I've been replacing windows this summer, and pondering
change. I've cut out 2x4s in the old walls that aren't much different from what
you'd find in any home center today. But the windows—wow! The old ones are
leaky, rotting, with sashes that stick, weights that break off, and about the
same energy efficiency as a gaping hole in your wall. Contrast those old ones
with new windows, like the JELD-WEN windows I was checking out at The Home
Depot. These windows features:
• Low-E glass, which blocks the transmission of infrared
energy, so heat stays in in winter and out in summer.
• Double-pane insulated glass for greatly improved energy
efficiency, with seals that are much improved from even a decade ago.
• A welded vinyl frame that never needs painting and will
• And to top it off, the sash is removable to make cleaning
The thing that blew me away was the great price. For
example, a 36 x 24 slider window was less than 100 bucks. And that's
with a limited lifetime warranty. Even the Special Order JELD-WEN windows, with grills
between the panes of glass, two sashes that tilt in for cleaning, and lots of color choices, were very reasonably priced. With
windows like these, a builder or DIYer can keep costs down and still have
windows with great energy efficiency and long life.
One of the things I've learned about new windows is that correct
installation is all-important. A lot of the problems people blame on their
windows are the result of poor installation. In order to keep water and air
out, the windows need to be flashed carefully, with the right materials, in exactly
the right order. We have a great article to show you how to install windows properly, if you want to learn more. When they're installed correctly,
modern windows like the ones I was looking at from JELD-WEN can deliver amazing
value and convenience, while delivering a tight, energy-efficient and durable
home. You can't beat that with a stick, as my grandmother used to say.
— Gene Bartholome, Field Editor