Everything You Need to Know About Replacing Your Home’s Windows
As a homeowner, your windows serve many purposes. You want windows that enhance the look of your home both inside and out, and you’re also seeking windows that are energy-efficient, noise reducing, low maintenance, and easy to clean.
Windows are a major point of defense against the elements. And they can make a huge difference in the curb appeal of your home.
Beyond the basic needs and wants of your windows though, the replacement process can be a bit of a mystery. When should windows be replaced? What options are available? When you decide to get new windows, you want to trust that you are investing in quality windows and quality installation so that your investment lasts for many years. After all, you want your home—and your windows—to last a lifetime.
Replacing the windows on your home can update the look and functionality of your home, improving your home’s appearance, energy efficiency and much more.
How Do You Know If Your Home Windows Need to Be Replaced?
One of the main questions homeowners have about their home windows is when they need to be replaced. It can be hard to distinguish when it’s time to invest in new windows. They may not be very old, but they may have been poorly installed or there may be other issues that are causing their owners to consider window replacement.
When is it time to let the sunlight shine through a brand-new window?
- The window frames are warped, cracked, rotting or show other signs of physical deterioration.
- You’re experiencing drafts, and window sealing doesn’t fully address the problem.
- Your energy bills are way too high.
- There’s condensation between the panes of glass, which is a sign that the seal has been broken.
- Your windows do very little to block out exterior noise.
- Your windows are difficult to move or open and close with difficulty.
- You are giving your home’s exterior a facelift.
- You own a historic home, and you have plans to renovate.
Some homeowners discover that their home windows were improperly installed, which can result in serious home structural issues. For some, this can show up as water damage, which only becomes evident when the problem is major. When this happens, homeowners need not only a window replacement, but also construction defect repair to mitigate the damage and regain structural integrity of their home.
What Are the Benefits of Window Replacement?
Why else do homeowners decide that it’s time for new windows? A window replacement can be more than just a repair or a necessary home improvement project—it also can boost the curb appeal of a home by updating the overall look of the exterior.
New windows can add major value to your home. They look better, they are easier to clean and maintain, and they protect your home from damage. Why else should you consider a window replacement?
- Lower energy costs
- More natural light
- Better safety features and enhanced security
Replacing your windows does more than just give you lower heating and cooling bills—it can add significant resale value to your home. The National Association of Realtors states that window replacement pro
What Are the Main Types of Window Materials?
There are so many kinds of windows and materials available these days, which means that homeowners can find exactly what they are looking for, but it also means there are more choices for you to make to find the right windows for your home.
Choosing a window material should come with careful consideration as there is a wide range of differences between them:
Vinyl windows are the most affordable window material. They are popular with energy-conscious homeowners who are looking to retrofit their homes as they lend themselves to changing just part of one window if need be. Colors may be limited, but they do not require painting.
Vinyl windows get a bad reputation. Some lower-end vinyl window manufacturers don’t create a quality product, which can result in shrinking and expanding, a poor weatherstripping seal, or weak windows that break when they are cleaned. You will want to ensure that your contractor uses only high-quality vinyl windows if you choose vinyl windows for your home.
Fiberglass windows are tough; they’re made to last. These windows are made from the same material as many car bumpers, which speaks to their fortitude. They are usually a fiberglass composite material and come with a higher price tag than vinyl windows. Fiberglass window frames also need to be painted (which also means they are more customizable), but they come with a hard finish that is applied at the factory.
Many homeowners prefer the look of a wood windowsill. They also like that wood acts as a natural insulator. If you choose wood windows, you also should know that they require sealing and painting to prevent wood rot or sun damage. Wood windows usually run about twice the price of vinyl windows. Some wood windows are made with stain-quality wood, but others with visible joints will need to be painted. Either way, the color or stain can be customized to match your home’s decor.
Another thing to consider about wood windows: You can opt for clad windows, which are faced with aluminum, vinyl or fiberglass on their exterior to make them more durable.
How to Know If a Window is Energy Efficient
We live in an increasingly environmentally conscious world, which means many homeowners are working to make their homes more energy efficient to lower their utility payments and energy footprint. One way to accomplish this is by switching to energy-efficient windows. After all, heat gain and loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of a home’s heating and cooling energy usage.
