You want your windows to do 4 things – insulate, let air and light in, look great outside and match your indoor decor. Here are 4 things for you to consider when you’re shopping for replacement windows. Function. What is the primary purpose of each window? Is it to let light in or to frame a beautiful view? Do you live in a place with extreme temperatures in the winter or summer? What style of window matches the build of your home? Will that work on the inside, too? You have many options in how a window opens. Large expanses of glass or very small windows both lend themselves to being fixed windows. Bedroom windows need to big enough to offer egress in case of a fire. But, you have choices! For example, if your bedroom has the best view in the house, think about a fixed, large center with two windows big enough for escape that open and close on either side. And, think about light from above. A dark space with small windows may benefit from a skylight or solar tube. Talk with your replacement window dealer. Tell them what you want and ask for options. Use Your Windows as Part of Your Inside Decor. Windows can solve problems beyond light, air and insulation. A small kitchen? Think about a bay window that gives you plenty of space to grow your herbs and makes the room look bigger. Need to obscure the view in? There are wonderful patterns that block the view but add a beautiful touch to the interior. Your replacement window company will have options you don’t expect – even stained glass in some cases! Outside Counts – a Lot! Windows are a big contributor to the curb appeal of your home. A modern styled window is going to look strange in a Victorian styles home and vice versa. Get some ideas. Drive through neighborhoods with homes in the same style as yours paying close attention to the windows. What styles look really good – and appeal to you. Now, talk to your dealer and find out what windows they offer and what their best ideas are. Make your style choice carefully. Frames, Glass and More Frames. Your climate will most likely dictate the type of window you want – double pane is the most common. Triple pane may be desired in areas of extreme cold – but the payback from lower utility costs could take as much as two decades. Again, listen to a local window replacement pro who knows your area. Now, think about the frames. Steel and aluminum can be painted but transfer the most cold and heat. Vinyl is a choice for less transfer of outdoor temperatures to the inside – but they can’t be painted and usually come in only in white or beige. Fiberglass comes in different colors. Wood can be stained or painted. Both fiberglass and wood both insulate but tend to be the highest priced frames. So, think about more frames – you can frame your windows with anything from wood that is painted a color to compliment your exterior to faux stone. Add that to the equation as you pick your window frame. When you replace your windows – you have choices – lots of them! New windows are a big investment so make sure you go to a licensed, bonded and insured window replacement company. You want knowledgeable advice and professional installation – you’ll find it with a replacement window contractor.