Best Replacement Windows for Houston’s Weather Extremes
Houston residents know summer heat can reach 100 degrees for days on end, and the few days of winter can include a freeze or ice storm that brings the city to a screeching halt. (Oh, and there might be a hurricane or flood in between.) These weather extremes must be considered when replacing your home’s windows.
When looking to update your home, replacement windows are a smart choice. Not only will replacement windows update the aesthetics of your home, they will also increase energy efficiency and eliminate drafts. Replacement windows improve security, reduce outside noise, and make cleaning easier. Best of all, replacement windows and doors update your home’s interior and exterior–it’s like two remodels for the price and disruption of one! The Return on Investment (ROI) is immediate unlike other projects in which you must sell your home to see any return.
There are two types of replacement windows, pocket or insert windows, and full-frame replacements. Pocket (or insert) windows slide into the existing wood window frame. They are minimally invasive to your home’s interior trim, paint, wallpaper, plaster and walls. The exterior trim, siding, stucco, or brickwork is also virtually undisturbed. This is an excellent option if your wood window frames are in good condition.
Full-frame replacement projects remove the entire window and trim. This option may be necessary if you have rotten wood, or concerns about water or structural damage. Full-frame is also used if you want to enlarge an opening or if you want to change the window style, for instance, replacing a double-hung window with a casement window.
Best Pocket Replacement Windows
Chosen for beauty, design, durability, ease of installation, and warranty, the following window and door manufacturers are rated as the best choices for Houston, Texas.
Infinity from Marvin
Infinity constructs its windows with fiberglass for unmatched performance. Marvin’s own Ultrex® fiberglass is engineered to be eight times stronger than vinyl. It resists expanding and contracting in any climate (even Houston’s extreme weather conditions), an impressive 87% less than vinyl. This gives you a snug, tight fit that will last for years. Wood windows offer classic beauty that can require maintenance and care in Houston’s climate. Infinity windows built with Ultrex capture the beautiful details and profiles of wood, without the maintenance.
Infinity windows offer narrower profiles that deliver bigger views and more daylight. Because Ultrex is so strong, less of it is required in Infinity window frames. That means you get larger glass and thinner frames than most other replacement windows.
Infinity has a proprietary, high-performance, co-extruded finishing process. The thick, even acrylic finish is free of pinholes, striations, and imperfections. It resists scratches, fading, and chalking so it retains its original beauty. Ultrex’s finish is fade-resistant and virtually maintenance-free. The finish is three times thicker than other options and resists chipping, denting and peeling.
It’s not just beauty that rates Infinity at the top. Infinity products have one of the highest performance ratings from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the organization that defines energy performance ratings for the window and door industry.
To top it off, Infinity from Marvin offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty. You get peace of mind knowing that Infinity from Marvin stands behind their products for as long as you own your home.
For more than 70 years, Windsor Windows & Doors has upheld their excellent reputation for offering quality design, timeless beauty and skilled craftsmanship at a fair price. Windsor Revive offers three high quality materials to choose from.
Windsor Revive Wood Clad windows use two materials. Outside, the sash and pocket frame are protected from the elements by heavy-duty, extruded aluminum cladding. This heavy-duty 0.050-inch extruded aluminum sash and frame cladding offer superior protection against dents and chips. This is enhanced by a durable powder coat paint finish that’s easy to maintain and outlasts and outperforms ordinary paint. Inside, you’ll enjoy the warmth and beauty of natural fine wood varieties. If you appreciate timeless quality and craftsmanship, and cherish the stained wood finishes in your home, wood clad offers quality, durability and visual appeal to enhance your home’s appearance and value.
Windsor Revive Hybrid gives you a fresh, clean look of painted wood interiors with little maintenance. Heavy-duty 0.050-inch extruded aluminum frame cladding offers superior protection against chips and dents and is available in a wide variety of attractive and durable powder coat finishes. The sashes are constructed of cellular PVC to deliver exceptional insulating abilities and weather resistance. It can be painted like real wood, so you can match any interior colors.
