Knowing your priorities will help you find the best value in windows
The double-hung window remains one of the most popular window styles in the country. Contributing writer Scott Gibson breaks down the buying decision for double-hungs into four categories. The first is energy efficiency, and Gibson explains how where you live needs to determine what sort of energy-efficient features you should look for. The second is durability. Here, Gibson identifies the four primary alternatives to wood: vinyl, clad (vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum over wood), fiberglass, and aluminum. Next is appearance, and Gibson notes that double-hung windows are conservative in style as a rule, making them a good fit for colonials, Victorians, and Craftsman bungalows. The final category is functionality, and here Gibson discusses recent innovations such as advanced locking and tilt mechanisms, sensors that send a signal to a smartphone or tablet whenever a window is unlocked, screens that permit more light and airflow than typical screens, and blinds that can be attached to the jamb or ordered as part of the frame.