1Why replace windows?
The benefits to having high-quality replacement windows are numerous:
- Energy Efficient Windows equate to savings for the homeowner. New windows will assist in maintaining the temperature in your home – keeping the cold out during the winter months and the heat out in the summertime.
- By ensuring the home uses less energy (oil, gas or electricity) to heat or cool the home, utility bills become less costly with good quality windows.
- Windows that are in disrepair are dangerous. Cracked and broken windows become even more dangerous once winter arrives, as glass becomes brittle when cold. Furthermore, old windows are drafty and these drafts can cause health issues (allergies, etc.) for family members.
- New windows are environmentally friendly. Energy efficient windows enable the homeowner to use less oil, gas or electricity to heat or cool homes. Lowering energy consumption decreases the size of your carbon footprint.
- Old windows may contain lead paint, which can be hazardous for both children and adults. New windows can protect your health.
- Leaking window seals allow moisture – which can lead to mold – to come into the home (both on the surface of and behind walls). Mold is a dangerous byproduct of moisture entering the home, and it can be detrimental to both your family’s health and the resale value of your home.
- Old windows are commonly single paned. Double and triple paned windows lock out more moisture and cold than their outdated counterparts. Old windows can freeze open or shut and feel icy to the touch. In addition, single pane windows develop frost, increasing the chances of breakage.
- No matter the scope of your renovation project, new windows instantly increase the aesthetics of any home.
2What is a replacement window?
A true replacement window is a window which is custom built to fit an existing window opening. It’s built to precise measurements and can be installed with minimal disruption to the existing trim, siding, sheetrock or exterior veneer.
3Why buy custom replacement windows when I can just purchase pre-made windows from a home improvement store?
Custom windows are made to fit perfectly. As the result of a perfect fit, they provide the most energy efficient option. Also, because of the perfect fit, custom windows also allow for easier installation – which saves the consumer from costly renovations and messy cleanups. Also, because of the numerous appearance and efficiency options available, custom windows allow homeowners the ability to design windows that will meet their exact expectations.
4Are custom windows more costly than the pre-made variety?
Pre-made windows normally cost less in the beginning. However, other expenses and factors – like added labor costs and the disruption to the home – easily outweigh any savings. For instance, installing stock windows requires the addition of brick or siding to the exterior and drywall or other trim materials to the interior.
5I’ve heard replacement windows really pay for themselves. How is that possible?
High-quality, energy-efficient replacement windows are annually demonstrated to be an excellent investment. According to the 2007 Cost vs. Value Report (a combined effort by Remodeling magazine and REALTOR® magazine), homeowners can expect to recoup an average of 80% for window replacement. Such return on investment makes replacement windows an excellent buy. It’s important to keep in mind that today’s energy-efficient windows and patio doors also can: Reduce energy consumption Reduce drafts and make your home more comfortable Improve natural light and reduce glare Help you take advantage of solar heat gain in cold climates or minimize it in hot climates Provide years of easy operation and weather-tight seals Drastically minimize care and maintenance Reduce noise Reduce window condensation Protect draperies, carpets and upholstery from fading or discoloring
6Are vinyl windows unattractive?
Don’t be fooled by old fashioned, low-end vinyl windows. Because of the numerous options available – and with the many advances in window design technology – quality vinyl windows are both attractive and unique. Nowadays homeowners can choose from sculptured or sleek window styles; white, almond or wood grain finishes; standard or diamond grids; and beveled, leaded, etched or stained glass. New vinyl window are beautiful, maintenance-free and energy efficient.
7Cleaning old-style windows is difficult and time consuming. How are replacement windows different?
Many high-quality windows are designed with cleaning in mind. For example, double-hung windows featuring a modern internal constant force balance system allow a homeowner to easily maneuver the sashes. These windows tilt in and lock securely in place for safe, easy cleaning.
8What are the advantages of vinyl windows over windows made with wood, metal or a combination of materials?
Vinyl is the ideal window construction material because it doesn’t deteriorate or rot; it can be extruded /shaped into brilliant designs; doesn’t damage or corrode when scratched; can be fusion welded to eliminate air and moisture leaks at the joints; offers excellent insulating properties—especially when used in multiple-cavity frame designs.
9Are there differences in the types of vinyl used between different manufacturers?
Vinyl – just like any other man-made compound – is produced in numerous types and grades. Lesser-quality vinyl typically has problems with brittleness, impact resistance, color consistency, and expansion and contraction. The best vinyl is produced using proprietary compounds formulated specifically for manufacturing high-quality windows.
10Are vinyl windows strong and why is strength important?
Window design, materials and methods of assembly determine the strength of a window. Just as beams or roof trusses are designed for specific mechanical loads, so are window shapes. The overall strength of the sash and frame determine how the window will maintain its shape under various environmental conditions. A weak window will flex and reduce the effectiveness of the weather stripping, resulting in air and water infiltration and, subsequently, increased energy costs. Windows featuring all fusion-welding and glass sealed to the sash frame joints provide long-term strength.
11Do wood grain vinyl windows simulate the look of real wood and, if so, how well can they match different wood types?
Advances in vinyl technology allow quality wood grain vinyl laminates to come very close to the look of real wood. Wood grain vinyl is attractive and can be ordered to match the color of a home’s existing wood trim. As an added benefit, wood grain vinyl never needs to be stained or sealed.
12I need to install new windows and doors, do you have any financing advice?
Home equity lines of credit can be a good resource for financing replacement windows and doors. In fact, in some cases, the interest on home equity lines of credit is tax-deductible. Many bank websites have financing calculators you can use to figure out what your loan payments might be. Also, you may be eligible for more financing on energy-efficient windows through a HUD Energy Loan. In addition, the federal government or local power company could offer incentives including additional tax deductions or rebates for making energy-saving improvements to your home.