Upgrading Your Windows
As long as your windows provide natural light and offer some semblance of a view, why give them a second thought, right? Wrong. For one, your windows directly contribute to the overall comfort inside your home. If the words “stuffy” or “stale” have ever exited your mouth when describing the air in your home, your windows are probably to blame. Plus, old, poorly functioning or improperly installed and sealed windows can wreak havoc on your utility costs. Ever seen your curtains move when the windows are closed tight? Congratulations: You have leaky windows — and a leaky bank account come energy-bill time. But government regulations and advances in glass-making and glass-coating technologies mean that replacing your windows can instantly increase the comfort in your home and save you money. Here’s the ins and out of upgrading your windows:
Project: Adding energy-efficient windows.
Why: Better-insulated windows mean your home won’t be fighting the outside air to maintain a comfortable temperature. This can drastically cut energy costs in your home. They can also help filter sunlight, preventing harmful rays from fading your furniture, upholstery, wood floors and art.
Things to consider: If you’re considering replacing your windows, this might be a good time to also think about changing their function, adding a picture-frame window or sliding glass doors. Of course, changing the size of the window will require extra thought and labor. And it’s one of those projects that you want to get right the first time. It’s not like changing the curtains. For example, changing the window framing means either your interior or exterior finishes will be damaged. If you have old molding that you want to preserve on the interior, then you’ll want to change the windows from the outside wall, in which case you’ll have to consider how the project will affect that finish. “Sometimes you can preserve those finishes,” says Markham. “But most of the time, you’re going to lose the finish on one side or the other. Plaster on the exterior is difficult to match, so maybe you lose the Sheetrock inside, which is easy to replace. Vintage wallpaper isn’t, however.” Also, ask your installer how the window is going to be sealed. “There’s a lot to be said about the efficiency of the glass, but if it’s not properly sealed, what good is it?” Markham says.
Who to hire: If you’re replacing your windows but also looking to change the function, add more windows, expand the size of a window etc., you can consult a window and door professional to get estimates on cost and work involved like one from Westhill Construction Company!
How long will it take: Custom windows generally take about three to five weeks to produce and ship. Then you’ll need to schedule the installation.
Savings: According to Energy Star, you can save up to 15 percent on your energy bills with Energy Star–rated windows, doors and skylights. That’s $146 to $501 per year when you replace single-pane windows, depending on which region you live in ($146 in California; $501 in New England), and between $71 and $247 when replacing double-pane windows with Energy Star–rated ones ($71 in California, $247 in Florida and $208 in New England). Mixing brands and energy efficiencies based on your house’s position and the sun’s path can also help you save money. Also, sometimes it makes sense to splurge on one big showpiece like a window wall and go with budget windows elsewhere.
Best time to do this project: Typically, rebates run until the funding is gone, so it might make sense to coordinate your project around the beginning of the fiscal year if rebates are offered in your area. Otherwise, whenever the weather isn’t extreme is the best time for this project.
If you are interested in upgrading your windows for beauty, comfort and big energy savings, please contact Westhill Construction Company!