Are your window frames showing signs of wear, some rooms are drafty, or your energy bills are skyrocketing from old windows that are no longer energy efficient? No matter the reason you are considering window replacement, it is time to do your research and make sure that you get quality windows installed properly by tradespeople with specific expertise in window replacement.
The good news is, replacing your windows can gain you more than just curb appeal and comfort. A window replacement project can deliver approximately 73.4% return on investment based on Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report.
Even though replacing windows can seem like a straightforward project, it is still a major investment. Here, you will find everything you need to know before replacing the windows in your home.
While some windows have longer lifespans than others, realistically all windows will fail eventually. Windows’ energy efficient qualities are likely to last 10 years, sometimes longer if they are well maintained. If your windows are past the decade mark, consider the warning signs below. It may be time to call a window replacement expert.
When your energy bills are higher than average, your windows could be to blame. Older windows with single panes of glass are not energy-efficient and don’t do much to block incoming light, heat, and cold.
If you have noticed that certain rooms never seem to be the right temperature, or they feel drafty in the winter and humid in the summer, then there may be an issue. Older windows become drafty as they age, but even newer windows can have broken seals or air leaks that cause drafts.
Mold isn’t just unsightly; it can be a serious health risk. If you have wooden frames, they are prone to rot after years of enduring the elements. Plastic frames can also dry rot, becoming brittle with cracks and holes.
There could be multiple causes to a window being hard to open or close. If you have a wooden frame, it could be deteriorating. Depending on how old your home is, the foundation may have shifted. Finally, the windows may have even been painted shut.
If you have single-pane windows, you will likely see condensation on one side of the glass as they do not do a good job of keeping the humidity consistent. But double-pane and triple-pane windows can also form condensation between the panes when the seal is broken. If this is the case, your windows are no longer energy-efficient, and it is time for a replacement.
According to Home Advisor, the average window replacement can be anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per window. So, estimating what you will pay for your window replacement is tricky. A professional window installer can look at your unique home and assess the right installation type, understanding your specific needs and working within your budget. But before you call a professional and get a quote, understand what can affect the price of your replacement windows and installment.
The type and size of the window you choose will be the biggest factor in cost. For example, a basic single-hung window will cost much less than a large bay window.
Vinyl windows are the most common as they are less expensive while still maintaining durability. However, wood windows are another durable option; it just depends on your aesthetic preference and budget.
Are your window frames cracked, warped, or moldy? They will also need to be replaced with the rest of the window.
The cost of labor will vary by how difficult the replacement is and how many labor hours it will take.
A warranty will protect your investment, both the physical windows and the installment. It should come standard, so make sure to ask before work begins.
Single, double, and triple-pane windows vary in cost and provide different levels of insulation. So, consider the energy-efficiency savings along with the price tag.
With so many options out there, finding the right remodeling company for your window replacement can be daunting. As with any home improvement project, make sure that the contractor you choose is licensed and insured. If you are installing larger windows than your current ones, cutting into your home’s walls, you may need additional permits. Check with the contractor to make sure they will pull the permits for you. Finally, avoid any handshake agreements. While most window replacements are fairly straightforward jobs, you should still get a full scope of work and a detailed proposal in writing before any work on your home begins.
Brothers replacement window installers have decades of experience working with all shapes, sizes, and styles of windows. From straightforward window replacement to custom designs with unique accents, the windows we install are custom-made for your home so that they fit the opening perfectly. Our consultants help you find the right windows for your home, and our tradespeople get the job done right, the first time.
We base our entire company around an honest and fair approach to working with homeowners. There’s no high-pressure sales or switch-around tactics when it comes to your window replacement project.
From straightforward window replacement to custom designs with unique accents, the windows we install are custom-made for your home so that they fit the opening perfectly.
Brothers replacement window installers have experience working with all shapes, sizes, and styles of windows.
Every window replacement project has a Field Quality Manager that oversees the work being done, is there to answer any questions, and ensures you’re satisfied with the final result.
From straightforward window replacement services to custom designs and unique accents, there are many windows to choose from for your unique home and budget.
The bottom window panel moves up and down while the upper panel is stationary.
Both the lower window panel and upper window panels move up and down and usually tilt out as well.
