De-facto standard is vinyl double-paned ... I am not hearing much new technologies in windows (making my argument on the heating question you posed moot). If you need to meet certain architectural styles, then sometimes wood framed windows are used, but generally white vinyl double-paned.
If you want to get really fancy ..triple-paned windows can be used, but the benefits of a triple may not outweigh the costs.
aluminum has a very strong tendency to weep ..meaning gather moisture on the exposed areas inside the house causing slow and gradual water damage to molding, drywalls, etc. (at least the aluminums in my rental house do and my parents house).
Fiberglass, i haven't done much research into nor have i seen many.... more
I'm in Atlanta, Georgia and not familiar with your real estate market in Seattle (although I was born there and used to periodically travel to the area on business ;-)
For the particular neighborhood that you are referring to, do the homes have ample driveway and garage parking? If so, I would not think that speed-bumps, fire lanes and no parking signs have any bearing on the value. However, if there is little to no driveway and/or garage parking, I would tend to believe that these things do impact a properties worth (at least in the minds of home buyers desiring convenient overnight parking).
Ted Shoop - ABR, e-PRO, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners... more
Yes - if you abide by the county code restrictions. Before you hire a contractor - call the code office in the county where you preside or go in person with the survey of your property and the plat.... more
I don't know about your area, but in San Diego having the historical designation is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because you receive a very suibstantial discount on property taxes and enjoy certain protections. It is also a curse because you will be severely limited in what you can do with the property and its original footprint.... more