Windsor Revive Vinyl is virtually effortless to care for. These windows use advanced technology to ensure easy operation, superior energy efficiency, low maintenance and high performance. Thick, multi-chambered extrusions add strength and decrease air infiltration. The Revive Vinyl is so well made, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is guaranteed against fading, peeling and chipping.
Transcend from Sierra Pacific
Sierra Pacific Transcend offers nearly unlimited choices and flexibility in terms of sizes and style, allowing you to match your existing decor or redo any room with the look you always wanted. The H3 High Performance Pocket Insert window has patented Fusion Technology™. It offers superior durability, an advanced seal, and upscale design options. Solid wood interior provides thermal insulation and beauty. An extra-strong vinyl base frame offers superior rigidity and a supremely tight seal.
The Transcend single and double hung windows are the most traditional window design. Sierra Pacific has updated this classic window and turned it into an efficient, high-performance product. The double hung features a concealed wood jambliner and an easy-tilt top and bottom sash for cleaning convenience. The single hung has an easy-tilt bottom sash, a half-screen, and a totally clear view through the top sash. These single and double hung windows are a piece of artwork all by themselves, turning your home into an extraordinary showpiece.
Sierra Pacific wood windows and doors are protected by CoreGuard Plus™ wood treatment, a patented process that, when needed, penetrates wood right to the core to repel water, so the windows and patio doors are less likely to warp or swell, and have superior dimensional stability. In addition, CoreGuard Plus contains fungicides and insecticides to deeply protect all wood species from pests and rotting. Amazingly, this strong protection comes from a naturally organic, water-based treatment with nearly zero VOC’s, which helps maintain the strict environmental stewardship Sierra Pacific is known for.
Replacement windows are an investment in your home you won’t want to repeat. Selecting a product that will last a lifetime is important. Some “major brand” replacement windows are only available in generic, commodity sizes. The installers will actually build out the opening, reducing the size to make the window fit. This compromises the seal which could result in water damage–damage that may not be visible until it becomes a major issue. Reducing the size of the opening also reduces the size of the glass, narrowing your view. Many companies use inferior vinyl which won’t stand up to Houston’s weather extremes. It will only take a few years for the vinyl to fade, warp, chip, and peel. These vinyl products will not take paint well and leave a messy finish.
Many clad products are not true wood. Wood composites are used which can easily warp and trap moisture. These products also have limited options as far as wood species, color options, and limited hardware options. Replacement windows should compliment the design and style aesthetic of your home. Often times, inferior replacement windows stick out like a sore thumb, becoming the unwanted focal point, instead of blending with the architectural design.
Best Full-Frame Replacement Windows
Full-frame replacement windows come in a wide variety of material and style choices. Because these windows require the window and trim in its entirety to be replaced, this is a more disruptive construction option to pocket replacement windows. However, because it is a traditional window replacement, the choices are limitless.
Keeping Texas weather in mind, below are the top windows for full replacement:
Kolbe Forgent Series
Forgent Series windows and doors incorporate innovative design and state-of-the-art technology with a proprietary Glastra® material. Glastra is a proprietary hybrid of fiberglass and UV stable polymer. Engineered for strength and high performance, resilience and ease-of-installation this high-performance product line is a perfect choice for new construction or replacement.
Forgent is available in two material options. Both the exterior and interior is composed of Glastra with finishes available in Cloud, Sahara, Midnight, or Bronze. The exterior is composed of Glastra, while the interior is Pine wood available in distinct pre-finishes including: Double Clear Coat, Latex Primer, Black Paint, White Paint, or a variety of stains.
Kolbe provides a variety of window styles including double hung, single hung, sliding and specialty-shaped windows. These Kolbe windows are also available with impact/security glass to help protect your home from intruders and hurricanes.
Sierra Pacific windows and doors are crafted in four unique manufacturing styles. Each delivers its own design and performance advantages. Aluminum Clad Wood is the best of both worlds, combining beautiful wood inside with low maintenance aluminum outside. Wood is select pine or upgrade to one of eight other species, all protected by CoreGuard Plus wood preservative. Double thick cladding is finished with a powder coating process that leads the industry in durability and environmental safety.
For a classic, distinctive look, All-Wood windows offer timeless elegance with exceptional thermal performance, protected by CoreGuard Plus wood preservative.
H3®, Inventive Fusion Technology integrates three components (extruded aluminum, vinyl, and wood) into one perfect window with greater energy efficiency and performance. Double thick aluminum exteriors are protected by Sierra Pacific’s extraordinary powder coated finishes, while the wood is preserved with CoreGuard Plus.
FeelSafe™ is Sierra Pacific’s hurricane-resistant windows and patio doors. These feature high strength, laminated glass, plus highly reinforced engineering and construction. They are built to withstand heavy storm impact as well as determined burglars. Sierra Pacific’s vinyl replacement products offer many of the same features and design options as the premium wood products.
Windsor Revive as described in pocket replacement windows offers a full-frame window replacement as well. Windsor also offers other product lines not specifically designed for window replacement. These can be used for replacement window projects if ordered without the nail fins. Windows not designed for replacement can require a more extensive installation process. You should consider certified, professional window installers.
Don Young Company
Don Young Co. is a Texas company that has been manufacturing custom-built, made-to-order windows for the home improvement, replacement, and custom-home builder markets since 1978. Don Young Co. offers energy efficient vinyl and aluminum thermally broken windows, patio doors, storm windows and storm doors.
Don Young aluminum windows have Thermal bridging that acts as a pathway for heat or cool air to escape the window or door more rapidly, a thermal break helps block that pathway, resulting in an energy efficient, high performing product. Don Young produces commercial-grade aluminum windows which feature a thermal break that separates the inside metal from the outside metal with very high-density catalyzed polyurethane. Don Young calls this engineering design PolyPour. These are high quality windows, not like old-fashioned, builder grade aluminum. PolyPour windows fight condensation and have significantly better insulating values and feature among the thickest walls available in residential windows making the windows incredibly strong.
MI Windows offers an easy-to-understand replacement window program anchored by their three series windows with options for enhanced performance and style, creating a true “Good, Better, Best” platform. Utilizing the same stylish sash profile with a nearly endless amount of optional upgrades, MI is able to offer a wide variety of enhancements and options to suit all of your replacement window needs. The “Good” option is the single-hung 1620 series. The “Better” option is the 1555 double-hung product that doesn’t sacrifice quality for cost. The “Best” option is the 1650 double hung which meets Energy Star requirements in all zones with little to no upgrades.
Gerkin’s Rhino Commercial Aluminum window and door series are popular for modern homes. Stringent product testing and innovative design have allowed Gerkin products to evolve as market and consumer needs change. Gerkin has several window styles and a patio door in the Rhino line. The Rhino line is tested by independent laboratories to ensure quality and performance. Gerkin’s windows and doors are rated and certified by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), and the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).
As evidenced by the many manufacturers making the list “Best Replacement Windows”, there is much variety from which to select. Finding the perfect fit for your window replacement project more than likely requires someone with industry expertise. Renaissance Windows and Doors has some of the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the window and door industry, representing many of the best window and door manufacturers. Their guidance can help you navigate the nuances of style, design, construction, materials, glass and hardware options.
No matter which windows you choose, without proper installation the windows will not perform well. Renaissance Windows and Doors employs certified, professional installers instead of trusting your home to a subcontractor (many of which go on to subcontract their labor). Renaissance installers follow their Exclusive Install-24 to ensure nothing is overlooked. Renaissance backs their installation with a 2-year warranty on top of the manufacturer warranties.
Look for the best window crafted by the best manufacturer. Look for the best and most knowledgeable and experienced window dealer to help you navigate the complexities of the project. Look for certified, professional installers with guarantees backed by a company trusted for decades. Look no further than Renaissance Windows and Doors in Houston, Texas. Call today! 713-863-9988