Let There Be Light: How to Choose the Best Replacement Windows

As a homeowner, you want to keep your home in great condition. But when it comes to home improvement projects, it’s easy to get sidetracked with renovations and improvements you can do yourself.

Focusing on those improvements alone won’t always add value to your property. Worse, they won’t always make your home more comfortable and livable. You need to think about improvements that make a difference in the functionality of your house.

And few improvements make as much of a difference as replacing your windows. In fact, the best replacement windows can increase your home’s value by as much as $8,500.

But how do you choose the best windows for your home? Here’s what you need to know.

Focus on Your Style

Every home has a unique style and your windows are a huge part of that. Depending on the types of materials and frames you use, your home exterior will look different.

Think about the way you want your home exterior to look. If you’re living in a historically inspired property, wood frames will be the best option. But if you’re looking for a more modern aesthetic, vinyl or composite windows are the best choices.

If you’re not sure, you can always install the same types of frames that you already have in place. This will let you keep your home’s aesthetic unchanged. But it also ensures that the materials work with your siding and your exterior.

Choose the Right Glass

There’s more to choosing replacement windows than picking the cheapest option. In fact, doing so can leave your home uncomfortable at best.

When looking at your options, take care to choose the right type of glass for your needs. This means paying attention to the number of panes and the type of glass used in each window.

Pay Attention to Energy Ratings

Modern windows have energy ratings to help you see how efficient each option will be. In most cases, single-pane windows are the least efficient while double and triple pane windows are more energy-efficient.

The higher the efficiency rating, the less heat can transfer through the glass. This means your home will stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Think about what you want the windows to accomplish, how much insulation you really need, and which ones you’re most comfortable with. There’s no right answer here. It’s a matter of personal opinion and what works for one homeowner may not work for you.

Before you commit to a particular glass type, take the time to learn about windows and familiarize yourself with the benefits of each one.

Think About Your Maintenance Requirements

Different windows have different maintenance requirements. This can impact your replacement window choice.

For example, wood frames will need to get treated and painted to protect your windows and seal against the weather. And you’ll have to touch things up every few years to keep your windows in good shape.

The benefit is that you can change the color of the frames whenever you feel the need.

Vinyl and composite windows come in set colors, but they don’t require ongoing maintenance. All you have to do is keep the trim clean.

Know That the Best Replacement Windows Are an Investment

Unfortunately, window replacements cost money. In fact, the average homeowner spends about $500 per window and that number can go higher depending on the type of frame you install.

This means you’ll want to think about how much you’re willing to pay for your new windows. Once you have a dollar amount, stick to that budget.

Ask for quotes from different companies and work with a professional that can install your windows without going beyond your budget. If the estimates are significantly higher than your preferred budget, put the upgrade off.

You can always save up for a year or two or look into home improvement loans to help finance the upgrade.

Make Sure Your Siding Is in Good Shape

Before making the appointment for your new windows, get your siding inspected. Believe it or not, your home’s siding helps protect both the window frame and the glass.

When it’s damaged, water can get between the window frame and the walls of your home. This puts your house at risk for mold, mildew growth, and insect infestations.

Let your general contractor inspect the integrity of your siding. If it’s damaged, let them fix the issues before you get your new windows installed.

This way, you’ll be able to enjoy your windows for years to come without worrying about hidden water damage destroying the frames.

Find a Professional Installation Company

Though it’s possible to buy replacement windows at your local hardware store, that doesn’t mean you should. Instead, you’ll want to hire a professional installation team to take care of the job. Otherwise, you could end up doing significant damage to your house.

Pros know how to install windows correctly. This means your new glass will properly keep the elements outside where they belong. Even better, they’ll save you money in the long-run.

Most manufacturers stand behind their windows by offering a warranty against defects. But to qualify for that warranty, an experienced contractor must install the windows for you.

If you choose to install the windows on your own, you may not be able to use the warranty. And if anything goes wrong with the windows, you’ll have to pay full price for the replacements.

Final Thoughts

The best replacement windows are different for every home and every budget. But no matter which type you choose, let an experienced professional handle the installation.

This way, you’ll get the most out of your investment and can have confidence that your windows will last for decades to come.

Looking for more helpful home improvement tips to save you money, time, and stress? Check out our latest posts.

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