The Ultimate Guide to Windows

The Ultimate Guide to Windows

November 21, 2017

So, you’re finally ready to upgrade your windows. But where do you begin? All of the different enviable options online and in home improvement magazines can be overwhelming when you’re trying to determine what is the best option for your home. Just getting started can be quite a challenge if you are not familiar with all the industry terms and the different selections available.

That’s where the professionals at Replacement Glass come in. We want window replacement in Alaska to be an easy and enjoyable process. To help you out, we’ve assembled this guide covering everything you need to know to replace your old windows. Read on for a comprehensive introduction to window types, materials and casings.

Types of windows

First, it’s important to understand that there are two basic types of windows: fixed and operable. Fixed windows can’t be opened. Instead, they serve just to let the light in. The functional alternative is operable windows, which allow for both light and ventilation.

Now that we’ve got that covered, here are some of the most common window styles:

  • Casement: The casement is an operable window with a hinge on the side, which allows it to open outward when a crank near the base of the window is turned. This style will resist drafts and is easy to clean.
  • Sliding: A sliding window is composed of two panels. This energy efficient option can be made with the ability to open one or both panels.
  • Double-hung: The two panels of glass slide vertically for easy use. This is the best option if you’re looking for fantastic ventilation. A single-hung option where only the bottom window can be opened is also available.
  • Picture: The picture window is a staple on historical homes. The window doesn’t open, but it still provides you with maximum light and unobstructed views. There are countless different shapes available.


All windows are made out of glass—but that’s where the similarities between materials end. More panes offer an increased amount of insulation for improved energy efficiency. Essentially, a three-pane window will be better for your monthly energy bill than a single pane. Another option is to add a heat-absorbing tint to the glass to reduce glare and keep heat from entering into your home. A professional glass contractor can work with you to determine what option best fits your needs.


Window casings are important for so much more than just aesthetics. The casing wraps around the frame of the window to create a unique look while also preventing air from leaking out. Choose a material to match the baseboards and molding of a room inside, while the color and style of home should be a deciding factor when selecting casings for the exterior of your home. The most common options are wood, fiberglass, aluminum and vinyl. Each material is accompanied by its own unique benefits. For example, wood doesn’t conduct cold, but tends to require more maintenance. Fiberglass has a higher price tag for its durability and weather resistance.

Ready for window replacement in Alaska? Contact the experts at Replacement Glass today. We’re looking forward to helping you select and install your new windows!

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