Replacement Window Questions & Answers
Are you interested in having replacement windows installed? Do you want to know what you should ask yourself and vendors? Are you thinking about doing the window installing yourself? Read this article to help you figure out the answers to these kinds of questions.
Replacing older windows or upgrading to double pane windows are some common home improvement projects. Either home improvement window project contains three steps: shopping for windows, purchasing windows, and installing windows. Here are some tips for homeowners for buying and installing replacement windows.
Shopping and Purchasing Replacement Windows
After homeowners have decided to replace their windows, it’s important to shop around for windows as well as vendors. During this process, here are some questions for homeowners to ask themselves.
- How many windows are you replacing?
- What is your budget?
- When will you be replacing your windows? Spring? Summer? Fall? Winter?
Questions for homeowners to ask vendors.
- What window styles and window materials do you have?
- What energy efficient options do you carry?
- Do you have references?
The last question is significant if the homeowner is going to have the vendor or vendor installer install the windows. Asking all these questions can help the purchasing and planning process go smoother for homeowners. It also helps prevent any last-minute surprises that may compromise the home improvement project.
Installing Replacement Windows
Homeowners have several options when it comes to the installation of replacement windows. They could choose to hire a professional through the vendor or hire an independent contractor. Some homeowners prefer to hire a contractor because their windows are uniquely shaped, such as bay windows or bow windows.
For those homeowners who want to install the replacement windows themselves, there are websites, videos, and books that describe how to complete it. When scheduling time for the project, homeowners need to allot plenty of time since it can be a time consuming task. It would also be helpful if a homeowner looks for windows that are easy to install and have window installation kits.
Features to Consider When Buying New or Replacement Windows
There are a number of window characteristics that affect durability, cost, energy efficiency, and overall style. Consider these factors when choosing which windows work best for you.
While windows may seem relatively simple, there are a number of factors which affect durability, energy efficiency, and cost. One should consider a few of these window characteristics before deciding on a type or style.
The first consideration should be how the window will be used. Decorative windows may only need to be picture windows, and double glass windows can be important for one trying to protect a home from a blustery winter. Most building codes require the use of tempered glass for certain windows, such as those with low sills. For extreme conditions, consider laminated shatter-resistant glass, which is meant to withstand powerful wind.
Most homeowners and homebuilders are forced to stay within a reasonable budget when installing new or replacement windows. There are a number of things that affect cost, such as: window frame material, style of glass, special tinting or treatment, size, and shape. Researching each of these areas thoroughly will help you settle upon a window plan that suits both your lifestyle and your pocketbook.
Windows are available in a number of different shapes and sizes. Which styles and how many you choose to install can dramatically affect the overall feel of your home just as much as the curtains and draperies that shroud them.
Ease of Installation
The easiest type of replacement window is a frame-within-a-frame design that can be installed in an existing frame without disturbing walls. There are a number of kits designed to accommodate this. Damaged or rotting window sills must be replaced, however, so it creates an ideal opportunity to reconsider the material from which your window frames will be made.
Vinyl and aluminum window exteriors usually require little to no maintenance. Weather-resistant materials reduce maintenance as well. Windows that tilt in, rotate, or open from the side are easier to clean than most other designs,
The type of hardware associated with certain types of windows may influence your decision to include them in your home. Crank-out operation, low-profile handles, and latches or locks affect the look, cost, ease of use, and security of your windows.
A Guide to Glass Options for New and Replacement Windows
The style of a windows glass affects both its price and its energy efficiency. This article discusses several window styles and their characteristics.
While many homebuyers initially concern themselves with the aesthetics of new and replacement windows, size and shape are not the only considerations. While most windows are made of glass, the characteristics of these panes have a tremendous impact on both cost and energy efficiency.
Here are several glass options available to home builders and some of their characteristics…
Single Glass Windows: This basic type of window contains just one pane of glass in each panel. Because this style translates to very little energy efficiency, single glass windows are used less often than in the past.
Double Glass Windows: Also called insulated glass, double glass windows are composed of 2 panes of glass with airspace in between. This airspace cuts the heat transferred from the interior of the home to the exterior almost in half. Sometimes a special gas, such as argon, fills this space as it can increase the insulating value of the window by about 3-5 percent without spending a substantial amount of money.
