(703) 532-0184

How to Select Replacement Windows for Your Home

August 20th, 2021, 11:55 AM

Do you have drafty windows, condensation accumulating between panes of glass, or mechanical problems with your windows? If so, you probably already know it's about time to replace your windows, but exactly how do you select replacement windows for your home?

There are so many different factors to consider when replacing your home's windows, such as framing material, type of glass, and style. Selecting different features for your new windows can be daunting if you've never had to replace windows before, so we're here to break it all down for you and help make your decision easier.

Window framing material

There are four main types of window frames that are used for modern replacement windows: wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum

There are also composite frames that are made from different combinations of these materials. For example, many modern wooden window frames have exterior vinyl or aluminum cladding to protect the wood from the elements and eliminate the need to paint them.

Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of different window framing materials to help you choose a type of framing for your new windows.


Wood window frames offer some of the best insulation you can get. You can also choose from a variety of stylish woods to get frames that really complement your home's style. 

However, keep in mind that wooden windows require more maintenance than other types because you have to paint them to protect them from the elements (unless you choose wood-clad frames).

Wood frames are also not always ideal for particularly humid and rainy climates because they have the potential to rot if moisture gets inside them.


Vinyl window frames are one of the most budget-friendly options on the market, and they still offer great insulation. They're a very practical choice when you want a good balance between quality and affordability.

One thing to consider is that vinyl frames often come in limited color schemes, so it might be harder to find a style that matches your home. Darker vinyl can also fade over time from exposure to the elements.


Fiberglass window frames are a great option when you're looking for extreme energy efficiency. They have very low thermal conductivity and are stronger and harder than vinyl windows. However, these features also give them a higher starting price point.


Aluminum windows are not as insulating as those with other framing types, but they are ideal for humid, rainy climates. They are also very impact resistant, meaning they're great for storm-prone areas and hurricane zones.


Composite window frames are a popular choice because they can combine the features of different framing materials. For instance, you can get frames that have the appearance of natural wood, but the durability of other materials.

Window glass

Once you've decided on what frames you want for your new windows, the next thing you have to select is the type of glass to go in them. You'll want to determine how many panes of glass you want in your windows or whether you want any special coatings.

Almost all modern energy-efficient windows for homes are either going to be double-pane or triple-pane windows, so you just have to decide between the two. The more panes of glass there are, the more insulating the windows are. While triple-pane windows do offer somewhat more energy efficiency than double-pane, the added expense may only be worth it if you live in a noisy or congested area.

You can also get glass with special coatings, such as low-emissivity and heat-blocking coatings, to improve the energy efficiency of your windows. This can be a more affordable way to make double-pane window glass more efficient at a lower cost than replacing your windows with triple-pane glass.

Double-pane or triple-pane windows will almost always have gas (i.e. argon or krypton) pumped into the space between the panes of glass. This offers more insulation than the air that normally sits there, further improving the energy efficiency of your home.

Ultimately, budget is going to play a big role in what type of glass you choose for your windows. Just keep in mind that the more you spend upfront, the more money your windows can potentially save you on your monthly utility bills in the long run.

single hung replacement windows

Window style

Now comes the fun part: choosing a new style for your windows! Some of the most popular styles of windows are single-hung, double-hung, casement-style, awning-style, sliding, and fixed windows. They all function a little differently, so here's a rundown of what these different terms mean.


 Double-hung windows have two moving sashes that slide up and down, allowing for great ventilation and airflow.


Single-hung windows look just like double-hung windows, but only one of the sashes moves. The other sash is fixed in place.


Casement windows are a style of hinged window with hinges on the side that allow them to open outwards to the left or right (using a hand crank). They allow great visibility and are particularly airtight when fully closed.


Awning windows are very similar to casement windows, but they are hinged at the top. Since they open outwards towards the top, the glass creates a slope that deflects water away from your home, which is nice if you want some airflow while it's raining.


Sliding windows are on a track, like a sliding glass door, which allows you to easily slide the different panels past one another to open up your home.


Fixed windows, or picture windows, are fixed in place and do not open. These are ideal when light and views are more of a priority than ventilation.

If you don't want to change the appearance of your home too much, you might just choose replacement windows in the same style as your existing ones, but this is also an opportunity to give your home a facelift or some new functionality!

Note that switching up your window style too much can be more complicated (and expensive) if it requires you to resize or adjust the rough opening the frame fits into.

Calculating return on investment

When it comes to ROI for replacement windows, energy efficiency plays a big role in helping you recover your investment through energy savings. However, that's not all there is to it.

The type of windows you choose can also add to the value of your home, increasing your ROI if you decide to sell your property down the road.

So, what windows offer the best ROI? Well, there's really no one type of window that offers a better ROI than all the others. It essentially comes to finding the best balance between cost and the quality/features of your windows. 

Just make sure you choose the right type of framing material for the climate you live in to ensure the windows last. Then, add whatever energy-saving features to the glass that your budget allows for. Finally, pick a style that increases the curb appeal of your home.

