You know that list of things you’d like to do to your home? The painting, the landscaping, the new flooring? Perhaps you haven’t really thought about your windows — perhaps the windows your house came with seem “good enough”. 

Builder grade windows are the cheapest windows out there, and they’re made with low grade materials. They were “good enough” to get the house sold, but they aren’t made to last. After all, they were chosen to maximize your contractor’s profit margin! 

You might get a few years out of these inferior windows, but it’s definitely a good idea to get this window replacement project to the top of your home improvement list.  

Here’s why:

7. Get rid of drafts

You might notice this one on a cold winter morning—builder grade windows can leak cold air right into your home. When your old window insulation wears out, and the materials around the glass start to break down, the cold air will cause you to shiver no matter how high you crank the heat. 

Seal up those drafts with an upgraded replacement window. 

6. Let the light shine in

Is there anything more pleasant than staring out your window and daydreaming? If your lovely view of the backyard starts to look a bit hazy, then the window has worn out.

Once the seal around the glass starts to break down, the glass will fog up. While there may be ways to wipe away the condensation, you’ll need to add this task to your regular chore rotation. 

Upgraded windows will stay bright and clear, and they’re designed for easy cleaning

5. Cut down on street noise 

Yes, everyone has heard the classic saying — real estate is all about location, location, location. 

If your neighborhood is louder than you bargained for, you don’t have to pack up and leave. Replacing your windows is a sneaky-good work around. Upgraded windows will come with upgraded glass. 

Thicker, better glass has noise reducing qualities and can lower the volume significantly. 

4. Play decorator 

Builder grade windows are one size fits all. They usually open just from the bottom, and come in just a few standard sizes. 

They probably weren’t your architect’s dream choice, and you may discover they aren’t yours either. Maybe the window over your bathtub wants to slide open from the side, or maybe that dark corner in the living room needs a larger window. 

It’s time to get out of those cookie cutter windows and into something a bit more custom. You know your home well at this point. Upgrading can really liven things up- you’ll boost your curb appeal and change the whole experience of a room. 

3. Enjoy a stronger warranty

A good, dependable warranty is like having health insurance for your windows. You’ll know that for the length of that warranty you have a promise that your windows will be as lovely and dependable as the day they were installed.  

There are plenty of other things to fuss and fix around the house — a warranty on a set of upgraded windows means you won’t have to think about your windows for a good long time. 

2. Increase your home’s resale value

Every real estate posting comes with a list of recent upgrades. 

While installing a stylish new lighting fixture is fun, you know you’re looking at a well-maintained home when you see the windows haven’t been forgotten. 

Because the warranties on replacement windows are nice and long, this is an upgrade that will increase your home’s resale value for a long time. 

1. Lower your Energy bills

You might already be thinking about upgrading, but nervous about the cost. Here’s the thing — you pay for your windows every month when you write that check to the energy company.

Upgrade to energy efficient windows and watch your monthly energy costs go way down.  Energy efficient windows are better for the environment, they make your home more comfortable throughout the year, and pay for themselves over time. Smart.

Give us a call at Window Nation and we’ll talk you through the next steps of this process. Let’s get you out of those builder grade windows, and into some windows you’ll really love.

There’s nothing more crazy-making than wasted money—especially of the ongoing variety. You know: the subscription service that never got cancelled, the gym membership no one uses, the newspaper delivery that goes straight to recycling. It’s a slow financial leak. 

It’s so satisfying to find those leaks and plug them up. 

Here’s a tip: your windows might be costing you money—especially if they’re builder-grade

What do we mean by builder-grade? 

Builder-grade windows are supposed to be the windows you don’t need to think about. After all, when you moved into your home there were plenty of other things going on! So your contractor installed some stripped-down, no-frills, lower-quality windows for you. Thanks a lot. 

Builder-grade windows are usually single pane units that only open from the bottom, and they’re probably standard size. One size fits all. Builders don’t really work for you—after all, it’s a volume business. The more corners a builder can cut, the higher the profit margins. Get that builder-grade window in there and call it a day. 

