The first step is to decide what frame material suits your home. Vinyl, wood, and fiberglass are the three most common window materials. Vinyl windows are virtually maintenance-free, but many don’t have the wood grain look of a wood window. Wood windows are beautiful, but require maintenance to keep the wood looking great. Fiberglass windows are more expensive, but maintenance-free and durable.
Casement or Double Hung
The next decision is whether casement or double hung windows are right for your home. Casement and double hung windows come in different sizes, but both are energy efficient and beautiful. Casements open from the side while double hung windows open and close vertically.
If you are replacing casements with casements, or double hung with double hung windows, the sizing should be similar and additional costs are not incurred. To find out how much replacing your window costs,
Purchasing new windows is a decision with long-term implications; older, failing windows can (literally) send the cool air from your AC or the heat from your furnace out the window. Over time, this can equate to thousands of dollars spent on energy bills. If your concern is energy efficiency, seek out the most efficient windows for the job;
Cleaning & Maintenance
Manufacturers are making both casement and double hung windows easy-to-clean, but in different ways; if you are concerned about long-term cleaning, ask to see the models of the windows to see what whether casement or double hung windows would be easiest for you to clean.
Once installed, the maintenance of your windows is up to you (or you can hire someone to do window maintenance for you). If you want a maintenance-free option, vinyl and fiberglass windows require no maintenance except for an occasional cleaning of the interior and exterior frame. Wood windows require cleaning and refinishing throughout the life of the window.