Choosing and buying replacement windows for your home can be a daunting task, especially with so many options available on the market. Many homeowners are unsure of what to look for. Most want replacement windows that will last long, have add curb appeal, and provide significant energy savings.
The following 10 point replacement window buyers guide has been created to help you focus on the most important factors to consider.
1. Research Replacement Window Companies and Brands
If you want to make sure you are dealing with a reputable replacement window manufacturer, ask specific questions:
- How long has the replacement window company been in business?
- Who manufactures their replacement windows which will be installed?
- Who will be installing the replacement windows in your home?
- What industry accreditations does the replacement window company have?
Quite often companies selling replacement windows do not actually manufacture or do installations. Always check references and reviews, find window replacement costs online, if you want to find a reputable company.
2. Always Compare the Costs
Do not be fooled by companies offering exceptionally low prices on their replacement windows. There are many companies out there offering below average prices. However, these windows are usually of a lesser quality or below the average window size. These costs may also only cover a partial installation or none at all.
Once the correct size windows have been purchased and the job has been completed, you don’t want to be blindsided by a high price tag. Always compare costs before from at least 3 replacement window companies.
3. Choosing the Right Window Style
Almost all window companies have a wide variety to suit your home’s unique home window repair needs. Being able to add a personal touch really allows homeowners the luxury of a dream home transformation. Consider the following window styles to choose from:
- Double Hung
- Custom Shapes
To help you decide what will be best for your home, be sure to check window styles and their operation by visiting a showroom near you.
4. Choosing the Right Window Frame
Replacing your old windows is an opportune time to consider new frame materials. Some of the most popular replacement window frame materials include:
Wood – Wood is one of the most beautiful framing materials available. However, it does have a few drawbacks, such as being vulnerable to swelling and wood rot. Wood also needs regular maintenance in order to preserve its appeal. Clad windows are generally maintenance free though they do tend to mask problems over time.
Vinyl – Windows created from premium vinyl are one of the best options when it comes to replacement, especially if the uPVC has been fusion welded. Vinyl frames are also available in a wide variety of colors to suit your home’s needs.
Aluminum – These offer ultimate strength but can be highly inefficient in summer and winter months. They may also oxidize and on occasionally have condensation problems.
5. Consider Window Fitment Quality
A window sash is the part of a window which holds all the glass in place. It is surrounded by the outer frame which fits between the wall and sash.
The frame and sash should be created and installed to precisely fit your home’s wall openings. Wall openings should not need to be altered for fitment unless you are changing window style or size.
If you want the best performance, look for fusion welded windows with multi chambers. This will increase strength as well as thermal efficiency.
6. Understand Window Fitment Ratings
The stronger and more energy efficient a window is, the more it will cost. These higher costs are generally due to the improved materials and technology used in the manufacturing process.
Even though they cost more, the savings of an energy efficient window can offset your initial replacement and installation costs.
The U-value of a window has become the industry standard used to describe its energy efficiency. The more energy efficient a window is, the lower its U-value will be.
Solar Heat Gain
The solar heat gain (SHG) of a window refers to the amount of solar radiation allowed to pass through to heat up areas of the home. A window with a lower SHG rating means it will keep the home cooler during summer months, increasing energy efficiency and savings.
A window’s design pressure (DP) is a measurement of pressure which a window can withstand in high wind and water loads. Windows with a higher DP rating offer increased window and glass strength. Living in storm-prone areas will make this rating essential.
7. Window Certification Labels
An ENERGY STAR rating shows energy efficiency and specific performance requirements. Certifications provide unprejudiced ratings on replacement windows to help homeowners evaluate them. Never accept a verbal certification. Always look for the labels on the product.
8. Enquire About Window Installation
Many homeowners check out brands and companies, but forget to check who will be installing them? Professional window installation is just as important as the design, manufacturing, and technology that goes into it. If it is not installed properly, it may not be energy efficient or provide any benefits.
In some cases, an incorrect installation will void any warranty. Replacement window companies will not cover defects caused by incorrect installation.
9. Replacement Window Warranty
Always get your window warranties in writing. Insist on reading it and get a copy. The installation should be covered as well.
If you do not get it in writing, you are not guaranteed a warranty. Find out how you would go about any claims or any other issues.
10. Check Replacement Window Samples
Always ask to see more than just a brochure. Beware of companies that try sell you replacement windows in pictures. Insist on seeing full working models before installation.
Check build quality including locks, hinges, and other part movements. Remember, replacement windows should be a one-time investment. Always make sure you are happy with their operation and design quality.