There are a variety of different reasons you may consider updating your windows. Maybe they are not properly blocking the weather and keeping your heat and cooling inside, or perhaps you just want to update the look of your home.
Replacing your windows has many benefits. It can increase the energy efficiency and value of your home. However, to save time and money, there are some things you need to know before you begin the process.
Let’s dive right in…
Energy Star Rated Products
First and foremost, when you are looking for your new windows and insulation products, you will want to look for Energy Star-rated products.
Energy Star-rated products are energy-efficient, which means they’ll save you money and help prevent energy loss.
Not only that, but some Energy Star products can qualify you for a tax credit, so keep all of your receipts in a safe place where you can easily find them, such as in a filing cabinet.
Determine What Needs To Be Replaced
One big decision that you have to make when redoing your windows is whether or not the entire window unit needs to be replaced.
If the framing around the window is still structurally sound, you might be able to get away with replacing just the window itself as well as some of the fixtures.
If the framing and sill are rotten or otherwise bad, you are looking at a potentially much more expensive project.
A simple window replacement can easily be done by yourself in true DIY fashion, but if the entire structure surrounding the window needs to be replaced, you might want to consult a professional.
Do Your Research
Where you buy your windows and who you have to install them is actually very important. Be certain to do your research before choosing a contractor to go with.
Check the Better Business Bureau; read customer reviews online, ask for references as well as any certifications and licenses.
A reputable business will proudly make those items available to you at the drop of a dime and will answer all of your questions thoroughly and happily without any sales pressure.
No matter what kind of windows you buy, even if they are top of the line, if the installation is not done properly it won’t matter, because you’ll have to deal with issues such as rain seeping in, window frame rot, and the loss of heat and cooling inside.
Having an unskilled contractor perform the installations, could end up costing you hundreds or thousands of extra dollars.
So, do yourself a favor and research several contractors before deciding.
Do Your Own Measurements
Before you even think about ordering parts, make sure you accurately measure your window. Measure every part of it, including the width of the frame, the height and width of the window itself, and jamb to jamb.
You will also need to use a special tool to determine the angle of the window sill. Look for double or even triple-paned windows. The extra panes insulate better, especially in very hot or cold climates. This can save you money on heating and cooling costs.
Strongly consider adding storm windows. Not only do they protect your windows from the elements, but they also add an additional barrier against energy loss.
Insulation is very important. Make sure you have adequately caulked around the window and frame.
Even if you plan on hiring a contractor to upgrade your windows, taking your own measurements allows you to validate quotes that you are given by performing your own cost calculations.
Before you tackle the task of replacing any of your windows, I recommend that you be honest with yourself.
If you feel that you may not be able to finish what you start, you may want to consider hiring a contractor, because if you cause damage, you’ll end up paying a lot more money to have them correct it, not to mention the other fees for completing the entire job.
However, go for it if you feel confident.
But, before jumping into a window replacement project, I recommend taking a few DIY classes at a home improvement store.
You could even watch online videos of others that walk you through them in a step-by-step manner.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to replace your windows yourself or hire a contractor, the bottom line is that these upgrades will enhance the appearance of your home and lock in the heat during the winter months, and keep the cool air inside during the summer, and increase the value of your house.
Isn’t it amazing how many benefits you can get by replacing some simple windows?
Have fun picking out new windows to upgrade your old ones!