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5 Steps To Choosing Replacement Windows

5 Steps To Choosing Replacement Windows

Choosing the right windows is key for living a comfortable and efficient life for many years to come. Typically windows last for 25 years so be careful what you choose, you might be stuck with poor windows half your life. Here are the 5 basic steps for making the right decisions on your window replacement

Choosing the right windows is key for living a comfortable and efficient life for many years to come. Typically windows last for 25 years so be careful what you choose, you might be stuck with poor windows half your life. Here are the 5 basic steps for making the right decisions on your window replacement project:

1. Decide your Personal Preferences

The most important factor for choosing windows is personal preferences. There are tons of styles and materials out there, each suitable for different climates, architectural styles, and room size. Remember that the window will determine the amount of natural light and ventilation you will have in the house, so decide beforehand whether you need more of those or less. For instance, if you live in a rainy climate or have lots of trees around, you will probably be better off with windows which open outwards and give the most natural light.

2. Choose your Style

As mentioned before, there are tons of styles out there. Usually, homeowners consult with interior designers before making the decision, but you can do it easily by yourself. Nonetheless, there are still things you should know about each style and here are the most commonly chosen ones:

Casement: This window style is amazing for ventilation and that is why it is mostly found in kitchens. It opens like a door and is easy to handle even in hard-to-reach places.
Awning: What casement is for kitchens, awning is for bathrooms. It provides amazing ventilation and is quite practical. Awning also opens outwards, providing protection from the rain.
Double hung: The most common choice for traditionally styled homes is hung windows. There are single and double hung. The latter is significantly better because it has many additional benefits such as tilting, more ventilation, and access to light.
Bay: This window style is the most aesthetically pleasing one. It creates additional living space and amazing views. When you see a picture on Pinterest of someone drinking a cup of tea by the window, it is usually by a bay.
Sliding: If you have small rooms and not enough free space, sliding is perfect for you. The way of opening put space disruptions to a minimum, while also keeping benefits from other styles such as light and ventilation.

3. The Ideal Material

When you choose the style, it is time to decide on the material. There are a couple of ways you can go and deciding should depend on the climate, aesthetic and amount of maintenance you are willing to give in. For instance, wood requires the most maintenance, provides a unique style and has a lifespan of a maximum of 25 years.

Vinyl’s lifespan is much higher, reaching even 50, but the aesthetical options are limited. Fiberglass is the strongest and most resistant and has varieties when it comes to looks, but it isn’t as suitable in specific climates. Aluminum is the weakest material, lasting approximately 15 years, but is still highly resistant.

4. Choose the Glass

Another important thing you should consider is the glass. It is the largest factor when it comes to energy efficiency. The more quality your glass has, the lower monthly payments for energy bills. There are certain values you should look when glass shopping, they are called Energy Ratings and each signifies special characteristics.

U-value: This stands for resistance to heat loss. The lower U-value, the better efficiency.
R-value: Contrary to U, the lower R, the worse efficiency. This rating stands for a window’s ability to absorb and retain heat.
VT: An acronym for visual transmittance. If you live in a shady and cloudy area, you should opt for a higher VT. It is expressed in percentage, the higher the numbers, the more visible light.
SHGC: Another acronym, but for the solar heat gain coefficient. Windows facing North usually have higher SHGC because they need more solar heat in the room. The value is from 0 to 1.

5. Hire Professionals

Some homeowners try to avoid it and end up regretting their decisions for a lifetime, usually developing the need for another replacement, not long after their DIY one. Hiring a qualified professional is of utmost importance for every windows and doors replacement project. You should decide which window company to hire based on reviews, ratings, experience, and willingness to communicate and find radical solutions in difficult situations. You can check for reviews on sites like HomeStars, Angie’s list, LinkedIn and even Facebook.

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Crystal Silva
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