These builder-grade windows are made to last just long enough that the builders are out of the picture, and they often don’t come with full warranties. Homeowners can maybe look at getting about five years out of these inferior windows—and those are five leaky, drafty years. 

A little backstory on those windows

Let’s take a time machine back to the day those windows were installed. Well, “installed” is probably a generous term. 

In the industry, the slang term for installing windows is “slapping” them in. The slapper, as it were, is the same person who did your framing. Installing windows is not their specialty. 

There are several important steps in the installation of a window—a trained installer will make sure your window is properly leveled, sealed and insulated. This takes time and expertise. 

Most building crews want to work as fast as possible to maximize their profits—a few screws in the flange and it’s good enough for them. It’s not surprising that the work is often sloppy and steps get skipped. 

Be on the lookout for these warning signs

Are there rooms in your house that are never really comfortable? Rooms that are hard to regulate the temperature within? Before you crank up the thermostat again, take a minute to wonder whether it could be that the window isn’t doing its job

Take a close look at your windows—can you see light around the edges of the sashes? Check in the middle where the two panes meet, and in the bottom corners. There’s your leak

Are your windows tough to close? Cheap windows are made with cheap parts. Cheap parts wear out quickly. Once those window mechanisms start to go, you won’t get a good seal anymore, and the cold air will rush in. 

Another big tell is fogging issues. If your glass always looks a little milky or steamy, then you have a window that’s costing you extra money each month. 

Builder-grade windows are made with cheap vinyl. Once the vinyl starts going, the seal around the glass unit fails, and water penetrates the panes. Even if you go down some Google rabbit hole on how to clean foggy windows, you’ll still be left with a drafty room. This isn’t a cleaning issue—this is a failed window. 

It’s time to level up

Windows aren’t just window dressing—they’re your partners in energy efficiency. Once you make the decision to get replacement windows, you’ll get a product that suits your climate, vinyl that won’t break down, and installation you can trust. 

You probably keep a wish list of upgrades for your home. Upgrading your builder-grade windows deserves to be in first place. Think in terms of return on investment. Get those windows upgraded now, and you won’t be throwing good money after bad. Sooner rather than later is a smart move when it comes to window replacement. 

Window Nation will walk you through the whole process. We know which windows are the most energy efficient for your climate, our installation teams are factory trained, and all of our windows and labor come with warranties. 

We’ll make sure the work is done right this time. 

There’s a reason why houses tend to look a certain way in different parts of the country. Picture an old house built with locally quarried stone, or the wisdom of an adobe home in the desert. The use of local materials are what give communities their distinctive local character.  

If you’re any kind of history buff, you know that building traditions take years to develop.  Those historical traditions have a built-in practicality under the initial layer of beauty. Local homebuilding traditions take into account the climate and the lifestyles of the community.  

They give us our sense of place. 

That combo of aesthetic beauty and practicality has not passed— even in our mass market, interconnected society.  Although the world is at your fingertips, it’s worth thinking locally. 

Let’s take a dive into the why. 

Lower your lead times

It can be terribly frustrating to finally find that perfect item for your home, only to be told there’s a six-month backorder. It’ll take a few phone calls and emails to learn that it’s sitting on a boat somewhere, or there are problems with the factory in a country far away. 

When it comes to building materials, even little delays can cause a domino effect. Products need to be installed in a certain order, and when you have to wait on one step, you have to wait on every step.  That costs money.

When you choose locally made products, your order doesn’t have to travel far.  The journey to your home will leave a lighter footprint on our planet. Someone is paying for all those miles your product travels— both economically and ecologically.  

You won’t have to play phone tag

The further away from home you go, the more your wishes and dreams may dilute. It’s like a giant game of phone tag. Buying products from far away, you’re left hoping that your wants and needs are enough like everyone else’s. It’s the only way to get those mass market folks interested. 

