Home renovation is both one of the most stressful events in life as well as one of the most rewarding. There are many expenses involved, but there are few things more satisfying than kicking back in a home that you have recently renovated to suit your lifestyle. Because of this, it is essential to find the right materials and take the time to do home renovations right so you won’t have the headache of fixing things again later.
Although there are certainly many, many aspects to home renovation, one that should earn a special place in a renovator’s mind is the prospect of updating and replacing windows. Windows are the eyes of our home, allowing us to see and enjoy the world outside. They should be grand and beautiful as well as secure and insulating.
If you are renovating your home, or even just considering replacing a few windows, there are a handful of things to think about prior to getting started. For example, when is the right time to purchase new windows? Which windows are going to work best for your tastes, budget, and home aesthetics?
Is It Time for Replacements?
Understanding when it is time for a replacement window can either be really obvious or somewhat tricky, depending on the situation. Broken windows and those that do not seal properly are obvious fixes. Other signs that you need to replace windows can be a bit too subtle for the novice home renovator to notice:
- You may notice that your home is noisier than it used to be.
- You may be hearing more outside sounds while inside with closed windows.
- Your windows may be collecting condensation throughout the day.
- You may also notice that your furniture is fading. This is a sign that your windows are not blocking as much light and heat as they should be.
Another indicator that it might be time to replace your windows is a rising energy bill. Windows can be linked to over a quarter of all heating and cooling energy use in your home. This means that quality, working, energy-efficient windows can make a substantial difference in your energy consumption and resulting energy bill every month.
The Right Window for You
So you’ve decided you definitely need to replace your windows during your home renovation, great! The next step is to determine what windows you’d like to see as the replacement. Aesthetics and functionality matter! The most important things to consider when replacing windows include: materials, style, glass, and maintenance requirements.
- Materials include options like wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum. Each has pros and cons. For instance, wood may look nice and provide greater sound insulation, but it will cost more and be more difficult to clean. Vinyl is much easier, but it is the worst for the environment.
- Style takes into consideration how the windows open and close, as well as how they are placed inside the home framing. Different options include sliding, casement, double-hung, and awning window style. Sliding, for instance, is a great option for windows that double as doors or emergency escape routes.
- Glass encompasses double-pane, triple-pane, Low-E, and argon gas added window types. Overall, glass type plays an important role in determining how much insulation your window provides and how much light gets into the home from outside. Glass type can be a major factor in the ultimate price of windows, so it is important to balance energy-efficiency with price points.
- Maintenance and cleaning requirements can also be an important factor. Cleaning windows is a notorious pain in the rear. Some window materials such as vinyl and fiberglass are more easily cleaned, while window style can dictate how accessible windows are.
Getting Installation Right
Window installation is a tricky business that almost always requires some level of professional help or advice. Windows can be expensive, especially if you are doing a replacement for the entire home. Although many windows come under warranty, self-installation may void it.
It is critical to make sure everything is done correctly in order to ensure that windows will work as well as they are supposed to. Even slightly unlevel window placement can ruin any energy efficiency gains. Keeping the warranty in place by having them professionally installed could save you a great deal in the long run.
Further, having installation done by professionals will maximize their impact on your home’s curb appeal and therefore your home’s value. New windows can greatly improve the aesthetics of your home, but if they aren’t installed correctly, they can stick out like a sore thumb. This is especially problematic if you hope to sell the property in the near future.
Fortunately, most companies will offer free delivery and installation for windows. This can take much of the stress out of buying windows and then paying an additional sum of money to get them properly placed in your home. Plus, you can kick back and relax while someone else does all the heavy lifting!
Window replacement can be a major factor in home valuation during a sale after renovation. Determining if you are in need of a window replacement and finding the right window for your home are great steps in completing the renovation process. After you’ve found the right windows, have them professionally installed. With this knowledge, you will be well on your way!
SmartReno can help you find the right contractor for your Doors and windows project