5 Steps to Shop for Replacement Windows
Shopping for replacement windows can be an exciting activity if you understand what you are looking for. Due to the many types to choose from, you need to set aside adequate time to window shop. Among factors to consider when choosing a replacement window include:
1. Your Window Preference
Besides quality and durability considerations, it all comes down to individual taste when selecting a window replacement. The frame material, style, pricing, curb appeal and other high-tech features depend on the type of window you are looking for. You, therefore, need to take your time window-shopping in order to get the right replacement windows for your home.
2. If It’s Broken, Replace It
If you have a broken or rotting window, you do not have much choice besides replacing it. Should you be experiencing energy-loss in your home, do a home energy audit to establish where the problem is. If you establish that your window is broken, then you need to start the process of replacing it right away.
3. Match Your Windows with the Your Home’s Architectural Style
When replacing windows, it is important to match it with your home’s architectural style. This will enhance your home’s curb appeal and raise its value in the real estate marketplace. The various architectural styles to choose from include ranch, craftsman, contemporary, traditional, colonial, farmhouse, Victorian, green, Tudor, etc.
The window styles to choose from include casement or awning windows that are hinged on one side and are horizontally (awning) or vertically (casement) installed. These windows provide unobstructed views and optimum ventilation. Other window types include the single- or double-hung windows that are ideal for both old and modern homes. They are designed to allow in as much light as possible. Others include bay/bow windows, which let in a lot of light and provide improved airflow; and custom windows, which are great for curb appeal, besides the fact they also let in a lot of light.
4. Window Frames
The new trend in window frame materials is driven by durability and efficiency. Different types of frame materials have various advantages and disadvantages. For instance, wood frames have been a standard for decades because they are not good conductors of heat or cold. They also lend themselves to existing décor for both interiors and exteriors. Other types include wood-clad frames coated with aluminum, vinyl or fibreglass, which are inexpensive to maintain. Wood is, however, susceptible to insect damage and decay. To avoid water filtration at the seams, such areas should always be caulked.
Other window frame types include vinyl, which is energy efficient, affordable and durable. It, however, does not compliment all architectural styles. Aluminum frames are strong enough to withstand storms. They are ideal for humid and rainy environments. Another aluminum-based frame combines vinyl and aluminum for a durable, sleek and protective frame that is increasingly becoming popular among homeowners.
Polyester resins and glass fibres combine to make fibreglass window frames that are highly energy efficient. They are also strong, durable, have a low thermal conductivity, and do not warp or twist.
Another factor to consider when looking for replacement windows is installation. You will have to decide whether you will require a retrofit or full-frame installation. The retrofit installation uses the existing frame to maintain the original design. It is used where the structure of the original frame is still intact. As the name suggests, full-frame installation is a complete window replacement. It involves applying casings, new hardware, brick moulds and jamb extensions.
There are many window replacement options available in the market today. From window, glazing, frame and installation options, you will find a window replacement solution for your home.