Replacement Windows Overview

  • Connector.

    Vinyl Windows

    Durable, inexpensive, and easy to maintain, vinyl window frames are made from extruded and tempered PVC and are available in a broad selection of colors. Most types of vinyl frame are designed with a hollow core to reduce heat loss and condensation. Over time, low-quality vinyl frames may experience air loss.
    Learn More...

  • Connector.

    Wood Windows

    The traditional material for window construction, wood provides excellent insulation against temperature and condensation while offering classic natural beauty. Wood windows are generally sold unfinished, allowing the purchaser to stain or paint them to taste. Wood frames tend to have a shorter operating life than synthetic materials, and provide limited fire resistance. Learn More...

  • Connector.

    Fiberglass Windows

    Much stronger than wood, but able to be painted, unlike vinyl. Fiberglass offers a blend of natural product appearance and synthetic material durability. More rigid than wood or vinyl, fiberglass frames rarely experience warping or sticking. Many manufacturers have embraced glass recycling techniques in fiberglass production, making it an environmentally responsible option. Learn More...

  • Connector.

    Aluminum Windows

    Lighter, more durable, and easier to handle than wood, aluminum windows are long-lasting and available in a wide variety of colors. Aluminum provides superior weather resistance, but generally requires a layer of vinyl or foam composite to reduce heat loss. Learn More...

Ask any building professional- there is a noticeable difference between generic merchandise and quality brand-name materials. Sound View Glass proudly represents a wide selection of top name brands in the industry, including Andersen, CDI, Simonton and Milgard. All the window products that we represent have met our standards for quality in manufacturing, construction, durability and energy efficiency.

New windows offer so many enhancements: smoother operation, energy savings, low maintenance, fewer drafts, and easy cleaning. However, they are the more costly option, and require professional installation. Ask yourself the following questions to evaluate your old windows and weigh the benefits of new ones.

  • Ease of operation.
    Do they lift, swing or slide easily?
  • Scraping and painting. Painted windows require regular maintenance. New windows with aluminum or vinyl cladding or that are made from vinyl or a composite eliminate this chore.
  • Condensation. Does condensation regularly collect on the glass, cloud the view and soak the window trim? Higher-efficiency glass in new windows will help reduce this problem.
  • Cleaning. Is this a difficult task? Many new windows are designed to make cleaning a snap.
Single-pane windows often leave rooms feeling chilly and dry in cold weather and overheated in warm, sunny weather. Windows with double-pane glass can greatly improve the comfort of your home. They block much of the heat of direct sunlight, but still allow the light to come through. They’ll reduce cold drafts and the chill of cold glass. And they’ll reduce condensation so you can keep the indoor humidity at a higher, more comfortable level in cold weather.
You can almost always repair and restore old windows if you’re willing to set aside the time and can find replacement hardware. But it’s not always worth the effort and expense. Major problems include:

  • Rot. Once rot starts, it’s tough to stop unless you commit yourself to replacing rotted wood (a difficult job) and then maintaining it regularly. Consider replacement.
  • Sagging casement (crank-out) windows. You can usually replace worn-out crank mechanisms, but bent or worn hinges are tougher and replacements don’t always solve the problem. Consider new windows.
  • Fogged double-pane glass. The fogging that occurs between the glass panes can’t be fixed. Glass replacement or window replacement are the only solutions. Compare the “fix-it” cost with the cost of a new window.
  • Hard-to-find replacement hardware. Call the window manufacturer or local window dealer if you can identify the window brand and model number. Many hard-to-find parts are available from online suppliers. But often new windows are the only option.

Choosing Replacement Windows

It can be difficult to find an exact match for an old window without paying extra for a special order, but numerous styles are available as standard options from different window manufacturers, and it is often possible to find a contemporary window style that compliments your home. Window quality, as in everything else, is a matter of detail.

  • Appearance

    Does the style of the windows blend well on both the interior and exterior of your home’s look? Are the wood or vinyl joints well made? Do the grids that divide the glass fit tightly and cleanly? Is the hardware attractive?

  • Glass Selection

    Energy-efficient double-pane glass is fairly standard now. It’s almost always worth paying a bit extra for two additional features: a low-E coating and argon gas between the panes.

