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Are Wood Windows for You? We Weigh the Pros and Cons

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

alpharetta_windows_pj0 Remember those hot, lazy summers when you were growing up, sipping on a cool lemonade with an oscillating fan cooling you down a few seconds at a time.  Remember how much you wanted to open the windows, to feel that fresh outside air.  The only problem was the window was swollen shut.  The effort to open it wasn’t worth it, so you sat there waiting for the sweet relief of the fan.

That’s the way wooden windows used to be; they were built solid, they were heavy, they had a weight and pulley system that once broken, weren’t easy to fix.  They also bled air, both in and out.  They were drafty in the winter and couldn’t open in the summer.

Today wooden windows are still built solidly, they’re still heavy, they’re also still the gold standard when it comes to windows.  New wood windows glide open and shut, maintenance is minimal at most.  They’re energy efficient, ecologically friendly and the most customizable material available.  Read below to find out if wood windows are a viable solution for you when you decide to replace your windows.



Wood windows can be milled to fit in any space and crafted to give your house the character it deserves.  Wood windows can be painted, stained and eventually repainted if you want to change the look of your home.  While vinyl and fiberglass can be customized, no material as customizable as wood.


Despite the fact that wood will contract and expand a little more than vinyl, well-crafted modern wood windows are a great way to save money on insulation.  One of the biggest benefits to replacement windows in the long run is the money that can be saved by simply keeping the climatized air in your home and the unclimatized air outside of your home.


Much like the trees that you look at outside your window, a wood window is natural and eco-friendly.  If you’re looking to “go green” wood windows are a fantastic option.  Not only are you saving precious energy but also using natural materials.



While modern wood windows are great insulators, they do still have to stand up to the elements.  While wood stands up to temperature changes, it is susceptible to too much moisture.  Painting or staining wood windows is vital to keeping them from eventually rotting out.


Due to the inherent flaw of wood, which is that it was at one time a living, breathing organism, it needs to be maintained to keep from decomposing.  Regularly painting and staining wood windows will allow them an extremely long lifespan though.


We would be remiss not to mention a great product, that while maybe not for purists, is a bit of a combination of wood and another material, such as vinyl, fiberglass or aluminum; clad-wood. Clad-wood windows are actually made of wood but they have a layer of aluminum, vinyl or fiberglass on the outside, which does not need to be painted.  But, the inside is wood, which can be painted or stained to customize your home. Due to the layer of aluminum, vinyl or fiberglass, clad-wood is more durable than all wood and also can be more cost effective.

One last thing to think about when choosing your wood windows or clad-wood windows is what kind of wood to choose.  Whether you choose oak, pine or an exotic species all woods are not for every house and definitely something you should discuss with your window replacement expert.

Imagine your grandkids someday visiting you, sipping ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day, just like you used to.  Except they have the comfort of air conditioning, of course.  They also have beautiful old, but still perfect wood windows to look at, which remind them that they’re at their grandparents old house.  They’ll eventually have wonderful memories of visits to their grandparents, and will never forget the wooden windows that you’re considering now.

North Georgia Replacement Windows replaces windows for life.  We sell the best product available for the price point that you feel comfortable with.  Whether you’re replacing your windows for aesthetics, energy efficiency or your current windows just aren’t functional anymore, NG Windows has your solution.  Visit us at our showroom to start getting a feel for what is right for you.

The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Windows

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

exterior shot of home with vinyl replacement windows

What pops into your mind when you hear the term “vinyl windows”? If you’re like most people who haven’t done a lot of homework on window replacement probably nothing really pops into your mind. The fact is, anyone who is anyone who is seriously looking for replacement windows should have a firm grasp on not only what a vinyl window is, but also the styles they come in.  The truth about vinyl windows is that they’re economical, efficient and thanks to modern advances in technology, fashioned to your individual taste.

Vinyl windows are among the most durable products made for homes that you’ll find.  While that durability is convenient for contractors building a quality home, that doesn’t mean that a vinyl window is for every homeowner.  There is, after all, a reason vinyl is one of several materials that windows are made out of.  Following are some of the pros and cons of vinyl windows.


Smooth Operations

Have you ever been to a home with old windows that are painted shut or are warped to the point where they won’t open?  Back in the old days people didn’t have the options of different materials for their windows.  Back then, wood was their choice.  Over time, wooden windows that were built before wood treatments that make wood much more durable (which we’ll get to in our next post), warp, or get painted over time and time again.  Even when these windows were new it is hard to imagine their operation being smooth.

Vinyl windows, on the other hand, are made of a smooth material that, if built well, doesn’t warp.  Due to the material and the way they are balanced vinyl windows operate smoothly throughout their lifetime.

