Need to replace your windows? The good news is there are dozens of different choices and options available, so you can pick the perfect window to suit your tastes and daily needs. The bad news? Window replacements can go awry fairly easily if you don’t do them right.
With that in mind, here are some suggestions to consider before your next window replacement:
Replace or Repair your Window?
This is the first question that you should ask yourself. Often, you can simply repair a part of the window (like the frame, hinges, or glass), rather than springing for a completely new one. Sourcing the same frame or hinges may be difficult, and a mis-matching frames may earn you a nasty letter from the homeowner’s association. Also, replacing an old window which isn’t very energy-efficient may be better than trying to squeeze a few more years out of it.
Consider how the window will be utilized in your home. Will you need to open it frequently to let in fresh air? Or do you want to seal out the heat and cold as much as possible? Do you need to be able to clean both sides of the panes from inside of the house? Will you need screens, bars, or storm shutters? The answers to these questions will affect your choice.
This is a pivotal factor in which type of window you choose. Retailers and wholesalers generally display the energy performance ratings on each window. You can also select a window with Low E-coating, or go with double or triple pane glass for extra insulation and energy savings.
Exact Fit Window
Even the highest quality windows won’t keep out the elements if they aren’t fit properly to the window opening. After the window is positioned, there should be enough space around the edges to place shims and apply foam or fiberglass insulation. Don’t forget to test the window by holding up a match or candle near it: if the smoke flickers, there’s a gap which must be addressed.
Trim and Flashing
If the existing trim around your window is rotting or not large enough for your new window, be sure to replace it as well. You can choose between Craftsman, Mitered, and other styles of trim. It’s also essential that you install new sill flashing and/or a drip cap when necessary in order to keep moisture from seeping into your new window and ruining it.
Be sure to check with your municipality, homeowners association, and other relevant governing bodies to ensure that your new windows adhere to established safety codes before proceeding with the replacement. For instance, some condominium complexes might require tempered glass (which will shatter into thousands of small, safe pieces when breaking) in windows that are situated near walkways or sidewalks—or above bathtubs and showers.
Some homeowners try to install new windows by themselves. But usually, it’s probably a good idea to hire a professional contractor or window installer to do the job for you. That’s because replacing a window is a lot like singing: most people are able to do it, but only a relative few know how to do it well. The last thing you want is for an improperly-installed window to let heat, cold, bugs, and/or water to seep in through gaps—which could lead to you having to tear out the window and start again. Hiring a pro, like the highly-skilled window installers from Trusted Home Contractors, can help you avoid this costly scenario. End
Chris Martin has written about all kinds of home improvement tasks, from window and gutter replacement to interior design and landscaping.