Few areas of home improvement invite as much discussion as windows. In fact, it may come as a surprise that selecting windows for a home remodel is one of the most controversial areas of home improvement. Because purchasing windows is complicated, let’s break down the decision-making process into four areas.
The Four C's:
Condition, climate, character and cost. We’ll handle each section separately, sorting out the options to provide fundamental advice so that you learn the essentials about buying windows for your home.
Condition: Addressing window leaks
Condition is the most important factor that determines whether or not your windows need to be replaced. If windows don’t operate properly, i.e. they don’t open or close, they need to be replaced. If they leak or allow moisture to enter the home, they need to be replaced. If they don’t insulate properly, making it difficult to heat or cool the house, they may need to be replaced. These are the essential considerations that we group together under condition.
There are some quick fixes that can address problems of leaks and insulation - like re-caulking and weather stripping. We can help you choose those products if that is all it takes. However, most often it will be obvious when older windows need replacing. For example, if on a windy day, windows are whistling or even rattling in their sashes, unfortunately, no quick fix can address the problem and new windows are needed.
Cost: Final consideration in buying windows for your home
The options you select can dramatically affect the price of your windows. Careful consideration of your climate and the character of your home will help you to choose what you need without over spending. Don’t be shy about pricing various options and seeking several bids. Installers expect to earn your business both by offering a wide range of options and being price competitive.
Home buyers definitely do care about the age and condition of windows. When looking at older homes, newer windows, just like a newer roof, tell a prospective homebuyer that they won’t incur certain maintenance expenses – especially because many windows today come with transferable warranties lasting 10 years or more. New windows can mean a higher offer or faster sale when reselling a home.
Climate: Choosing windows based on the local weather
Thinking about climate should help you to answer the major questions that you have about the many options available. Living in our part of the country, you’ll need to account for wide temperature differentials. During the winter, interior home temperatures will need to be 50 degrees higher than exterior temperatures. Double pane windows will maintain comfortable interior temperatures in an efficient way. Home owners also may consider extra UV-protection for areas exposed to direct sunlight, but an interior window treatment or coating may be a more cost-effective option here.
Character: Choosing windows that fit the style of your home
A home’s style can be dramatically altered by changing its windows. Traditional hung or awning windows may be the best match for classic architectural styles, while large sliding windows can make a modern statement. Vinyl windows are most cost effective, but may not match the charm of wooden window frames. They also usually come in a small number of colors and finishes and cannot be painted. On the plus side, vinyl windows never need to be refinished.
When painting window frames, both fiberglass and wood are options, and fiberglass may save money because once it’s painted it’s hard to see the difference. Wood offers the most color and finish options.
Because windows can have such a dramatic effect on the appearance of a home, both inside and out, you may want to find windows most similar to those already in the house or work with a designer to select windows that are appropriate to the character of your home.
Thinking of cutting costs by installing your own windows?
Window replacement is generally not a DIY job. Small parts replacement, like replacing a single pane, may be easy work for the do-it-yourselfer. But even installing replacement windows requires specialized tools and skills. Seek several bids from window companies for comparable products. This is an area where professionals can turn a home-improvement nightmare into a quick job. Also, when windows are replaced, they are often done all at once rather than a few at a time. It is more efficient than hiring a professional to do the work, but also most often addresses the needs of the homeowner. Talk to us to learn more about windows
in Cincinnati, OH.