If we’re being honest, windows are a crucial investment for your home. They allow light, warmth and a view of the outdoors. But, something happens over time.
Maybe your windows age and become leaky. Maybe it’s a wooden window that has become difficult to open. Maybe the noise pouring in from the street is becoming a nuisance. Maybe condensation is building up between the double glass panes. Maybe you’ve noticed ever-increasing heating and cooling costs.
Whatever the problem, it’s an indicator that it’s time to replace your windows. And to be honest, it can be stressful as a homeowner.
The good news?
We have simplified the process for you. Below are some critical factors you need to consider before replacing your windows.
Let’s get started.
It’s a factor that the majority overlook. You need windows that can open without posing risks to occupants.
For instance, having a single-hung floor-to-ceiling window is dangerous to kids when they’re opened. Instead, consider installing double-hung windows to ensure everyone’s safety at home.
Also, windows that don’t close properly could be prone to break-in especially in high-crime areas.
#2. Window Frame Materials
Window frame materials are not created equal. It’s therefore essential to do your homework and know the pros and cons of the different substances. It could be wood, aluminium, vinyl or glass fibre. You need to consider the aesthetics, energy efficiency, durability, and cost of the various materials.
For example, something could be cheap, but be energy inefficient.
In addition, windows will face different weather conditions over time. The aim, therefore, is a durable material that can withstand the various elements..
#3. The Window Type
There are various window types you can install in your house. It could be basic window styles such as bow, bay, casement, double-hung, or sliding. Out of all these options, double-hung windows are the most popular.
You can go for a replacement window with the same style and design. Alternatively, since there are no rules to follow, you can opt for a replacement window with a different pattern and taste to give your residence a fresh appearance. It could be a custom window that adds glitz and glamour to your home’s decor.
All said, the window style will also determine the type of material you use. This is because some designs work best with certain materials.
#4. The Condition of a Home’s Foundation
Signs of a faulty foundation could be cracks or windows experiencing opening and closing difficulties. If you’re doing replacements because you have noticed these signs, it’s important to first seek professionals to check the condition of your foundation.
When left unchecked, foundation challenges could be costly. It could lead to wastage of time and resources.
#5. The Aesthetics
Throughout history, distinct architectural styles have been developed and have evolved as societies change over time. In other words, traditional and modern homes will have different designs.
Windows make a significant difference to the look and feel of your home. As a result, you need to choose replacements that complement your design and improve the overall curb appeal of your house. And, in case you decide to sell the property, the windows can make a huge difference to potential buyers.
#6. The Type of Glass
The largest component of a window is the glass surface area. It’s therefore important to choose the best glass package.
Here’s an example:
Glass with low emissivity coatings (Low-E) is preferred because of energy efficiency. Simply, this type of glass reflects UV rays from the sun helping keep away the hotness. On the flip side, they help retain heat indoors during the cold months.
Finally, insulation isn’t the only thing to consider when choosing the right glass. Consider other factors such noise reduction and ease of cleaning.
#7. Energy Efficiency
Normally, older windows are single-pane and unfortunately they’re energy inefficient. On the other hand, double or triple-pane windows are great in keeping energy costs low. Also, they help in sound-proofing by blocking some of the outside noise.
It’s therefore important that you choose energy efficient windows in case you need replacements. They will improve air circulation in your house and consequently allow you to save on utility bills.
#8. The Neighborhood Laws
Different areas have varying safety codes. On that note, make sure you consult your local building authority. You need to find out if the property is listed, in a conservation area, or subject to any local planning conditions.
Similarly, before diving into the project, it’s important to check with the authorities regarding the style, frame material, and the opening method of your window replacements. Sometimes you may need planning permission depending on the type of windows.
For instance, a window should be able to provide an easy way to escape a room in case of dangerous situations such as a fire.
#9. The Budget
Replacing windows is an investment that maybe you will make once or twice in your lifetime. You can do the replacements in stages. For example, you can start at the front and then later move to the back. Either way, don’t feel pressured to replace your windows all at once.
Most importantly, you need to stay within your budget. To achieve that, get quotations from different contractors. In addition, even when going for the cheaper option, it’s important to stick with glass that has a Low-E coating as it saves you money in the long term.
#10. The window company
This is one of the critical choices you make when you replace your windows. For best results, you need to do your due diligence.
First, check if the company has been approved by the relevant bodies. Next, check references and referrals to find out what other people think of the business. Lastly, you should know what to expect, when to anticipate it, the process involved and the budget.
Failure to do the above can lead to substandard products that can pose dangers to your property or it’s inhabitants. Also, it can be costly in case the goods get damaged within a short time.
Be warned: You can have the best windows, but if they’re not installed properly, then you may have to deal with problems such as airflow issues, bug infestations or worse, water damage.
#11. The Warranty
A warranty gives you peace of mind. But, there’s a catch.
A guarantee is only as good as the organization behind it. With a credible enterprise that has been in business for a long time, then you are less likely to encounter mishaps whenever you have a problem a couple of years from now.
Likewise, read and understand the fine print of the warranty. For instance, the meaning of a lifetime warranty may vary between manufacturers. A company could claim to be offering a lifetime warranty, but what it means is that it will provide you with replacement parts but will not provide labour for installation. In another case, a lifetime guarantee could also mean 10 to 20 years.
Putting it All Together
The right replacement windows allow you to enjoy your house better. The correct choice can provide better lighting, lower your utility bills and enhance your home’s curb appeal.
Yes, replacing windows is a huge investment and it’s time-consuming. Also, making replacements can be a complicated process. With the numerous options out there, it’s easy to be overwhelmed.
The best part?
The above tips will help you get the best ROI from your investment when you decide to replace your windows.
And once you have narrowed down your options, and decided the type of windows you are interested in, it’s time to speak to a professional.