Window Replacement Guide – Midwest

New windows are second only to new siding that a realtor or new homeowner looks at when assessing the value of your home. New windows will enhance the look of your home, make it more energy efficient, less drafty, and a brilliant investment to improve your home. New windows are easy to clean and maintain and no longer come with the storm windows, so reduced maintenance is a plus as well.

If you’re planning on staying in your home, saving money every month is nothing to scoff at either. New and energy efficient windows can save between $27 to $111 a month on electrical and heating costs. With that in mind, it could take as little as a few years to make your investment profitable. This reduction in energy costs is based on Energy Star certified windows which lower the energy cost on average by 12% per month. Depending on the size of your home, the savings can be huge.

How we choose the best window brand and style

We have been in the industry for over 30 years and have seen technological advancements in window IR reflective coatings, more durable adhesives and sealants, and even advancements in the materials used for the windows such as vinyl and fiberglass composites. Through our industry knowledge we choose the best brands to keep your home safe, secure, dry, and comfortable year round. Through our testing we have analyzed more than 25 window brands and frame material across both double hung and casement type windows. Through our evaluation we only sell window brands and types where the window creates a barrier between your home and the elements. Given the higher cost and the potential return on investment, our customers can feel safe that the windows that they are buying will last and perform as expected.

Ways to Save money on window replacement

The easiest way to save money on a window replacement is by only replacing the window! If your window frame and sills are still in good shape, you won’t always need to pull them out and do a full replacement. Replacing partial units is a great way to reduce the installation cost of windows. Contact us for a pocket replacement estimate for your windows. If you decide you want a different color or material, a full window replacement may be necessary. A full window replacement includes the installation of the window frame, sill, and other window components attached to the outside of the wall.

The US government also offers federal tax credits for the installation of energy efficient windows. Several state and local governments offer additional rebates as well.

Pondview is your local expert window installation company

Selecting the window that performs the way that is most important to you – balancing cost and performance, is only the initial step. Installing the window so it performs as advertised is just as critical. Pondview is trained and is certified by Pella to guarantee that your investment is installed properly.

Glass Housings: Window Materials

The most popular window materials in the United States are vinyl and wood. Wood windows are generally installed by home builders whereas, vinyl windows are the most popular replacement windows. With vinyl you eliminate many aspects of maintenance associated with owning windows.

Wood Frame

Many windows are first installed using a solid wood frame and window. These often come with composite attachments such as plastic or metal. These attachments range from cranks to locks. Wood offers a variety of different finishes and styles.

Vinyl Frame

Vinyl offers an excellent balance between cost and performance. This window does not need to be stained, painted, or maintained like wood windows do. In many cases, a casual viewer doesn’t notice the difference between wood and vinyl finishes.

Fiberglass Frame

Fiberglass frame material is relatively new to the market in the last 4-5 years or so. These have the benefits of vinyl, as well as added strength.

Pond View Guide to Different Window Types

Home Window Types by Pond View Windows and Doors

Many of our readers are considering or have considered replacing windows or in some instances even installing new window types into an existing home! There are a ton of windows that serve a unique purpose, and all come with their own set of pros and cons. For the best shot at finding the best window replacement company we recommend talking to your local window contractor.

Single or Double Hung Windows

Single hung windows are perhaps the most common window in the United States and Canada. The bottom parts of the single hung window are able to move up and down however the top part of the window restricts this action. This restricted action allows for a greater seal between the top of the window and the frame. This better seal allows for slightly better energy efficiency compared to a double hung window.

The double hung windows are a better option if you are willing to forego the factory seal and allow for an easier to clean and more versatile window.  See the below diagram to visually highlight the differences.

Difference in window types and sash types between single and double hung windows
Diagram credit from


Casement and Hinged Windows

Casement windows always come with some type of hinge to allow for the windows to swing open. The degree to which each of the windows swing depends on what you install and what is possible in your home.  Many homeowners restrict the window to only open up 90 degrees, while others allow for a near 180 degree hinge. Casement windows are excellent insulators because of the fewer moving parts as well as the factor welded parts being immovable.

Egress window for a basement
Egress window photo credit

Egress Windows

One of the most overlooked window types, the egress windows, are common in residential homes which have a basement. The main purpose is to allow people to escape from the basement

or another enclosed area in the event of an emergency. While many homeowners consider glass block windows in their basement due to the tight seal, they can prove to be dangerous in the event of a fire. In addition to being a safety consideration, these windows allow for light to easily enter the basement.


Awning Windows

Awning are very similar to garden windows or small kitchen windows. They are hinged at the top and always swing open or upward. They are popular because with a simple screen, they can be open in the rain or in the sun. Awnings are another iconic window option.


Picture Windows

A picture window is exactly what it sounds like, a window which displays a picturesque view of your yard. These windows generally don’t open, but always provide you with the most natural light and most stunning view.


Glass Block Windows

We nearly left this window type off of our list because many window contracting companies will not perform this type of installation. Glass block windows require mason work for their installation and replacement, and many window companies do not keep one on their staff.


Home Improvement Resources

For other home improvement needs such as vinyl siding visit us here.