Have you checked your windows lately? Given how they’re exposed to the harsh elements throughout the year, it always pays to periodically examine them for damage, especially following a major weather event. Windows have always been an integral part of your home. Not only do they give access to light and air; they also help maintain your home’s beauty, comfort and energy efficiency. That’s why you need to make sure they are always kept in pristine condition.
Windows do eventually break down, either due to advanced age or extreme weather damage. Failing units can compromise your home’s look and feel. Window problems can sometimes be beyond repair, in which case, a more permanent solution – window replacement – may be a more viable option.
But first, you need to:
Check for Signs of Disrepair
Good timing is essential when investing in an upgrade like window replacement. To make the most of your windows’ service life, you’ll probably not want to have them replaced prematurely. Check on your windows by taking a walk around your home and examining them closely. Signs such as these indicate that window replacement is needed:
- Damage to the framing material, like cracks, gaps and holes
- Signs of rot or mold and mildew, which are typical in wood windows
- Jamming and sticking, which may indicate thermal expansion or damage to the balance system
- Broken, inoperable hardware
- Fogging between the glass panes
- Drafts you can feel when sitting next to the window, which likely means failing insulation
Why Invest in Window Replacement?
Aside from addressing any aesthetic and functional issues, window replacement can help maximize your quality of life in the home.
Are you looking to spruce up your home? Window upgrades are a perfect way for your home to make a bigger, more lasting impression from the curb. Will getting window replacements help you save money? In a way, yes: technological advancements have made it possible to integrate energy-saving features into the window’s construction. This often means you’ll have a better chance of maintaining a more comfortable, energy-efficient home, making such an upgrade worth your while.
As with most home improvement projects, window replacement requires careful planning and research. It may cost a considerable amount of your time and money, so make the most of it. Take into account the factors that can affect your project, and make informed decisions that will help the process run smoothly, giving you the results you seek.
Here are some ways replacement windows can work for you:
- Improve Functionality. First, determine what your home’s specific needs are, and relate them to your window replacement project. Ask yourself: Which areas need to be improved The right window style ought to help address that need. Replacement windows, after all, come in a wide selection of styles. Each serves a certain function better than others. For instance:
FUNCTION AND GOOD LOOKS COMBINED. Add a brighter, more cheery feel to your home with a newer, better window.
- Casement and double hung windows are good for increased ventilation. Does your home feel stuffy and closed-in or smell stale? Casement and double hung units are styles that provide access to greater natural ventilation, so look to these types of windows to help keep your rooms cool and fresh. Casement units can be opened fully or angled to direct breezes into your home.
With double hung windows, consider opening both the top and bottom sashes. This allows moist indoor air to escape via the top sash while letting in cool, fresh air from the bottom. By helping improve indoor air quality, you reduce the potential for mold and its accompanying health risks. Additionally, these windows can naturally cool your home, putting less work on your air conditioner, which helps in lowering cooling bills.
- Picture windows can maximize your home’s viewing area. Picture windows offer panoramic views and, with their their slim frames and expansive glass, allow a seamless connection between your home’s interior and the outside world. A generous glass area also allows plenty of natural light to spill into your home, giving it a brighter, more spacious look. Another upside? This can help cut back on costs for artificial lighting.
- Bay and bow windows will add space. Protruding from your home’s walls, these windows feature a deep sill that can serve a number of functions. You can, for instance, build yourself a cozy breakfast nook, a reading lounge (just have small bookshelves installed under the seat), a small storage area or a surface to display plants, photos, knickknacks, and other decorative items.
- Garden windows improve the look and feel of your rooms. Like mini-greenhouses, garden windows feature shelves for growing plants, flowers or vegetables. They add value to your home because they look just plain good. They are made for beauty; plus, you can customize them to fit your home’s decor and color scheme.
INSTANT FOCAL POINT. A row of large windows helps bring the beauty of the outdoors in while creating the illusion of more space.
- Enhance Curb Appeal. Replacement windows aren’t just available in different styles; they also come in a range of colors, hardware options and finishes, grille patterns and decorative glass. You can also add blinds, shutters, and insect screens to customize the design – as long as you ensure they match your home’s architectural and color scheme. Pick windows traditionally associated with your home’s style so you stay true architecturally.
Picture windows are a staple of Modern and Contemporary homes because of their clean, sleek look. Bay and bow windows are featured prominently in Queen Anne homes while homes with a rustic charm like Cottage and Cabin are associated with casement units. Want a safer choice? Then, perhaps double hung windows can offer you the versatility you need. They can march any home style, from Colonial and Farmhouse to Modern-Contemporary.
- Increase Energy Efficiency. Standard, store-bought windows just don’t cut it when you’re investing in a replacement. Choose custom-made ones for your home, and you can’t go wrong. Get replacement windows that use a durable framing material and keep airtight seals that prevent energy loss. The glass should be dual paned and have low-emissivity coatings to reduce heat transfer into your home. This will keep it thermally comfortable without costing you a ridiculously high amount of money.
Hiring the Right Window Installer for Your Project
WORKING WITH A PRO. You can get the visual and energy-saving benefits you expect from your replacement windows by hiring a professional window contractor for their installation.
Your replacement windows are only as good as their installer. Even the highest-quality units will fail if they’re installed incorrectly. That’s why it pays to hire a pro for the job. Start by asking friends and neighbors for local referrals, and then do your research. Look for proof of state licensing, which proves they can legitimately perform window replacement work in your area. Check for insurance, including workers’ compensation and liability coverage. Hiring an insured contractor better protects you and your investment should anything go awry during the course of the project.
Experience is also a key factor. With an experienced window installer, you can rest easy knowing your project will be completed according to budget and schedule. Additionally, take manufacturer certifications into account. This will give you access to some of the highest-quality windows from the leading brands, plus the generous warranties included with them.
These are just some of the benefits you can get from quality replacement windows. If you want to fully enjoy these, always cover all the bases and choose a reliable installer to ensure a smoother experience.
Anthony Valiant is part of a third-generation home improvement family business, Valiant Home Remodelers, which offers high-quality home improvement solutions to areas in and around Carteret, NJ. Aside from home remodeling, Anthony is passionate about writing and golf. You can catch more of his updates in the company blog.