  • Opperation

    If possible, try out a display window for your preferred choice. Do they open and close smoothly? Are the cranks, runners and locking devices solid and do they look as though they’ll withstand heavy use? Does the window latch firmly without too much effort? Does the weatherstripping fit snugly? Are the screens solidly built and easy to remove?

  • Service

    Are parts available if something should break or wear out? Can you replace the weatherstripping when it wears out? Both these questions favor window companies with long track records because they’ll likely serve their customers well into the future. If the glass breaks or fogs, how difficult and costly is replacement?

Replacement Windows Overview


Ask any building professional- there is a noticeable difference between generic merchandise and quality brand-name materials. Sound View Glass proudly represents a wide selection of top name brands in the industry, including Andersen, CDI, Simonton and Milgard. All the window products that we represent have met our standards for quality in manufacturing, construction, durability and energy efficiency.

New windows offer so many enhancements to your home: smoother operation, energy savings, low maintenance, fewer drafts, and easy cleaning. However, they are the more costly option, and require professional installation. Ask yourself the following questions to evaluate your old windows and weigh the benefits of new ones.

1. Are your old windows troublesome? Consider:
Ease of operation. Do they lift, swing or slide easily?
Scraping and painting. Painted windows require regular maintenance. New windows with aluminum or vinyl cladding or that are made from vinyl or a composite eliminate this chore.
Condensation. Does condensation regularly collect on the glass, cloud the view and soak the window trim? Higher-efficiency glass in new windows will help reduce this problem.
Cleaning. Is this a difficult task? Many new windows are designed to make cleaning a snap.

2. Are your old windows comfortable?
Single-pane windows often leave rooms feeling chilly and dry in cold weather and overheated in warm, sunny weather. Windows with double-pane glass can greatly improve the comfort of your home. They block much of the heat of direct sunlight, but still allow the light to come through. They’ll reduce cold drafts and the chill of cold glass. And they’ll reduce condensation so you can keep the indoor humidity at a higher, more comfortable level in cold weather.

3. Are your old windows worth repairing?
You can almost always repair and restore old windows if you’re willing to set aside the time and can find replacement hardware. But it’s not always worth the effort and expense. Major problems include:
Rot. Once rot starts, it’s tough to stop unless you commit yourself to replacing rotted wood (a difficult job) and then maintaining it regularly. Consider replacement.
Sagging casement (crank-out) windows. You can usually replace worn-out crank mechanisms, but bent or worn hinges are tougher and replacements don’t always solve the problem. Consider new windows.
Fogged double-pane glass. The fogging that occurs between the glass panes can’t be fixed. Glass replacement (sometimes the entire sash) is the only solution. This is often difficult and it’s expensive if a pro does it. Compare the “fix-it” cost with the cost of a new window.
Hard-to-find replacement hardware. Call the window manufacturer or local window dealer if you can identify the window brand and model number. Many hard-to-find parts are available from online suppliers. But often new windows are the only option.


Choosing Replacement Windows

Appearance. Does the style of the windows blend well on both the interior and exterior of your home’s look? Are the wood or vinyl joints well made? Do the grids that divide the glass fit tightly and cleanly? Is the hardware attractive?

Operation. If possible, try out a display window for your preferred choice. Do they open and close smoothly? Are the cranks, runners and locking devices solid and do they look as though they’ll withstand heavy use? Does the window latch firmly without too much effort? Does the weatherstripping fit snugly? Are the screens solidly built and easy to remove?

Cleaning. If cleaning is a priority, can you easily reach both interior and exterior glass? Remove or rotate the sashes to test them.

Service. Are parts available if something should break or wear out? Can you replace the weatherstripping when it wears out? Both these questions favor window companies with long track records because they’ll likely serve their customers well into the future. If the glass breaks or fogs, how difficult and costly is replacement?

Glass selection. Energy-efficient double-pane glass is fairly standard now. It’s almost always worth paying a bit extra for two additional features: a low-E coating and argon gas between the panes.