Local manufacturers are there to listen to the nuances. They’ve got a finer level of control over the product they make, and they’re often governed by standards of quality that are higher than in far-flung places.  

When a local manufacturer gives you a great product, word gets around. Reputation is the name of the game for local businesses. You know they’ll work hard to ensure you’re pleased. 

Keep your dollars in your community 

There’s a hidden double blessing to purchasing locally made products. They not only make your home look good, but they make your community look good.

Local businesses are the ones that sponsor your kid’s softball team. They’re the ones donating their products to the raffle down at the community center. 

Dollars spent locally tend to stay local. 

When you buy from a national big box store, your dollars are like a drop of water in an ocean too large to contemplate. While you may have a lovely conversation with the minimum wage worker who helped you, chances are you’ll never meet the person who really benefited. 

Because locally-produced means regionally-specific

One of the biggest selling points to any window replacement job is the energy efficiency they bring. Energy efficient windows are all about matching the windows to your climate. You want someone who deeply understands the community where you live. They’ll let you know the real deal when it comes to your region’s weather. 

Who is going to understand the difference between double-pane and triple-pane windows better than the company that had to shovel out after that last snowstorm? And who knows better about UV-blocking glass than the company that also survives your sweltering summers

The folks who help you choose these windows won’t let you pick a style they wouldn’t choose for themselves. 

It’s a local call. 

Window Nation has a proven track record of listening and supporting our clients’ visions for window replacement. We’ll help you brainstorm and plan the process. 

We send out the most trained, expert installers out there. Every step of this project you’ll see just how smart it was to choose this locally owned company.

When the weather gets warm, you gotta start gathering your summer gear. To take maximum advantage of the season, make sure you have a good cooler, a fresh pair of flip-flops and an unexpired bottle of sunscreen.

There may be one key piece of summer equipment you’re forgetting— a patio door

With all of the coming and going this time of year, a brand new patio door is going to be key. 

You could use some vitamin sunshine

After this past winter, we’re all a little starved for sunlight. A new patio door lets that summer sunlight pour into your home.  If you never got around to spring cleaning, that’s fine. When your home is full of natural light, suddenly those rooms don’t seem quite so gloomy anymore. 

When you opt for low-e glass in that new patio door, you can let in all the light without baking your interiors. Low-E glass is like sunscreen for your windows- it cuts down on the amount of ultraviolet light and makes it easier to regulate your home’s interior temperature. The sunlight streams through, but low-e glass takes the edge off.  

Consider the dog days of summer

Take a good hard look at your old patio door’s locking mechanism. You’re probably planning on taking some nice long out of town vacations this summer— are you really comfortable leaving that old rusty lock protecting things? A new patio door will seal up tight. 

That seal will not only protect your home, it’ll protect your wallet. An old leaky door could be costing you money— especially on those dog days when the A/C is working really hard. The energy efficiency on new patio doors makes this an upgrade that pays for itself over time. 

If you’re one of those folks who likes to delay switching on the A/C, then a patio door with a screen will be a godsend. You can crack those patio doors and catch a breeze. The bugs stay out, but the cool breezes come in. 

Get outside already

Summer is the time for outdoor living. A new patio door will help you blur the lines between indoors and out. You’ll be running outside to check on the kids, running back in to get another popsicle. Back and forth you go. That patio door gets a workout. 

Perhaps you’re planning on hosting the neighborhood barbeque this summer. A new patio door is an excellent way to up your entertainment game. We don’t always think about how the back of our house looks, but when you’re sitting on the porch with every single one of your neighbors you’ll be glad your house looks so handsome. 

Here’s a thought— if your house has a downstairs master bedroom, what if you added on a patio door and a small deck area? You could build your own little vacation suite off the bedroom—a spot for a quiet cup of coffee in the mornings before the craziness of the day sets in. It will be like extending your summer vacation into the rest of the year. 

Swinging or sliding? 

So the next question is, do you want to swing or slide? No, it’s not this summer’s latest top 40 hit. You’ve got options when it comes to this patio door. 

