Enlisting the aid of a designer or architect will make the process of narrowing choices easier and help ensure you get the most for your money. Logs aside, some of the other big-ticket items in your build include windows, doors, flooring, roofing and stone masonry. Here’s a look at some of the factors that determine costs of these materials, what you get for the money and how to make smart choices.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for choosing windows. Because of the many options available and variables in climate, you will need to weigh a variety of factors as you select yours. Today’s performance windows can add to the comfort of your home significantly and help reduce energy costs. Window quality should match the overall amenity level of your home. And expert installation is key to having windows that operate easily and are weather- and air-tight.
Value Double-pane vinyl window with exterior cladding
- Readily available in a variety of stock sizes
- Exterior cladding does not need to be painted
- Can be a major source of unwanted heat loss
- Allows solar heat gain
- May allow for condensation to form
Splurge Wood window with multiple panes, low-E coating, low U-factor and insulating frames, exterior cladding
- Reduces drafts, condensation and noise transmission
- Cuts down on fading of furniture
- Reduces solar gain
- Comes with upgraded hardware
- Higher cost per window
- May need to be special ordered
- Wood exterior frames need to be re-painted or finished periodically
Cost of ownership: To help weigh the costs of high-end windows against energy savings, use the calculator for your region at efficientwindows.org.