Updated Jan 12, 2023
Updated Jan 12, 2023
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Choosing replacement windows for your home can be a challenging task, requiring you to balance cost, design, and energy efficiency considerations. After reviewing windows from dozens of window brands across the country, the team at Home Media has created a comprehensive list of the best windows and window manufacturers in operation. If you’re shopping for windows for your property, don’t buy before reading our guide.
|Window brand||Price||Styles available||Materials||Warranty||Colors|
|Pella Windows||$435 to $3,185||9||Wood, fiberglass, vinyl||10-year and 20-year||6|
|Weather Shield Windows||N/A||8||Aluminum (100% and partial), 100% wood||20-year warranty for craftsmanship, 30-year for wood-rot||10+ for each option|
|Anderson Windows||$680 to $3,500||11||Wood, wood-composite, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass||Limited and lifetime limited warranties||7 for most models|
|Ply Gem||$400 to $2,700||11||Vinyl, aluminum, wood composite||Lifetime limited warranty||46+|
|Champion Windows||$460 to $3,400||9||Pure vinyl||Limited lifetime warranty||Seven|
|Simonton Windows||$150 to $1,000||9||Vinyl||Limited lifetime warranty||Nine|
|Marvin Windows||$540 to $2,650||12||Wood, aluminum, fiberglass||Limited warranty||100+ (can be customized)|
|PGT Windows||$440 to $1,900||7||Aluminum, vinyl||Limited warranty||Varies|
With almost a century of experience in the window business, Pella Windows is one of the most well-known options when you need new windows. Pella is known for its durability testing; double-hung and casement window designs are tested at least 6,000 times before being sold. This allows you to rest knowing the chance of a mechanical error has been minimized as much as possible.
In addition to its superior durability testing process, Pella also offers Pella Certified installation options in many parts of the country. This program gives you access to a Pella professional with specialized training on the brand’s unique window styles and offerings. It also offers long warranties, with protection plans of up to 20 years issued at no additional cost, depending on the model.
Pella Windows currently offers the following window types:
If you’re looking for a unique blend of style and functionality, Weather Shield is an excellent window brand option. Weather Shield features a series of contemporary and modern window collections, providing endless home design and décor inspiration. Weather Shield’s website makes it easy to mix and match colors and materials to create the perfect design for your home. The company even has a dedicated Design and Development testing lab where energy efficiency professionals continue to refine window designs. Weather Shield can be a strong choice if you value a great window warranty. Weather Shield’s windows include 20-year warranties on craftsmanship and 30-year protections against wood rot. This can be a major benefit if you live in a humid area where wood rot and termite damage are common problems.
Weather Shield Windows currently offers the following window types:
Anderson Windows provides homeowners with several window product lines, each of which offers signature features. For example, the 100 Series stands out for its durability and lower price points, while the E-Series shines for its wide range of color options and combinations. Anderson’s bestselling line, the 400 Series, features wood-clad designs that feature a modern look and superior efficiency that helps you save on your energy bills.
Anderson Windows is also well-known for its Renewal by Anderson program. Renewal by Anderson is a full-service window installation company that provides a single point of contact for window production, design, and installation. While you’ll pay a bit more for concierge-level services, Renewal by Anderson experts can guide even homeowners completely new to renovation projects through designing their perfect windows. If you’re looking to avoid a situation where your window producer and installation expert blame the other if something goes wrong, Renewal by Anderson can be an appealing choice.
Anderson Windows currently offers the following window styles:
Ply Gem is one of the largest window, siding, and door installation companies in the United States. It offers a wide selection of window types, especially for affordable vinyl windows. Vinyl window replacements from Ply Gem start at less than $400, making them one of the most affordable options for homeowners with strict budgets.
In addition to keeping pricing affordable, many of Ply Gem’s series are also ENERGY STAR-rated. Ply Gem offers thousands of color and material combinations, which you can browse online to create a custom product that fits your design needs. Not sure which home décor style fits you best? Ply Gem also offers online home improvement design tools that allow you to choose the best window style based on your home’s existing construction plans.
Ply Gem currently offers the following window types:
Homeowners looking to replace the glass in their sunrooms should check out Champion Windows’ comprehensive list of design options. Built in the USA, Champion sunrooms can be customized to fit the needs of your property while also accounting for natural light and energy needs. Many of Champion’s window offerings are ENERGY STAR-certified, and all windows are double-paned and glazed to provide maximum energy efficiency.
In addition to sunroom options, Champion also includes its Limited Lifetime Glass Breakage and Seal Failure Warranty with all window purchases. Many of Champion’s models are constructed with 100% vinyl frames, which Champion says is more durable when compared to wood-composite options. Champion also offers a range of financing options, which can be beneficial if you’re undertaking an expensive home renovation.
Champion currently provides the following windows:
The company also offers an array of sunroom glass options.
Simonton Windows is a strong choice for homeowners seeking customization. Simonton offers a series of windows customized to homeowners’ unique climates, which considers local geography for lowering energy bills.
For example, the StormBreaker Plus series is rated to withstand hurricane-level conditions, making it ideal for southern states like Florida. Meanwhile, the DaylightMax series is designed to allow up to 40% more sunlight into your home, making it a better choice for West Coast homeowners. If you’re looking for windows to match your local weather, Simonton can provide you with affordable prices.
Simonton Windows currently provides the following window types:
Marvin Windows is a strong choice for homeowners seeking design options and customizations for various finishes. It’s a family-owned company that maintains a series of showrooms and dealerships across the country.
Marvin’s online design tool allows you to create a custom window with its extensive range of exterior and interior finishings. You can custom-order nearly any color window, making a completely personalized design just a few clicks away.
Marvin’s collections involve thoughtful craftsmanship that sets its windows’ quality above competitors. Master architects and design professionals created their theme collections to provide homeowners with cohesive elements for each window. For example, the Signature Coastline collection includes additional glass protections to mitigate harsh sunlight along the southern and western shores.
Marvin Windows currently offers the following window types:
PGT Windows can be an excellent choice for your home if you live in a state that experiences heavy annual flooding or severe weather. PGT’s windows are tough and no-nonsense, specially crafted to withstand extreme weather conditions. Models are extensively impact-tested before hitting the market. The glass used in all PGT products is shatter-resistant, making it durable against high winds, heavy rains, and break-ins. This durability makes PGT Windows a great choice for commercial window replacements.
PGT Windows currently offers the following window types:
How to Find the Best Windows for Your Home
When looking for the best windows for your home, there are several factors to consider. What material do you want the windows to be made of? What size and shape would you like to install? How many windows do you want? The type and style of the windows are also important — you need to determine what fits your design needs and budget.
Consulting with a company versed in new construction windows and replacement options can help you choose the best windows for your home’s location and structure. Many companies offer in-home consultations to help you consider factors like natural light before buying.
Although seeing window products in-person has its benefits, shopping online for new windows may be the best option for you. If so, the buying guide below can help you select high-quality options for your home.
Types of Windows
The type of windows is the first decision you should make when narrowing down what you’d like to install. The following are a few of the most common style options you can choose from and who they might be best for.
Casement windows are one of the most common types of windows in dormitories and offices because they’re easy to open for fresh air and seal out any exterior weather conditions. Casement windows open like doors and can have one or two windows connected by hinges to the window frame.
You must shut the window and turn the latch to lock casement windows, similar to a door handle. If you plan on opening your windows a lot and they’ll be within reach, casement windows might be the right choice. However, some larger casement windows come with a handle crank for opening and closing, so they’re still a solid choice for hard-to-reach places.
Picture windows are also known as fixed-pane windows. These are non-operational windows, meaning they don’t open or close. They’re fixed in place, like a framed picture on the wall.
A picture window can be a small opening just to let in some natural light, like a skylight or a window in a bathroom. Or, it can span an entire wall as a floor-to-ceiling sun window. Because they don’t open, picture windows cannot be as easily broken into by burglars, making them an excellent choice for added home security.
A bay window is a large window made up of one non-operational window in the center surrounded by windows on each side that you can open and close. A bow window is the same concept, but it’s made up of four or more windows that create a gentler curve. Both types of windows add depth and breeziness to a room.
Most people with a bay or bow window opt to place some type of seating in the window, like a reading nook or dining room table. These windows look amazing from the home’s front lawn, which is why bay and bow windows enhance a home’s curb appeal.
Another common type of window is the single-hung window, which is split into two horizontal halves. The top half is stationary, while the lower lifts open. When opened, the mobile bottom sash slides up to overlap the fixed top sash.
These windows are great for ventilation and may be good for home security since only one sash is movable. They’re also a good choice for tall or hard-to-reach spaces since you only need to access the bottom half for opening.
Unlike single-hung windows, both halves of a double-hung window move independently – the bottom half slides up and the top half slides down. The window locks with a middle latch when both halves are in the closed position. Double-hung windows are excellent for shared spaces like patios or kitchens because they don’t take up any space when open. They’re also easy to clean because you can move each half to reach the glass.
Awning windows are also known as top-hinged windows. They open from the inside and are pushed outward, propped up just like an awning. Depending on the window’s position, you can conveniently open and close it with a hand crank. Awning windows offer added ventilation and light where needed, and you can leave them open even when it’s raining.
Sliding windows are amazing for letting in light in shared spaces like living rooms and bedrooms where you may want natural light during the day. They’re also great for home offices or studies needing natural light and added ventilation. Sliding windows are split vertically and lock with a middle latch when both sides are closed. They don’t take up any space because they open flush to the wall.
Now that you’ve decided which type of window suits your home the best, you must decide which style fits your needs as a homeowner and the geography of where you live. A popular style is the modern window, which features fiberglass or aluminum interiors and sharp vertical and horizontal angles. Aluminum and fiberglass frames come in various finishes, but the modern style is typically matte black.
You could also go for a more classic style such as wood-clad windows. These have wooden window frames inside, but they’re covered with a different, more weather-resistant material on the exterior — usually aluminum or vinyl. These are the most common finish and style of window.
If you want to be rustic, wood windows offer the most old-fashioned look. And just because you have wooden interior frames doesn’t mean you can’t opt for the durability of vinyl exterior frames that have the texture and color of wood. Consider outfitting your frames with fiberglass for added longevity. Fiberglass frames can be customized to have a wood or metal appearance while offering less upkeep for you as the homeowner.
Vinyl windows are the most energy-efficient option in terms of material because vinyl is long-lasting and weather-resistant. Vinyl offers the appearance of wood without the upkeep — you can simply wash your window frames with soap and water, and they’ll continue to look new for years. Vinyl windows are energy efficient because the seals last much longer than windows made from other materials. If you prefer a unique look, vinyl windows and siding are available in a rainbow of colors.
When it comes to the actual glass of your window, your primary options will be double-pane and triple-pane. Double-pane glass features a layer of argon gas between the two panes, which is where the name comes from. Argon insulates the room and stops heat from escaping your home, resulting in low energy costs in winter.
Triple-pane windows feature an additional pane between the two, which increases insulation and durability while decreasing noise. The window installation for double-pane and triple-pane windows is similar, but triple-pane windows will add to your total home improvement project cost.
A warranty protects the investment you make when you add new windows to your property — and some window companies provide more comprehensive protections than others. For example, most of Pella Windows’ products come with limited lifetime warranties or limited warranties. Marvin Windows has 10- to 20-year warranties on its products. Ply Gem, Weather Shield, JELD-WEN Windows, Alside Windows, Harvey, Andersen Windows, Milgard Windows, and Simonton Windows all provide some level of limited warranties for their products, but coverage varies by model.
If you browse windows in person at a local retailer like Home Depot or company showrooms, the product should display the warranty. If not, don’t hesitate to ask a brand representative about warranty options in your area.
Cost is a huge consideration when it comes to windows. From materials to construction to installation, windows are one of the most expensive components of a home’s structure.
Compare the costs of windows from different brands of the same type, material, and size. See how the prices compare and how long the warranties last. We recommend getting a quote from multiple brands before you make your final selection to be sure you’re getting the best value.