A sliding glass patio door can provide you with unobstructed views of the outdoors. It’s easy to arrange your furniture with a sliding door- you don’t have to worry about where the door swings. They are great for tight little spaces like off of a breakfast nook. They play well with almost any style home and are low maintenance. 

But perhaps you love the drama of swinging open French doors? You can open one or two sides into your house or out onto a deck, providing a sense of flow to your property. Hinged Patio doors, as you may also hear them called, give you the look of a window and the function of a door. 

Give us a call at Window Nation. If you’re wondering about, “patio doors near me”, or who has the best patio doors for sale, Window Nation is the answer. Summer is an excellent time to coordinate an installation. There’s less worry about weather and cold drafts in the summer months, and we’ve got teams of trusted installers at the ready. 

Getting replacement windows is an upgrade— no doubt. They help with your energy costs, they look good, and they’re a part of being a responsible homeowner. 

But what if you could get an upgrade to this upgrade? Perhaps you want to daydream your way into new windows sizes for your home—and perhaps those new windows will be sliders

Let’s follow this little fantasy for a bit. 

These are some smart windows.

Sliders open horizontally on a track. They seal up tight, giving them an extra boost of energy efficiency. The mechanisms inside vinyl slider windows are a bit simpler, making these windows a durable, low maintenance and often less expensive option. 

Those are the practical reasons to choose sliders—but now let’s talk about the stuff that makes us fall in love. Sliders are uninterrupted by grid lines, making them function like frames at an art gallery. They highlight the views out onto your property— quite a dramatic feature for a dining room or living room. 

They’re easy to slide open with just one hand, so when the weather is nice you can let the fresh air in quickly. With a sliding window over the bathtub you’ll be relaxing to the sound of birds chirping, and you won’t steam up the mirror. 

Windows are the jewelry of your home

Jewelry can really make an outfit sing, but not all baubles and bangles go with every outfit. You’ll want to take a good studious look at your home’s exterior when considering a new window size and style. 

Sliding glass windows tend to play well with others. The clean lines of a sliding glass window are a mainstay in more modern architecture, but they can also be used to update a more traditional style home. 

Figuring out the scale of your new windows is the challenge. It’s never a bad idea to look for inspiration shots for how homes like yours utilize sliding windows. On those pictures, take note of where your eye first travels. You want the house to stand as a whole. When you see a house whose proportions are off, it’s often the first place your eye will travel. 

When you get into the finer details of size, your home itself is going to have a say in the matter. There are limits to the size of window your load bearing exterior walls will take. You’ll need to work with local building codes, and have a sense for the bones of your house.  

High, Wide and Handsome

Just how wide and just how tall can you get away with here?

First step—take a look at the height of your ceilings. If you have a traditional home you probably have eight foot ceilings, and modern homes usually feature nine to ten feet ceilings.

The space between the top of the window and the ceiling is a matter of taste. You want your windows to be close enough to the ceiling to take maximum advantage of natural light, but also give you enough room for window treatments. 

From the bottom up, the International Residential Code (IRC) wants the sills on your windows to be at least 24 inches from the floor. If you want windows that reach lower, you’ll be limited to options that don’t open, like a picture window

The rules for width are mostly about aesthetics—modern homes can get away with being a bit wider than traditional homes can. Go back to that image library you gathered to see how wide you can go. 

Time to start shopping

So this sliding window daydream is starting to become a reality. 

Window Nation can walk you through this next step. We’ll work with you to figure out the structure of your home, and can make you pictures of how this new window will look (helpful if someone in your home needs to be talked into this project…).

There might even be a combo pack of windows—maybe some smaller windows over your sliders, or perhaps a non-opening window in the middle of two sliders. 

Let us daydream with you, and work up a free estimate. 

When there’s rain on the forecast, is there a part of you that worries about your basement staying dry? 

Worst case scenario you’re ripping out carpets and throwing away photo albums, but even a little drip can lead to big problems. 

