The Do’s and Don’ts of Replacement Windows
Does your home need a serious window update? If the existing windows lack style, energy efficiency, or the ability to effectively keep the elements outside where they belong, take a look at the do’s and don’ts of replacement selection and installation.
Do Hire a Professional – ASAP
Before you start your replacement window search or put money down on a new product, talk to a professional. A window and glass contractor has the experience and knowledge necessary to walk you through this process. From the initial evaluation to the actual product choice, the professional can help you to make the best decisions for your home’s and wallet’s needs.
Don’t Change the Shape or Size – Unless You Have To
Is your rectangular living room picture window old, worn, and drafty? While you can replace it with a different shape or size window, this type of project is likely to cost you more money and take extra time.
You might need to make significant structural changes. This means you may need to hire an engineer for a consultation – especially if you want to extend or widen a smaller window or install floor-to-ceiling glass panes. Along with the structural issues involved, you may have to remove wallpaper, replaster the area, or repaint to accomplish a significant shape or size change.
Even though the structural and home décor aspects of a new shaped or sized window can impact your home improvement budget and the existing interior aesthetics, you can make these changes. If your window update plans include a major renovation, discuss the options with a glass contractor and an engineer before you agree to an estimate.
Do Reduce Costs – and Pay Attention to Energy Efficiency Factors
Aesthetics are important. But the look of your new replacements isn’t the only consideration to make when you choose windows. Not only do windows add to the interior and exterior décor, but they’re also a functional part of your home.
Between 25 and 30 percent of American home heating and cooling energy use results from window-related heat gains and loss, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Along with increasing home comfort, energy-efficient windows can save you money in unnecessary heating and cooling costs.
Several factors can impact your new windows’ energy efficiency – and the price you pay for utilities. These include the type of frame you choose, the glass glaze, the style of window you select, and the insulation. Metal and aluminum frames without a thermal break (a plastic strip that provides insulation) can conduct heat. Insulated vinyl, fiberglass, wood, and wood composite frames are better barriers against the heat and cold.
A low-emissivity, also known as low-e, coating can also improve energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this type of glazing can reduce energy losses by between 30 and 50 percent.
Add even more energy efficiency to your replacement windows with an insulated, multi-pane pick. Multi-pane windows are exactly what the name implies – windows with multiple panes of glass. These windows use trapped gas insulation (between the panes) as insulation.
Don’t Forget About Home Décor – Outside or Inside
Windows add to your home’s exterior and interior aesthetics. To maximize the décor options, talk to a window contractor about how each type of window and frame can meet your home design needs. To create a continuous or matched look outside, choose identical or highly similar frames. This includes the material, color, and overall style. If you prefer an eclectic, off-beat look, you can mix and match the windows and frames.
Are you ready to replace your home’s windows? Contact Central Glass Company about your options.