Another thing you can look into is energy rebates offered by your local utility company for things like ENERGY STAR windows, which can instantly increase your window replacement project's ROI.

Replacement windows from Hodges

Whatever replacement windows you end up choosing, Hodges Company has a plethora of options from the leading manufacturers and the most respected suppliers. All of our products are known for quality and we are experts at replacement window installation.

Still don't know what windows to buy for your house? Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have  — our team of professionals is always happy to help you make the right decision.


Return to all Blog

Interested in installing new windows or doors?

We love our new door. The installation work was timely, quick and well-done.

Mary Ann M.
Arlington, VA
Door Installation

I think they did a very good job. I will go back to them in a heartbeat.

Karen L.
Arlington, VA
Window and Door Replacement

Your guys did a great job. The temperature in the house is up by 3 degrees and the heat pump is running half as much.

Larry C.
Gainesville, Virginia
Window Installation

We enjoyed meeting with Brian Whitehouse and were impressed with his ability to explain our options, always respecting our wishes and never annoying us with hard-sell tactics...It was such a pleasure to deal with people who know their job and do it well.

Sara R.
Falls Church, Virginia
Window and Door Installation

I am so pleased with my windows, your installers and staff. I would indeed recommend your company to anyone and everyone. They were quick, efficient and very polite.

Betty L.
Fairfax, VA
Window Installation

Throughout the entire process - from our first meeting to the on-going daily supervision - by you of the job, the professionalism, the quality of the products, and the workmanship was outstanding.

David & Rosemary P
Vienna, Virginia
Window and Door Installation

Before, we could never keep up with the cold. Now we just turn the heat on, and it stays in the building. Complaints are way down, and we're very happy.

Rev. Davies K.
Falls Church, Virginia
Window Installation

The installer, who I think was Tom Langworthy, did excellent work. He was respectful of our space and cleaned up after himself. He always conducted himself in a professional manner. He seems highly competent and he engenders confidence in his workmanship.

James B.
Washington, DC
Window Installation

I want you to know that your two colleagues who installed the windows did an outstanding job...Jean and I could not be more pleased.

Ted B.
Washington, D.C.
Window Installation

Your craftsmanship made all the difference, and it was nice getting to know you. We hope to hire you again.

Nany & Harry B.
Chevy Chase, MD
Windows and Door Installation

We are so very, very happy (once again!) with the Hodges Company....this is the third time we have had a project completed, and each time we've been so pleased.

Valerie Soroka
Arlington, VA
Door Installation

We will definitely be using Hodges again when we look to replace some windows in our house

Daniel Q.
Woodbridge, VA
Door Installation

I just wanted to express my appreciation to the team your company sent to install a few doors and repair windows in our house. They were professional, caring, cooperative and extremely courteous. They are a major asset to your company. On the whole, our experience with the Hodges Company has been very positive and we happily recommend your services to others.

Mary V.
Bethesda, Maryland
Door Installation and Window Repair

I couldn't be more pleased with both my windows and the installation and now "on a clear day I can see forever". If you would like to use me as a reference I would be more than happy to cooperate.

Elizabeth H.
Arlington, Virginia
Window Installation

Hodges had very knowledge salespeople, highly skilled installation crews, and the product lives up to expectations. You can't ask for better than that.

Richard N.
Ashburn Village, Virginia
Door Installation

The whole process from initial meeting to installation was painless and quite surprisingly, a lot less expensive than we thought it would be... Thanks again for taking such good care of us. If anyone I know is looking for new windows, I will certainly recommend your company.

Carol B.
McLean, Virginia
New Window Installation

Tom is definitely a master craftsman and did an excellent job. Just want you and the company to know that both Tom and Larry did an outstanding job and we are very pleased with the results.

Dave H.
Arlington, VA
Window Installation

I wouldn't deal with anyone else. Working with Hodges, I know I can get anything I want, and my imagination can run wild.

Arlington, Virginia
Window and Door Installation

Thank you so much for fixing my window today! Thank you for coming even though these windows aren't yours......No wonder the management office here thinks you guys can do anything and are the most helpful window company around.

Kim T.
McLean, Virginia
Window Repair

All in all a really fantastic company - they've been in business a long time and it shows based on how they treat the costumer. Am planning to do windows next year, and they will be my first phone call.

Ian W.
North Potomac, MD
Door Installation

The deck door is fabulous and the installation is super!!! I love how wide it is, and how easily it opens and it actually locks! thank you for the expert product and installation.

Kevin J.
Springfield, Virginia
Door Installation

Everything was excellent. The salesman offered good advice and provided examples of how the end result would look. Hodges' workers arrived on time and worked quickly. The lead installer was quite knowledgeable as well, so the job was done neatly and without incident.

James G.
Vienna, Virginia
Window and Door Installation

I must tell you that Mark Russow and everyone at The Hodges Window Company are nothing less than a great representative/distributor for your company and we will not hesitate to recommend both companies to our friends and family.

Debbie P.
Manassas, VA
Window and Door Installation