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Window Buying Guide

Windows enhance the ambience of a room and play a crucial role in maintaining an energy-efficient home. The tighter seals and more advanced construction of many modern windows prevent cold and hot air from escaping and help keep a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate without wasting energy. In addition, attractive windows can breathe new life into older homes.

Anatomy of a Window

Easy to Read Tag Backs
1. Head:
The main horizontal member forming the top of the window frame.
2. Jamb:
The main vertical members forming the sides of the window frame.
3. Frame:
The enclosure in which the window sash or door panels are mounted.
4. Simulated Divided Lites (SDL):
Small bars placed on the exterior and interior of the glass that divide a window into smaller sections.
5. Nailing Flange:
A vinyl strip that extends over the edge of the outdoor window sash used to secure the window to an opening.
6. Sash:
A single assembly of stiles and rails into a frame for holding glass.
7. Pane:
A framed sheet of glass within a window or door.
8. Glazing:
The act or process of fitting with glass.
9. Sill:
The main horizontal member forming the bottom of the frame of the window.

1 Replacement or Retrofit?

Full Window Replacement

This involves completely removing the existing window and replacing it with a new one.

Retrofit Your Existing Window

This involves replacing only the window’s existing sash and leaving the window frame intact.

2 Choose Your Window Style

Each window style has different characteristics and, in many cases, opens in a different way. Determine what style is most appropriate for the room where the window will be installed.

Casement Window

A vertical window that opens outward. May feature locks on both the upper and lower parts and is often opened with a crank handle.

Single or Double-hung Window

A traditional style window that opens by raising the lower half or lowering the upper half.

Picture Window

A large, fixed window that cannot be opened.

Fixed Window

Available in many shapes and sizes; cannot be opened.

Awning Window

A horizontal window that opens outward, usually using a crank handle.

Slider Window

A pair of windows that slide side-to-side rather than opening outward or upward.

Bay Window

A combination of windows (typically three) with angled sides that extend a room outward maximizing your view.

Bow Window

A combination of windows with gentle angles creates the illusion of a Bow or curved wall extending a room outward and maximizing your view.


Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, skylights and roof windows add natural light to any space.

3 Choose Your Window Material

Window frames can be made from a number of different materials, including wood, clad-wood and vinyl.

  • Have you thought about the inside trim?
  • Do you want to complete the job with vinyl, wood or primed wood?
  • Can the jamb extension of your window match your interior casing?


Vinyl will not rot, chip or peel.

Vinyl windows are a versatile, low-maintenance product designed to last year after year in any kind of weather. Vinyl windows are generally the least expensive of all windows, but provide exceptional energy efficiency. Because of the many optional accessories, vinyl windows lend themselves best to renovation projects, but are also ideal for new construction.


Wood windows provide aesthetic warmth both inside and out.

The timeless beauty and charm of wood windows appeal to many people, and as a natural insulator, wood is resistant to temperature extremes. Wood window frames generally come unfinished, but can be painted or stained to match any décor.

Aluminum-clad Wood

Dent-resistant and low-maintenance extruded aluminum-clad frames

A rich variety of colour choices make aluminum-clad windows an ideal designer’s choice. Clad-wood windows combine the natural elegance of an interior wood frame with the durability and maintenance-free benefits of a vinyl window.


Combining the strength of aluminum and the efficiency of vinyl.

Offering the same easy maintenance and high performance as an all-vinyl product, aluminum exterior finishing offers increased strength and durability.

4 Increase Comfort and Lower Energy Costs

Choosing the right glass for your new window determines its energy performance. It’s possible to quadruple a window’s energy performance — and reduce your energy costs — simply by picking the right glass option.

Energy Star

Save money on your heating and cooling bills with Energy Star® qualified windows. The two most important factors when considering energy-efficient windows are U-value and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). U-value measures how well a window prevents heat from entering your home, and SHGC measures how much heat from sunlight passes through windows. The lower their values, the more effective the window is at resisting heat transfer.

  • Double and triple-pane windows are more energy efficient than single-pane windows and may reduce outside noise
  • Low-E glass coatings reflect both infrared and ultraviolet light; this helps to reduce heat transfer and prevent furnishings from fading
  • Argon and krypton gas-filled panes are better insulated than those filled with air

Visit a Home Depot store to see which window glass option works best for your project.

5 Add Finishing Touches


Let your personality shine through with the use of our standard and custom patterned grille designs. Through the use of many different grille material and colour choices, this inexpensive feature will add character and curb appeal to your home.

Planning with Colour

Make a bold statement with colour on frames or add a hint of tint for subtlety. After installation, window hardware (including window handles, knobs and latches) and a variety of window treatments offer more opportunities to bring in style elements.

6 Take Measurements

Take Measurements

Special Order windows are manufactured to the size you order, ensuring a perfect fit for your renovation. Have your installer double check their measurements before ordering your window to eliminate any surprises during the installation process.

Installation Process

We have two ways to get your window installation & replacement projected started

1 Free In-Home or Virtual Consultation

  • Book a free in-home or virtual appointment with a Home Depot Design Consultant to discuss your new window design and style options

2 Professional Installation

  • At a pre-scheduled time, the Installer will deliver your new windows and complete the installation
  • They will fit your window openings, remove your old windows for disposal and install the new ones

3 Follow-Up Inspection

  • Upon completion, the Installer will inspect your new windows and confirm that the project meets your approval
  • They will haul away your old windows for safe disposal

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