Are Replacement Windows Really Better Than Builder-Grade Windows?

The short answer is: yes.

Builder-grade windows are standard, lower-grade, entry-level windows that are installed in most new homes. They are typically made from low-quality materials and are not very energy efficient. Replacement windows, on the other hand, are crafted from higher-quality materials offering more energy efficiency, durability and design options.

Replacing your home’s windows can be a time consuming and costly process, but in many cases the benefits of replacing your windows can far outweigh the cost and inconvenience. One of the biggest impacts of new windows is the increased energy efficiency. Replacement windows are typically more energy efficient than builder-grade windows because they are made with higher quality insulation and have energy-efficient features like double-paned glass, low-emissivity (low-e) coatings and argon gas filling. Low-e coatings reflect heat back outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter. Argon gas is a heavier-than-air gas that serves as a superior insulator to extreme temperatures. These energy efficient characteristics are also what can help you save money on your energy bills.

Durability is another attractive characteristic of replacement windows. The higher quality materials used to make them are less likely to crack, warp or rot, meaning they will last longer and require less maintenance. The most common materials for replacement window frames are vinyl, fiberglass and wood. Vinyl windows are least expensive, but they are also the least durable. Fiberglass is more durable than vinyl, but that increased durability comes with higher pricing. Wood-framed windows are the most expensive option, but they’re also the most durable and aesthetically pleasing option. When choosing replacement windows, it is important to weigh the cost of the windows against the benefits that you will receive.

Our clients are often pleased with the noise reduction their replacement windows provide. The thicker glass and higher quality insulation used in their construction are key to reducing noise pollution. The most common type of glass for replacement windows is double-paned glass. This product has sealed air space between two panes of glass helping to insulate your home from temperatures and outside noise. For additional noise insulation and increased efficiency, triple-paned glass windows are recommended. These can make your home more peaceful and comfortable, softening everyday external noises like lawn mowers or your neighbors barking dog.

High-quality replacement windows also offer more design and color options than builder grade products. They come in a variety of styles and colors, enabling you to choose the perfect windows to match your home’s aesthetic.

Overall, replacement windows offer a number of advantages over builder-grade windows. They are more energy-efficient, durable, noise-reducing, and aesthetically pleasing. If you are looking to replace your windows, give us a call at 512.663.1864. You’ll work with a seasoned design expert who will educate you about available products, and help you determine which solution is best for your home.


Written by Jeremy Bibb