior of the windows to be fiberglass, vinyl, laminated veneer, or wood? If you answered wood, do you want it painted, stained, bare or cleared? Most of the time, these selections alone along with your budget will point you to the windows that are right for you. The technical side of things can throw a wrench in the whole plan. Due to limitations in materials some larger sized windows in your home may be outside of the manufacturer’s specifications or the material specifications. In many cases we will then recommend going to a different window brand or manufacturer that can meet the requirements. We have on occasion mixed window styles to accommodate the window opening. Often times, especially with white windows, it is hard to discern between the two styles. The final factor and what is usually the budget breaker for the window buyer are the added features such as grids, special hardware, high visibility screens, interior and exterior trim. I typically recommend pricing your windows with and without these features so you the homeowner can decide whether or not it’s worth extending your budget or staying within the budget. Once you start planning to replace windows, I recommend going to your local lumberyard such as Lampert Lumber or Campbells. Most local lumber yards will have a display of the various windows, manufacturers, styles, colors, and hardware that you can look at and touch to get a sense of what you would like to see in your home. If you have any other questions or would like to discuss some options, feel free to give us a call and ask for Mike I will be more than happy to help you navigate the window buying process.