We asked Andrew Darr, Vice President of Custom Sales at Western Window Systems, for his expert advice on choosing the right windows and glass for your home.

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We asked Andrew Darr, Vice President of Custom Sales at Western Window Systems, for his expert advice on choosing the right windows and glass for your home.

Andrew Darr, Western Window Systems

My husband and I just bought some land and are starting to pull photos for the house we want to build on it. We’re both drawn to the glass wall/slider look, but wonder how efficient it is. We’re in Arizona, so we’ll have our A/C on much of the year. Is it possible to have these without losing loads of energy? —Mia J., Scottsdale, AZ

Hi, Mia. As fellow Arizonans and homeowners, we understand the need to balance energy efficiency when the temperatures rise with door and window systems that maximize our amazing desert surroundings. Along with expanding space and framing beautiful views, our door systems are designed with thermally broken aluminum frames to prevent heat transfer, triple-coat glass to reflect heat while allowing light to pass through, and are subjected to several energy and performance tests. To learn more, visit www.westernwindowsystems.com.

I love the look of wood-framed sliding glass doors, but I worry about whether they’ll warp or get damage from some of the extreme cold we have here. Is there another option that looks like wood but is more durable? -- Mark B., Tahoe City, CAYou’re not alone, Mark. Many homeowners love the look and feel of a wood door product but are concerned about the maintenance it may require. Our Series 2600 Aluminum-Clad Wood Door features the beauty of natural wood on the interior with maintenance-free aluminum on the exterior. And with a huge selection of stain- and paint-ready woods and traditional or contemporary panels, it can be customized to fit into any home design. Another option is our Series 600 aluminum sliding door products, which can be custom-painted to match almost any finish. Designed to handle colder climates, the frames are manufactured with thermally broken aluminum to prevent heat transfer and condensation. You can find more information on these products at www.westernwindowsystems.com.

I’m remodeling my home and while I’m at it, I’m trying to use as many recycled materials as possible. What’s the best window option for me? -- Janet L., Spokane, WAGreat question, Janet. Depending on the sizes and configurations of your windows, you may be limited as to what kinds of recycled materials you can use. In addition to it being a completely recyclable and sustainable metal, aluminum requires minimal maintenance and can be built to large sizes because of its strength. Before you buy, be sure to check with a window professional in your area to discuss what products will work best for your project.

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