Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows
Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

Replacement Windows

Full Frame Replacement Windows

Insulation is typically measured in "R" values, where higher numbers indicated better performance. In windows, this measurement applies only to the frame; the glass is measured in "U" values, where lower numbers are better.

You cannot see with the naked eye how well a window is insulated. You must use a thermo-cam.

Window materials are graded according to their insulating performance.

  • Foam filled vinyl windows and fiberglass windows are in the "A" to "A+" range.
  • Wood windows can rank anywhere from a "B" to an "A," depending on the type of wood used.
  • Hollow core vinyl windows earn a "B" grade.
  • Metal windows are an "F." The only thing worse is no window at all.

Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

Slider windows may be used when a window opening is wider than it is tall and are often used when a homeowner wants the look of a casement window. Inexpensive slider windows do not seal up very well at all. They may qualify as egress windows if large enough. It is very important to install these correctly.

Window FAQs

Awning windows are most often installed for people who have had them before. They carry a mid-range price tag because of their hardware. Awning windows are a good window to use if you like to have a window you can leave open when it rains. However, these are not a great window for ventilation.

Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows
Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows


Vinyl windows normally carry a lifetime warranty, but there are two types:

  • Prorated
    This means that as the windows get older, you must pay more and more for the parts.
  • Non-Prorated
    Never pay for parts.

Vinyl windows will not rot and have very little to no maintenance. They're available in a variety of different finishes to give the appearance of wood or different colors, so you don’t have to paint or stain, ever. And unlike with wood windows, you won't have to worry about insects with vinyl windows.

There are two forms of insulation for vinyl windows.

  • Hollow Core Technology
    During the manufacturing process, the vinyl is extruded to create hollow chambers. These air pockets serve to slow the transfer of temperatures.
  • Foam Filled
    The manufacturing process begins the same as the hollow core windows, but the air pockets are then filled with foam, creating even more small pockets of air to slow the transfer to temperatures. The more expensive windows will typically be foam filled, as there really is a big difference in insulation value.

The amount of vinyl used can vary greatly between brands and models of vinyl windows. Inexpensive windows will have the least vinyl. This becomes increasingly important in larger windows as the weight of the glass may cause the vinyl to flex. In larger windows or doors, good manufactures will reinforce the vinyl with fiberglass to keep the frame from flexing.

Awning Windows

Full frame replacement windows are more expensive, as the old window is entirely removed.

Options on the outside:

  • Brickmold This is not entirely how it sounds, it can be used when the window is surrounded by bricks but it truly is just the design on the trim on the outside. This option is best when the brickmold is an integrated part of the window. We use this option the most as it gives the window a nice look from the outside and allows for a very tight seal when installing the window. This option is the best if you are not going to do anything with the siding also.
  • J channel This is used when you will be replacing the siding after replacing the windows. The J channel allows you to slide the ends of the siding behind it so you cannot see the cut ends of the siding.
  • Nail Fin This option is used most often used on new construction. It is as it sounds... a fin using nails holds the window in place when installed. The fin is then covered up when the siding is installed.


Some installers will install a pocket window in this opening, but they are then relying entirely on caulk to seal up the gap left from the install. Caulk fails over time. Some caulk is paintable but not all.   

Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

A bay window has only three sides; a bow window may have many more. Bay windows feature 45º flankers and project farthest from the side of the house, which can be supported from above or below. These are typically the most expensive window option.

Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

Picture Windows

Single Hung Windows

Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

Picture windows are becoming more popular because of people with allergies and asthma.

They're the least expensive window and cannot be opened for ventilation.

Casement windows are the most expensive option because of their hardware. Most people either love or hate these windows. There is no in-between. These windows provide good ventilation without even opening another window. A big negative is, when the windows is open and it is raining, the window can act like a scoop and let in a lot of rain.

It's very important to make sure of good quality, as these windows are very prone to damage from winds. The hardware must support all the weight when open. Multi-point locks are best, and, when locked, these are the best window for keeping out drafts.

The screens are on the inside because of how the window opens. This can cause problems with insects being caught between the glass and screen when you close the window. Screens can be damaged from pets and kids but are less susceptible to weather damage.

