Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Buying the best windows for your home is an expensive decision that can take a lot of time an worry. With all the different companies selling windows it's hard to make a good choice when you know little about windows or the companies looking for big profits at your expense. Your goal as a smart shopper is to consider some of these critical questions before signing any window contract.
Hopefully, this article based on my years of experience can help guide you to a clearer more precise picture of what's important to you as a homeowner and what's the best window for your project.
1. How to consider the company to do your window replacement installation. Theoretically, we can more accurately highlight the differences between window companies by looking closely at their business model and practices.
Let's start by what is a general contractor? A general contractor usually has some knowledge of a wide variety of things related to remodeling a house like electrical, HVAC, framing, plumbing, and cement.
A contractor can't be an expert in every category of remodeling, and they typically aren't concerned with window replacement quality or performance.
The national home improvement stores or big boxes offer great value on lots of their merchandise that homeowners need fast and conveniently for their home. But, when it comes to the best windows for your house, you have to get what they have, and that's commonly a low-end product that has to be special ordered that can take several weeks longer than a local window replacement company. One thing to keep in mind is that most custom windows from big box stores are made out of state and can be problematic to service if needed. The chances of big boxes getting your new window order correct aren't good either because the window and door counter is staffed with ill-trained and inexperienced workers that make close to minimum wage or are part-time workers that work throughout the store as needed.
The best choice for custom replacement windows is still companies that specialize in windows and doors. You get a more knowledgeable staff that is trained well on the windows they offer and know the local codes and laws. A company that does only windows can be of great value in suggestion ways to make your new windows more functional and suggest design elements to add to the aesthetics of your house. Most importantly is the fact that not every home is built of designed the same, so what may look good and perform well on one house, may not look good and perform well on another. Specialty window companies offer the best windows in their area of service and just out execute these other players in the custom replacement window business and consider performance, comfort, efficiency, and quality when selecting and keeping window manufacturer.
2. So many window frames to consider, which is the best window?
Wood windows have been around for hundreds of years and have their place within the market. Wood can be easily painted or stained to match any interior and exterior; this is its number one strength. But wood needs lots of love and attention if they are to last. Wood is a high maintenance material that will need to be re-painted or stained. If the wood is exposed to high moisture, it will eventually rot. The main obstacle for most homeowners is the cost of new wood windows. A homeowner can expect to spend much more on this material without any added energy savings.
Windows made from fiberglass is considered a low maintenance material that is strong and durable and won't rot like a wood window. One thing that fiberglass has with wood windows is the flexibility to be painted any color to match any color theme in a house. As for the price of fiberglass, it has the same downside as wood windows and that is its high upfront cost to use in your home.
The biggest obvious advantage of aluminum windows is the fact they last so long in any environment. Also, aluminum can have a structural strength advantage over other materials; this is why aluminum is used mostly on commercial buildings that have different needs than a homeowner like the ability to support large heavy glass units on the side of a building while being resistant the UV rays, and being maintenance free. One of the aluminum weaknesses is it conducts heat and cold better than other materials making it less energy efficient.
Vinyl replacement windows now represent over 50 percent of the new windows used in homes in the United States and are the number one choice with builders for good reasons. Vinyl is the most economical of all replacement window materials to use for residential homes. Vinyl replacement windows are designed with multiple hollow chambers in their frames and sashes which makes them insulate well. Vinyl is one of the lowest maintenance materials which is exactly what the majority of homeowners ask for in new replacement windows. The limitation on color options has in the past hindered sales, but since around 2000 the paint and laminate technology has improved to the point that many window manufacturers offer several colors including black backed with ten or more years of warranty with great long-term success even in southern climates.
All right, we looked at the most common frame options and your now wondering which one will be the best window for me or my home? Before you can make the wisest choice think about how long you might be living in your home. If you have kids that are starting school and you plan to live in the same house until your children finish college than that's a long-term investment, which might mean you are willing to spend more money for longer lasting replacement windows or new construction windows. Keep in mind window manufacturers will have a good, better, and best options on their windows, so the better and best options will have the longest life.
Or, perhaps you are more budget minded, and the best window for you is basic and inexpensive, so many manufacturers offer a budget window for shoppers that have tighter budgets. It's important to weight the energy performance of a budget window against the more expensive model. One of the best window options for a budget window that will help it perform in the heat of summer is to upgrade to a better low E glass options. Custom made budget windows can be upgraded with a few manufacturers to help improve the windows performance U values numbers.
How efficient a new window is, will affect the price. The NFRC says higher efficiency means more energy savings, here is the link:NFRC window website
The best windows for a home, as you can see have many options and variables that are worth debating before actually sending your money.
Suggested window links: dycwindows.com
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