We have a 1978 home with lots of natural wood throughout the house and on the exterior (wood siding with brick). Our house has 21 openings. 19 of the 21 openings are encasements with 2 or 3 panes. 1 is a 4 pane encasement and 1 is a single pane encasement. All of our doorways and entryways have a natural oak trim (stained). Everywhere you look in our home, you see wood.
Our windows are now in need of replacement.
We are hearing 4 main options and/or concerns from companies. Please share what you think is your best recommendation. Here are the options we are hearing:
1. Complete install (down to studs) vs Insert (will take away an inch of glass around the windows). All of our windows have a 1 x 4 oak trim around them and this does impact the "look" of an insert vs a complete install.
2. Vinyl vs Wood vs Fibrex. RBA is telling us with the amount of wood throughout our house, we really should be using a wood-based product. Vinyl companies are saying their "look" will work beautifully with all of the wood in our home. Our concern with the vinyl is the fact we do have the 1 x 4 oak trim around every window. Won't it be obvious we have wood up against wood-grain vinyl? We haven't met with a company offering true wood windows yet, but are open to the option. Thoughts on how vinyl vs fibrex will look in a home with LOTS of wood throughout?
3. Window choices. A few firms have recommended changing the windows on the back of our house from encasement to slider windows to save money and still have a great looking window. In addition, we have a 4 pane window in our kitchen that several companies have said, "make that a nice big picture window, have a great view, and save a lot of money on the window." A picture of that window is included as a "Response" to this message. You should see 3 pictures of our windows. Thoughts on changing encasements to a picture window and/or slider?
4. Cost. Fibrex is the most expensive option we've seen so far. Vinyl is clearer cheaper. The question is, "Will vinyl and/or fibrex degrade the overall value and feel of our home?"