When it comes to home maintenance, it’s easy for homeowners to overlook windows, especially when there aren’t any immediate problems or defects. But proper window maintenance can make a big difference in your home’s appearance, energy bills, and overall safety and comfort. It can sometimes be daunting to know what to look for when repairing, replacing, or installing windows, so we’ve rounded up expert advice from window contractors and professional installers to answer your most pressing window questions.
What are the different types of windows available for houses?
There are a many different window styles to suit a variety of needs and preferences. The most common window types on the market today include:
- double-hung – Both lower and upper sashes can be opened in double-hung windows, bringing fresh air into your home and increasing ventilation, Plus, they tilt in to make cleaning easy.
- casement – Casement windows can be hinged from the right or the left, and open wide for hassle-free-cleaning from the inside of your home. An easily accessible lever locks the window at multiple points for a weather tight tight seal.
- bay & bow – Bay windows have three sides, and are available in four projection angles. Bow windows form a gentle arch of four, five, or six windows.
- picture- Picture windows feature uninterrupted panes of glass. Their stationery design makes them highly energy efficient and allows for much larger sizes than a venting window.
- sliding – Gliding windows open on smooth, easy-to-maintain tracks, and lift out for easy cleaning of the exterior glass from the inside of your home. You can choose to have both sashes slide, or only one.
- awning – Awning windows are hinged at the top and open from the bottom, meaning you can let fresh air in and stay clear of the weather, even in a light rain.
…and many more! To learn more about custom and specialty windows, visit renewal by Anderson.
What are the most important questions to ask when deciding to hire someone to replace your windows?
- How long has the business been doing this kind of work?
- Did I actually read the warranty or did they just tell me about it?
- What is the main reason you want to replace your windows? Are you getting something that fits your needs?
- Does the company have a good reputation?
- What kind of accreditation or awards does the company have?
What steps do I take to get my house ready for windows to be installed?
Actually, very few steps are needed to prep your home for window installation. If a customer has a security system attached to the inside of existing windows, they must call their security company to remove and then reinstall those connections. Also, make sure the installers have clear access to both the inside and outside of the windows to be replaced. Other than that, no other prep work is required for most standard window installation jobs.
What are the signs to look for that might indicate you need to replace your windows?
There are many smart reasons to consider replacing your windows. These include:
- You want to improve or reduce your heating and cooling bills.
- You have broken windows, cracked glass, or a rotting window sill or frame.
- The windows are painted shut or swollen and “out of plumb” from when they were originally installed.
- You want a different window type or style.
- You want to increase the airflow into a room. Switching to a casement window can help catch passing winds and force them indoors.
- Outside noise can be a problem with older windows; they no longer have the insulating gases inside the multiple panes to buffer the noise. Newer technologies in window glass laminates and layers have almost eliminated the noise from outside traffic and weather.
- Replacing your windows can also update the appearance of your home and also reduce the maintenance required. Newer windows are built with maintenance-free materials and offer lifetime guarantees.
How do I choose a replacement window for my house?
When choosing a replacement window there are a few important factors to consider:
- What is most important to you for new replacement windows?
- Are you looking to improve the appearance of your home?
- Are you looking to improve your home’s energy efficiency?
- Do you desire expanded views or more improved ventilation?
- What is your preferred frame material, glass type, and style?
- The frame material (such as vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum-clad) and glass package (such as triple pane or double pane) of a window all play major roles in a window’s overall performance
- Both vinyl and fiberglass interior windows require little to no maintenance, whereas wood interiors require maintenance but offer a more traditional appearance
- There are various styles of windows available and it’s important to pick windows that align with your personal preferences
- What type of warranty comes with the replacement windows?
- Most windows come with a lifetime or limited lifetime warranty
- While some companies offer lifetime warranties it is important to know the details as there could be labor costs or trip fees associated with them
What should I keep in mind when choosing replacement windows?
There are a couple things to keep in mind when choosing a replacement window:
- The installation of a window is as important to its energy efficiency as the window itself. If you’re choosing to have someone do it for you, make sure you do your research and choose a reputable and experienced window installation contractor
- It’s important to know how long a contractor has been in business, they have good reviews and references, what kind of warranty they offer
- Consider how long you will remain in your home
- Keep in mind that high-quality replacement windows with transferable lifetime warranties can increase the resale value of your home
What’s the best time of the year to get my windows replaced?
Any time of year is a great time to replace your windows. Whether you’re in cooling or heating season, you’ll see immediate energy efficiency savings reflected in your bills. Just be sure that your contractor only removes one unit at a time to minimize your exposure to the elements, especially in more extreme weather.
Replacing windows or installing new windows doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Once you know the right questions to ask, coupled with advice from trusted window pros, you’ll have the information and knowledge you need to undertake any window project with confidence. The right windows will enhance the enjoyment of your home, increase your home’s value, and help reduce your heating and cooling bills.