Little drips can get into the wall, damaging your drywall and compromising your foundation. Those little drips can become major mold problems and affect the health of your family, while that moisture can just make your basement stinky.

Basement windows are your first line of defense. 

Those windows certainly have their work cut out for them. They bring valuable light into your home, they help you keep the temperature comfortable, and some basement windows even serve as a means of egress in case of emergency. 

Let’s give them a little assist. 

5. Make sure your lot’s grading makes the grade 

Take a step back and look at the big picture. Your lawn. Does it slope down towards your basement? You can try any number of fixes for your leaky windows, but if your lot’s grading is problematic, you’ll be needing to fix those basement leaks on the regular. 

If you notice that your lot’s terrain slopes down towards the foundation, you might want to call in the pros. Take a basement waterproofing expert on a stroll through your backyard.

4. Keep those downspouts and gutters tidy

Okay… we’re thinking like the enemy here. Getting inside their heads. 

If you were water, what would you do? How would you get into that basement? Well, you might drop down out of the sky, land on the roof, and then roll into the gutters

When was the last time those gutters were cleaned? Take a look at your downspouts! It’s so easy to knock those downspout extenders out of position when you’re mowing the grass. You want them pointed away from your basement at least six to ten feet and sloping downwards. 

The next time it rains, take a walk outside and see how your gutters are performing. If you see water pooling by the downspouts, or spilling out of the sides of your gutters, you have some work to do. 

3. Ensure your window wells are working well 

If the base of your window is at or below ground level, you probably have a window well. They create a border around the window that helps keep water away, and makes it easier to crawl out of the basement in case of emergencies

Are you taking good care of your window wells? Over time, these wells can fill up with dead leaves and dirt.  They need some love. 

You might want to look into laying down a layer of gravel at the bottom of your window well to help with drainage. You can also install a window well cover that will keep this area clean and dry. 

2. Break out a fresh tube of caulk

Basement foundations shift over time. When those basement windows were first installed, there was a layer of caulk that sealed up the windows and got you a good tight fit.

It’s been a while. 

You might be able to see cracks in the caulking, but even if you don’t, this could be letting water in.  

It’s an easy weekend job to run out to the hardware store and pick up a fresh tube of caulk. Not a bad idea. 

1. Upgrade those windows

Now let’s look at those windows. What’s the sash material made out of? With exposure to water, wood windows can rot over time. Aluminum windows are vulnerable to rust. If moisture has left its mark on your windows, it’s time to upgrade. 

New vinyl double-pane windows are your best bet. Vinyl is an excellent material; low maintenance, affordable and great at standing up against moisture. If you like to keep an eye on your monthly bills (and who doesn’t?), new energy efficient windows are a great investment

Good news: although you may have thought you had a big expensive basement problem, you may instead have a small basement window problem instead. Window Nation can help you out.

If you have a new home, you’re most likely not thinking about replacing the windows. Why would you? It’s a brand-new home, and the quality of the products should be good. However, many times contractors choose the cheapest option possible to keep the cost of the project low. The issue isn’t just limited to windows: your home most likely has builder-grade flooring, countertops, cabinets, and even appliances. While builder-grade appliances might be serviceable for a few years, they aren’t a long-term solution, especially if you have builder-grade windows. We recommend replacing your contractor-grade windows even if they’re just a few years old they might seem fine now, but they could be costing you in the long run. Our window replacement experts are here to explain why you need to be aware of the dangers of low-quality windows:

What are Builder-Grade Windows?

Builder-grade windows, also called new construction windows or contractor-grade windows, are the most basic, no-frills windows on the market. These windows are typically white vinyl single hung windows that are made with low-quality materials to keep costs to a minimum. Builder grade windows are typically mass-produced and sold in bulk to developers looking to use the cheapest option available. They can also be found at big box home improvement stores, like Home Depot or Lowes.

