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    A Guide to the Best Windows for Your Region

    From the South's humidity and heat to the coastal regions' cool, salty breezes, the United States features many diverse landscapes. In order to prepare your home for all different kinds of weather, it's important to find the best home windows for your region.
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    No matter where you live, durability and performance are key factors when choosing the best home windows. For more information about the specific types of windows that are best for your region, check out our window guides to the Northeast, the Northwest, the Southwest, the South, the Midwest, and the Mountain West, as well as coastal and tropical regions.

    For now, here are some window basics to get you started finding the best home windows.

    Window Styles Unique to Your Region

    Homeowners may want to research their regions' architectural histories to learn more about which styles have traditionally worked well. This information may help you better understand your area's particular weather patterns, as well as its architectural needs and styles.

    For example, many homes in the South are plantation-style and often feature windows with plantation shutters, which, traditionally, were exterior shutters that protected homes from heat and sunlight.

    Additionally, the best home windows for coastal regions can both maximize views and withstand strong coastal storms. This often means that the best home windows for the coast will forego any window treatments, in order to emphasize the gorgeous views.

    The best home windows should serve your home's needs. | @ fotolia.com / bmak

    Materials for the Best Home Windows

    Fiberglass, aluminum, wood, vinyl, and composite are the most common materials used for window frames.

    Fiberglass performs extremely well and is one of the most durable, but it is also more expensive than most other window materials. Aluminum is lightweight and strong, though it can be more easily dented or scratched.

    Wood is classic, strong, and beautiful, but will often warp or rot when exposed to moisture and fluctuations in temperature. Although slightly less elegant than other types of materials, vinyl frames are affordable and energy efficient. More durable than wood frames, composite window frames are stable and affordable.

    In addition to these basic types of window materials, homeowners who live in areas of the country that are prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and other types of storms, should consider investing in storm windows for extra protection.

    Glass for the Best Home Windows

    When looking for the best home windows, homeowners should also consider the various kinds of glass and glass coatings. Depending on your region, special types of glass may significantly decrease your energy bills and increase your home's comfort levels.

    For example, in the sunny Southwest, the best home windows feature spectrally selective coatings, which allow visible light to pass into your rooms while blocking heat-causing rays. In the Northeast, in order to endure winter storms, the best home windows have double or triple panes and are gas-filled, with low-e coatings to keep your interior snug.

    Summary: Windows for Every Region

    With a little time and research, finding the best home windows for your area of the country can be a creative and exciting process. Be sure to check out our articles on windows for specific areas of the country. Also, to find a professional who can help you get started, check out HomeAdvancement's convenient database of quality local contractors.

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    Written by: Ansley Clark, Editor www.HomeAdvancement.com