Low E Windows: Meaning low energy, Low E is a metallic coating put onto the inner surface of the outer pane of a dual glass window, reflecting most ultraviolet and infrared rays. This can improve the overall energy efficiency of the glass by 15-30% and reduces solar heat gain. Most window manufactures are now using Low E^2 (or Low E squared), which as improved multicoated version of this type of coating.
Tinted Glass: Window Glass can be ordered in a number of different tints, which are mainly applied to reduce sun glare. While tinted glass does reduce solar heat gain, it does not insulate as well as Low E-type coatings.
Tempered Glass: Tempered glass, also called safety glass, does not break as easily as non-tempered glass. More common in storefront glass replacement than in a home.
Obscure Glass: Obscure glass window panes are typically used when one does not want a window to be easily recognized, such as most bathroom windows. There are a number of different styles of obscure glass.
A Guide to Common Window Frame Materials
The material from which a window frame is constructed can greatly affect overall installation cost and energy efficiency. This article discusses the three most common materials used for window frames and their properties.
While the shape, size, and operation of a window is aesthetically significant, the material from which a frame is constructed is crucial when considering cost and energy efficiency. While the panes themselves are typically constructed of glass, there are four common types of window frame materials.
According to DIY Windows and Doors, www.diywondowsanddoors.com, aluminum is generally the least expensive material from which window frames are constructed. While aluminum frames are both strong and lightweight, they are the least energy efficient. Because aluminum is a very good thermal conductor, energy is lost even when used in conjunction with insulated glass. However, aluminum frames require little maintenance.
Like vinyl, fiberglass combines the strength and durability of aluminum with the insulating properties of wood. Because this type of frame is new on the window market, home builders do not have a wealth of options when it comes to choosing fiberglass frames.
Vinyl is a more energy efficient alternative to aluminum. Though vinyl usually costs up to 25 percent more than aluminum windows, it is typically up to 30 percent more energy efficient. Vinyl frames, like aluminum frames, usually require very little maintenance.
Wood is the traditional window frame material. These frames are both beautiful and energy efficient, particularly when using dual glass. Despite these advantages, wood frames can cost up to 2 or 3 times more than vinyl windows and require more maintenance. Many homeowners combat this by cladding the frames with aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass, which allows one to have the decorative benefits of wood, but a more durable exterior.
Single or Double Sash? Pros & Cons…
If you are beginning a replacement window job, it is important to decide if you will use single or double glazed window sashes. There are pros and cons to each – single glazed replacement windows are more economical, but double glazed windows may have enhanced energy efficiency.
If you are thinking of replacing your windows, no doubt you have taken the important factors of price, style, and durability into consideration, and come up with the best window to fit your home and budget. However, one thing you may not have considered is whether or not to use single or double glazed windows. This article will explain the differences between the two, so you can make a more informed decision.
Single-glazed wood replacement windows have been standard since the 18th century, especially in the New England area, where some manufacturers refer to them as “Boston Pattern” windows. Single glazed windows can still be purchased as stock items and come in several sizes. Although single glazed windows aren’t thought to be as energy efficient as double glazed windows, the addition of an energy or a good quality storm window can make a single-glazed window’s energy efficiency the same as a double-glazed window.
Single-glazed replacement sash are the least expensive wood replacement alternative and come in sizes 2-over-2, 2-over-1, 6-over-6, 6-over-2, and other combinations of double-hung window. Since a single-glazed window only supports one layer of glass, it is often narrow, and resembles a 19th-century window. These windows are often easy to repair, as damaged parts don’t necessarily effect the whole.
The cost of a new single-glazed wood sash with a good quality storm window is equivalent to a mid-range double-glazed replacement window.
Double-glazed windows are the height of window technology, as they comes with their own insulation. Double-glazed windows have two layers of glass which creates energy efficiency – for the most discerning of tastes, special glass treatments or gases added between the layers may enhance the window’s energy efficiency even further.One problem with double glazed windows are the strange optical effects that can occur between the panels, especially if there are glass treatments or gasses on the insde. Also, because a double-glazed window is heavier, it can be difficult to make the window look like a historic window.
Recently, advances in adhesive technology have allowed the development of what are called “simulated-divided light” sash, which allows a more narrow-muntin look of an historic window – this is better for older houses trying to preserve their old-fashioned charm.
