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. 

When you think about replacement windows in NoVa, you probably think about double-hung windows or bays and bows. But a less common – though equally as good – choice is casement windows They offer the same benefits as double hung windows; however, they open outwards using a crank instead of being lifted up and down. Casement windows from Window Nation are available in a variety of styles and colors, guaranteeing the perfect fit for your lifelong Northern Virginia home. Your casement windows will also save you money on your energy bills (despite the humid Virginia weather) thanks to their airtight seal keeping your home comfortable. If you’re considering a window replacement project, consider replacing your old, outdated windows with replacement casement windows from Window Nation. We understand you may have questions about your windows, and we’re here to help.

When Do I Use Casement Windows?

Because casement windows open outwards using a crank it’s best to use casement windows in open areas. Casement windows are not recommended in areas close to a garage or somewhere with heavy foot traffic, like areas close to a deck, balcony, front porch, or Busch Gardens (if you live that close, we’re jealous). You might also consider using a casement window in an area where you’re looking to increase the airflow in your home. These windows open wider than double-hung windows, allowing for more ventilation.

Are Casement Windows Safe?

Casement windows are among the safest windows on the market thanks to their airtight seal and multi-point locking system. So after a day of driving in the deplorable Virginia traffic, you can feel safe in your NoVa home. These windows can also serve as egress windows, serving as an exit in case of fire. Casement windows are often used as egress in locations where space is limited, like basements.

Are Casement Windows Low Maintenance?

Casement windows from Window Nation are low maintenance and easy to clean which is great for the often inclement NoVa weather. Our casement windows are available in vinyl styles, built using high-quality virgin vinyl that will look brand new for years to come. Vinyl casement window frames can be cleaned using just warm soapy water. Your windows can also be cleaned from the inside by simply cranking your window open and removing your window screen.

Can Casement Windows be Repaired?

Most casement window issues are caused by problems with the crank, making it difficult to open your window. In most cases, casement window cranks can be easily repaired. Casement windows from Window Nation are covered by a lifetime warranty, keeping your windows protected for the time you live in your Virginia home. Our dedicated customer service team will help fix any issues you may have with your windows, leaving your windows good as new.

Can Casement Windows Open Inward?

Casement windows can open both inwards and outwards; however, casement windows that open inwards are known as inswing casement windows and are not the same as standard casements. If you’re interested in an inswing casement window, be sure to tell your exterior design consultant at the time of your appointment.

What are French Casement Windows?

Double casement windows, also known as French casement windows, are two side-by-side casement windows that open from the center. Like picture windows, these windows do not have a center post, creating an unobstructed view. We recommend double casement windows for homeowners looking to create a view as large and scenic as Luray Caverns.

What are Flush Casement Windows?

While modern casement windows have a “lip” when the windows are closed, flush casement windows are an older style of window that appears flat and flush with the frame when closed. These windows were popular in older, cottage-style homes that are common in NoVa but are seeing growth in popularity in modern and contemporary homes.

Want to Learn More About our Windows?

When you’re ready to start your window replacement project in Virginia, 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, doors, and siding for your home. You’ll then receive a quote good for up to six months. Schedule your in-home estimate today at WindowNation.com.

When you’re browsing for windows, you might come across the term French casement windows. How do these casement windows differ from the typical casement window and when are they a good choice for your home? Here’s everything you need to know about French casement windows.

What Makes French Casement Windows Different?

Like traditional casement windows, French casement windows push out to extend beyond the envelope of your home. French casement windows consist of two casement windows side by side that open out from the center and do not have a vertical post between windows.

Traditional casement windows consist of a single window, which opens using a hand crank, and fits within a sash. If you had two traditional casements next to one another, you would have to open them each separately and you would see the vertical posts dividing each window from its neighbor. This would leave you with an obstructed view. With French casements, simply push to open both windows at the same time and enjoy a clean view.

When to Use French Casement Windows?

French casement windows are a good choice when you need two windows next to one another. If you’re selecting a window for a narrow space, such as a hall, casement windows would not be a good choice. If you’re looking for something to go over the kitchen sink, a French casement window could work well.

French casement windows can be an elegant choice for bedrooms. They add a romantic air to the bedroom while flooding the room with natural light.

These windows also work well in sunrooms, since they allow you to enjoy the view of nature. When opened, these windows let in plenty of air, so you can enjoy a breeze.

French casement windows are a good choice when you’re looking for something that’s energy efficient. When closed, the windows press into the sash from all sides. This leads to a tighter fit, which reduces air leaks. As a result, your home heating and cooling costs are lower.

What are the Benefits of French Casement Windows?

Aside from the signature style, what makes French casement windows a better choice than double-hung windows? French casement windows offer more ventilation when they’re open than double-hung windows, since the entire pane slides open. If you want to maximize the flow of fresh air in your home, casements are the best choice. When closed, they offer more energy efficiency than double-hung windows.

Casement windows are easier to open than double-hung windows, especially anywhere you have to reach for the window. This is why you often see them above kitchen sinks, for instance. Finally, casement windows offer an array of design choices, so you can customize the window to match your home.

Shop Casement Windows

Learn more about our casement windows. We offer high-quality wood and vinyl casement windows in several styles, including the French casement window. Learn more about our window installation services and our casement windows to determine what’s the best window for your needs.

Safety can be a concern with windows, since they are often an entry point for burglars. By investing in windows that deter entry from the outside, you can protect your home from threats. If you are looking to add casement windows to your home, you you may be wondering “are casement windows safe” or “are casement windows easy to break into?”

How Safe Are Casement Windows?

Casement windows open via crank, there is no way a would-be thief could open the window from outside. When casement windows are closed, the sash is pressed tight into the frame. This provides the window with added strength. Where you need an interior lock on a double-hung window, so the window cannot be pushed open from outside, no such lock is needed to ensure a casement window remains closed.

Certain styles of casement windows are flush with the frame when closed, instead of having a lip. These are the safest casement windows because no part of the window is able to be manipulated from outside.

Added Security: How to Make Casement Windows Even Safer

Even though casement windows are very safe, you may wish to take certain actions to boost the safety of windows and deter thieves from targeting your home.

Safety glazing, also called reinforced glazing, protects your casement windows from shattering on impact, whether from a hurricane, major storm, or would-be burglar. Several layers thick and topped with a laminate coating, this glass is impact resistant. If a would-be thief tries to shatter the glass so they can open the window from the inside, the glass will resist breaking. Many thieves will give up at this point, rather than risk being noticed trying to break your window. If the glass does break, it will crack in a spider web pattern and remain intact instead of shattering into many pieces.

While locks are not needed to prevent casement windows from being opened from the outside, you can install a secondary lock for peace of mind. Cam locks work well with casement windows.

If the frame of your casement window is old, rotting, or otherwise compromised, your casement window can be removed. Sheet metal screws can help hold down the frame, acting as another deterrent. If you notice signs of age-related decay, however, you’re best off having your old casement windows replaced with the latest models.

Get a Free Estimate for Casement Windows

At Window Nation, we offer custom wood and vinyl replacement windows, including casement windows. Replace your existing windows and protect your home safety with casement windows. Browse our window styles today, or reserve a free estimate for window replacement.