Highlights from the Consumer Reports Window Buying Guide

A series of glass panes.Consumer Reports, one of the most trusted names in unbiased product reviews and ratings, provides a comprehensive guide to buying replacement windows for your home. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most salient tips and takeaways from the most recent version of the guide.


According to the window buying guide, vinyl frames windows provide homeowners with the greatest overall value when compared to frames made from other materials such as wood, fiberglass, and metal. As the guide points out, “There are far better and less expensive options to be found with vinyl.”

Durability & Low Maintenance

Unlike wood frames, which require continuous upkeep such as sanding and repainting to retain a lustrous appearance, vinyl windows don’t require any additional maintenance to stay in shape. Further, where wood frames are susceptible to warping and rotting, vinyl frames are highly durable and resist the various harsh weather elements that often wear down the exterior frames of windows. For these reasons, West Shore Home exclusively provides the highest quality vinyl-frame replacement windows to give our customers the best long-term value for their investment.

Four-Season Performance

Our vinyl windows provide optimal insulation and lasting durability at a much lower price point than wood-frame windows. Additionally, West Shore Home’s vinyl windows are specifically built to last throughout all four seasons; they can resist even the most extreme temperature fluctuations without warping or cracking, making them an ideal choice for homeowners in the Mid-Atlantic region and other areas where winter temperatures often sink to single digits.


The Consumer Reports video buying guide also discusses the best kinds of window glass to combat heat transfer. Double- or triple-pane windows with inert gas fills provide the most energy efficiency and can help your home’s HVAC system more easily maintain a comfortable interior temperature.

Low-Emissivity Glass

Window glass that features low-E coatings provides additional benefits by filtering out the sun’s UV rays and the heat that comes with them. Low-E glass can also prevent your window treatments, floors, furniture, and other possessions from fading due to UV exposure.

NFRC Ratings

The guide recommends that homeowners should consider the product ratings from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), such as the U-factor, R-value, and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) when shopping for replacement windows. These values can be found on the NFRC label that comes on new windows. When it comes to U-factor and SHGC, the lower the number, the better. However, for R-value, the higher the number the more insulation the windows will provide against exterior temperatures.

West Shore Home’s vinyl replacement windows are available with either double-pane or triple-pane glazing systems, and they feature low-E coatings to help your home stay as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.


The final, and arguably most important, words of advice offered in the Consumer Reports window buying guide are that even the best windows on the market are not worth much if they’re not installed properly. For this reason, choosing the right company to install your new windows is paramount to making a sound investment.

Who Is Actually Performing the Installation?

There’s no shortage of window installation companies out there, but some will undoubtedly offer better service than others. Many window companies use sub-contractors to complete the installation as a way of keeping their overhead costs down. But this comes with a risk because it delegates responsibility for the quality of the installation (and ultimately the ability of the windows to perform) to a third party.

West Shore Home Does It Right

West Shore Home is one of the only window replacement companies that exclusively use full-time, highly-trained, in-house installers. This allows us to guarantee the highest quality workmanship, and we even provide a lifetime warranty on every replacement window we install.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about having high-performance energy-efficient vinyl replacement windows installed at your home, contact West Shore Home today. Our team would be happy to discuss your project and provide you with a free estimate.