Tips For Upgrading Your Home’s Windows
Replacing your old windows is a major home upgrade that will not only increase the value of your house but ensure your entire family’s well being.
Choosing the right replacement window can be a complicated task for homeowners who are not window experts. Plus, upgrading your home with new windows won’t necessarily result in energy savings, which is why it’s so important to select the right product. But how do you know when it’s time to make this upgrade and which replacement windows to choose?
When Is It Time to Upgrade your Windows?
If you are struggling to open or close your windows it might be a good sign that it is time to consider an upgrade. Even if your windows aren’t drafty or difficult to open, improved energy efficiency is a significant reason to upgrade. When installed properly, replacement windows can noticeably reduce energy costs.
However, because windows are just one aspect of a house’s insulating envelope, and each window installation project is different, the resulting savings will be different for each homeowner.
How to Choose Your Windows
When it comes to windows, a wide variety of style and frame are available for all tastes.
- Casement or Awning Windows: These windows are hinged on one side and installed vertically (casement) or horizontally (awning) depending on the application. They offer excellent ventilation and unobstructed views, and provide a strong air-tight seal for maximum efficiency.
- Picture Windows: These windows are designed to let in lots of light and come in many shapes and sizes. Picture windows are often paired with operable double-hung or casement windows.
- Single or Double Hung Windows: These windows feature a more traditional style for both older and modern home styles and have a vertical, sliding sash.
- Bay Windows: These types of windows combine fixed and operable windows and bring in lots of natural light and air flow.
- Custom Windows: These windows come in all shapes and sizes and are usually inoperable. They can be used to enhance the front of the home for great curb appeal or bring in more light to your home.
- Wood Windows: This window material requires significant upkeep. So, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining your new windows, consider vinyl window installation.
- Aluminium Windows: The main advantage of aluminum is its strength, and it is a popular choice in storm-prone areas. It doesn’t provide the best heat transfer performance, but it works very well in rainy or humid climates.
- Vinyl Windows: Vinyl is perhaps the easiest window material to maintain. It also doesn’t require any type of sanding, staining, or painting throughout its lifetime.
- Fiberglass Windows: These windows are very energy efficient. They have a low thermal conductivity, are extremely strong and durable, plus they won’t twist or warp.
Glass Option: Go for Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is an important element to look for in windows. The R-Values should indicate the energy efficiency of building materials in insulation and windows. A higher R-value means a better insulation. A single pane window has a much lower R-value than double-pane or triple-pane windows.
U-factor is also another essential criteria to look for when it comes to energy efficiency. U-factor determines the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow. A low U-factor equals to a better energy efficiency.
Should Your Windows be Replaced or Rebuilt?
If you’re contemplating the idea of upgrading your windows, you should know the difference between replacement and new construction windows.
New construction windows should only be considered if you are building a new home or undertaking a heavy-duty renovation project. Even if your windows are dilapidated or difficult to open, as long as the trim is intact and free from extensive rot or termites, then you will probably be able to replace your windows instead of having to reconstruct them.
When it comes to replacement windows, they can be custom-made or bought ready-made and ready to be installed. A new, ready-made window, comprising of new sashes and window stops held together by a frame, is then fitted into the existing trim.
There are two different replacement windows installation methods you can choose from:
- Retrofit Installation: This type of installation uses existing frames to preserve the original look of your windows. It’s used when the structural integrity of the frame is intact. A downside of this is that it is an inexpensive method that may not eliminate all the problems with the windows.
- Full-frame Installation: This is a complete window replacement and will include new hardware, casings, jamb extensions and brickmoulds. It will ensure there is no decay or moisture issues.
Window replacement is not an easy task, that is why you have to make sure to choose the right window to avoid constant costly replacement. Staying within your budget is important, but keep in mind – you get what you pay for. Protecting your investment will prolong their use and durability. Take your time to weigh the long-term benefits against the short-term investment. When in doubt, focus on the long-term value over the price tag.