Withstand the elements

Vinyl windows are made to last.  They can withstand temperature changes, rainy days, snowy days, whatever is thrown at them.  The material expands and contracts so minimally that it shouldn’t be a concern.  From the tundra of the Dakotas to the deserts of the southwest vinyl windows are used in home construction.  Certainly our hot summers and mild winters are no matches for well made vinyl windows.

Energy efficient

Due to the construction of vinyl windows and that the material is resilient enough in the elements to not change shape as the temperatures vary; they’re good at keeping inside air in and outside air out.  By conserving energy, you’re lowering your electricity and/or gas bill.  Over time, an energy efficient window will pay for itself with these savings.

Low Maintenance

Every window we sell is low-maintenance, but vinyl is as close to no-maintenance as possible.  There are no periodical paintings or stainings.  Since the material doesn’t warp they’ll open and close seamlessly throughout their lifetime.  Low-maintenance means more time doing things you want to do and less time worrying about something that few people want to worry about; window maintenance.


Not as customizable

Vinyl windows can be ordered to your taste and style.  The options aren’t quite as many as some materials, such as wood, though, due to the manufacturing process and the materials.  People who are looking for something truly original might look beyond vinyl.


Although the technology of vinyl windows has evolved to the point where you can get paintable vinyl, typically vinyl windows are not paintable.  They do come in a myriad of colors, but once installed, that will be the color of your window for its lifetime.  For people who like to change the façade of their home on occasion, vinyl windows might not be the right choice.

Quality equals durability

It’s important to do your research before you buy vinyl windows, especially in a climate as harsh as our is in Atlanta.  Low-quality vinyl windows actually do tend to warp or discolor in the intense heat and ultra-violet exposure.  Low-quality vinyl windows ae often made from regrind, or recycled, resins.  Vinyl windows are built with thicker, reinforced extrusions and better resins and seal systems will hold up better in our climate.  They do cost a little more to make and install, but it might be the difference in needing replacement windows down the line or having a window for life.

If there’s one thing we preach here at North Georgia Windows it’s that a window isn’t just a pane of glass; it’s actually one of the defining factors of your home.  It’s just as important for us that you buy the right window, as it is for you to have just the right window punctuating you home.  That’s why we offer a showroom for you to view window options at your convenience or we are happy to come to your house for an assessment.  Contact us to begin strategizing which window is best for you.

Which Window Is Right For You? Window Replacement From the Beginning

Friday, October 2nd, 2015


Buying a replacement window is more than buying a pane of glass.  You’re also buying the portion that keeps the glass together and the trimming around it, the frame, the part that actually defines your window.  You want something that looks nice, that complements your home, but also something within your budget.  Double hung, casement, transom, they’re all amazing, but where do you start?  It’s best to start with the basics.  What kind of material should your windows be made out of? (And I don’t want to hear you say glass!)

There are three usual materials that windows are made of; vinyl, wood, and fiberglass.  By starting your research on which material is right for you, you can then narrow your choices to which window choices you can select from.  Over the next few weeks, we will take a deep dive into the different materials that windows are crafted from.  We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each, including costs, maintenance, and aesthetics so that you can make a confident decision when you are ready to replace your windows.

First things first, let’s discuss the basics, then wade deeper as your familiarity to each material becomes better.  After we’ve determined which material is right for your replacement windows, we’ll get to the fun stuff, such as the type of window that will transform your house into your dream home.


A vinyl window is simply a window which frame and operable parts are made of vinyl.  If it were only that simple, though!  How many people reading this know what vinyl is?  Let’s start there.  It’s actually a commonly used name for PVC, which stands for Polyvinyl Chloride (yes, it sounds like something Walter White would exasperate over as he tries to explain it to Jesse).  PVC is most commonly used as a pipe, most every hardware store carries PVC pipe.  Why does this matter?  PVC becomes plastic and an interesting fact about plastic is that it tends to last and that it tends to be affordable.  While plastic does imply cheap, that’s actually a misnomer, as far as vinyl windows are concerned you should think of plastic as lasting.  In fact, vinyl windows are the most affordable window replacement option and they’re virtually maintenance free.  The technology for PVC has evolved from the extruded form, which is what most people consider vinyl windows.  It also comes in a milled form which looks more like wood windows and is solid and paintable.  There are options when it comes to vinyl, despite what you might have heard.


