There comes a time in the life of every home when new windows are called for. It's a good indication that your old windows are ready to go when they require a steady stream of maintenance and/or your heating and cooling bills continue to climb. Instead of constantly busting your knuckles with endless scraping, caulking and painting, consider installing new windows that are energy-efficient, and low maintenance. The following tips can make the idea of window replacement a little less daunting.
Energy-efficient windows can make a big difference when it comes to heating and cooling your home. If you live in a very warm climate where much of your home energy costs involve cooling, you may want to choose windows with clear "low-E" coatings which allow light in while reducing the amount of solar heat gain. These windows should be of the metal frame variety and designed for low solar gain. If your home mainly requires heating, select thermally- improved, non-metal windows designed to for double or triple solar gain. In both cases, you want to install windows which install minimum air leakage.
Talk about the weather
While you can't control the weather, you can certainly plan ahead for it. While bad weather may not keep some installers from working, you may be particular about the condition of your floors, and not appreciate the outside coming inside, should your yard become a mucky mess. If having a bit of a mess isn't a problem for you, don't worry about it. But if your window replacement plans don't include a carpet cleaning session, be sure to plan appropriately. Most installers will have some sort of plan in place for inclement weather, so be sure to discuss what you both consider acceptable working conditions.
Choose window materials carefully
Different types of window materials have different life spans and may require varying levels of care to keep them looking good. While you may think that wooden frames provide the best look for your home, they require more maintenance that aluminum or vinyl, and have a shorter life span. The choice is ultimately up to you, but you may want to take material into consideration when choosing your windows to make sure that they will last a long time and provide the best value for your money.
Have a disposal plan in place
Your old windows have to go somewhere, so it's a good idea to have some sort of disposal plan in place before work begins. This should include the area where you'd like the old windows stored until you are able to get rid of them, as well as how you will ultimately dispose of them. If aren't planning to dispose of your old windows yourself, you might need to find out when your town's next local bulk trash disposal day is, as well as what the guidelines are for disposal.
Undress your windows
"Naked" windows are essential when you want to make the installation of your new windows as pain-free as possible. Make sure to remove curtains, blinds, window treatments or anything else you usually dress your windows with so it is out of the installer's way. This also includes any pictures or knickknacks that normally "live" on your window sills.
Clear the way for installers
Be sure to clear a path so that installers have a clear space in which to work. Relocate any furniture that usually resides beside or in front of your windows, and remove pictures, mirrors, etc. from the wall near them so that they won't be knocked down accidentally. Also consider the spaces on the outside of your home where installers may need space to place ladders and tools. It's better to provide as clutter-free a working space as possible so there's no chance your indoor treasures will be damaged, or your flowerbeds trampled outside.
Double or triple the pane
Single pane windows are a thing of the past as they are so energy inefficient that you'd probably be just as well off leaving them wide open. Double pane windows provide better energy efficiency, and triple pane models provide even better results when it comes to heating and cooling because they ensure such a low level of heat transfer. Windows with special gas fills within the panes add up to even more savings.
Try some color
Gone are the days when windows only came in white. Now you have a wide range of colors from which to choose when you want the best looking windows on the block. One interesting option is windows with one color on the inside and another on the outside. There are also a number of vinyl windows with attractive wood grain patterns.
Aim for Cheap not cheap
While you want to get a good deal on windows, you want windows that a "cheap" in terms of price, not quality. This doesn't mean that you have to go out and buy the most expensive windows on the market, but you should definitely choose those with a good energy rating and a lifetime warranty that covers as many possible scenarios as possible. If you get your windows for a steal but end up having to replace them in ten years, the only one who got a deal is the supplier who sold them to you. Do your homework, be prepared to pay for quality, and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba