Have you ever lost your keys and tried to break into your own house? It’s a bummer, for sure, but it can also get you thinking. If you’re able to break into your house, chances are someone else will also be able to. 

Out of all of the points of entry into your home, basement windows are the most vulnerable. 

Think about it. Odds are your master bedroom is up on the second floor— too far away to hear the noise of a break-in. Basement windows often face into the backyard, away from flood lights or security cameras. There’s not even much of a chance for a passing motorist to witness the break-in. 

Basements can be an afterthought for homeowners— it’s just the spot for boxes, the washing machine, and that extra beer fridge.  However, There’s a few things you can do to tighten up the security, and give you peace of mind. 

Here are our top eight tips to make burglars walk right on past your home.

Get covers installed on your basement windows

If your basement windows look up a little shaft, then window well covers will keep intruders away. They also keep rain and snow away from the windows, so bonus on this one. 

Make it seem lively down there

It’s simple. Pick up an inexpensive timer at the home improvement store.  Program a light, or even an old clock radio, to create a sense that there might be someone down there. If you’re already using a home smart speaker system, you can even program that to keep your basement lively. 

Slap a security sticker on your basement windows

Maybe your security company gave you a little yard sign to put in the bushes. Those signs are hard to see in the dark! Get a sticker. It’s a visual reminder (right at the most opportune moment!) that this break-in will not go well. 

Install flood lights in the backyard

So many homeowners point their floodlights at the driveway—as if an intruder is going to be making a polite housecall. Install them on the backside of the house, and catch them coming from your most vulnerable angle. 

Make it tough to see inside

If a burglar can’t look in to see your stuff, they’re less likely to take the risk of breaking in. Depending on the style of your windows, this may mean hanging blinds or curtains that you keep closed. For smaller windows, consider installing frosted glass the next time you upgrade your home windows

Get some plant life

This may sound like a tactic straight out of a little kid’s home security plan, but what about planting some thorny bushes right in front of your basement window?  You don’t want to create a place for a burglar to hide, but a well-placed, unfriendly bush planted snugly up against the house can keep your home safer. 

Use shatter proof window glass

When you upgrade your home windows, you get to choose lots of options about the type of glass. Get a good strong shatterproof glass, and you not only keep yourself safe from a break-in, but you help out with the energy efficiency of your home. 

Buy the best basement windows out there

It can be tempting to invest the most money in your front-facing windows, but don’t skimp on your basement! Good proper basement windows with tight locking seals will keep you safe. Older sliding glass doors frequently have worn out locking mechanisms. It’s probably time to upgrade. 

For smaller windows, like awning windows or vent windows, new windows come with a tight seal that not only saves on energy bills, but makes these windows nearly impossible to pry open with a crowbar.  

Add Peace of Mind with Basement Windows

Don’t let your basement be an afterthought. When it’s time to upgrade your basement windows, Window Nation can make sure your home is secured with the best windows on the market. 

Our installation experts are factory trained, and all our windows are protected by a lifetime warranty. They bring an attention to detail to every step of the process, ensuring your home is safe and secure.

Do you love to gather lots of pictures of dream houses and décor? Scroll through those pictures and see if there are a few with black windows. These images are some of the most pinned pictures out there right now. 

The look is definitely current. 

However, It can be hard to know when you are looking at a big project like window replacement if this is a look that will date quickly, or if it’s one to sign on to. Are you going to fall out of love quickly? Or will it give your home a major glow-up? 

Let’s dig a little deeper and see if this is a trend for you. 

First off, is trend even the right word? If you dig into history, black steel windows were used all the way back into the 1800s —you’d see them used in factories and warehouses. 

The interest in revitalizing these spaces into loft apartments has brought this look back into our consciousness—and it’s really taken off in a big way.  These windows are now made with energy efficient materials and many modern replacement window projects can take advantage of this timeless look. 

Have you considered the style of your home?

Black vinyl windows play well with lots of different styles of architecture.

If you find yourself drawn to the modern farmhouse look — zoom in and notice how many of these homes feature the cool lines and bold contrast of black windows. There’s a timelessness to the look that traditional homes can tap right into. 

If your house is rocking the loft modern aesthetic, then this look is very easy to pull off. This is where it came from, after all. Black vinyl windows look great next to raw brick walls, high ceilings and exposed ductwork. 

Some of the more angular contemporary architecture also is an easy pairing with this look. It gives your house a gallery-like feel, and helps you blur the boundaries between indoors and out. 

It’s a style with lots of design flex. 

Do you like that high contrast look?

There’s nothing like the crispness of brand new black vinyl windows installed against a white wall. The statement they make — just with that high visual contrast of white on black — will do a lot of the decorating for you. The bold contrast can act like a picture frame drawing your eye to the outdoors. 

Some decorators will tell you that if your house features lots of earth tones, black windows will drag down and muddy the look of your interiors. But there are decorators out there that are savvy enough to break this rule, and make black windows work with a more subdued palate. 

How do I imagine covering Black Vinyl windows? 

If you don’t have privacy concerns and want to forgo the headache of window treatments— you’ll be very happy here. 

Black windows work perfectly well all by themselves. Just get out of their way and let them pack their visual punch.  Big beautiful windows on the back of the house or large windows over the kitchen sink are natural choices for uncovered black windows. 

If your house faces a busy street, or you’d just like to be able to control the sun, you can still play. While Black windows do not lend themselves to blinds, roman shades are a popular pairing with this look. Curtains hung wide of the window can also break things up nicely. 

Many of these frequently pinned pictures of black windows are at dusk, when the warm lights of the inside of the house contrast beautifully with the twilight. During the day however, black windows on a light colored home can look like a series of big black holes. For the sake of curb appeal, a roman shade adds nice depth.   

Timely or Timeless?

Just like the little black dress is a wardrobe workhorse. Black vinyl replacement windows are a chic, timeless choice. Window Nation has a great computer program that will help you visualize how these modern replacement windows will work in your home. The program lets you upload pictures of your home and see just what kind of impact black windows will have. 

They’re a fresh and classic look to consider.

Replacing old windows will freshen up your home’s appearance while curbing energy use and enhancing home value. After all, the first thing that people see when they see your home (outside of your Pittsburgh parking chair) is your home’s exterior. Composite replacement windows have been gaining traction in recent years, so how do they compare to energy-efficient vinyl windows in Pittsburgh?

What are Composite Windows?

Composite windows are newer than vinyl windows, which have been around for decades. These windows are made from a blend of materials similar to what your car’s bumper is made of. including resin and fiberglass. And the window frame, much like a car bumper and the Steelers’ defense is flexible yet strong.

While you can usually tell a vinyl window by its appearance, composite windows look more like wood windows. This may be beneficial if you have a historic home that would look strange with modern windows. But don’t start submitting your home to any of the Carnegie Museums yet, because even modern homes can enjoy the rustic look of composite windows. While they mimic the look of wood, they do not come with the maintenance of a wood window, which means no more scraping or painting to keep windows looking sharp.

Composite replacement window prices in Pittsburgh vary by the features selected, including window color and type of glass. In general, the prices for these windows fall between wood and vinyl. This often makes them a happy medium for Pennsylvanian homeowners who want wood windows, but cannot afford them or do not want to maintain them.

Features of Vinyl vs. Composite Windows

With vinyl vs composite windows, because unlike Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, there are more similarities than differences.

Maintenance

Both types of windows are low maintenance. Even in the high weather variances in the City of Champions, they need no painting, staining, or scraping and they are impervious to rot. Both may require periodic lubrication and cleaning to operate smoothly and look their best.

Variety

Vinyl and composite windows come in an array of colors, which means that most homeowners will be able to find the black and yellow scheme that matches their home’s style and color palette. And of course any other colors you might want to have.

Energy Efficiency

Composite windows offer a high degree of energy efficiency, as do vinyl windows. With both types of windows, homeowners have options to enhance energy efficiency. Taking a page right out of the Carnegie Science Center’s book, the low-e coating blocks solar heat gain to keep the home temperature steady with lower energy consumption. Triple-pane glass provides superior comfort over old single-pane windows.

You can recycle composite windows towards the end of their life span like the leftover fries you put on a Pittsburgh salad, a benefit that may appeal to eco-conscious homeowners.

Vinyl vs Composite Windows Cost

Vinyl windows cost less than composite windows and offer a high amount of energy efficiency, thanks to the naturally insulating properties of the PVC, the type of plastic used to create vinyl windows. Vinyl windows can be created in nearly any shape or size you like, which means they are a good choice for most applications.

Vinyl vs Composite Windows Durability

While you shouldn’t plan for extensive maintenance for either composite or vinyl windows, both could become dinged by hail. Vinyl windows can sometimes warp when exposed to high heat, which means that composite may be a better choice for hot climates. For temperate climates with occasional heat waves, you can safely choose vinyl or composite. So with the hot summers and cold winters, you can take your pick of the window you prefer in the Steel City.

While they may have a lower price point than other windows, vinyl windows are hardly low-quality. They typically last 30 years before they need to be replaced, and they won’t rust the way aluminum or Pittsburgh steel windows will.

There are plenty of styles of both composite and vinyl windows for “yinz” to choose from. But instead of walking down to the Strip District like you’re used to for most other things, start your search for replacement windows by browsing top styles from bay to double-hung to casement. Reach out to get a free quote for window replacement in Pittsburgh from the pros at Window Nation.

