Your Complete Guide to Choosing Replacement Windows for Your Home
The average homeowner pays more than $104 per month on electricity costs alone. That means you’re spending more than $1,200 per year on electricity for your house.
In most homes, the major source of energy and climate-control loss comes from your windows. Older windows just aren’t as efficient as their modern counterparts and when the times comes to replace them, you’re in for an entirely new challenge.
Choosing replacement windows for your home can seem difficult, but when you break down the process, it’s easier than you might think. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind when you start your search.
Figure Out Your Budget
Before you can start looking for new windows, you’ll need to figure out your budget. The glass alone can cost more than $500 per window depending on the type you’re considering getting installed.
Use this as a baseline. Count the number of windows you want to replace. In most cases, it’s better to replace all of your old windows at once. This helps reduce the impact it has on your home’s exterior and allows you to reduce the disruption installation has on your daily life.
Once you have a general idea of how much the process will cost, think about how much you can reasonably afford. You’ll want to factor in any savings you’re willing to use towards the project as well as any loans you might want to take out.
Once you know your budget, you can schedule estimates with local companies and let them tell you how much it will cost to install different types of windows and window frames.
Different companies offer different prices on their windows and installation services and what one company says is standard for Milgard windows pricing, another may be able to undercut.
The best thing you can do is shop around with different providers and get an estimate from each one.
Once you have the estimate, look at the types of windows they’ll install and the warranties they offer on their work. Go with the company that offers the best price and the best service.
Just make sure to choose a company you feel comfortable with. This may not always be the cheapest option, but it’s better to pay a little more to work with a contractor you can trust.
Ask every contractor you talk to for referrals and find out what their previous clients thought about their services. If they all had positive experiences, you can expect the same quality service. If they all express similar concerns, proceed with caution.
Think About Efficiency When Choosing Replacement Windows
Many homeowners install new windows because they want to increase their home’s energy efficiency. Older windows are often leaky, letting the temperatures outside into your home.
New windows feature improved technology that makes them more resistant to the weather outside and allows them to provide you with better insulation for years to come.
Different windows have different energy efficiency ratings. Ask your window contractor for details on the different types of glass you’re considering. As a general rule, avoid single-pane windows whenever possible.
These windows provide the least amount of insulation of any modern windows.
If your goal is to decrease your home’s energy bills and maximize comfort indoors, look for a double or triple-pane window option.
Consider Your Framing Options
In some cases, you’ll be able to keep the same window frames your home has always had. However, if the window frames are not in good shape or can’t accommodate your new windows, you’ll need to replace the frames, too.
When it comes to framing, you have many different choices. The type you choose largely depends on your home’s exterior and your personal sense of style.
If you have a historically inspired home, wooden window frames will help you keep your home’s exterior looking the way you want it to. However, those frames are relatively high-maintenance and require regular cleaning and painting to keep them looking great.
Vinyl window frames give you a similar look but do so without the maintenance requirements. Instead of paint, vinyl frames come in pre-manufactured colors and never rot or break down over the years. They’re incredibly durable and can add value to your home in the long-run.
If you’re not sure which option is best for your home, talk to your window replacement contractor. They’ll be able to guide you toward the right choice for your house and your budget.
Know How You’ll Pay for Your Windows
Once you have a few estimates and your budget in mind, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll pay for your new windows. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but most homeowners tend to choose to pay cash up-front or to finance the windows with a home improvement loan.
Ultimately, the best option for your needs depends on your personal preferences. If you’re looking to minimize the amount of outstanding debt you have, paying cash for your new windows is the best choice. However, if you have a good credit score and are willing to take out a loan, financing the purchase is a great option.
This will allow you to break the cost of the window replacement into monthly installments. While you will have to pay interest on the loan, you may find it easier on your budget than paying up-front.
Just be sure to shop around for home improvement loans. Choose a loan provider that offers you a fair amount at a reasonable interest rate. Remember, the higher your interest rate is, the more you’ll end up paying over the life of the loan.
Choosing Replacement Windows Is Easier Than You Think
As a homeowner, making improvements around your house is always important. It’s how you make your house feel like home and turn it into a place that fits your needs completely.
Choosing replacement windows is the perfect way to make your home more energy-efficient and more comfortable year-round. These simple tips should make the process easy and stress-free.
For more helpful tricks and tips for making your house more efficient, check out our recent posts.