Getting new windows installed can be stressful for many homeowners. It’s a daunting task, especially for new homeowners who don’t have the slightest clue where to start. You have to keep in mind several things that may directly or indirectly impact the replacement of your windows. Taking the experts’ help, we have compiled for you ten of the most common things that everyone should know before opting for a window replacement.
The environmental conditions are the main thing to consider, but it is only secondary to your budget that should make the replacement cost-effective. While replacing windows, you can get all of them done at once or break the process down into two or more turns. The window materials you choose can be picked between wood, vinyl, or fiberglass.
There may be more than one reason why you would need to replace your windows. Regardless of the reason that forces you to make a replacement for your windows, you have to keep in mind certain things so that your replacement process can run smoothly.
Here are the top ten things that will help you with what to know when replacing windows!
1. Checking Moisture Levels
The accumulation of moisture inside the window is bothersome because it may be a sign that your windows are losing integrity. Condensation and mold growth are two of the most classic signs that depict high moisture levels. If you observe any of these, then you have to pay special attention to this while going for a window replacement.
The best way to confirm such issues is to check for fogging between the window panes or signs of condensation of the interior’s windows. Double pane windows are sealed together, which can crack, allowing moisture to seep into them.
Vinyl windows mainly heat during summers and contract during winters, making the frames crack that results in fogging.
If you suspect such issues to arise for your newly installed windows later, then you should go over a few things before replacement. Start by installing a moisture barrier in the crawl space beneath your home. The system inside your house must work against cold air rising from the ground.
Make sure to have a proper ventilation system and use a dehumidifier to eliminate excess moisture from the inside of your house. Once you take care of such things, then your new windows will have a much better running time than your previous moisture-laden windows.
2. The Duration Between Replacements
You will notice that there is a great variety of high-quality windows available for reconstruction and repairing now. It’s often tough to estimate the duration of the lifetime for these windows on the basis of warranty and appearance.
Windows that have an economical price tag and come with lifetime warranties often run out within a few months to years because they tend to be of low quality.
A good way to assess a window’s quality is to check after how long it starts to fog plus when it becomes difficult for you to lift it open. Windows that get tougher to lift overtime are deemed poor in quality and need a replacement soon. So if your current installations have this issue, you should not opt for the same brand again to save yourself from the trouble.
Another thing that gives you an idea about the lifespan of a window is the installation techniques. Poorly installed windows decrease their lifetime because gaps and holes left behind give way to water, insects, and wind that damage the frames.
3. Replacing All The Windows In One Go – Yes or No?
Now, this depends largely on the budget you are willing to spare for window replacement. The procedure commonly followed while replacing windows is a three to four-step process. It starts with replacing windows on the front of your house and gradually moves to the back.
Once you order ten or more windows, the cost per window stays the same. Therefore, whether you want the replacement process to finish off in a single turn or not relies heavily on your budget.
4. Selecting Windows For Your House
It is a daunting task to select the ultimate window for your house, and many homeowners struggle to make the final selection. However, to simplify the work for you and make the choosing process easier, we have divided it into four sections as follows.
- Window Materials
You will notice that most window frames are manufactured using one of the three materials. It could be wood, fiberglass, or vinyl. Wood windows are a decent pick if you want to match the window to your home’s interior’s wooden accent.
However, the most durable of the three materials tend to be fiberglass, also known as composite windows. These windows typically have the longest lifespan out of the three mentioned.
Finally, vinyl is perhaps the most popular choice by far as it accounts for upto 75 percent of all window sales. Vinyl windows are available in a wide range of colors, which gives them up an upper hand over the rest.
- Type of Windows
There is a wide range of options to pick from for the type of window you can install inside your home. Out of the group, double-hung windows are the most popular because they are designed to tilt and face the inside of your home. They are easy to clean and don’t need ladders or stools to get the job done.
Sliding windows are shorter but wider and make a good option if the interior calls for it. You can also have crank-out windows because they are versatile in their style and can be installed in several openings. They are also the most energy-efficient option on our list.
- Glass Package
Keeping aside the material and type of window you go for, your most important consideration should still be the glass package. Many experts recommend low emissivity coatings (Low-E).
They play a significant role in creating a much more energy-efficient setup by letting heat enter your homes in the colder months and consequently reflecting heat away from your homes once it’s summertime. This means that you also end up saving on heating and cooling costs.
- Your Budget
Again your budget and the amount you are willing to spend on a window replacement will largely determine the type you can opt for. Avoid taking shortcuts and go for a low E-coating material so that you can save money in the long run.
Estimating the cost of brand new windows can be a tricky task because several factors impact the final price of the product. The cost that goes in for the replacement of windows will vary widely based on the number of windows you require, size, style, and the quality you go for. It’s vital to know about your preference before you contact a dealer thoroughly.
Usually, you will find window frames that are made out of either wood or vinyl. Although vinyl is cheaper than wood, vinyl frames tend to have a longer life span and can also be easier to clean. Wooden frames, however, are slightly towards the expensive end. They also prove to be much more challenging to maintain and clean as the incidence of water damage is high with wooden materials.
For a vinyl window that has a standard-size and can be double-hung with a double-pane, you should expect to pay around $450 and $600. These charges include installation costs as well.
However, as we discussed above, wooden windows are more expensive and cost between $800 and $1,000, with installation costs included.
