Replacing all the windows in your home can be an expensive proposition; not only because of the windows themselves, but because you will need to hire an expert installer to make sure the windows perform as promised. When you start looking at window options, it pays to shop for both.
Should I Repair or Replace My Windows?
A lot of homeowners will attempt to repair a window when it really should be replaced, but keep in mind that replacement windows are available two ways. If your original window frame is still sound and reasonably square, a replacement window can be installed in the original opening. However, you will still need new side jambs, sashes and trim.
If your original frame is showing signs of significant rot or is no longer square, a new-construction window should be installed.
This type of window can cost 50 to 100 percent more than a regular replacement window. Also, keep in mind that replacing a three or more windows will usually be more cost effective than installing just one or two.
How old is your home?
This is an important question that almost any good window installer should ask. Until the early 70s, windows were made with old-growth woods, which are more resistant to moisture and decay. However, newer homes are likely to be poorly constructed, made with builders-grade windows that are built on wood frames that are more susceptible to moisture.
It’s interesting to note that it’s more likely for newer homes to need new windows, but this isn’t always the case. If your older home has window frames that are sound, you might be able to repair them by stripping off the paint, repainting or staining them, and adding new storm windows with “low-E” coatings. Low-E, or low emittance coatings, reduce the sun’s damaging effects on windows, such as heating and fading.
Calculate your savings and ROI for New Windows
Chances are, when you sell your home, you will recoup much of your investment in new windows. In the latest “Cost vs. Value Report” from Remodeling magazine, the payback on four window replacement projects was at least 2/3 of the total job cost. Of all the windows on this report, mid-range wood windows had the highest return-on-investment, at 73.3% of an average job cost of $10,700.
However, it’s important to match the style and quality of your new windows with your value of your home.
Always use high-end windows in a luxury home, mid-range windows in an average home. Otherwise, the value of the new windows won’t necessarily be reflected in the home’s market appraisal.
In addition to resale value, your energy bill will also start paying you back on a monthly basis. Be sure to seal up a leaky house and reinsulate it before you install new windows. This might cost some extra money, but in the end it will be more cost effective.
Select the right replacement windows
Before you start shopping for new windows, learn the lingo.
- Double-pane windows are two pieces of glass that may have argon or krypton gas between the panes. This provides better insulation than pure air.
- Double-hung windows may be opened from the top or the bottom. Also known as casement windows, these open with a crank and can be especially handy for cleaning in hard-to-reach places.
- Tilt-out windows allow you to clean the exterior from the inside, which is a great feature for those who live in dusty climates where windows get dirty faster.
- Vertical or horizontal dividers, or mullions, give windows a more traditional look.
It’s not a bad idea to check out the websites of well-known manufacturers, such as Marvin, Pella or Andersen. Each of these manufacturers includes online guides to help you decide on the right style of window. Whenever possible, visit the physical showroom to see and test models that interest you.
Select a Window Dealer
Here is a great rule of thumb when shopping for Colorado Springs replacement windows.
You will want to hire a well-established company with both a storefront and a web site.
Do not do business with internet-only window resellers. Most of these websites are designed to generate leads for local window installers and they will sell your information to the highest bidder. Look for a well-established company who will come free of charge to your home to assess your needs is even more desirable.