Why choose energy-efficient windows? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if you have single-pane windows, you can expect to save between $126 and $465 per year with a window replacement. Changing out double-pane windows still can impact your energy bill anywhere between $27 and $111 each year.
Replacing your existing windows for more energy-efficient ones shouldn’t be a guessing game. How do you know if your window replacement is contributing to a greener world? How can you tell if a window is energy efficient?
Here are a few ways window manufacturers make windows that are energy efficient:
- Low-emissive (low-E) windows reflect heat while still allowing natural light to filter inside the home.
- Argon gas filled in between the panes of glass minimizes heat exchange through the windows.
- Windows are made with double or triple panes to minimize heat loss or gain.
- Fiberglass, vinyl, and wood frames are all energy efficient.
How Much Does a Window Replacement Cost?
While new windows are a long-term investment in the worth and structure of your home, many homeowners delay the process of getting new windows because they are worried about the window replacement cost. When you get new windows, you not only are improving the look and energy efficiency of your home, you’re also improving the structural integrity by reducing the risk of water damage or rot.
Windows are an integral part of maintaining a comfortable, beautiful home. Calculating the cost can be tricky, as many factors can affect the price:
- The make and material of the windows you choose, as well as the size
- If there is existing damage to repair
- The style and amount of windows needed
Coming up with the price of a window replacement is like coming up with the price of a car—it varies depending on a number of factors. You also have to pay for both the window and the labor to have a qualified professional install your windows properly. A window replacement project can vary between $300 and $5,000, and some high-end windows may cost more. As a homeowner, you do have some control in this price range based on the kinds of windows you pick.
Don’t forget: There’s a major return on investment when you replace your windows. The value of your home increases and your energy costs may drop, earning you money in the resale and saving you monthly on your energy bills.
Home Window Maintenance and Warranty
The best way to protect your investment and lengthen the life of your windows is through regular maintenance to ensure they are in working order. Washing your windows improperly can affect their lifespan. So how should you wash your windows?
- Wash your windows on a cloudy day, as the sun sometimes can cause streaking.
- Vacuum your windows, sills, and screens before you wash inside windows to remove excess dust and dirt.
- Use a hose to spray off excess dirt and streaks that have accumulated on your outside windows before wiping them down.
- Paper towels will leave your windows covered in lint, so use a microfiber towel, coffee filters, or newspaper to get your windows to sparkle and shine without leaving lint behind.
As the seasons change, it’s a good idea to check the seals and frames of your windows both inside and out before cold air can seep into your home. You’ll also want to look for loose window panels and caulk that is lifting and needs to be redone.
What do you need to know about the warranty on your new windows? There are usually two kinds of warranties: the window manufacturer’s warranty and the contractor’s warranty. Many manufacturer’s warranties last as long as two decades, but vary from brand to brand. Your contractor can help you select a window with the right warranty policy for you.
A contractor’s warranty has more to do with the installation and guarantees the workmanship and the installation. At Lifetime Exteriors, we offer a lifetime warranty. Again, your contractor can guide you through this whole process so you choose a product with the right warranty for you.
Why Choose Lifetime Exteriors for Your Window Replacement in Portland and Vancouver
At Lifetime Exteriors, we supply only the windows that Portland and Vancouver residents love. With locations in both cities, we know what the people of Portland and Vancouver want and need, and we supply a wide range of high-quality, wallet-friendly manufacturers from which to choose.
Lifetime Exteriors is a woman-owned business that is dedicated to finding the right style and price of window for every client—and then installing these windows with unparalleled workmanship. We’re more than just a window company. While we install windows all the time, we also understand that your window installation is a big deal, which is why we work closely with you to find the perfect fit.
Let’s Work Together
At Lifetime Exteriors, we offer hassle-free, mess-free installation of top-quality windows. We’re here to make your home more comfortable and more beautiful with professionalism and know-how. We know you care about your home’s exterior, which is why we are here to help whether you need to replace one window or all of them.
We’re here to provide the windows your home needs with the expertise to install them to last a lifetime. Let go of worrying about the condition of your home’s windows and let us take over. Schedule a free window replacement consultation today!