6. Measuring For New Windows
The measuring techniques for new windows are dependent upon the specific needs of the homeowner. However, the thing to consider is that the window will be at least 0.25″ less than the rough opening. If you have a 0.75″jamb extension on either side, it’s recommended to measure between them add 1.25″ to the obtained measurements.
With a retrofit installation, the already existing mainframe typically remains the same. You have to measure between the narrowest point of the existing mainframe, then subtract 0.25” from that to obtain the width and the height.
7. The Type Of Glazing Required For Windows
You will come across two basic types of residential glass where each is type is available with or without krypton or argon gas filling.
- 2-coat Low-E
- 3-coat Low-E
In climates that are hot and humid throughout the year and keeping the interior of your house cool is the main concern, you should go for a 3-coat Low-E as it is the best option. It reduces heat gain from the surroundings and also offers the best U-value, U-value/U-factor numbers, and lower SGC/SHGC.
On the contrary, cooler climates that need more heating throughout the year will work best with the 2-coat Low-E as it allows some heat gain. It provides users with a decent U-value for insulating against the cold temperatures.
8. The Best Time to Buy Replacement Windows
If the weather in your area is warmer, then early fall, late spring, or summer can be good times for you to replace the windows.
Even though most of the time, the replacement work is finished quickly, having the windows out of order for just 30 minutes or an hour can influence the temperature of your home greatly. This makes the warmer months ideal for replacement so that those who are adversely affected by cold do not have to go through any issues.
However, if you don’t have a problem tolerating the wintery breeze, you could save some cash by going for replacements during the inclement season.
Another advantage of replacing windows in the initial months of the year is that you can yield their benefits through the summer months. This is notably important for newer windows that have the ability to decrease heat gain during summer significantly.
9. Preparing Your House For A Window Replacement
Before a window installer arrives at your doorstep, make sure you have done your homework. This is one of the essential steps that a homeowner has to take care of.
Homeowners have to remove blinds or curtains from the openings of windows so that the installers can have easy access to the interior. This will reduce clutter and give a freer workspace to the installation team.
Installers need access to the inside of the windows and replacement, so as a homeowner, you have to ensure that furniture or any object placed close should be displaced up to three feet away from the openings.
If you have alarm systems on the functional windows, you have to notify the alarm company as well about the upcoming project so that they are aware. The sensors may have to be removed by the alarm company for smooth, hassle-free installation and replacement.
Bonus tip: Here’s something that not many will tell you – relax! Let the installers take over and make the whole process of getting new windows installed a fun experience for yourself. You can choose to relax on your couch and observe, or you go out and run errands while the installation team does the job.
10. Narrow Down Your Options
There are a couple of factors on the basis of which you’ll need to narrow down your options further. After picking the material you want, the company or contractors you choose will highly depend on these factors.
Make sure that the warranty covers several things, as mentioned below.
- Air leaks and broken seals (along with the duration)
- Labor and glass breakage
- Reputable company with a possible recourse in case they stop functioning
- Liability insurance and license to function in your respective state
- National backing (done by a third-party like Good Housekeeping)
- Transferrable warranty (to the next homeowner)
Appearance And Design
Make use of any online tool to explore various styles and color options for your new windows. Sit down with a family member or housemate to discuss the most brilliant options before approaching a company to make a purchase.
You can also visit a window showroom to brainstorm ideas. Another option is to invite a professional consultant who can bring along samples to your house so that you can visualize the possibilities.
How Do You Know It’s Time To Replace Your Windows
As a house owner, you will notice evident signs that will point towards the replacement for windows. Some of the most commonly observed signs have been explained below, so you don’t delay the replacement process and enjoy a smooth transition from summers to winters and vice versa!
1. Assess For Damage, Warped, Or Broken Windows
You will often notice that the option of repairing the window seems more viable than replacing it. If the issue you are facing with the window is minor, such as the need for installing new weather stripping or simply hardware, getting a repair could be the best option.
However, any other malware that includes but is not limited to a warped, damaged, or broken window or frame is recommended to be replaced instead of being repaired.
You will sometimes notice that even if the windows seem apparently functional, they may have underlying issues. They may fog or become drafty. The windows may also stick, making them tough to shut or open them. Sometimes the windows may also not close properly. If you feel you are addressing any of these issues, then getting a repair is a more sensible option than repairing them.
2. You Want To Cut Down On The Energy Bills
Windows provide substantial heat in the winter season by letting in sunlight. However, drafty windows can be the reason behind a sudden 10-25% hike in your energy bills. Thus, replacing your windows with energy-efficient options can significantly cut down on your heating and cooling bills.
This is especially true for areas that have a prominent summer and winter season.
3. You Are Going Through The Aftermath Of A Severe Storm.
If you live in an area that is frequently impacted by hurricanes, storms, and tornadoes, then you are possibly opting for window replacements in lieu of the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Several times, houses located around the coastal belt suffer from bad windows because the salty air corrodes and eats away at the frames. These houses need regular repairs and eventually replacements to help with the battered state of the windows.
However, even if you aren’t near a coastal region, regular window maintenance should be one of the last things on the priority list.
4. You’re Undergoing Renovation At A Historical Sight
Maybe you moved into a house that was built many years ago and is currently suffering from vinyl replacement windows that bring down the home’s historic charm.
It may be hard to believe, but the wrong window installation can dramatically turn around a historic home’s overall look. It can even interfere with the integrity of the property.