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What to Consider Before Installing New Windows

Posted on: April 10, 2017

If you are considering the installation of replacement windows, it is best to take your time and review all options as you figure out exactly what type of windows are ideal for your home. Let’s take a look at some key considerations to keep in mind before starting your window replacement project.

Ask for Recommendations

Most people do not buy new home windows every year or even every half-decade. If you have not purchased and installed new home windows in a while, do not hesitate to ask for recommendations (from your friends and even your social media networks). Also take the time to ask a local windows expert for advice (and referrals from their pool of previous customers). Learning about the window buying experience can help you make the best decision for your home, family, and budget.

Do Thorough Research

Don’t select any type of new windows for your home simply based on visual appeal or a low price tag. Whittle the field down to half a dozen windows and check the label and warranty of each. The label should include endorsements from neutral third-parties like the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). This is an independent testing group that rates the solar heat gain co-efficient (SHGC) and U-factor of new windows.

SHGC is a measurement of the amount of the sun’s warmth that is transmitted through the window’s glass. As an example, a window with an SHGC of .4 will permit 40 percent of the sun’s heat to move through. Opt for a window with a low SHGC and it will block a considerable amount of heat (and help you save on energy costs in the hot Texas summers we know here in Houston).

U-factor is best described as a measurement of the window’s resistance to cold and heat. A low U-factor is an indication that the window will block out heat with ease, providing excellent insulation.

Compare Different Brands & Materials

Take a moment to write down exactly what you are looking for in new windows. Perhaps style is at the top of your list. Or, maybe you are most concerned with energy efficiency, price, or warranty of certain brands.

There are several different types of frame materials. From wood to fiberglass, vinyl, composite and aluminum, you should weigh the merits of each before proceeding with your new window installation.

Create a comparison chart for each potential window, listing its positives and negatives. Compare each prospect’s merits and flaws to match your desires.

Be wary of a company that only tries to push one brand or material of window. There are many on the market that can give you almost unlimited choices to help meet your needs.

The Warranty Matters

Do not fork over your hard-earned money without examining the product manufacturer’s warranty. Read the warranty in-depth. Find out exactly what it covers and what is not covered.

Weigh the Merits of New Construction and Retro-Fit

Windows can be installed with two unique methods: Retro-Fit and New Construction. New construction is a three step process that involves cutting back the outside portion of the home siding/stucco by the current opening. The flashing paper and old window are then removed. This method is sometimes favored as the new windows are the exact same size as the windows that are removed. The only drawback is that this method is typically more costly than retro-fit. Some dislike the fact that alterations to the stucco and sidings are visible after the project is complete.

Retro-fit involves the designing of a new window to fit within your home’s specific frame. It is built to fit without flaw. This method allows for installation without disturbing the exterior or interior of the home.

When in Doubt, Trust a Window Replacement Professional

There is certainly plenty to consider when it comes to new windows. If you are struggling to make a decision, find a local window replacement and installation company that you can trust to guide you through the decision making process. Picking the right windows can improve your home’s value and your family’s comfort, so you want to make sure you make the right choice.

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"When you're getting replacement windows, you're buying both the product and installer, and either can make or break the job. We had Ultra Windows install fiberglass windows, and have been extremely pleased with both the installation and product." –T. Evans

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