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Things to know before buying windows.

Contact the local building code department for your area to find out about necessary permits and inspections and if there are any restrictions or requirements for new window installation.

Learn about the importance of energy performance ratings before buying. Be aware of the cost factor for each of the materials - fiberglass, wood and vinyl. Use this online calculator to see the cost for vinyl windows by zip code. Choose window material that is suitable to your area's climate.

Select the style that complements your home's architecture. Some popular styles include double hung, casement, bay, bow, architectural, sliding, and garden windows as well as skylights. 

Purchase energy efficient windows certified by the EPA. Understand the level of maintenance required for each of the window types. Know what the manufacturer's warranty covers and for how long