These windows, consisting of a large center window and two sides that are set in an angled frame, extend from the exterior wall and create a ledge in the home.
Similar to bay windows but smaller, these windows are meant for plants and can be used as a miniature greenhouse.
Hinging on the sides or top, these windows swing out to open and usually come with a pane on the left and right.
Hinged at the top, these windows swing out from the bottom and usually open and shut with a handle.
Fixed in one position, these windows do not have any breaks or visible frames allowing for an unobstructed and complete view.
A decorative accent window that usually comes in a semicircle but can also be square or rectangular.
These windows are comprised of two sections of single panes that slide horizontally over each other to open and close.
Homeowners have three options for the glass in their windows, single, double, and triple pane.
Single pane windows are exactly what they sound like – one glass panel. They offer the lowest level of insulation.
Double pane windows have two glass panels that are air-tight and separated by a layer of gas. They offer a higher level of insulation than single pane due to the gas layer.
Triple pane windows are built similarly to double pane but with three panels of glass and two gas layers. They offer the highest level of insulation, but may be unnecessary in less harsh climates.
While most windows will look similar in the end, proper installation will consider the size of the openings in your unique home. And there is a difference between the way a general contractor, specialized window company, and full-service remodeler will install your windows.
Many smaller contractors install “one size fits all” windows, meaning there may be gaps between the window opening and the physical opening. This approach requires filler materials around the edge to help seal the window, which poorly insulates your home. These windows may look great from the outside, but with subpar insulation, they lose energy efficiency. Additionally, the filler materials fail sooner, meaning you will have to replace them much earlier.
Specialized window companies are just that; they only focus on windows. While they will install custom windows, it is unlikely that specialized window companies will have the tradespeople and equipment to handle issues around your windows such as frame rot, siding issues, water penetration into your walls or changing/adding new windows. If you have a project that involves cutting into your home’s siding, or creating a skylight, opt for a full-service remodeler.
Full-service remodelers are experienced in all parts of the home and can do work on the windows, surrounding walls, and even the roof for skylight projects. They will consider your entire interior and exterior when planning a window replacement, ensuring that your windows work as an energy-efficient system along with your doors, siding, insulation, and roof. Furthermore, they work with the manufacturer to ensure that the windows are custom made for the opening in your home. That way, your new windows not only look great but also create an energy-efficient and lasting seal.
Extending the lifespan of your windows is possible with proper maintenance. No matter the age of your windows, you should inspect them annually and make any repairs immediately to avoid further damage.
Your windows face the elements all summer and winter, meaning they can build up with grime, mold, and oxidation. For gentle cleaning, fill a spray bottle with one-part vinegar and two-parts water. Spray the frames and let sit for a few minutes, then wipe or gently scrub with a cloth or soft bristle brush. Spot clean any mold or oxidization with a specially formulated household cleaner, or a mixture of one quart of bleach with one gallon of water. Harsher chemicals can harm vinyl frames, fading them in appearance and making them look aged.
Aside from being a safety hazard and eyesore, broken glass means the strength of the windowpane is compromised. Additionally, if you have a single pane window, your home is directly exposed to the outside air. If you have a double or triple paned window, cracked glass will break the seal in between the panes allowing the gas to escape. That means your home’s energy efficiency and your energy bills are affected. Check the warranty on your windows and see if glass breakage is covered before you start the project.
Inspect the areas around the window frame for any open cracks, holes, or seams that need to be sealed with caulk. These openings not only allow air in and out, decreasing efficiency, they also allow in moisture. And moisture leads to mold and mildew. In addition to caulking and sealing, you should also weather-strip around each window. New weather stripping can be purchased at your local hardware store and is relatively easy to install yourself.
Before work begins, make sure to ask your window installer what kind of insurance they and the window manufacturer offer before investing in new windows.
Your window replacement company should offer a warranty on labor. This means that if the window is installed incorrectly or any damage occurs during install, they should fix the issues at no cost to you. For example, Brothers Services offers a 10-year labor warranty on installed replacement windows and a lifetime warranty on all parts, including accidental glass breakage.
The window manufacturer will offer an additional product warranty. The manufacturer’s warranty should cover issues such as accidental glass breakage or hardware that malfunctions.
Not sure where to go from here? Learn more about replacement windows and how you can maintain your new windows.