As a homeowner, your windows are among your most valuable assets. Windows play a huge role in the overall comfort and beauty of your home: they enhance your facade, protect your home from the elements, and help boost your energy savings. But even the best windows won’t last forever…eventually old, failing units will need to be replaced. Investing in window replacements can improve your overall property value—in fact, according to the 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, homeowners can recoup as much as 74% of the total job cost when they invest in window replacements.
Of course, a window replacement project is a big investment. Whether you plan on replacing your windows one at a time or all at once, you’ll need to do some research to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. You will need the help of professionals like Chicago Marvin Window Company, to help you plan a smooth and successful window replacement project.
In today’s post, we share the key things you should consider while you do your research.
#1: Price Is Not Directly Proportional to Performance.
Just because you purchase expensive replacement windows doesn’t mean your windows will perform correctly throughout their projected lifespan. Price doesn’t always indicate performance, which is why you should be careful in assessing all the features of a certain window before making a purchase. Check for features that will not just shield your home from the elements, but will also help boost your home’s beauty, comfort, and energy efficiency. Look for strong and insulated framing materials, a low emissivity (Low-E) glass package, weathertight seals, as well as spacers and gas fill.
But even a window made with high-quality materials won’t perform well if it isn’t installed correctly—which is why it’s critical to hire an experienced, reputable contractor. Look for a window installer who will bring outstanding skills and workmanship to the table. Manufacturer-certified contractors are your best bet, as they’re proven to have the right set of skills, experience, and expertise necessary to ensure a flawless installation.
#2: Choose Windows That Match Your Local Climate.
To deliver effective performance, windows need to be able equipped to handle your local climate. In general, windows with a low U-Factor score perform better than those with higher scores. If you live in a cold climate, you can significantly boost U-Factor scores by switching to triple glazing. In addition, you should strongly consider Low-E coatings, which reflect heat from your interior to keep your living space warmer in the winter. If you live in a warmer climate, choose glazing with an extremely low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). Look for units with SHGCs notably lower than the ENERGY STAR® standard of 0.40 to help reduce your cooling costs, especially in summer.
#3: Focus on Additional Features That Improve Value.
As windows impact your home’s overall aesthetics, you’ll want to choose a style that will look great from both the inside and out. This involves choosing styles and colors that complement your home’s architecture, but you can also get more creative. Replacing your old units is a great opportunity to give your home unique character and charm. When getting estimates, consider quality accessories, such as advanced window sashes, full screens, and stylish grilles. With the right combination of these elements, you can create a truly stunning window design.
#4: Look for Windows That Complement Your Architecture.
You want your new windows to enhance your home’s overall appearance. To that end, start by considering the architectural design of your home. For example, if you have a traditional-style home, such as Craftsman or Victorian, you’ll probably want traditional-style windows, like casement, double-hung, bay and bow. For modern homes, sliding, specialty, and picture windows are popular choices due to their simple yet functional design.
That said, you shouldn’t limit yourself. If you want to explore more styles and combinations, your best bet is to consult a professional window contractor who can provide expert design advice.
#5: Keep Energy Efficiency in Mind.
When it comes to window replacements, energy efficiency is near the top of most homeowners’ priorities, and it’s easy to see why. In general, the more energy efficient your home is, the lower your energy bills will be. Most of the windows manufactured today are equipped with innovative materials and technologies designed to provide top-notch energy performance. When selecting new windows, look for products with the ENERGY STAR label. This means that they have been designed, manufactured, and tested to deliver superior energy savings and protection from extreme temperatures.
Together with ENERGY STAR, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) uses a specific set of ratings to measure the energy efficiency of windows. These include U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Transmittance. Energy ratings such as these help homeowners determine the most energy-efficient option for their local climate.
Before you make your decision, you want to be sure you’ve done your research and can make a well-informed decision. Don’t hesitate to consult a trusted professional when thinking about investing in new windows. Doing so can help you maximize your investment for many years to come.