Walls and Windows in a New House
Make good choices in the beginning, and get your first house right
I just took the leap and bought a lot where I'll build my first
home. Now comes the fun part. I need to know what kind of windows and
insulation to look for. Texas summers are brutal, but the winters can be,
too. They say your first home is never going to be right, that you'll
always find things you should have done different, but I want it done
right. Where do I begin my search?
— Trish, Dallas, TX
Tom Silva replies: I've lived in my "first" house for 25 years. First thing, make sure you build it right. Think about the things that will let you live in your house economically and comfortably, but also be sure that it
is strong. On many of my own construction projects as well as a few of This Old House projects, we have found that foam insulation works well and eliminates the need for a vapor barrier. It goes in as a liquid and expands 600 times and dries in six seconds.
As far as windows go, I like wood with insulated glass that you can have clad in aluminum or vinyl on
the outside. Above all, make sure you get a good warranty on them.