Replacement windows come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. The technology behind replacement windows is continually evolving, and what used to be considered top-of-the-line 20 years ago, might have new competition for homeowners' attention. The team at Kearns Brothers has been helping metro Detroit homeowners for nearly 40 years in making decisions about what is best for their home exterior. 

Replacement Window A to Z Guide

The replacement window market is crowded with products and vendors. Find a trusted contractor to help you navigate what you’d like out of a new window installation. 

Replacement Window Shopping

Replacement windows for your home require determining what material you’d like for your home. Understanding the merits of each material will help inform your decision. 

What are the Benefits of Replacement Windows?

1. Reduce Your Heating and Cooling Bills

Replacement windows are built for energy efficiency. The more effective your windows are at regulating the hot and cold temperatures, the less your heating and cooling bills will be. Your windows can cause up to 30% of heat loss or gain. That is money flying right out of your windows (no pun intended). By investing in new replacement windows, you will save money on bills. That improves your return on investment. 

2. Increasing Home Safety

Safety here is a two-way street. First, if you have a new window break, the technology for glass allows that pane to shatter into hundreds of small pieces. Older windows will break into large shards. The smaller pieces may be messier, but they pose less risk of a large shard cutting you. Additionally, new windows open and close easier. If your current windows are hard to open, that is a safety hazard for getting out quickly and safely. New windows will allow an easy out if need be.

3. Curb Appeal

Safety and lower bills are must haves. From a visual standpoint, new windows have tremendous curb appeal. They can increase the value of your home and make those first impressions breathtaking. 

4. Save Time

New windows can be low maintenance. If you’ve lived in a house with charm, you might have encountered drafty windows. Every winter requires either window coverings or weatherstripping to keep the cold out. New windows may not require you to go through all the steps to winterize your windows. 

5. Noise Reduction

Has working from home made you realize that your neighborhood is louder than you imagined? Barking dogs, loud cars, even people conversing may be a distraction while at home. Modern windows will reduce sound transfer. Bedtime and video conferencing may be a little quieter when you upgrade. 

Wood Replacement Windows

Wood has an everlasting quality. They add a timeless and sophisticated feel to your home. They are incredibly versatile and considered top-of-the-line insulators. 

How Energy-Efficient Are Wood Windows?

When it comes to energy efficiency, wood is the best. Think of it this way, you typically use a wooden spoon when you cook. The heat transfer between the hot stove top and the wooden spoon is incredibly low. Now apply that same principle to your windows. The hottest summer Michigan day will not transfer heat. Nor will the cold weather.  Wood, in fact, has 1,800 times more insulation than aluminum-framed windows. This lack of conductivity will prevent warping and cracking as well. 

The Pros of Wood Windows

  • Timeless and aesthetically pleasing
  • Paintable 
  • Extremely energy-efficient
  • Wood is a renewable material

Fiberglass Replacement Windows

If you haven’t purchased windows in 20 years or so, fiberglass replacement windows will be a new concept. They cost between vinyl and wood. 

How Energy-Efficient are Fiberglass Windows?

Fiberglass is a great insulator. Remember fiberglass insulation? It is used to moderate the temperature of your home. The same principle applies to the windows. The fibers used to make a window do not shrink or expand and are extremely sturdy.

The Pros of Fiberglass

  • Durable
  • Energy-efficient
  • Low-maintenance
  • Made with up to 60% recycled glass

Replacement Vinyl Windows

Vinyl is the most command replacement window today. It makes up roughly half of the residential market.

Is Vinyl an Energy-Efficient Choice?

Vinyl windows are considered to be energy-efficient. The frame of the window is made from PVC plastic and does not conduct heat. 

The Pros of Vinyl Windows

  • Affordable
  • Low- maintenance
  • Available in an array of colors 
  • Shapes and sizes are virtually endless

Aluminum Clad Replacement Windows

Aluminum-clad windows are covered in aluminum over the wood frame. The metal exterior is a long-lasting material. They are modern and sleek windows that add an instant appeal to a modern home but are they the right fit for your exterior? 

