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Choosing Replacement Windows in Minnesota

When it is time to replace older windows in a home, some homeowners may find it a difficult or confusing task. This does not have to be the case, however, as a bit of research and a slight learning curve will go far in helping to make the right selection. Because installing new windows is a major investment, it is important to make the right choice and never have to replace them again. Among the many home improvement projects that can bring value and comfort to a home, windows rank very highly in terms of return on investment.

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Twin cities replacement windows

Additionally, new energy efficient replacement windows in Minneapolis will eventually pay for themselves by saving money in heating and cooling costs. New, tight fitting windows will also make a home more comfortable and quieter. In areas that get very cold winters such as Minneapolis, for instance, when cold Canadian air moves south, anyone would appreciate well-insulated windows to help keep the cold outside where it belongs. Most replacement windows are vinyl at present, since vinyl is maintenance-free and lasts indefinitely. Wood windows are certainly still used, but require periodic painting, are more expensive and do not have the long life of vinyl.

Getting Started

The first step in deciding on replacement windows is choosing the style or type of windows to install. If replacing all windows in the house, there will naturally be differences in types depending on the room or the purpose of the window. For instance, a picture window may be a good choice for a living or family room, while casement windows fit more readily with kitchen décor. Following is a brief explanation of several different types of replacement windows commonly used today.

Window Types and Styles

Bay or Bow Windows – A bay window arrangement commonly has a large stationary middle window with two smaller windows on either side. The smaller windows are placed at 30 to 90 degree angles to the wall. Almost any combination of windows can be used, such as five smaller windows, or one large one in the middle and two on either side. Sometimes narrow casement windows are placed on either side of the large bay window for ventilation. The bay window offers superior lighting and seems to bring the outdoors inside. Actual bow windows are similar but have a definite curved design. Either window can be used wherever a good amount of light and visibility is desirable. Window seats are often combined with the bow windows. Some people like a smaller bow window in a kitchen area as a great place for indoor plants.


Picture Windows
These are large windows that are also known as fixed windows, meaning they cannot be opened. This type of window may be one large window or part of a group with a window on either side or above that can be opened. They are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes and offer a variety of custom or standard features. The largest of the picture windows are often used just for aesthetic purposes, especially where there is a spectacular view, or in places where a great amount of light is desirable.

Casement Windows – These windows offer a larger view and more light. They are typically found in the western United States and in newer homes.
Casement windows have a hinge on one side and open with a crank. When they are tightly shut a seal keeps out cold or hot air. They are an excellent choice for places where it would be difficult to open and close a window, such as above the kitchen sink or in an area where a window would be placed higher up on the wall for ventilation purposes. They usually have locks that flip easily up and down on the top and bottom of the windows.

Single Hung and Double Hung Windows – Both of these window styles are common in homes in the Northeastern part of the United States, especially in older homes. Single hung windows were once practically the only type of windows used in all homes. They are designed with one sash over the other, allowing the bottom window to slide up for ventilation.

Double hung windows are actually two separate sashes and the entire bottom window can be pushed up by sliding in front of the top window. Alternately, the top window can be pulled down to get the ventilation from the top part of the window if desired. They are superior for ventilation purposes and come in wide widths up to 45 inches. The newer windows can also be ordered with a stationary bottom pane, which is a good choice for a child’s room. Some newer styles tilt in to make it easy to wash the outside of the window.

Finding a Window Contractor

Window companies that sell brand name windows have trained and certified window installers for their products. When buying brand name windows, it is best to use the installer recommended by the window companies. It would make no sense to purchase quality replacement windows and then try to save money on inferior installation. No window will function properly if it is poorly installed.

A general contractor will manage an entire home improvement project, such as locating materials, hiring and supervising subcontractor specialists, acquiring building permits and scheduling inspections of the finished work. Read online reviews and contact the local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau to determine if any complaints were received against the contractors you are considering.

Whether your looking for replacement windows in MN as a urgent necessity or a desirable home improvement project, they will no doubt add value and comfort to the home. Taking the time to research and make the right choices among material and window contractors will ensure your new windows will give satisfaction far into the future.

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