Good quality, double-glazed windows, in both true-divided light and simulated-divided light configurations, are available from many manufacturers, but are generally more expensive than single-glazed. Additionally, double-glazed windows are a “closed” system and each sash is manufactured as a single complex unit- this means, the failure of the part equals the failure of the whole. Typically, double-glazed windows have a limited life averaging 15 years.
Double Pane Windows: Advantages of Dual Pane Windows
Are you tired of your home losing its heat or having to hear all the traffic noise from outside? If so, double pane windows may be the solution to these problems. Read this article to learn more about the benefits of dual pane windows.
What are Dual Pane Windows?
Dual pane windows are windows that are made of two panes of glass sealed together. Between the two panes of glass is a space filled with air. This empty space acts as an insulator. Some manufacturers will fill the space with a gas. According to those at Energy Star, manufactures may use Argon or Krypton, which are colorless, non-toxic gases that provide better insulation.
What are the Benefits of Dual Pane Windows?
Many homeowners are choosing to install dual pane windows or replace their old single pane windows with dual pane windows. This type of window is becoming popular because they are known to reduce heat loss and the amount of outside noise. Unfortunately, not all dual pane windows are made the same. If homeowners are interested in dual pane windows for these reasons, they should look at the U-Factor.
The writers at Energy Star write that the U-Factor tells a homeowner how well the window insulates. They go on to note that homeowners should look for windows with lower U-Factor ratings because those windows perform better. Along with examining the U-Factor, homeowners should also find out what type of frame is used for the window and what type of sealer. All these factors can help dual pane windows become even more energy efficient.
What Should I Do Before I Shop for Dual Pane Windows?
Since dual pane windows are so popular, there are many manufacturers who make them, and many home improvement stores that carry them. With all the dual pane windows on the market, it can be overwhelming. Homeowners should research different types of dual pane windows before they go out to the store or request an over-the-phone consultation. Having this background knowledge can help make choosing the windows easier.
Double Hung Windows: What Is a Double Hung Window?
You likely have double hung windows in your home since they’re one of the most popular window styles. Read this article to help you identify if your window is a double hung window and learn other details about this window type.
What is a Double Hung Window?
A double hung window is made of two window panes vertically placed. To open it, it slides open upwards or downwards. It is one of the most common types of windows found in homes. Many manufacturers choose to place double hung windows in homes because it is affordable and easy to maintain. Most homes have multiple double hung windows in them. The most common place in a home for this type of window is over the kitchen sink.
Why Should I Get a Double Hung Window?
According to the writers at Andersen Windows, these windows are safe for a home with children because the top pane can be opened, making it difficult for the children to reach the opening and hurt themselves. Along with being safe, double hung windows take up less space when opened unlike casement windows. Therefore, homeowners have more walking room near the window.
Where Can I Get a Double Hung Window?
Because double hung windows are a popular window style, many home improvement stores carry them. Some stores even carry double hung windows that come with installation kits, which make it easier for homeowners to install it themselves. If homeowners cannot find a double hung window style that they like at the home improvement store, they may want to try window specialty stores. Window specialty stores can have more options to choose from or be willing to special order a particular style.
Facts About Replacement Windows
The simple old window is getting increasingly high-tech. Here are some of the latest developments in replacement window technology.
High technology isn’t only limited to electronics. Modern windows are getting a few upgrades that can cut energy consumption, improve style points and reduce maintenance requirements. Here are a few of the improvements.
Keep heat where you want it
Low-emissivity glass (low-E) works to reflect heat back to where it came from. The thin metallic coating on each side of the glass reflects energy from being transported through the window. This means sunlight is kept out in the summer and heat is kept in in the winter. This can save the homeowner big bucks on energy bills when it translates into less air conditioning and decreased use of the heater. About 95 percent of natural light makes it through low-E windows.
Homeowners can get window coatings applied to their glass. Coatings can block UV rays that lead to fading of curtains, carpets or floors. SOme coatings work to cut down on heat transfer and create energy efficiency. Dual-action coating is a special material that breaks down matter such as mold or mildew and makes cleaning much easier.
Frosted glass and bubbled glass limit visibility through windows and therefore increase privacy. Natural light still makes it through the window, creating a private, well lit room.
Cut down on cranks
Getting sick of hand cranks messing up the smooth flow of your blinds? Well think about installing some casement windows with fold-down handles. These handles are tucked nicely into the window frame allowing for zero interference of treatments.