Casement windows are often used in bathrooms for ventilation and for egress windows in basements or bedrooms.

Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows
Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

Basement windows are best replaced with slider windows.

Double Hung Windows

Types of Windows

There are two types of replacement windows.

In double hung windows, both sashes move. Accordingly, these are a little more expensive than single hung windows but still less expensive than casement windows.
Double hung windows provide their best ventilation when you have windows on opposite sides of the house that can be opened at same time.

Ventilation Options

Opening the bottom sash only (most common)

  • Homes with small children and upper stories will benefit from only opening the top half.
  • In commercial applications, they require a sash stop so the window can only open so far for the above reason.
  • Most window manufacturers have the sash stops as an option.

Opening top and bottom sash

  • Does allow the warmer air to escape out the top sash and be replaced with air in the lower sash.

Opening the top only   

  • Often used in homes with small children.
  • Another benefit is that it is not as noticeable that the window is open if you worry about thieves.
  • Also used when there is an overhang above and it is raining.

Tilt-in windows are very easy to clean.

Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

Slider Windows

Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

Window Material Options

Pocket Replacement Windows

Metal Windows

Basement Windows

Bay and Bow Windows

Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows
Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

Parts of a Window

Wood Windows

 These windows are installed by taking out the old operable sashes and leave the existing window jambs. The opening that is left is the pocket (hence the name). The plus side of these windows is that they are very less expensive. They are also able to be installed quickly and without making much of a mess.

The tradeoffs:

  • People can tell that they are replacement windows and that you went the least expensive route.
  • The jamb on the outside — If the jamb is in good shape you can leave it the way that it is but that will require that you paint the jamb. You can also choose to have the jamb trimcapped. This is where the installer covers the jamb with a PVC covered aluminum metal sheeting. The good side of this is you will not have to paint the jambs anymore. The downside is that the jamb underneath will likely rot, and you will not be able to see this happening.
  • If the old window was not installed correctly and the jamb leaks this will not fix the problem.
  • If the old window was used the ropes with metal weights as counterbalances most installers will not remove them and fill the cavity that is left.
  • It takes a great deal of practice to measure the windows to make sure that the new windows will fit properly.  
Vista Doors & Windows Sioux Falls Windows

The Ins and Outs of Windows and Their Types

Insulation values can be good in wood windows, but it depends on what type of wood is used.

Old windows used a very dense hardwood. When painted or varnished, this made for a window that would be able to hold up to the UV and weather over time.

Some newer windows use “green” wood. This is from trees that are planted and genetically engineered to grow fast and then harvested. This is a great idea to save forests, but the downside is that the wood is generally softer and more porous. If not sealed properly, this wood is very prone to water absorption. You can order some windows prefinished from the factory, but there are others that you will have to stain and varnish yourself.  

Most wood windows have somewhere in their warranty that you must do maintenance yearly on the windows, including scraping to remove old paint and varnish that has broken down from the UV and re-applying paint or varnish.

Homeowners asked for the low-maintenance wood windows, so manufacturers made a color clad window that is a wood window with some type of covering on the outside wood. There has been a huge problem with this because they are relying on caulking to keep water from getting between the coating and the wood. All caulk fails over time. When this happens, the wood
rots, and the only way that you know is one day you open the window and the glass falls out the bottom. You might get lucky enough to have a casement window and the opener pulls out before you can get the window open. These are a very poor design.

Wood windows typically carry a limited warranty.

Casement Windows / Crank-out Windows

Window Insulation Performance

Metal windows are great windows that last a very long time and hold up well to the abuse of opening and closing. They're very low maintenance.

Still, they're not without their downsides. Metal windows are not good at all when it comes to insulation, are prone to freezing shut, and are only available in a limited selection of colors.

Vinyl Windows

  • The top sash does not move.
  • They are less expensive than a double hung.
  • The top pane must be cleaned from the outside.
  • If the top glass is broken, it will be more expensive to replace, as the sash cannot be removed.
  • We do not recommend this option. We always upgrade to double hung windows.