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Window Shopping: Choosing the Right Windows for Your Home

Windows. They’re so much more than just a commonplace feature in a home. The right windows can stabilize the climate in your home, add beauty, increase value, allow the beauty of the outdoors into your interior space and literally light up a room.

Whether you’re looking for a window replacement in Boise ID for an existing home or you’re building a house from scratch, it’s important to consider building materials, the weather where you live, window placement and the style that reflects who you are and the sort of home you want to come to at the end of the day.

Picking the Right Frame Material

There are six major materials to choose from for your window frames: wood, vinyl, wood-clad, composite, aluminum and fiberglass.


Wood is a classic choice and, done properly, can stand the test of time. Many historic homes still have their original wood frames because of the quality of the construction and the type of wood chosen. Wood is strong and provides the best insulation of any window frame material on the market. However, wood requires regular maintenance in the form of staining and painting, and it’s vulnerable to termites (only if you don’t paint) and rot if you live in a particularly wet climate. This shouldn’t greatly affect your new home windows Boise, where the climate is drier than the country’s average.


Vinyl is much less expensive than wood frames and requires no upkeep. As long as the installation is tight enough to prevent airflow, vinyl provides good insulation. The drawbacks are that vinyl doesn’t come in a wide array of colors and many people don’t like the look of them.


When you hear “wood-clad” think “gold-plated.” This is a wooden frame encased in another material, usually vinyl or aluminum. This is meant to provide a window frame with the endurance and insulation of wood while also providing the maintenance-free ease of use of another material. This can be a good choice if installed properly. However, if water seeps in through the exterior material, you can still face wood rot.


These are made from plastic resins and wood shavings. They have the look of wood but are as maintenance-free as vinyl. While they don’t have the durability or strength of wood, they’re earth-friendly because they’re often made with recycled materials.


Aluminum is strong. So strong that it’s approved for use in hurricane-prone areas. It’s a good choice if you live in a very wet or humid climate. However, aluminum isn’t the best at preventing hot or cold air from escaping or getting in. When getting new home windows Boise, take weather into account. Hurricanes are a problem for coastal regions, not Idaho, and, again, Boise doesn’t get that much rain or snow. This may not be the choice for you.


Fiberglass is also technically a composite material, since it’s made with plastic resins and glass fibers. Fiberglass is the toughest window frame material on the market today. It’s definitely not the least expensive option but they’re extremely durable, are great for keeping your home insulated and can be painted like wood frames. There is no worry about rot, termites or warping with fiberglass frames.

Replacement Windows in an Existing Home

You may need to replace the windows in your home because they’re drafty, damaged or they don’t present the aesthetic that represents you as a person. It’s very important to consult an experienced builder who specializes in windows before embarking on Boise ID window replacement.

Exchanging existing windows for a replacement of the same size and shape isn’t a big deal, although the task should be undertaken by a pro. However, changing the shape and size of the window presents a greater challenge, particularly if you want a wider window.

Longer windows are easier to replace if you keep the window at the current height and lengthen it beneath the existing frame. Installing a wider window isn’t as simple. You’ll need a builder to inspect your home’s frame to check for load-bearing walls. If your original builder placed windows in between structurally important areas, you won’t be able to widen the windows without compromising the integrity of your home. Consult a licensed, experienced professional in Boise, ID to formulate the right plan for changing your existing windows.

Choosing the Right Window Style for Your Home

There is such a plethora of styles to choose from it would be impossible to list them all here. Obviously, the more detailed, elaborate and decorative a window is the more money it’s going to cost. But remember that windows are an investment in your home and picking the right ones is important. A style that doesn’t complement your home can actually lower its value, and the most expensive option isn’t always the one that suits your home’s architectural style, the feel of your home’s natural surroundings or the neighborhood you live in.

Double-hung windows are the most popular choice in the U.S., capable of being raised from the bottom or lowered from the top. Modern styles allow you to tilt the window inward for easy cleaning.

Slider windows are sleek and modern. The pane glides outward to let in more fresh air and the wide construction allows more light into your home.

Bay windows offer panoramic views from their three differing sides. Opening these windows allows for easy cross-ventilation. The bay design creates a new space for seating, a great option if you like to curl up near nature to read a book or listen to your favorite podcast.

Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the outdoors while letting in floods of light. If you want the option to open them, opt for sliding glass doors that lead out onto a patio or porch.

Or go with custom windows that make the most of your home’s layout and unique features. Two-story entryways and great rooms with ceilings that soar to the upper floor offer great opportunities to design windows that highlight your space.

Let an Experienced Professional Guide You

Picking the right windows for your new home in Boise, Idaho or choosing replacement windows for your present home isn’t a project for the weekend warrior. We are licensed, skilled professionals with decades of experience ready to walk you through your window replacement buying process.

Contact Modern Window Systems for a free no hassle estimate, today.