Replacing Windows Doesn’t Have to be Scary
Window replacement is one of those home maintenance tasks that most homeowner’s dread. In my work, I have yet to find a client who woke up one day and for no reason other than aesthetics, decided to get new windows. In most cases the windows on their home are literally falling apart at the seams. It’s important that when you do decide it’s time to replace those old leaky windows, that you make an informed decision on who you have replace them, how they are replaced, and what you replace them with. Here are a few tips to help with the window replacement process.

  1. Hire the correct contractor. You wouldn’t hire a plumber to hang your crown moulding, would you? Yet most people will hire almost any “carpenter” to install their new windows. Window replacement is a different type of remodeling project. It takes experienced professionals to install new windows correctly. Make sure you hire an installer who has been certified in window replacement. There are many ins and outs of the installation process that if overlooked, will leave you with more problems than solutions.
  2. Decide on the type of replacement that is right for you. There are two types of window replacements: full replacement and pocket replacement. In a full replacement job, the entire window unit is removed, including the window frame and sashes. Basically, this means the opening is taken back to the original framed opening. In a pocket replacement, only the window sashes are removed. A new “insert” window is then set inside of the existing frame and sealed into place. There are positives and negatives to each method of installation. Have the discussion with your contractor about each and decide which is best for you and your home. A pocket replacement job may not solve all of your problems. If the original window was not properly insulated around the frame, which allows wind and moisture to penetrate around the window, then just putting a window inside of that frame will be useless. On the other side, if you only have bad seals on the actual glass pieces, then a pocket replacement might be right for you.
  3. Choose a quality window! I cannot stress this enough. Choosing the cheapest window can cost you big down the road. Do your research on the window line you are considering. Make sure it meets all standards for today’s energy codes.  Many window manufactures will have a variety of “good – better – best” window options. Research all to decide what is best for you. Some homes will be fine with a quality vinyl window, while others might want a high end wood/clad window. Either way, make sure you understand the product.
  4. Carefully select your manufacturer.  Ensure that your manufacturer is reputable and will be around long term. The last thing you want is to have the manufacturer go out of business six months after your windows are installed. Ask them about the warranty on your windows, what the details are and how coverage works. Should the need arise, find out what the process is for additional service and who should be contacted. 
Window replacement is a substantial investment in your home. Choosing the right contractor and the right product will help make it a great one.

Filed under: home, improvement, installation, maintenance, replacement, window
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