40 tips for window replacement: part 2

6. Consider glass options. Not all glass is the same. Just as you have choices on Low E or gas-filled glass packages to maximize energy efficiency in your home, you have choices on the type of glass. Selections include clear glass, tempered, tinted (generally available in bronze or grey) or obscure glass.

7. Consider your surroundings. If you live in an area prone to severe storms, on a golf course or even in a noisy downtown area, then impact-resistant glass is a smart investment because it is extremely difficult to penetrate. Check with your insurance company to see if it offers discounts if you install impact-resistant windows in your home.

8. If you live around active children, consider ordering windows with laminated safety glass—at least for the first floor of the home. Two panes of glass are adhered to a durable plastic interlayer. If a stray baseball hits a window, the glass will shatter, but broken pieces remain adhered to the interlayer, preventing glass fallout inside the home. The plastic interlayer is also puncture-resistant, frustrating potential intruders.

9. If you currently hear too much outside noise—overhead planes, traffic, railroads—request laminated or impact-resistant glass in your replacement windows to reduce noise penetration into your home.

10. Review grid options. Many builders suggest standard white Colonial grid patterns. However, window manufacturers offer everything from brass to dark zinc as grid options.