THE 5 THINGS HOMEOWNERS SHOULD REMEMBER WHEN BUYING NEW WINDOWS
July 09, 2018
If you’re looking to enhance your home’s design and want to create a serious impact, it might be time to consider new windows.
Windows provide your home with natural lighting and play a role in your home’s energy efficiency. Homeowners today want that energy-efficiency, but they’re also demanding more expansive views of the outside to enhance their home’s design and add to its comfort.
Before you dive into window design trends and start shopping around, it’s helpful to ask yourself a few questions before you start navigating options.
1) What Kind of Warranty Is Provided With my Windows?
Most windows come with some type of warranty, but these can vary drastically from one brand to the next.
As you're evaluating warranties, it's important to understand what’s covered. No two window warranties are the same, and the coverage depends on the window product and material type you choose. It’s helpful to ask the following questions of your window manufacturer:
- What parts are covered?
- What does your installation warranty look like and does it cost extra?
- If I install the products myself, is the warranty still valid?
- Is the warranty transferable if I sell my home?
2) What’s the U-Value of my Window and Why Should I Care?
Windows are rated by a few factors that determine their overall energy efficiency rating.
The U-Value or U-Factor is a number that indicates how much heat your window allows out of the house. The lower the U-factor, the better your window is at keeping heat inside.
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of a window product indicates the amount of solar heat that’s allowed in through your windows.
Both of these numbers will tell you how energy-efficient your windows are, which will ultimately tell you how well the windows perform. When you’re looking at these ratings, keep in mind what your local climate is like. Your home’s location plays a large role in what energy ratings you should look for: know your climate zone and look for window products that are certified for it.
3) Should I Replace All of My Windows at the Same Time?
If you’re looking to replace your windows, it’s usually more cost-effective and efficient to do a whole-home replacement for your windows. You might be eligible for discounts or promotions from the window supplier if you’re buying multiple products.
You can also replace multiple windows in phases; that way, you’ll start seeing the benefits of new windows earlier on by gradually improving the energy efficiency in the home.
If your budget is tight, you can start by prioritizing replacement for your most worn-out windows first.
4) Are Replacement Parts Easily Available?
You’ll also need to know whether or not replacement parts are easily available. If something were to break or wear out, it's comforting to know replacement parts won't be hard to come by. Some windows don't come with the option to replace the weatherstripping, for example.
As you’re shopping for windows, make sure to look for ones that feature replacement part options. M Glass
5) Will I Need an Architect or Structural Engineer for My Window Installation?
Your new windows need to be compliant with local code requirements and the manufacturer’s installation guidelines to ensure your windows perform as expected. If you’re installing new windows that are bigger than your old windows, a permit is often required. Hiring an architect or designer ensures that your project goes smoothly, and they’re trained to worry about things like permits and building code compliance.
Occasionally a structural engineer is also needed to determine the feasibility of the project. A structural engineer can help determine if the new windows will be able to be installed without compromising your home’s integrity. M Glass uses a structural engineer on every project to ensure its success.
Steps Towards a Smoother Window Installation
The windows that you choose for your home can take your design from boring to beautiful. The right windows will provide your home with style and access to natural light, and can even save you money on energy costs.
The process of choosing windows requires some additional planning, but by asking yourself the right questions, you’re well on your way to a successful window installation and happier home.
If you’re in the process of replacing or installing new windows in your home, take a look at our project gallery for serious inspiration.