If you live somewhere that experiences subzero temperatures regularly (for example, Minnesota or Wisconsin), select windows that keep heat in your home and the frigid winds out. Tight-sealing casement windows can be a great option for colder climates. If you live in a southern state like North Carolina, you know that keeping conditioned air inside the house is paramount. Having windows with great insulation and powerful seals is crucial in either weather extreme.
If you’re planning to construct a new home, any type of window is possible. But suppose your home is already 10 or 20 years old. In that case, you have to consider the structural integrity of the interior and exterior when it comes to replacement windows. Window installation is an intense process, so you may want to have a window professional visit your property or job site to recommend a specific window type depending on the age and construction of your property.
What have previous customers experienced with the windows you’re considering? How is the quality of the product? Are they pleased with the windows’ appearance and materials? How about the installation costs and process?
These are a few questions to ask yourself as you review customer testimonials, which can be crucial as you choose a window brand. While every company will showcase positive reviews on its website, you can access unfiltered opinions on third-party sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot.
The best replacement window in the world is useless without the right team of professionals to install it. The following are a few factors to consider when choosing a company to install your home’s windows.
It’s best to find window companies willing to do a free in-home consultation or, at the very least, a virtual consultation. Seeing your home allows representatives to be upfront about the installation costs and advise you about the best replacement window, new product lines, and custom options for your home.
Make sure that the window company you’re talking to is reputable. Customer reviews aren’t always foolproof and should be read with a grain of salt. Still, they’re indispensable when it comes to getting familiar with a company’s customer service, window brands, and custom options.
While you already know how important a warranty is, you should consider energy efficiency ratings. Even if environmental sustainability isn’t on your list of priorities, saving money on your energy bills probably is. Look for companies that offer ENERGY STAR-certified window options approved as energy-efficient products after undergoing strict testing.
Unless you plan to install windows on your own, you’ll need to hire a local or national window company to provide a replacement installation. Local window companies are often family-owned. This means that if you work with a local window company for your vinyl replacement windows, patio doors, skylights, or any other installation, you’re boosting the local economy. Local window companies are also familiar with the weather and climate of your area, so they can make an educated recommendation on what window materials you should place in each room.
Most national window companies have been in the business for over a decade, and they have likely seen and done every job, including customizations, specialty materials, and unique building designs. They’re knowledgeable about a wide range of window types and materials, and they often have limited lifetime warranties, which, depending on the brand, can be longer than local company warranties.
You may save money if you work with a local company because you’re cutting out the possibility of paying a middleman. When you book window installations online through a broker, you might pay an additional fee to arrange an appointment on your behalf. You also run the small risk that the company doesn’t have the expertise or experience a national window company does.
If you want to work with a local window company rather than a national chain, call them up and ask a representative some questions. This helps you know that the company you’re hiring is legitimate and provides responsive service if something goes wrong.
Check your zip code for the best window brands near you:
With so many window brands out there, which option is the best? While we consider all eight widow brands to be excellent options, the unique defining features of each company decide which one is best for your needs. For example, if you live in an area where hurricanes and tropical storms are common, PGT’s impact-resistant windows could be the right choice. If you live in sunny Arizona, Marvin Windows’ protective styles might offer you a greater return on your investment. We recommend speaking with multiple representatives to discuss your unique homeowner needs before selecting replacement windows for your property.
When comparing window brands, we considered large companies able to provide service across the country. We also looked at the following factors when choosing products to recommend.
Third-party reviews and representative assistance also played a role in choosing companies to highlight.
High-grade windows are of a higher quality than standard or basic windows. The window materials are sturdier and built to last. They may be double- or triple-pane, and the vinyl will be thicker.
Typically aluminum windows are the cheapest. White vinyl windows are also inexpensive and come standard with most building plans.
Fiberglass windows are by far the most durable and long-lasting. They’re made to withstand ridiculous temperature fluctuations, immense pressure, and cumbersome weight. They’re finished with a powder coating that further protects the surface.
Casement windows and awning windows are more energy efficient than other styles because of their extremely tight weather seals that lock out drafts when closed. This feature keeps your conditioned or heated air in and the weather out.
Among modern homeowners, double-hung windows are some of the most popular types of windows on the market. This is due to their convenience and the fact that they fit almost any décor and architectural style.
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