Window Installation

What Do I look for when evaluating my windows?
Rotting wood. If a screwdriver can sink easily into the wooden frame, then it likely needs replacing. A damp environment like the Seattle region is especially hard on many types of older all-wood or wood-based frames.

Cracked caulk. If there are visible breaks or fissures in the sealant around the frame, there is likely to be significant loss of insulation. Direct sunlight and heat are key factors affecting caulk. Re-applying exterior sealant every six months will help maintain ideal temperature moderation.

Compromised glass. If the glass shows visible gaps between the pane and the sealant or frame, or if the glass is physically damaged by cracks, chips, or holes, the window is no longer an effective insulator.

Broken hardware. Locks, pulls, hinges, screens, and sashes can all be damaged by misadventure and repeated use. Operating a compromised window may further damage the existing window, as well as create a security hazard for your home.

Window Styles

Accent Window- A smaller windows designed to lend stylistic impact to a primary window.
Accent windows are usually fixed, and often incorporate interesting shapes or obscure glass.

Awning Window- An awning window is hinged at the top and swings out from the bottom, offering
controlled ventilation and an unobstructed view.

Bay Window- A coordinated multi-window installation, usually with a large central picture window and
complimenting side lites that may or may not be operational. Bay windows often “bump out” from a room, expanding the floor space and maximizing natural light exposure.

Casement Window- An operable window hinged on either the left or the right, casement-style windows
open like doors. While some types open inward and others open outward, both provide excellent ventilation.

Double-Hung Window- A popular type of operable window, double-hung windows consist of an outside
upper sash that slides vertically down and an inside lower sash that slides up. Often the window will house concealed springs or weights to aid in opening and latching.

Garden Window- Garden windows are shelved, and extend out beyond the wall of the building, creating
a miniature greenhouse for plants. This type of window is often found in kitchen spaces.

Operable Window- This type of window comes with an opening sash, and includes styles like single-hung,
awning, and casement. Operable windows always include hardware for opening and latching the window.

Picture Window- These are stationary panes of glass set in a frame. Excellent for providing light and
views, fixed windows do not open and provide no ventilation. The minimal hardware involved makes picture windows an excellent choice for unusual shapes like trapezoids, half-circles, octagon, etc.

Single-Hung Windows- Similar to a double-hung window, a single-hung model has only one moving sash,
not two. Also known as a vertically sliding window.

Single Pane- A window with a single pane of glass. This style of window provides significantly less
insulation than double-pane.

Sliding Windows- An extremely popular style of operable window that has one (or more) fixed panes and
one (or more) moving panes sliding in a horizontal track.


Window Frame Materials

Window frames come in a variety of materials, including aluminum, wood, vinyl, and more. As a general rule, materials that offer better weather protection are more expensive to purchase but deliver greater energy savings and require less maintenance.

Aluminum- Lighter, more durable, and easier to handle than wood, aluminum windows are long-lasting and available in a wide variety of colors. Aluminum provides superior weather resistance, but generally require a layer of vinyl or foam composite to reduce heat loss.

Clad-Wood (or Wood-Clad)- A modern hybrid of two different building materials, clad-wood windows consist of a wood core wrapped with aluminum or vinyl. The synthetic coating provides virtually maintenance-free durability, while the wood core ensures maximum thermal insulation.

Fiberglass- Much stronger than wood, but able to be painted, unlike vinyl. Fiberglass offers a blend of natural product appearance and synthetic material durability. More rigid than wood or vinyl, fiberglass frames rarely experience warping or sticking. Many manufacturers have embraced glass recycling techniques in fiberglass production, making it an environmentally responsible option.

Vinyl- Durable, inexpensive, and easy to maintain, vinyl window frames are made from extruded and tempered PVC and are available in a broad selection of colors. Most types of vinyl frame are designed with a hollow core to reduce heat loss and condensation. Over time, low-quality vinyl frames may experience air loss.

Wood- The traditional material for window construction, wood provides excellent insulation against temperature and condensation while offering classic natural beauty. Wood windows are generally sold unfinished, allowing the purchaser to stain or paint them to taste. Wood frames tend to have a shorter operating life than synthetic materials, and provide limited fire resistance.