What to Expect When Expectingto Replace Your Windows
Going through the window replacement process is something a homeowner might only do once or twice in their entire lives. It is completely normal not to know what to expect when purchasing and installing replacement windows. We’ve put together a simple list of things to consider:
- Consider the aesthetics that the windows contribute to your home. Some people say that eyes are the window to the soul, but we say that windows are the eyes to the house. The appearance of your windows contributes a lot to the homes curb peel. Use an online tools that lets you try different window styles and colors to see what they would look like on your home before you actually take the plunge.
- DIY it?
Many homeowners like to do their own home-improvement projects to save a little money on labor. While DIY landscaping, plumbing, and paint projects can save you a lot of money, window replacements require precision and know-how. If you do it wrong, it can cost you a lot of extra cash in the long-run. Hiring a professional for your window replacement installation is a good insurance policy that they’ll be done right. It’s especially beneficial to use a professional who offers warranties on their labor and parts in addition to the warranty already offered by the window manufacturer.
- Look for unbiased endorsements.
When you are researching what kind of windows to put in your house, look for accreditation and endorsements from home building experts. A few organizations who endorse the quality of windows are the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, the National Fenestration Rating Council, and the federal government’s own Energy Star rating. Because these organizations are third-parties, their endorsements are unbiased and give you a good idea of the quality of the window.
- Learn your energy-efficiency vocabulary.
One of the greatest benefits that come with good quality window replacements is the energy savings. Energy-efficient windows can reduce your utility bills by letting 95% of that natural light in while blocking the UV rays and heat that comes with it. A few ways that the energy-efficiency of a window is described include:
- U-factor. The u-factor describes how much heat is transferred through the windows (or how well insulated they are). Windows generally have a u-factor rating of 0.25 to 1.25, and the lower the number, the better insulation it provides.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. This number tells you how much solar heat accompanies the sunlight through the window. This rating is measured on a scale of 0 to 1, and the lower the score, the less heat the sun gives you during the summer.
- Visible transmittance. While you want your windows to block the heat, the more sunlight they allow the less electricity you need for lighting. The visible transmitted score is measured from 0 to 1 and indicates how much light comes through your window. The higher the score, the more light-efficient the windows are.
- Air leakage. You want windows that release as little as air as possible while you are heating or cooling your home. The lower air leakage score a window has, the less it lets out.
- Compare and contrast.
Once you are a resident window expert, create a list of priorities you have for your windows to identify what best meets your needs. Pricing, warranties, energy-efficiency, third-party endorsements are great factors to consider. Use your own set of priorities to consider how any of the potential windows meet your needs. A few tips for comparing windows include:
- When using price as a consideration for choosing your windows, make sure you have apples-to-apples quotes. For example, some window prices do not include the accessories needed, or all of the installation costs.
- When considering the warranty that comes with the window, make sure you understand how inclusive it is. Does it include air leaks or seal damage? Does it include accidental breakage? In addition to the quality of the actual window, what kind of reviews does the warranty get from other consumers? If you are replacing your windows for the resell value, make sure that the warranty is transferable to the next homeowner, that’s a big selling feature.
Have you ever replaced your windows? What features were most important to you? Please share in the comment section.