Dangers of Builder-Grade Windows

While builder grade windows might look fine from a curb appeal standpoint, they do little to make your home more energy efficient. Contractor-grade windows lack the premium energy efficiency features that come standard on modern replacement windows, like double pane and triple pane glass. As a result, most windows fail to meet Energy Star standards, unlike the energy efficient windows from Window Nation and window contractors. After a few years, you might notice higher energy bills, or even issues like drafts or condensation between the panes of glass.

Most builder-grade windows also offer little to no protection from intense UV rays that can be harmful to your home. You might notice the temperature of your home increasing during the summer, causing your HVAC system to work harder to cool your home. Over the years, you might even notice your furniture and paint fade because of the intense sunlight. By upgrading your existing windows to replacement windows, you’ll keep your home – and your furniture – protected.

Benefits of Replacement Windows

We understand it’s not ideal to replace the windows in your home shortly after you move in; however, replacement windows offer energy efficiency benefits that will last for years to come. Replacement windows from Window Nation are Energy Star certified, built with premium energy efficiency features to keep your energy bills low no matter the season.

If you’re looking to boost your home’s energy efficiency on a budget, consider replacing your windows with double pane glass. These windows have two panes of Low-E coated glass, offering premium energy efficiency at a wallet-friendly price. However, for maximum energy efficiency, we recommend replacing your windows with triple pane glass. Triple pane windows have three panes of energy efficient glass, keeping your home comfortable and well-insulated. No matter the style you choose, your windows will have a Low-E glass coating to reflect sunlight and heat off your windows to keep your home cool and comfortable.

Replacement windows from Window Nation are also custom-made, available in over 1,500 style and color combinations to give your home a curb appeal boost. We offer double hung windows, bays, bows, and even specialty windows to give your home a makeover.

Need New Windows?

When you’re ready to start your window replacement project, schedule an estimate with one of our exterior design consultants. Our team will discuss your project with you and go over your options so you can find the best windows for your home. You’ll then receive a quote good for up to six months. Schedule your in-home estimate today at  


The state’s largest window replacement company will now service the Dayton metro.   

DAYTON (June 1, 2021) – Window Nation is expanding the company’s presence in the Buckeye State by growing the Ohio service area to include Dayton, adding new jobs and bringing in-demand home solutions to the metro. The team will now service areas in the central and southwest portions of the state including Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati and parts of Kentucky and southeastern Indiana. Window Nation is recognized as one of the leading window replacement companies in the country.

The Dayton service area expansion follows the February opening of a Cincinnati showroom and 4th Ohio location for Window Nation, which is located at 11935 Tramway Drive, Suite B, Sharonville. Window Nation also services the Columbus area in central Ohio with a showroom located at 7340 Sancus Blvd, Suite A-1, Worthington, Ohio 43085.

“We are thrilled to lead our team of window replacement experts into the Dayton market and bring homeowners new solutions for window replacement. We are headed into the warmer summer months and want to be there to help out those who are getting a jumpstart on their home improvement projects – homeowners looking for quality products with exceptional service,” said Aaron Magden, Window Nation president. “We recently opened up our showroom in Cincinnati, which is an amazing addition to the Window Nation family, but we knew we could take an extra step to service the greater area. We are excited to announce that we will be offering our services in Dayton as well.”

Window Nation co-founders and brothers Harley and Aaron Magden have strong roots in Ohio and grew up in Cleveland, where their passion for the improvement industry began. The brothers are third-generation home solution experts who continued the family tradition by opening their own company – which is now the largest window replacement company in Ohio and 5th largest nationwide. Window Nation has installed more than 1 million windows since launching in 2006.

“We firmly believe we aren’t just in the window business, we are in the people business too. And we want to take care of all our guests across Ohio,” said Magden. “We can’t wait to get to know more of Ohio and the community through the Gem City.”   

