Window Replacement Factors to Consider

There are a lot of factors to consider when buying replacement windows. You’ll need to consider style, energy efficiency, installation and maintenance costs and brand reputation and certifications.

New windows can increase your home’s value and improve its aesthetic. However, they also come with a few challenges. Choosing the right windows will help you avoid these issues and get the most bang for your buck. Contact Hawkins Siding And Exteriors now!

Homeowners can expect window replacement costs to range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on the style, materials and installation. However, investing in high-quality windows can lower energy bills and improve the aesthetics of a home, making the investment well worth it. The Department of Energy states that heating and cooling accounts for 25%-30% of a typical household’s monthly utility costs, and drafty or damaged windows can lead to higher utility bills. By reducing air leaks, upgrading the window’s glass and adding a coating or tint, homeowners can save money on their energy bills while improving the comfort of their home.

Window frame material and design are the main cost drivers for a new replacement window. Vinyl, wood and aluminum frames are the most affordable options, while fiberglass and composite window frames are more expensive. The number of window panes also impacts cost; single-pane windows are the most affordable, while double- and triple-pane windows are more expensive.

In addition to material and frame type, the size of the window, installation labor and debris removal costs all impact the overall cost. For example, a single-hung or casement window is less expensive than a bay or bow window, which have more intricate designs and require more labor and materials to install. Additionally, some cities require a permit to replace windows, which adds to the total project cost.

If a homeowner opts to hire a contractor to install their new windows, the contractor’s labor rate and equipment needs will also affect the final cost of the job. Some homeowners choose to do the work themselves to reduce installation costs, but this can cause structural damage and water infiltration, which may lead to future repair expenses. Professional installers are trained to avoid these risks and can typically complete the job in about an hour per window.

It’s worth noting that many window companies expect some level of negotiation on the initial quote, so it never hurts to ask for a lower price! Furthermore, comparing estimates from multiple highly-rated local pros is one of the best ways to find the best deal on window replacement.

Energy Efficiency

Investing in replacement windows that offer energy efficiency is one of the most compelling reasons for homeowners to consider the upgrade. These windows effectively seal drafts and leaks that are responsible for substantial energy waste, which is why it’s common for homeowners to experience a decrease in their energy bills after installing ENERGY STAR windows.

However, homeowners should keep in mind that the savings they enjoy will depend on where they live and what kind of windows they install. As a general rule, replacing 10 inefficient single-pane windows with new double-pane Energy Star models can save homeowners about $366 per year in heating and cooling costs, according to the EPA.

When choosing replacement windows that offer high energy efficiency, it’s important to choose a trusted and experienced window contractor. This will ensure that the windows are properly installed and are able to deliver the advertised performance. In addition, a professional installation will help reduce the risk of problems that can diminish energy efficiency, such as air leaks or water intrusion.

Before the installation process begins, a qualified window replacement company should schedule a technical measurement appointment. This is a chance for the contractor to review all details of your project and take detailed measurements to ensure that the replacement windows are correctly sized. During this appointment, the contractor should also discuss style and custom options to help you make an informed decision that meets your needs and budget.

The installers should prepare the window opening by cleaning it and repairing any damaged or missing material. They should also inspect the exterior stop molding, or blind stop, to determine whether it is in good condition and replace it if necessary. In some cases, a full-frame replacement may be needed to ensure that the new window is framed correctly.

Once the installation is complete, it’s important to test the windows to see if they are operating as designed. It’s recommended to use a specialized testing device, such as a blower door, to simulate the conditions in your home and check for any air leaks or drafts. Once the test is complete, the windows should be cleaned and lubricated with a dry lubricant to maintain their functionality and efficiency.

Installation

Accurate measurements are crucial to ensuring your replacement windows fit properly. A professional contractor will measure the width and height of your window opening at three different points to ensure a snug fit. They’ll also inspect the area for rot or other damage that might require repair before installing your new windows. Once the measurements are accurate, your contractor will prepare the window opening by removing any blinds or curtains and cleaning the area. They’ll also bore 3/8-inch-diameter holes down through the existing sill and up through the head jambs for sash-weight pocket panels to be installed later.

Before any construction begins, a high-quality contractor will place tarps around the construction site to minimize debris and other potential damage. They’ll also vacuum and sweep the areas around the windows regularly to keep them clean and safe during construction. If they’re expected to move furniture or wall decorations, a high-quality contractor will move them carefully and safely.

The most popular method of replacing windows is called a “pocket installation.” During this process, the new window is installed into the frame from inside the home, which reduces the amount of time and labor needed for installation. However, this method can be challenging for do-it-yourself homeowners, as it requires removing the interior trim or casing to access the existing window unit.

Once the new window is in place, a pan will be placed at the top and bottom of the frame to help direct water away from the frame and prevent rot. Then, flashing will be installed around the perimeter and edge of the window to create another barrier against moisture infiltration. Shims may also be added between the replacement window and frame to fill in any gaps larger than 1/4 in (0.64 cm).

Once the frame is installed, your contractor will reattach any blind stops and paint the inside of the casing. If you choose to add exterior trim, your contractor will reattach any moldings that were removed and install new trim where necessary. After all the finishing touches are completed, your contractor will test your new windows to make sure they open and close correctly. You’ll be able to enjoy your new windows with peace of mind knowing that they’re well-maintained and backed by a warranty.

Maintenance

Over time, windows can develop minor issues like rattling or difficulty opening and closing. Regular maintenance, like cleaning and lubrication, can help extend the lifespan of your windows and prevent these minor problems from escalating into more significant issues. However, if your windows are showing signs of extensive damage or deterioration, it may be time to consider replacing them with newer, more efficient options.

If your windows are old and need replacement, it’s important to evaluate the overall condition of the window frame, including sash, muntins or mullions, glass, and wood. A professional handyman can inspect the window and recommend repair or replacement based on your needs and budget.

Condensation or water spots between the panes of glass in your IGU (insulated glass unit) could be a sign that the seal between the window sash and the frame has failed. This allows moisture into your home, and reduces energy efficiency.

A common problem caused by water penetration is wood rot, which can compromise the structural integrity of your home’s walls and floors. A handyman can replace the rotting casing with primed wood exterior casing that is easily found at most home centers or low-maintenance vinyl or PVC products.

Other signs that it’s time to replace your windows include rust or corrosion on hardware, such as locking mechanisms or handles. This can be repaired or replaced to restore the window’s functionality and improve your home’s safety and security.

Another thing to watch out for is the appearance of stains and discoloration around your windows. These can indicate a leaky or faulty seal, or even worse, a wood-eating fungus that requires high levels of moisture to thrive. A handyman can replace the damaged casing or sash to keep moisture and insects out of your home.