The difference between a “house” and a “home” is the feeling it creates for the dweller. Most often, a house is a place with four walls, a roof and some windows. But a home is a living space that provides a family and their memories a place to be cherished.

Every detail that transforms a house into a home plays a significant role — a sturdy, secure door allows safe passage into and out of a room; a lamp lightens a dark space; and window coverings deter outsiders from looking in. But what about a window?


A window has one main purpose: ventilation, providing you and your home the ability to breathe. Before 1970, Hawaii’s home construction had been dominated by aluminum jalousies. Today, Hawaii’s home construction has become commonplace for “sliders” and “hungs,” a far cry from the windows of a past era.

Vinyl window companies (sellers, distributors, dealers, etc.) provide the same product. But each company’s windows differ because of three key quality factors:

• The quality of the vinyl. To the untrained eye, vinyl is vinyl. As the key component of a window product, the quality and properties of the vinyl dictate its ability to perform at top-level when Mother Nature’s at work. Warping, discoloring, yellowing, peeling and crackling are common symptoms of low-quality window products.

• The quality of the glass. Dual pane glass products are not created equal. Glazing system technology modifies every aspect of the glass, from heat reduction to cleaning and maintenance. Glazing systems also modify pane thickness, tempering and UV barriers. Glass can also influence the comfort of the home’s interior temperature. Most windows are marketed with bells and whistles and hook-phrases. It’s best to know how important an energy efficient product means to you in the long run or what a “U-Factor” measures. These two phrases could sway your decision if your window options differ in these areas.

• The quality of the Manufacturer’s warranty. Manufacturers place fine print on their products to ensure their product is used properly. In the unfortunate event of the product’s malfunction, this invaluable document is the difference between a free replacement from a costly one. Read and research manufacturer’s warranties, as each has its own stipulations.

When you are ready to replace your windows for your home, keep these three key points in mind when shopping for products.

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