Dayton’s strong housing market is one of the key factors driving Window Nation’s expansion into the Dayton area. In the last year, homeownership in Dayton has reached record highs with the homeownership rate increasing to 71.4%, according to the U.S. Census’ Housing Vacancies and Homeownership survey. Total home sales increased 5.7 percent year-to-date and sale prices are also jumping according to data from Dayton Realtors. From January to February 2021, average sales price increased 12 percent from 2020, while the median price jumped ten percent. This is due in part to the high rent increases in 2020, a trend that’s expected to continue, according to Roofstock. The five county Dayton metro includes Darke, Preeble, Montgomery, Greene and Warren counties.

Services offered in Dayton include window replacement to fit every homeowner’s style and budget. Window Nation will have experts on hand to walk customers through the home renovation process, including vinyl options, colors, sizes, styles and more. Homeowners interested in learning more about services and getting a quote can call Sales at (877) 659-4491 or visiting Window Nation team is following strict CDC guidelines including social distancing, enhanced cleaning practices, protective equipment and screenings for every appointment.

In an effort to ensure the safety of all customers, employees and their families amid COVID-19, Window Nation is also offering residents the option to receive a virtual consultation and estimate via video conferencing. Homeowners can upload photos to receive precise measurements, and installs are completed outside with minimal disruption. Depending on a customer’s individual preferences, needs and circumstances, Window Nation experts are still available to provide in- home consultations and education, while strictly adhering to CDC safety and sanitation guidelines.

In 2020, Window Nation was re-named the 5th largest replacement contractor in the U.S. by Remodeling Magazine and the second largest non-franchise window retailer, marking the fourth year in a row Window Nation was recognized as being in the top five. The magazine looks at nearly 100,000 home remodeling companies in the country and makes its decision based on revenue, growth, surveys, customer input and more. Qualified Remodeler Magazine ranked Window Nation as the seventh largest remodeling firm in the U.S. for its total gross sales, remodeling gross sales and the number of remodeling jobs completed annually. The company also earned a spot-on last year’s Inc. 5000 list, being honored as one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. The Window Nation team currently services 14 other locations throughout the U.S.

There’s no bad weather. There’s only bad gear.

Perhaps you’ve heard this expression? Hopefully you didn’t hear it while freezing on the ski slopes, or soaked to the bone on a camping trip. If only you’d brought along that perfect raincoat, if only you’d sprung for the proper snow boots… you get the idea.

Now you’re looking at a replacement window project, and the choices are staggering.  Choosing the right windows can be like choosing the right gear. 

Knowing where you live — what style house, and what kind of climate — is going to make all the difference. 

Let’s get out the map and take a little tour. 

The Northeast corner of the map

This corner of the map has some of the oldest architecture in America, and those classic cape cods and colonials often feature double hung wood windows

Our forefathers were smart cookies — wood is one of the least thermally conductive materials out there. A properly cared for wood sash window will last a long time, and is energy efficient.

Double pane windows can be helpful when dealing with the rough winters and hot summers. Low-E glass will allow the light to come in, but keep the cold out. 

Below the Mason-Dixon Line

Porches are a big deal south of the Mason Dixon line — a rocking chair, a glass of sweet tea, and you’re all set up to enjoy the cooling breezes of a summer evening. Houses want to breathe down south, and double hung windows are just the thing to take advantage of the cross breezes.  

Vinyl sash material works well down here, and you want to look for glass that takes the edge off of the solar heat gain inside the house.  Low-E glass can reduce solar heat gain by as much as 70%. You don’t need to draw the curtains during the dog days — you can enjoy the light in your home on even the hottest days. 

All across the vast Midwest

Those amber waves of grain are gorgeous to gaze out on. From across the wide vistas you can watch approaching rainstorms, and sometimes even tornadoes. 

Casement windows are a great option. They seal them up tight when you see something coming, and you can wind them open when the windy breezes are welcome. 

Temperatures in this region fluctuate, and the insulation of triple pane glass will cut down on energy bills. 

You’ll stay comfortable from planting season to harvest to fallow times. 

Down in the Southwest

The Southwest was settled in a hurry — our grade school history books tell us so, and so do the more recent building booms. This has resulted in some builder-grade window choices that just aren’t smart. 