Double Hung WindowThere are all kinds of people in the world, and even though you may have a doppelganger out there somewhere, there isn’t going to be anyone who looks exactly like you. We’re all different in our own unique and special ways. After weighing vinyl windows pros and cons, vinyl windows may be perfect for one person and may not be the right choice for someone else. So, which are you? Are you someone who will absolutely love new vinyl windows for your home, or will you prefer wood or fiberglass? Let’s look at vinyl windows pros and cons and see how this material measures up against the other two.

VINYL WINDOW PRICES

If the price is most important to you, vinyl is the way to go. When you want all the advantages that new windows provide but don’t have a ton of money to spend, vinyl window prices are unbeatable and give the best balance between features and cost. Windows made with vinyl are strong, long lasting, energy efficient, and beautiful; and because they are easier to manufacture, you’re not going to have to pay as much to have great windows that will keep the heat in during those cold winter days and keep the cold in when things get hot and humid outside. Vinyl windows can be double or triple pane with Argon or Krypton gas to resist heat transfer, and they can have a reflectant coating that will reflect heat back to the outside, all without breaking your wallet.
 

VINYL WINDOW FUNCTIONALITY

If you want functionality, vinyl may be the perfect choice. Have you ever tried to clean a wood window on the second floor of your home? It can be a real pain; but with vinyl, you can leave the ladder in the shed and just swing those windows in to clean them. This kind of functionality is priceless and yet features like these come standard with many vinyl window options. If you care more about the windows than the frames, vinyl will be the right fit. While we are proud to offer frames that are made from 100% virgin vinyl to provide superior strength, and a wide selection of colors to give the variety our customers need, we realize that some folks just aren’t happy unless they have something that looks like real stained wood. And even though we offer wood grain laminates that look beautiful, it just isn’t enough for some people. We understand. But, if you’re okay with not having the special touch that only wood and fiberglass can provide, vinyl will give you all the other benefits of new windows and still look beautiful. You’ll have more light coming in, soft shadows on your floors and walls, a better view of your yard, and–if you get a bow window–a nice little nook where you can relax and enjoy a book.

VINYL WINDOW MAINTENANCE

Another angle on vinyl windows pros and cons is maintenance and ease of customization. If you’re looking for easy maintenance, vinyl is a hassle free option. Being able to easily clean the windows on the second and third stories of your home isn’t the only way vinyl window maintenance is easier. It is also a breeze to keep the frames nice on vinyl windows. Vinyl can be cleaned with just a little soapy water, and you don’t have to worry about having to paint, repaint, or stain to keep them nice through the years. If you actually like painting your windows, vinyl may not be for you. No window can be all things to all people. If you’re the kind of person who likes to switch things up and change the color of your frames every now and then, you’ll want to go with wood or even fiberglass instead of vinyl.

VINYL WINDOW DURABILITY

If you want windows that will brave the weather, vinyl will get you there. This material is made to weather the weather. In rain, sleet, or snow, vinyl windows aren’t going to crack, chip, or peel.

READY FOR VINYL REPLACEMENT WINDOWS?

Do you see new vinyl windows in your future? If you do, let Window Nation help you with that window replacement. We have an incredible selection of styles and colors, and we’re sure to find the perfect fit. Nothing breathes life into the exterior beauty of a home like new windows can. Let’s get started today.

This is it, folks! It’s the fighting event of the year! It has come down to the two most popular choices for replacement windows. Vinyl windows versus wood windows. In every town and state across America, this is the battle of the century! Who will it be?

Issues and Benefits of Wood Windows

In one corner, weighing in at approximately 20 to 30 pounds per average size window, this classic wood window has a lot to offer. The intimate relationship you will have these windows is certain. You will get to know each and every corner of the frame when you clean it.

Wood window maintenance can be tedious if you do not start out with the right quality of windows. Just think how well you will know all its angles, corners and designs when you have to sand, scrape and repaint it.

You will need to check the cladding and trim regularly for any cracks that may allow water to penetrate the wood frame. A moist or wet wood frame can be lots of trouble, it’s important to choose wood windows that have been properly treated with water-repellent preservative. A warped frame is a weakness that might be a knock-out of the wood window. Another important point is the cost of wood windows vs vinyl: on average wood windows are more expensive than vinyl windows.

However, we must also mention that no other kind of window comes close to wood in terms of the beauty, elegance, and charm it can bring to a home. Wood windows from Window Nation are made from durable ponderosa pine with glass systems that meet the most stringent ENERGY STAR requirements. Wood windows are also very easy to customize to your own specific style, it can be easily painted, stained or even clad with other materials like aluminium or fiberglass.

