Replacement Window Buying Guide for Manitowoc Homeowners

Cost-Saving Advice for Window Installations from Wisconsin Home Remodelers

Trust Sonnenburg Builders, Manitowoc’s local master builders and home renovation experts, to quickly and efficiently upgrade your home with quality replacement windows.

New windows can greatly improve the value of your home by blocking out noise, enhancing curb appeal, reducing draftiness and influencing new home buyers (if you plan on selling your home one day). 

Replacement Windows for Every Home 

Choosing the right replacement windows starts with identifying your goals. Do you want to lower your energy bills, get more natural light in your living room, more ventilation in the master bathroom or improve home security? 

Whether you need a single window replacement, new home windows, or replacement storm windows, turn to Manitowoc’s expert home remodelers for money-saving ideas, brand recommendations and professional window installation done right the first time. Deciding between window materials? Learn more about vinyl vs fiberglass windows.

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Comparing Replacement Window Types and Styles

Replacement Window Buying Guide

Casement Windows

Casement windows have hinges on one side and open outward like a door. With casement windows you’ll enjoy:

Casement Windows are a good all-around option for keeping out cold air, because the sash locks against the frame when closed, making them more airtight than double-hung windows. However, if you plan to use an air conditioning unit in the window, a casement style won’t work.

Double Hung

Double-Hung windows have two moving panels called sashes, both of which can move. The lower inner sash slides up and the upper outside part slides down. With double-hung windows you’ll enjoy:

Most double-hung window sashes can be tilted for accessible cleaning. A related window style is a single-hung window. They look similar to double-hung but only the bottom portion can move. 

This makes single-hungs cheaper, and the top sash is often fully sealed against the weather. If drafts are a concern, keep in mind sliding windows usually allow more air leakage than windows with hinges.

Awning and Hopper

Awning windows are hinged along the top, opening outward. Hopper windows are hinged along the bottom, opening inward. Hopper windows are a popular choice for basements, giving you extra airflow in a small space. Similar to casement windows, these styles usually have low air leakage because the sash presses tightly against the window frame when closed.

Sliding Windows

Sliding windows feature sashes sliding horizontally in the frame, and can be single or double-sliding. Sliding windows are easy to open and close, but typically allow more air leakage than hinged styles.

New Home Window InstallationBay or Bow Windows

Bay windows are made up of three angled windows: one large picture window with a smaller window off to each side. A bow window typically features four or more openings, and a rounded structure. These two types cost more than regular flat-facing windows, but add more style and curb appeal to your home, and an extra dimension to the room.

With multiple panes of glass, bow windows allow plenty of natural light inside, and can be placed at a corner to give you a view on both sides. Bay windows jut out more from the building and give you extra floor space. Many homeowners choose bay or bow windows because they’re a beautiful and affordable way to enhance any home. 

Energy Efficient Window Properties

The criteria for energy efficient windows varies by climate. In the northern parts of the US, windows with a high solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) keep in more heat from sunlight entering your home. This offsets some of the energy needed to heat your home in cold weather. 

The SHGC is measured from zero to 1, and windows with a SHGC of .35-.60 will help keep you warm in winter. If you have a sun-filled room overheating every summer, pick a replacement window with a low SHGC to keep unwanted heat out. 

Windows with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings have insulated glazing. This can help keep your home warm in winter by reflecting the heat inside back into the room.

low e replacement windows

They also reflect away the summer sun from the outside, keeping your home more comfortable year round.

Windows with low-e coatings cost more than standard windows, but can reduce energy waste by up to 50%.Home design and window orientation are also a factor when selecting the best energy efficient windows, and an experienced home builder and remodeler can provide personalized recommendations for your home. 

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Replacement Window Frame Materials


Wood frames are mainly solid wood, although certain brands include composite materials (one example is plastic containing wood fibers). If your home features wood in the design, a wood frame allows you to choose a stain and hardware to match.


Vinyl is usually the least expensive window frame material. Vinyl replacement windows are impact-resistant and won’t warp, shift or peel. Vinyl window frames also save time because they won’t fade, and you don’t have to stain or paint them. Vinyl is a very popular choice, but one drawback to keep in mind is you won’t have as many hardware options to choose from.

Aluminum or other Metal

Aluminum or metal frames are lightweight, durable and low maintenance. Metal conducts heat quickly, which makes them poor insulators. If you choose a metal window frame, be sure it has insulating plastic between the sash and the frame.

Composite or Fiberglass

Both fiberglass and composite wood window frames are very stable and have superior thermal insulation compared to wood. They also resist decay and moisture damage better than wood frames.

Best Replacement Window Types for Wisconsin Homes

Kolbe replacement windowsWisconsin homes endure prolonged exposure to extreme cold weather and strong winds. Windows with ratings showing low-temperature wind resistance will make your winters much more comfortable.We’re proud to carry and install Wisconsin’s own Kolbe windows and doors, made with a dedication to craftsmanship.

When you choose Kolbe replacement windows you’re not only getting high-quality windows from an industry leading manufacturer, you’re supporting Wisconsin’s economy.

Whether you need new basement windows, replacement windows for an old house, or are considering a skylight as part of your kitchen renovations, we’re happy to offer suggestions, answer your questions and provide a free quote so you can get the best windows at the best price.

Replacement Window Questions Answered by Home Improvement Professionals

Sonnenburg Builders has over 30 years of experience building, remodeling, and improving homes throughout Manitowoc County, including Two Rivers, Cleveland, Kiel, Valders, Maribel, Two Creeks and the surrounding areas.

We pride ourselves on our commitment to detailed planning, ensuring our customers get the results they want, on time, for the agreed-upon price. Talk to a window replacement specialist and learn how the right windows can greatly increase the value, security and comfort of your home.

Contact the replacement window specialists at Sonnenburg Builders today and get the information you need to move forward with your window installation!