Taking on projects inside your home can be a frustrating and timely task – not to mention the costs you encounter when doing the project in mind. And because most projects require you to invest your money in them, you want to be sure that the investment is one that will pay off in the future. When you are thinking of replacing your windows, be sure to ask yourself these five simple questions to insure that you are getting exactly what you have pictured for your home.
- Will you replace your window or retrofit it? If you are considering new siding on your home, you might think about a whole window replacement. This type of project includes cutting through the old siding on your home and removing the whole window frame. You can also consider just retrofitting your new window into the old frame. Nothing gets damaged during a retrofit, and the new window will pop into the old window's frame. The new window may be a little bit smaller than the old window, but most of the time this is not a noticeable difference. This is a good option if the frames are still working well.
- What window frame will you choose? Window frames come in a variety of choices. Vinyl window frames are usually the cheapest and require less maintenance than other frames, making them widely popular among homeowners. However, vinyl window frames cannot be painted and usually come in a white or brownish color. Other options include fiberglass frames which require no maintenance but they can get expensive. Wood is another popular frame type but wood requires more maintenance such as frequent repainting or staining, and it does not last as long as your other choices.
- Do you choose single or dual glaze? Single glazed windows are windows that have only one pane of glass. This makes for easy cleaning and replacing if one happens to break, but they often fall short of being great insulators. In our climate, we do not recommend single pane windows. Double glazed windows have two panes of glass with an air seal between them, offering the best insulation for your home. These windows typically last about 15-20 years, making them a great investment. A broken double glazed window can be expensive to replace.
- Will this increase the value of my home? Even if you never plan to leave your home, thinking of it as an investment can really help you in the event that you do sell your home in the future. Single pane windows and wood will quickly lose value over years, whereas dual pane and quality fiberglass or vinyl windows will last quite awhile. A house with great windows is a good selling point; a house with cheap windows and poor energy efficiency will actually push buyers away from buying your home in the future.
- Will this save me money on heating and cooling? When looking into replacement windows, finding ones that are energy efficient can really help you in the long run. They might be a little bit more than your average window but they will help you save money on your heating and cooling bills every month. You also may be eligible for a tax credit if you replace all the windows in your home with EnergyStar rated windows. (Check with your tax professional.)