What To Look For When Choosing Windows for a Kitchen Remodel

Solve that dimly lit kitchen problem with large new windows during your kitchen remodel

When you have a complete kitchen remodel, you have the opportunity to address infrastructure issues like moving appliances, upgrading electrical and plumbing, creating new entryways, adding doors to your outside space and replacing windows. If your kitchen is lacking in natural light, adding replacement windows is a great solution. The best windows will bring natural light into your home when you want it, but will also keep the bad weather outside where it belongs!

Today, you have a wide variety of options for style, function, and performance. Educating yourself can help you to make an informed decision when it comes time to choose the perfect windows for your new kitchen.

Let's look at some things to consider when choosing replacement windows, replacement window materials, and tips on choosing the right windows for your home.

First, A Little Jargon...

Like anything, windows have their own lingo. These terms will help you to communicate when speaking with your design-build contractor about windows for your kitchen remodel.

Sash: A sash is a movable frame that holds the window glass. A double hung window consists of two movable sashes.

Mull: To join two or more window together.

Muntins: Muntins are the strips of wood that divide a sash into smaller sections of glass called lites. For example, 6 over 6 windows consist of two sashes whose window glass is divided into 6 lites per sash using muntins.

R-Value: This is a measure of the energy efficiency of insulation. The higher the R-Value, the more efficient the insulation.

Flashing: A thin layer of metal or other material that keeps joints water tight at the corners.

Window Materials for A Kitchen Remodel

Windows are available in a number of materials. Each material has benefits and the windows you choose will be based on your needs, the area of the country where you live and of course your budget. The four types of new construction and replacement windows are:


Vinyl windows are a common choice for many homeowners. They're easy to install and are affordable and effective. Standard sizes are readily available at most big box home improvement stores. Vinyl windows will never fade, peel or crack, and thanks to advances in window technology they are durable and offer good protection from the weather.


Wood windows offer very high protection value from the weather and are excellent natural insulators that can help regulate your home's temperature. With the proper weather stripping, wood windows can prevent condensation and are often preferred in historical homes thanks to their timeless look and the fact that they can be stained or painted to match any existing trim. Wood windows do require occasional maintenance. Without proper maintenance, wood windows can crack, fade or rot.


Aluminum windows are another popular choice among homeowners. They are relatively inexpensive costing slightly more than vinyl but offer better durability than vinyl in hotter climates. Large distributors will generally stock all of the standard sizes.


Composite windows are made from more than one materials. Composite frames can often look like another material like vinyl or wood, but in reality, they are completely different. There are two common types of composite windows to consider. The first is made of fiberglass. The second is a patented material sold under the Renewal by Andersen label called Fibrex. Fibrex contains 40% wood fiber giving it the strength and insulating qualities of wood along with the durability, rot resistance and low maintenance of vinyl.

Finally, A Few Tips For Choosing The Perfect Window For Your Kitchen Remodel

When shopping for windows there are a few things you should bear in mind. First, price doesn't always indicate performance. Prices can vary by frame material and window type. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean that a particular window offers the best efficiency. Energy star rated windows have two numbers that can help you to determine their efficiency. They are:

U-factor or U-value

This number ranges from .2 to 1.20. The lower the number, the better the window is at keeping heat in.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

This is between 0 and 1. The lower the number, the better the window is at blocking heat from the sun. In warmer climates you'll want to lowest number you can find. In cold temperatures, a higher number is better.

These numbers can help you match your new window to your climate. Not all windows work equally in all climates. Your design build contractor can help you to understand the choices you'll have when choosing windows to match your specific climate.

Finally, don't overspend on options. Upgrades can add as much as 50% to the price of your windows. Focus on the features that add value. Low-E glass improves energy efficiency and can help keep fabric like curtains, drapery, carpets and furniture from fading by blocking the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays. Triple glazed windows are not necessarily the best choice unless you live in a cold climate or are seeking improved noise reduction. Double hung windows that tilt in make cleaning easier. Be aware of the benefits and cost differences when adding options.

Choosing the right windows for your kitchen remodel can be challenging, but with a little research and due diligence, you can make the right choice. If you're still not sure which options and materials may be best for you, contact us, we can help guide your choice.

Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.