I won’t get into the process of producing wood since you should have learned that in the first grade.  The important thing to know about wood is that the material can totally transform a home.  While vinyl is going to be more affordable, it’s also going to be more generic.  Wood, on the other hand, is highly customizable.  You can change the color scheme; make it bolder, make it softer, paint it, stain it.  Like anything, though, wood is not perfect.  Wood windows require more maintenance than vinyl windows and aren’t going to last until the sun burns out.  Like vinyl, wood has evolved past pieces of lumber, especially when it comes to replacement windows.  Clad wood windows are real wood windows with aluminum, fiberglass or vinyl wrapped around the exteriors to make the windows maintenance free on the outside but still offer the warmth, beauty and flexible painting option on the interior.  Wood windows can turn an average house into an amazing home though and should be considered seriously if the price is within your budget.


Fiberglass is a combination of plastic and glass, essentially it’s plastic reinforced with glass fiber.  A major plus, which we’ll get into in more detail in a further post, is that because of the glass fiber the frame does not expand and retract around the glass pane.  It’s also a strong yet light material that is considered “greener” than vinyl.  The costs of fiberglass windows are going to be comparable to wood windows, but the lifetime costs will likely be cheaper especially when factoring in warranties and the fact that there is less maintenance over the lifetime of the window.  While customizable, and even customizable to look like wood, it’s still not as versatile as wood.

Coming Up…

Stay tuned for our next article on vinyl windows.  As you learned here there are a few pros and cons of vinyl windows, a more thorough understanding is vital in making the right replacement window choice, considering that when you replace a window you’re replacing it for life.

Buying replacement windows is a decision that can’t be taken lightly.  Once you replace your windows they are your windows for life, or at least should be.  We, here at North Georgia Replacement Windows, understand this and are here to make sure that you make the right choice.  Stop by and visit our showroom to see the many transformations your home could take, or reach out to us, we’d be happy to come by and assess your home in person.

Five Reasons To Replace Your Windows This Fall

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Replacement Windows

Traffic is slower because blinking school zone lights are warning us to slow down, actual work is being pushed so that vital fantasy football research can be done and the Braves are finally able to hide behind the Falcons on the 11:00 news, which can only mean one thing, fall is rapidly approaching.  As the temperatures cool and the air turns drier, it’s time to do a semi-annual readiness check on your home.  We might not be heading into the oblivion that our friends up north are, but still, our winters are nothing to scoff at, and our beautiful North Georgia autumn will allow you plenty of time to prepare.

After running the air conditioning all summer, it’s great to have a reprieve in the fall before having to crank the furnace up.  Are you getting the most from your AC and heater or are you also helping to cool and heat the outdoors?  While energy efficiency is one obvious reason to replace your windows it’s only one of several important factors to consider window replacement this fall.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency sounds almost too obvious to include here.  “Winter’s coming, got to keep the heat in.” It’s a tired line when it comes to offering something with multiple uses. We understand that windows are an investment and not something that you just wake up one day and say “I’m replacing all my windows today.” It’s important to note that if you have older, single pane windows, and you plan on staying in your current home that eventually the windows would pay for themselves in energy savings.

While energy saving windows are ideal, it’s possible that repairing your current windows or looking into better insulation might be more economical until you can feel comfortable with the costs associated with replacing your windows.

ENERGY STAR®, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps individuals protect the climate through energy efficiency, has ratings based on climate, but it doesn’t take into account home designs such as orientation.  Some rooms will be naturally warm based on the sun’s angle.  A professional installer will even take into account the sun’s angle in different seasons rather than just install a pane of glass and tell you you’ll save money.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to replacing windows for energy efficiency. While it’s the most practical reason to replace your windows, let’s face it, practically gets pushed to tomorrow far too often.

But, are your windows…

Aesthetically Unpleasing

Your house is likely your largest investment.  Unlike stocks, bonds and commodities, you have some control over the resale value of your home.  The resale value is only one reason to keep your house looking nice and up to date.  You should be proud of the place you call home.  When strangers walk or drive by or when friends or family visit it feels good to know that they’re pleased with what they see.  Your home is an important part of the urban or suburban landscape even if it is a small part of it.  It should appear as you want to be represented.  Your windows are a huge part of your home.  They are not only how you see out, but likely, the major focal point of your home.

Or, perhaps your windows look great, “Yeah, they’re a little old but I can’t rationalize replacing my windows for aesthetics.  They  look alright after all.”  You can probably rationalize replacing your windows for your…

Family’s Safety

Ask yourself how old your house is. Do you have children? If your house was built before 1978 your window casings were likely painted with lead-based paint.  This causes two hazards, 1) the dust that it creates as the paint microscopically chips contains lead that over time you and your family will breathe and 2) small children tend to chew on things, such as window sills, that are reachable as they’re teething.  The long-term damage can be devastating to the brain and other vital organs.