Issues and Benefits of Vinyl Windows

In the other corner, weighing in at approximately 8 to 12 pounds per average size window, this new, sleek vinyl replacement window is made to your custom specifications. It is made to perfectly fit your needs. With many colors and styles to choose from this is YOUR window. A strong, independent window. It will not require any of your time or money for maintenance.

With no wood components, you don’t have to be concerned about moisture or warping it. Energy efficiency is its middle name. Keeping your homes indoor temperature stable is what it’s fighting for.

This reliable, efficient, sleek window will not fail you nor will it give up. Standing tall until the last bell, this replacement vinyl window from Window Nation comes with one of the best warranties in the business. Nothing and no one can knock it out.

Wood Windows vs. Vinyl Windows: You Decide The Winner!

Wood windows may be a traditional look and style, but that doesn’t mean that they are the best window to choose. Replacing wood windows with vinyl is also very common with owners of older homes because of all the advantages of vinyl windows. In this battle of vinyl windows vs. wood windows, vinyl reigns supreme. Replacement vinyl windows from Window Nation are a triple threat. They are less expensive to purchase, ultra-low to maintain, and extremely energy efficient. Whichever replacement window option you choose, choose Window Nation if you want the best.

Air leaks from old windows can make your home feel drafty and lead to high utility bills. Replacing old windows with vinyl windows is a cost-effective way to preserve both your comfort and your home’s value. Learn what to look for in a vinyl window with our vinyl window buying guide.

Benefits of Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows are a cost-efficient way to replace drafty windows and improve the value of your home, with a much lower price point than wood windows. Vinyl windows are maintenance-free once installed and they come in a wide range of colors.

Wondering “how long do vinyl windows last”? They hold up for 30 years on average.

Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows Features

Vinyl windows are also highly energy efficient. A few of the top desired energy efficient features include:

  • Argon gas insertion – Filling the space between the panes of glass with argon gas, an inert substance, decreases air transfer between the panes of glass. This means more energy efficiency and more comfort in the home.
  • Low-E glass – Low-E glass, which stands for low-emissivity, blocks UV rays without affecting light. Since the sun’s rays are reflected back into the atmosphere, your home stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
  • Triple-pane glass – The more panes of glass in your window, the more energy-efficient. Replace old single-pane windows with double or triple-pane glass to start saving money every month.
  • Fade protection – If you’ve ever had furniture fade from high sun exposure, then you know how harmful UV rays can be. Fade protection coating bounces UV rays back to the environment so you get all the benefits of natural light with no fading.

The Energy Star designation indicates windows that have significant energy saving benefits. By choosing Energy Star windows, you can maximize the value and ROI of replacement windows.

Vinyl Windows Styles

You’ll find vinyl windows available in all the common window types, including:

Double-hung windows are a good all-purpose window for most applications. They tilt inward, which makes cleaning a snap.

Bay and bow windows can let in a great amount of light and call attention to your home. They work well for greenhouses, reading nooks, and other decorative features.

Casements are a good idea for locations where it’s not easy to reach over and open the window, such as a laundry room or over the kitchen sink.

Sliding windows are easy to operate; all you do is slide them horizontally. They are a good choice for windows that are wider than they are tall, such as basement windows.

Specialty windows can be custom-made in any size or shape, allowing you to replace historically significant or artistic windows with something that’s not drafty.

While many homeowners simply replace the windows they have with an energy-efficient window of the same style, you can also change it up to accommodate your tastes or your home’s unique architectural features. Once you’ve identified a supplier, ask them about any style of window that interests you to decide what’s right.

Vinyl Window Manufacturers

Replacement windows are a big expense, and they will hold up for decades as long as they were properly made and correctly installed. For this reason, it is key that you find a reputable window manufacturer and installer.

Look for a manufacturer that has a proven track record of success through testimonials from satisfied customers and a positive rating with the Better Business Bureau. Many customers feel it’s important to support local businesses, so you might want to find a window manufacturer that’s family-owned and operated and makes products locally.

The vinyl window warranty is very important with a high-value purchase like a window. Read the fine print with any vinyl replacement window to see what type of warranty the manufacturer offers.

Find a Contractor for Vinyl Window Installation

Once you find the right product, look for a licensed professional to install the windows. If the windows aren’t properly installed, the manufacturer may not honor their warranty. The right contractor will have references, a strong work history of window installation, and a friendly and knowledgeable demeanor.

Don’t rush into replacing your old windows. Take the time to understand the different features of energy efficient vinyl windows, determine your budget for replacement windows, and find reputable service providers. You will reap the benefits of this home improvement for 30 years.