If your home features single pane windows, it’s time to upgrade. You want double pane or triple pane windows with good solar heat resistant glass.  You’ll be very pleased with the impact on your monthly energy bills. 

Up in the Pacific Northwest

The views in the Pacific Northwest are magnificent. It’s no wonder that architects in this region often choose big dramatic bay and bow windows. Sliding glass doors are another popular option — they let you step outside whenever you’d like and blur the lines between indoors and out. 

Most folks in this region keep a raincoat near the door. Wet, cool weather is almost a constant, and a house that is properly dressed is a happy house. Vinyl replacement windows hold up well to the moisture and Low-E glass will insulate you from the worst of the chill. 

From sea to shining sea

We are a big country, and there are lots of options out there for windows. 

Let the experts at Window Nation walk you through the whole process. We’re a national company who knows your community inside and out. 

You know that old expression, “Measure twice, cut once”? When it comes to measuring out basement windows, you can’t afford to get this one wrong. 

There’s no jamming a window into place, or shaving down an eighth of an inch on a vinyl replacement window. This job requires precision.

The simplest way to replace your basement windows is to do a pocket installation—swapping out the old worn-out windows for the same size and type. If you are rethinking the size of your window, you’ll be cutting into your walls. 

Leave that one to the pros. 

A little window anatomy lesson.

Most windows are defined by the way they open. The two most common types of basement windows are slider windows that slide open and awning or vent windows that swing out. You may also hear folks call these hopper windows. 

You’re going to be measuring from jamb to jamb (the jamb is the side of the window), so ignore any of the parts that deal with opening and closing, and ignore the trim of the window, too. 

You’ll want to start by removing any interior trim so you can see the real size of this window. Take care removing this trim, as you’re going to reinstall it with your new window. 

At this stage, you can get a sense of the condition of your walls surrounding the window. If those are looking rough, you’re probably looking at a bigger job. 

Time to call the pros.   

Get out your tape measure.

To keep things straight, it’s a good idea to assign a name to each window you’re replacing. For example: “Southwest front corner window: slider”. Record all your measurements in one location. The back of that takeout napkin might get lost. Just saying. 

Your first step is to make sure that the windows are square. Yup, you’re making sure your rectangle windows are square. All this really means is checking that the window corners haven’t shifted out of a 90 degree angle over time. 

Stretching your tape measure tight, reach from the inside of the upper left hand corner of the window to the inside of the lower right hand corner. Place that tape measure right where the horizontal and vertical trim boards meet. Do the same measurement for top right to lower left. If those two measurements are within a quarter inch of each other, then your window is square. 

If not—time to call in the pros. 

Now measure the size of the openings. You won’t ever have to measure for depth— replacement windows come with a standard depth of 3.25 inches. Height and width are the measurements you need. 

Start with the width of the window.  From jamb to jamb, you’ll want to take a measurement at the bottom, the middle, and the top. The smallest of these three measurements is your width. 

For height, it’s the same idea. Pulling your tape measure taut, start on the left measuring from jamb to jamb. You’ll measure the left, middle and then right side of the window. Your smallest number is your height. 

Plumb, level and square.

Before you call in your order for your new replacement windows, consider rounding down your window measurement by an eighth of an inch. You want this new window to fit precisely, but a window that’s installed too tightly might become damaged — and that may mean that your window won’t open. 

Your installer will work with shims and foam to get the windows plumb, level and square. An eighth of an inch gives them some play to get the windows in just right. 

Anything worth doing is worth doing right.

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! If you’re overwhelmed — don’t fret. In almost all cases, it’s just so much easier (and less risky) to have a professional do the measuring for you.

Window Nation is more than happy to take this work off of your hands. Let us send one of our trained technicians to do the measuring. 

The experts we send have installed over one million windows, and they use our 18-point checklist for taking your measurements. You’ll get peace of mind knowing that your job will be done right the first time. 

In-home estimates are always free with Window Nation. So set down the tape measure, and pick up the phone.