Most windows have a lifespan of roughly 10 to 20 years before they start to deteriorate and cut the energy efficiency of your home. As they age, their seals begin to weaken, and let air and dust sneak into your home.
If your utility bills have grown unusually high, this might be the cause. If so, then it’s time to replace your windows.
Signs Your Windows Should Be Replaced
How do you know it’s time to replace your windows? If you don’t know the signs, you might not recognize that a damaged window is hurting your home.
When they assess the problem, most contractors will ask specific questions about the age and the quality of your windows before they order replacements. Here are some of the signs they look for.
- Higher Utility Bills: Keep a close eye on your monthly energy bill. If you notice a large increase between the beginning of the year and the end, your windows may be letting more air escape, which forces your utilities to work overtime.
- Damaged Glass or Seals: Obviously, a broken window requires repair, but this doesn’t always mean replacing the entire window. A single broken pane can be restored without having to get a whole new frame. But if the seals are cracked or otherwise damaged, or the break in the glass is more extensive, you’ll need a brand-new window.
- Cracks or Warping in the Frames: You’ll typically see this in older window frames made of wood, but vinyl frames can suffer this kind of damage as well if they’re exposed to excessive amounts of water. Cracks and warping in the frame allow moisture, air, and pests to creep inside.
- Old Windows: As mentioned previously, if your window is more than 10 years old, it’s likely to need replacing.
- Excessive Noise: Good windows will block noise effectively from traffic or the neighbor’s dogs. On the other hand, damaged windows are a major cause of noise pollution inside the house. Instead of buying a white-noise machine to drown out exterior noise, think about having your windows replaced.
Nine Common Mistakes Made During Replacement of Windows
A window replacement isn’t a simple DIY project. Too many homeowners go about replacing their windows in the wrong way, which leads to serious problems down the road.
Once the problems arise, the homeowner is forced to pay a professional to fix them on top of the initial cost of reinstalling the window. You don’t want this to happen to you.
A window replacement is enough of a hassle, and if you know what mistakes people commonly make, you’re more likely to avoid them.
1. Choosing the Wrong Type of Window
Off-brand windows are typically a bad idea because you don’t know you can trust the quality. It’s best to go with a known brand with Energy Star ratings and warranty guarantees. In addition to considering the window’s effects on your home’s efficiencies, you should also consider the maintenance requirements and the variety of finishes available.
2. Using the Same Windows as Before
A lot of people simply order the same style and brand of window as the one that ‘s being replaced, which isn’t always wise. It’s likely been several years since you replaced your windows last, and during that time, new models and technologies have emerged that may deliver a better finish than whatever you have.
3. Deciding on New Windows Based on Cost
Cost will be an important factor in choosing your replacement windows, but it’s not the only one. Keep in mind that you’ll get what you pay for. The cheaper the price, the fewer years the product’s likely to hold up.
Rather than simply buying the cheapest (or most expensive) window on the market, you should seek a professional opinion. Our experts can assess your budget and help you decide on a window product that will give you the best bang for your buck.
4. Replacing Windows Yourself
If you’re looking for longevity, energy efficiency, and an aesthetically pleasing finish, replacing the windows on your own is not smart. There’s more to replacing windows than simply fitting the frame into the hole in the wall.
Every step has a certain art to it, from insulating the edges to glazing the panes or installing the seals; and homeowners without extensive experience in window installation are likely to get at least one thing wrong, damage the longevity of the project, and potentially hurt themselves.
5. Not Considering Your Location
Many people don’t realize that some window materials don’t perform as well in certain regions as they do in others. In locales where humidity and moisture are high, for example, wood windows are strongly discouraged, because they’ll warp in the heat and moisture.
Speak with a certified contractor in your area to determine the kinds of materials that will last in your geographic location.
6. Overlooking Your Home’s Design
A window that looks attractive in the store might not look the same in your home. The aesthetic matchup is very important for curb appeal and the resale value of a home.
This is also a good time to consider alternate styles. If you aren’t happy with what you have or you’re simply ready for a change, now is a great time to switch things up.
Research currently popular window styles and choose something you love. It might take a little extra work and money to make it happen, but the design will be worth it in the end, and it will be far more affordable and efficient to make the change during a necessary window replacement.
7. Ignoring Security Concerns
Windows play a major role in security concerns at home. They’re the most fragile point of entry in most houses, and the sound of breaking glass isn’t likely to disturb the neighbors, if they hear it at all. Considering security when choosing your replacement windows is always an important step.
Windows can be significantly strengthened through certain glazing processes that will increase a window’s resistance to impact and enhance the tint so passersby find it more difficult to see inside. Hardware can also be installed on the frame so it’s more difficult to open from the outside.
8. Being Duped Into Buying Bad Windows
You’ll likely see your fair share of salesman as you search for the perfect windows, and not all of them will be honest. For some, making a sale is more important than ensuring the customer leaves with quality.
Be smart in your window-purchasing decision. Never take a salesman’s word at face value. Cross-check any information you receive, and do some research so you’re not duped into buying windows that won’t suit your needs.
9. Failing to Screen a Window Contractor
After you’ve chosen the style of window, you’ll need to find someone to install it. Don’t take this step lightly, either. Ask plenty of questions that help you gauge the contractor’s reputation, and don’t be afraid to request references or certification.
Honest contractors will inform you of both their positive and negative experiences, which empowers you to make a more informed decision.
When you’re choosing your window contractor, consider Precision Contracting Services. We’ve been installing windows for more than 35 years, and we know how important it is that the job be done right the first time.
Want to learn more about whole home remodeling in PA? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Remodeling Your Luxury Home.