Do you have a basement window? Is the window large enough to climb out in case of an emergency? Egressed windows, or a window that allows for easy access to the outside from the basement, is required by code in new houses, but many houses do not meet this requirement.  Not only does your basement bedroom not count as a bedroom in the eyes of the National Association of Realtors, but the safety of the occupant of the room is in peril without one. Or, perhaps, you simply have a window that…

Won’t Open

This might not seem like a big problem in the winter and summer, but it should be in the fall and spring. There’s nothing better and more efficient than letting nature climatize your home.  If your windows are painted shut or you can open them but can’t keep them open, you’re missing a great opportunity by not replacing them.

As nice as letting mother nature cool or warm your house is, there’s a much more important reason to make sure your windows open safely.  Windows can provide a quick escape from fire.  If you can’t open a window in your home, you’re putting yourself and everyone in it in danger.  Perhaps you’re thinking, “it’s just one window that won’t open,” now imagine the same thought as you’re standing at that window with smoke fogging the room.  Your tone is likely a little different.

But, your windows open fine.  And, besides a fire, you’d never open them anyways, because this part of the city has a problem with…


As Atlanta continues to prosper, the city and surrounding areas continue to grow.  Growth is a great thing, home values rise and the area becomes more vibrant. With more people, though, it becomes noisier. New windows will help keep the noise where it belongs; outside.  Glass alone cannot reduce sound, it actually requires damping materials, or materials that will absorb the sound waves.  New windows are specifically made with this in mind.  Just as importantly, they have to be installed correctly.

The decision to replace windows is a big one.  Having a thorough understanding of your needs, budget and process are crucial to a successful project.  Contact us to discuss the process and schedule an assessment of your current situation.  Visit our showroom at your convenience to get an idea of what your home could transform into.  We’ll look forward to getting to know you.  Oh, and be careful driving through the school zones and good luck in fantasy football.

Part 2: Energy Efficient Windows for Your Commercial Property

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

In our last post, we talked about the ways that replacing windows with new energy efficient windows could improve a residential property. While homeowners certainly save money by making the upgrade to efficient windows, commercial properties enjoy savings that are drastically larger. Imagine a large corporate office structure that uses hundreds of traditional windows that are wasting energy.

Once those windows are replaced with new energy efficient windows, you are looking at hundreds of windows that are saving money for the commercial property. When combined with other green technologies, commercial properties and businesses can end up saving more than expected. Just like energy efficient windows for homeowners, there are also a list of other great reasons a commercial property should upgrade its windows. This post emphasizes the importance of design considerations and how to choose the right commercial windows based on upgrade needs and preferences.


Purchasing the Right Windows for Your Home and Climate

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Whether you’re replacing your windows as part of a major home renovation project or simply because they’re old, make sure the replacement windows you choose are appropriate for the weather in your location.

As a trusted North Georgia windows replacement company, we’ve helped hundreds of our clients choose windows for their homes that are well-suited to the climate where they live. Below are some pointers to keep in mind to help you make the right window choices no matter where you call home.


Looking To Replace Your Windows? Check Out These Replacement Options

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Have your windows been damaged? Are you considering new windows as part of an update or renovation? Here are some of the most popular custom replacement window options and how they can improve your home.


4 Good Things You Didn’t Know About Casement Windows

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Casement windows can be found in many homes in Georgia. They feature a simple design and are ultra-convenient when installed in certain spaces, such as above kitchen sinks. These windows are equipped with a single sash hinge situated on the side and open vertically via a crank-operated handle. Ease of use is one of the many benefits offered by casements, which explains their popularity in the new housing construction market. Casement windows also provide one of the most expansive views.


Remember This When Replacing Your Home Windows

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Did you know that nearly 30 to 40 percent of the energy in your home is lost through your windows and doors if they are not up to par with modern efficiency standards? Installing a new set of ENERGY STAR windows can save you upwards of $500 a year on heating and cooling costs by upgrading from single-panes alone. When considering that most windows can last up to 30 years or more, this is one long-term investment every homeowner should make.

While you can certainly replace one window at a time, the best savings come from large-scale projects. Most window contractors will advise you to do this if your budget allows, but at the end of the day, the savings will start to add up right away.

Of course, to make the most of your investment, there a few things to take under careful consideration. Hiring a reputable and licensed contractor such as North Georgia Replacement Windows is important, especially for people who lack the requisite experience needed to perform this job.


Everything You Need To Know About Tilt-Turn Windows

Friday, February 13th, 2015

As long-time Atlanta replacement window installers, you can count on us to help you choose and install the ideal windows for your home. No matter what type of home window you desire, we’re the replacement window company that will do a great job for you. Read on below to find out more about the qualities of tilt-turn windows that make them a popular window choice in Europe and increasingly in America as well.