How Energy-Efficient are Aluminum-Clad Windows?

Aluminum-clad windows are durable and hold up to harsh conditions, the metal is a heat conductor and will get warm or cold with the weather. 

The Pros of Aluminum- Clad Windows

  • Resistant to rot and insects
  • Low- maintenance
  • Variety of color options
  • Durable and strong

Different Window Styles

There are many sizes and shapes of windows on the market. The possibilities are endless to get you the perfect window for your project. Below are the most common types of windows on the market today. What kinds do you have in your home?


  • Open and close like a door
  • The opening hardware is a crank handle
  • Screens are located on the inside of your home

Awning Windows

  • Open and close along the top hinge
  • The roof-like quality protects the opening and closing hardware 
  • Versatile for tall spaces or tight spaces
  • The screens are located on the inside of your home

Double Hung

  • You can open the top and bottom of double-hung windows
  • There is no opening or closing hardware, only a latch to lock it
  • Do not protrude because they open from the top or bottom

Single Hung

  • Only the bottom sash opens
  • Works well with window air conditioners
  • Do not protrude


  • Easy to open
  • No crank to open, just slide it!
  • Provides great ventilation
  • Great space saver as it does not protrude


  • The expanse of glass allows natural light into your home
  • Fixed frame and non-opening

Bay and Bow Windows

  • Combines fixed and operable windows
  • Great for natural light and cross ventilation

Do Replacement Windows Increase House Value? 

Getting replacement windows does increase your home value. Some factors will determine how much ROI you receive. Brand, quality, and rating factors can all positively impact your ROI. The housing market where you live will affect your ROI as well. With high-quality replacement windows, you can see an ROI as high as 85%. So, if you spend $10,000 on windows, your home could increase by $8,500 in value. 

How Do I Know I Need Replacement Windows?

The first question you must ask yourself is how old are your windows? Materials have differing shelf life and maintenance requirements. Under optimal conditions with proper maintenance vinyl windows can last between 20 and 40 years. Wood will last for 30 years. Aluminum clad will last for 20 years. Fiberglass will last for 30 years. Again, this is with optimal conditions and all proper maintenance and installation taken into consideration. 

Signs of Windows Failure

These are the top signs of window failure. You may see several of these symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these issues, call Kearns Brothers for an estimate. These symptoms will cause decreased heating and cooling efficiencies. 

  • Draftiness or air leaking

Draftiness will occur when seals fail. The gas between glass panes escapes and reduces your energy efficiency. 

  • Increased difficulty in opening or closing 

Your windows are exposed to dirt, debris, pollen, and more. All of these fine particles can accumulate and make it difficult to open or close your windows. Additionally, your home shifts and settles over time. This will make it more difficult to open or close your windows. 

  • Condensation between panes of glass

Seal failure will lead to the formation of condensation between panes. Condensation will lead to wood rot, mold, and damage to your drywall.

  • Windows won’t lock

Similar to difficulty in opening and closing. It is a safety hazard if you have difficulty locking or unlocking your windows. Don’t sacrifice the safety of everyone who lives in your home if you cannot open your windows quickly and easily. 

  • Single pane glass

Single pane windows let in heat and cold because they do not have a gas barrier between panes. They are highly inefficient. 

What Can I Expect to Save With Window Replacement?

Energy Star requirements can differ depending on the region you live in. You can read about the best type of windows for your region. Kearns Brothers sell and installs windows from Sunrise Restorations. 

What Does ENERGY STAR Windows Mean?

ENERGY STAR is a rating given to door and window manufacturers that meet criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Homes that use ENERGY STAR windows can see up to a 12% decrease in their energy bills. 

Find A Detroit Metro Window Replacement Contractor Near Me

Kearns Brothers have served the Detroit Metro area for nearly 40 years. We started in roofing and won numerous industry awards. Over the years, we’ve expanded our footprint to include windows, siding, and more. If your home exterior needs an update, you can trust Kearns Brothers to deliver a job well done. Contact our sales team today to find out how we can help you